You wouldn’t believe what Daimler is calling a not-secret program to build a fleet of autonomous, shared cars: Car2come. You heard me. There’s a URL, car2come.com, which made me vaguely horny. But when I went there, I found nothing about ejaculation whatsoever. It’s just a short video about the encroaching wonders of self-driving and a call for applications if you want to join the autonomous revolution. Pornhub, it’s not.
Obviously, nobody in Stuttgart realized the double-entendre. I wondered how the Germans would describe a Mercedes sex-car: “Our vehicle allows you to copulate in a variety of dynamic positions, and to orgasm at a rate of 390 newton meters per second of torque.” But after I was done cracking myself up thinking about German car engineers describing sex, I started wondering about sex in autonomous cars in general, so I Googled “sex in autonomous cars.”
The search yielded many results, most of them dating back to the first week of May, when a flurry of click-bait headlines like “Experts say sex in self-driving cars is inevitable,” “Self-driving features could lead to more sex in moving cars: Expert,” and “Semi-autonomous tech could lead to more in-car sex, expert worries” suddenly appeared.
Who, I wondered, was this expert, and was he really worried? One person was quoted in all these stories: Barrie Kirk, the Executive Director of something called Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE). So I phoned up the CAVCOE offices and asked Barrie Kirk what the hell was going on here.
Kirk gave a friendly explanation. In May, he said, he did an interview with a reporter from a Canadian newswire service. “We were talking generally about self-driving cars, I said, when computers are doing the driving there will be more sex in cars. The reporter took that statement and built a whole article around it.”
The idea of fucking and sucking in cars is always good for web traffic, so it went viral, and soon Kirk found himself swamped with radio requests. It pervaded his life. He did an interview about the announcement that Google and Chrysler had teamed up to build 100 self-driving minivans. The reporter wanted Kirk to hint, he says, “That if a minivan had autonomous technology and had a mattress in the back, that would be even better for sex.”
But as I talked to Kirk it was clear that he was more interested in important but boring things like how autonomy will change things like “transit, health care, policing, auto insurance, planning, zoning, municipal revenues,” and how autonomy will probably lead to mass labor strife. That was all very wonky. I realized that if I was going to get anything about doing the Reverse Cowgirl in a Tesla Model X, I’d have to inquire elsewhere.
So I buzzed the person who knows more about sex than anyone in my range of acquaintance, my Internet friend Susie Bright, the legendary sex columnist and the author of “Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World,” among many other books. Our email exchange follows:
NP: Have you thought about the potential of sex in self-driving cars?
SB: To be honest, I first thought about napping in self-driving cars. Napping and drinking in the fold-out back seat.
NP: Have other people brought this up to you?
SB: Yes, they ask me if there will be virtual sex in self-driving Google cars. Like with goggles and everything. I find it odd that people imagine that the first kind of sex you’d have in car is virtual or robotic, rather than a proximate flesh and blood lover.
NP: What form will autonomous car sex take? What recommendations do you have to car companies to help make this possible? Vibrating seats?
SB: *BENCH SEATS.* Fold-back seat backs that go ALL the way back. That is my demand. The best cars we ever had for sex, as a culture, had bench seats with the stick shift on the wheel. Or better yet, a push-button shift on the dash. I want the kind of sex I had in a Ford Galaxie, the car I had the best sex of my life in.
Sex in cars should be nostalgic and roomy. Great sound, that’s a must. Opaque windows. I also liked a Chevy van design I once had an orgy in, that allowed a 69 daisy chain. It probably was custom. A convertible top. Really allows the best position variety.
NP: Why do cars have such a strong erotic appeal?
SB: Because driving fast is hot, and shifting into a fast curve IS sex. Because it’s private when you often didn’t have privacy anywhere else. Because it’s fun to give your bf a blowjob while he’s driving and see if you can make him lose his cool. Because long road trips can be boring and shit happens.
Susie later added, “For women more than men, because of our plumbing, sex goes so much easier and wetter and more orgasmically if you can get comfortable and your ass or your stomach is not being impinged by some stupid seat belt or bucket seat or whatever intrusion it might be.” Also, she said, a plug-in for a vibrator would be nice.
Meanwhile, back in Ontario, Barrie Kirk had nothing to add on the sex-advice front, though he did say that car sex is already a social phenomenon and that manufacturers should get on the stick, so to speak, to prevent more little-death-related fatalities.
“I did an interview with a talk radio station in L.A,” he told me. “The host used to have an all-night talk radio program in New England. Long distance truck drivers frequently phone into this guy’s program. Truck drivers see a lot of things in cars from their perch. They reported that there’s a lot more sex going on in cars at the moment than people realize.”
Susie Bright confirmed this Canadian thesis. Sex in cars is a never-ending cycle, whether driven by man or machine. “I once went down on Richard Lieberthal in a 71 Camaro,” she said. “When he came, the engine threw a rod. It seemed a rather amazing timing.”
Mercedes, it’s up to you. If you build it, we will come.