S&M: See if you are ship-shape
I knew a man years ago who'd only have sex on a boat. He said he found it extremely erotic.
Canadians may shiver at the thought, but it helped that he lived on the south coast of England where the weather's reasonably decent all year, which leads to a long boating season.
He said it beat sex on a bed in a house by far and was much more stimulating (and comfortable) than, say, sex in a car or a park.
Citing the silence, the privacy, the relaxing rocking motion of the boat, the slap-slap sound of waves against the side plus the cozy intimacy of small cabins, he waxed lyrical about the atmosphere being more sensual and, especially, romantic.
The only problem, he noted, is if the sea is rough, it's essential your partner be a good sailor. Being seasick in the confines of such a small space is, needless to say, not conducive to hot sex.
He was preaching to the converted. I'm a good sailor (born by the sea) and I've made love on boats many times. It's most definitely pleasurable and has some advantages -- especially the privacy when you're far out and isolated from the madding crowd.
MANLINESS AND POWER
But sex and boats is nothing new. It has always, in some form or another, been associated with the various craft, especially those big, sleek powerboats.
As with cars, it seems men particularly associate boats with manliness and power, viewing them as an extension of their personality -- and their personal part. You only have to look at a powerful cigarette speedboat to understand this analogy.
Years ago, when I had a tiny condo up north at an old resort-turned-condo (mine was a condo-minimum), you could often see this in action.
Big powerboats would sweep by with bronzed men d'un certain age at the helm, the rear filled with near-naked laughing young beauties.
Nothing changes in that world.
They still appear wherever there's big money as do the ever-bigger and bolder boats of today's status-fixated nouveau riche.
Size matters in this world. Billionaires now vye with each other as to who has the world's biggest, most glamourous and expensive yacht such as Oracle's Larry Ellison with his Rising Sun -- 452 feet and sporting 48,000 hp.
Close is the Octopus, owned by Paul Allen at 414 feet, complete with personal mini submarine. Some personal part that . . .
The allure, sexual or otherwise, is what draws big crowds to salivate at the boats -- and the bikini babes -- at the annual Toronto International Boat Show.
Just for a stimulating moment, those who can only perhaps afford a rubber ducky in the bath can stand astride the gorgeous and powerful man-made creatures of the sea and hear the alluring siren call.
Someone who not only heard the siren call but succumbed to it is Canadian recording artist Eileen Quinn. She has spent the last few years living entirely on a 36-foot sailboat with her husband.
She gave a talk at the boat show entitled The Bad Girls' Guide to Good Cruising, and says such a life has a major effect on your relationship -- and not just straining it to the extreme, either.
"It can help keep it afloat," she assures.
Or, presumably, sink it without trace for she says the life, while exciting and interesting, is very constricting and demanding and a sure and certain test of whether you have the "right" partner.
But she says living on a boat can be very romantic and can strengthen a relationship.
"It's a wonderful way to reinvent yourselves as a couple."
Quinn feels the best parts of living at sea are the freedom and the remote cruising.
"Making love on an empty, remote beach is one of life's most special moments."
As long as you can keep the sand out of everything, that is...
Valerie Gibson, firstname.lastname@example.org