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Having An Obsession With Cars - Behind The Wheel - ET Editor's Letter

We're All Car Lovers, But Keep It In Perspective.

Jul 1, 2009
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I don't know if you had the chance to see the documentary on BBC America back in April (when I'm writing this). It was entitled "My Car Is My Lover" and that's about all you need to know.

The program was so shocking and sensational it could have been a comedy spoof. Yet it was also so disturbing even the British sense of humor was stretched by it.

If you missed it, then perhaps you caught it online (YouTube had extended clips)? It chronicled a pair of mechaphiles whose love for cars goes way beyond the norm. They actually, physically love their cars. Bodily fluid was involved...

While I admit to being both repulsed and entertained by the program, and to having multiple questions about chafing, I also feel a degree of pity for somebody whose sense of fulfilment can be satisfied by an inanimate, metal object - although they did seem oddly contented, and certainly never have big arguments, so perhaps they're better off than most of us!

Yet as I watched the TV, I realized they aren't so different from many of us. I know, it's a horrific idea, but bear with me...

These guys were talking about their weird and obsessive appreciation for automobiles in much the same way we do - they discussed the lines, the form, the detail - but they took their "appreciation" a little further.

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Then I started to think about how we frequently sexualize cars. How often do we photograph cars with models? How often are we told that a nice car will get you laid?

Admittedly, this is done in good humor and usually without consequence, but I started to see how lonely, insecure people with some psychological issues could easily associate their relationship with a car as more than simply a device for transport.

After all, many of us get attached to our cars, particularly older ones that might need a little more attention. It's only natural when we spend hours working on them and they reliably get us through life's little hiccups. Or we forgive them when they don't.

Most men natually feel a close bond to their car, and there's nothing wrong with that. Particularly VW owners. These guys are fiercely loyal and form a strong relationship with their car. Interestingly, both the mechaphiles in the program owned old Beetles. But that doesn't mean all VW owners are perverts. After all, we can all appreciate cars as good as the ones in this issue.

And yet I felt very uncomfortable watching a man lick and fondle his car. I decided I might walk to work the next day. But we aren't the ones with the screw loose. None of us turn to our cars for sexual satisfaction (if you do, seek counselling!). However, I have met owners who put their cars first. Some have told me they'd choose their car over their girlfriend or wife. Some consider their car more important than family.

But let's keep it in perspective. Most men are obsessive about something but don't put your vehicle above everything else. And most importantly, don't jizz on your car.Greg Emmerson,



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