Research made me do it. Really.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

*I must warn you that this post contains mature themes. If you are faint of heart or a minor, come back on Wednesday when I have a silly video much better suited to your delicate senses. Kthxbai.

Research. How many writers use research? Everyone that I know of. Even if they just read a blog on how to write better or google a word or two, that’s research. Until a few weeks ago about the wildest thing I did for research was take pictures, read history books, and clickety-clack away on my keyboard.

All that changed when I went to the Southern California Writer’s Conference.

You see, I have a few characters who are, shall we say, intriguing. They use sex as a weapon and torture is just another way for them to get off. They’re twisted and perverted and I love them, but I don’t really know what it is they do when they do the nasty.

Remember my gal pal Gayle? Well, I happened to mention to her that I thought I could benefit from some research on the topic. Maybe get a video or something.

Next thing I know, I’m driving down the freeway with Gayle and Linda Ochocki in the car and we’re heading to a porn shop. That’s right. Three middle-aged married women were going on a field trip to get Tameri some porn!

So what’s the first thing I see when I enter the store? An entire wall of in your face business I can’t ever un-see, so what do I do? Giggle like a 12 year-old boy who discovered he could burp the alphabet. Yeah, I was that classy.

The very sweet and understanding salesgirl helped me find what I needed ~ I’d been prepped on what specifically to ask for ~ and let me just say there that I didn’t look at the DVD she showed me, I just said I’d take it if she thought it met my requirements. I’m fairly certain she didn’t believe my story that we were there for research because she gave me the lamest, dumbest, and most boring lesbian porn video of all time.

I’m not even going to tell you the part where the disc got stuck in my laptop and I thought I’d have to take it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to get it out. Let’s just say I might need therapy after that incident.

Not only did that ‘sweet’ salesgirl totally mess with me, I didn’t get the research information I needed. I bet she had some laughs at the bar with her girlfriends that night. Dang it.

Fear not, my loyal readers because I had a secret weapon. My gal pal Gayle. If you’ll recall, I told you in my SCWC recap that she can hook a girl up!

Turns out, Gayle just happened to be regaling a few folks with a highly entertaining account of our field trip when this guy Oz mentioned that a good friend of his is a BDSM master. Or something like that. I’m still not quite sure what all those letters stand for, but I can guess. Anyway, she totally hooked me up!

By the time I left the conference, I had John’s number (he’s the hot BDSM dude) and a promise from Heather, Oz’s wife, that she’d send me information from a lesbian S&M friend who would be willing to help out as well.

None of this would’ve happened if I’d stayed in my little corner of the conference. Sure, I was completely out of my comfort zone, but we had a blast and the story just got better each time we told it. I finally got up the guts to call John and I need to email Heather’s friend ~ I wanted to make sure I had my questions lined up first so I don’t giggle again like a 12 year-old boy every time he farts. Seriously, I’m that much of a dork.

As for the disk… after 45 minutes of stressing out and trying to get the darn thing out of my laptop (and missing the morning speaker, I might add), the stupid thing finally ejected and I was saved the torture of taking it to the Genius Bar.

Come on, ‘fess up. What’s the wackiest thing you’ve done for research?


69 thoughts on “Research made me do it. Really.

  1. Ok. Your research is MUCH more interesting than mine! I’m working on a collection of short stories combination of memoir and Florida history. I have found that I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone a lot more than I ever have before just to ask a complete stranger a question. It’s worth every blush at the embarrassment that I must be inconveniencing them!

    One of the most interesting things I found out is that the old motel cabins behind a favorite restaurant of mine were the “no tell motel” of the era back in the 40s and 50s. I wrote it into the story and it helped paint the picture.

    • Hey, discovering a ‘no tell motel’ is pretty fantastic, too! That’s the whole jive of this post – pushing past what we’d not normally feel comfortable doing. I totally understand what you mean about asking total strangers questions.

      You know what I’ve found, though? Most people don’t mind answering even the most insane question. Keep asking and keep searching, Ruth! Comfort zones be damned. πŸ˜‰

      When will your short stories be out? Are traditional publishing them or epub? It’s exciting either way.

      • Hey, Tameri πŸ™‚ I just love how you write – the humor is terrific! And yes, people most of the time just open up and spill all kinds of stuff! The book of short stories is hopefully going to be traditionally published. I have a little children’s book that I’m going to self-pubish and e-publish before May. Mind boggling!

      • Ruth, that’s terrific news for both books. Fingers crossed for the traditionally published book and definitely let me know when your children’s book comes out. I have a friend who has self-pubbed two children’s books and is amazing at marketing. I’d love to have you on the blog with your book!

      • Thank you SO much, Tameri! I certainly will follow up with you when I have an actual date for the book(s)! Betty Tales has turned out to be so much more than I ever intended and I’d love to share it with you and your readers πŸ™‚

  2. Wackiest thing I’ve ever done? Asked people for suggestions for water rituals (especially ones concerning virginity *cough*). In one of my stories, I have a group of people that essentially worships water. They’re a desert people, fyi. Makes sense now, eh?

    Now, should I shock you and tell you that I actually know exactly what BDSM stands for? πŸ˜€

    • I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you! What is the ‘D’ for? Dominatrix? Detention? Defibrillator? I know I could just Google it, but that’s no fun.

      Water rituals, huh? That sounds WAY interesting. I can’t wait until your book is done and I can read all about your virginal water rites. So cool!

  3. My research usually consists of looking at photos of male models so I can properly describe the men in my books. And well, MANday also requires a lot of that. Your story is hilarious. Love that the disc got stuck in your computer.

    • And we all love your research, Jillian! I love that our husbands are cool with MANday and crushes. My husband just laughs if he sees me checking out the hot bods on your posts. I try to tell him it’s all research, but that only goes so far… πŸ˜‰

      I had already decided I was going to take my laptop to the Apple store, hand it to the guy (because you KNOW it would be a cute guy), tell him to take the laptop in the back room to get the damn disc out, keep it, throw it out, whatever, and to forget he ever saw me. I’m blushing just thinking about it. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that!

  4. OMG Tameri – I LUV it!!! WAHAHAHA!! I wish I could have been there in person to join in the fun! OMG!!! Fahhhbulous. And then the CD getting stuck – I would have nearly died! And the shop lady not hooking you up with the right material – NOT cool! Seriously.
    In the end, I am so pumped you’ve gotten in touch with people who can help you with your research so everything you need is authentic and awesome. You definitely stepped out of your comfort zone and that takes guts and courage so WOOT WOOT to you!
    I can’t wait to embark on research. I am totally calling you to HOOK me up! LOL!!

    • This is so totally something that would’ve happened to you and Hubby! If you’d been with us? Oh, my. This tale would have a different ending, that’s for sure!

      Call me anytime. Apparently I’ve got the sex hook up now and anything else you need to research? I’m there for you Sweets!

  5. It was a trip that will live in my memory. As a matter of fact, it will probably be the only thing I remember when I’m old and senile – I’ll just keep repeating, “Where’s the porn shop? I need a DVD.”

    I love to tell the story, especially the part where we get to the cash register and the girl asks if you need lube. So casual. “No, thanks.” So polite. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    • I know, right? I had that part in and then took it out because the post started going in a way different direction. You know she thought the video was for us! This is going to be one of my favorite memories for the rest of my life, too. Next time, we need to take Paul with us, though.

  6. Good for you, Tameri! That kind of research can make our work shineβ€”and not just because it involves porn. πŸ˜‰ Much of my research makes me wonder if I’m on some kind of government watch list. LOLThe topics are, to use your word, mature…some criminal. The craziest thing I’ve done is tie myself to a futon to see if I could accomplish certain tasks. That is all I will say…

    • I know! People kept saying, ‘You know you can get that on your computer’ and I just kept thinking… but what if we get raided? They’ll find everything and might not understand that it really is for research.

      A futon? Please, pretty please write that into a story or blog about it!

  7. Wackiest thing I’ve ever done for research? Train with SEALs doing sneak ‘n peeks around a campground — and the campers had no idea. Close second was learning spy techniques and various kinds of drops using Julian as a backdrop. All was going well until the sheriffs showed up…then they left, laughing about nutty writers.

    • I would love train with the SEALS! You are such a badass, who would’ve thought it? Maybe I need to write a thriller so I can go on these escapades. They sound like fun… and we writers are all nutty, that’s what makes us so awesome.

  8. OMG – It’s so difficult to type, wipe my eyes, blow my nose and attempt to control my laughter all at the same time. Tameri, this could be a magazine article. Honestly! The experience in itself is hilarious but the way you write about it … priceless!

    • For what magazine? Certainly not O or Family Fun!

      You are always so good for my ego, Patricia. Thank you so much for your sweet words. Now you know who to ask if you have any strange sex questions. πŸ˜‰

  9. Hi Tameri!

    I emailed someone who was selling old Greyhound bus schedules on eBay and asked them if they could check the schedule to see if a particular city was on the route. They actually emailed me back with the answer! Of course, none of this research made it into a scene, but at least I know I’ve got my facts straight.

    • What a cool person to help you out like that. I’ve found that most people are willing to give whatever you need without anything in return. Like you, I might end up cutting a scene, but the details have to be accurate just in case.

      Was the city on the route?

  10. Tameri, you didn’t tell me you needed porn help!?!! I’ve got connections for you, darling. We could have gotten you interviews with porn stars or a little time on the set. You just let me know…I know people who know people. LOL.

    • Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit! I didn’t know you had the porn hookup. We could go to a porn set? Hmmm, technically I needed help with S&M stuff, but interview porn stars would be fun just for the experience.

      You know people who know people. Of course you do! You are the ultimate connector. Love it.

  11. Tameri, you are hilarious girl! May I ask what you were able to get from John?
    My research has been more of the boring google kind, but I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and hop in the car and go on an adventure next time I need to do research!

    • Thanks, Emma! Googling has it’s limitations, so definitely get out there. This experience has been quite the adventure and might make its way into a book of its own… who knows? I haven’t talked to John ~ yet. I left him a message and his phone was messed up for a few days, but I have it on good authority that he’ll call me back in the next day or so. I’m thinking it might have to be another blog post, if John says it’s okay. I’ve got my questions written down, though so I don’t sound like a spaz. πŸ˜‰

  12. I’ve researched European history, architecture, food, guns, military, hotels, maps, etc. I haven’t had any turn out as interesting as yours! Have you heard of the book 50 Shades of Grey? I saw it on the Today show the other day, and it has BDSM in it. It’s supposedly making the book club rounds.

    • I’ve never heard of that book, but I’m going to check it out. BDSM in a book club book? Shoot, I might have to suggest that for my book club. Add a little spice to the group. Thanks for the suggestion and stopping by!

  13. Don’t you just know your computer and that DVD were in cahoots? Your computer wouldn’t have nearly as much fun watching you sweat if a Disney video got stuck in there. I once had to find out some information about BDSM for my book and wasn’t about to Google it. I could just imagine stern men wearing black suits showing up at my door asking embarrassing questions and me giggling like an idiot. Since I live in Hooterville, a porn shop wasn’t an option, so I asked a friend who asked a friend who had a friend who knew a whole lot more than I needed to know. But, man! did I learn a lot! The scene ultimately got cut from my book, but I’m going to use it in the next one for sure!

    Loved your post!!

    • I know, right? My laptop was messing with me big time. That’s exactly why I didn’t want to Google anything about this research. I don’t need those black suited men wearing sunglasses to show up at my door, either. Hooterville? That’s hilarious. I bet you just love giving out your address over the phone! Thanks for the laugh, Juli.

  14. I just finished my resignation letter – it’s offical!
    I’m becoming a writer and attending ALL of these conferences!!

    • Whooohoooo! You don’t even have to be a writer. My accomplice Linda is married to a writer and just hangs out with us for the laughs. You’d be welcome just as you are. Mwuah!

  15. Hey Tameri,

    THIS wins my FAVORITE post award of 2012…. I was peeing myself reading this… OMG… what an image (actually what images you raised πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the laughs πŸ™‚

    • Yay! A winner is me! That is so special and fabulous. I’m going to wear my tiara all day to celebrate. Thank you!

      Next time we’ll take you with us and you can have more images in your head!

    • I think it might depend on the conference and who attends… but definitely check this one out if you’re ever in California in February! I’d love to hang out with you and see what kind of trouble we can find. πŸ˜‰

  16. This reminds me of what I am going through right now. I am really out-going and can talk about anything, but am procrastinating writing the sex scenes in my book and actually they are nothing like what you must be writing since this gal is only on vacation for a short time! Sounds like a great conference. Thanks for sharing!

    • Writing sex scenes is no problem for me, but this was a little out of my imagination/knowledge base. You know what, though? Writing a sweet love scene is harder for me than the rough sex scenes, because you have to show the emotions. I usually end up scrapping 90% of the scene anyway, but will write it all out so I know what the characters are thinking/feeling. Then I get embarrassed when I go back and read it!

  17. OMG, Tameri! She asked if you needed lube?! HIlarious…and it would have been almost as hilarious if you’d had to take your laptop to the shop to get the disc out!
    I haven’t had to do sexual research…I used my own imagination and experiences. :0

    • Yes! I’m certain she didn’t buy my story of ‘research’ and thought the three of us were going home to view it right then. Especially since I also bought some Gummi Boobs.

      I’ve got quite the imagination, but these two characters take it out of my realm of knowledge. I also wanted to make sure I had details right for the time period – medievalish. John just happens to be a Renaissance dude, so he’s perfect. And hot. Jillian could have him on her MANday posts. πŸ˜‰

  18. I rode a Greyhound bus from central California to Salt Lake City, which is the same 22 hour trip my main character takes. I then spent 5 days during the Mormon’s yearly Conference debating religion (politely) with the sisters and elder clergymen. I also interviewed a small sample of the thousands of Mormons attending the conference, and the whack-job protesters outside the gates. One guy was even wearing a red devil costume and carrying a sign that read “Joseph Smith is the devil”. That guy was FUN to talk to.

      • Whoa, that’s some crazy research. I bet that guy was fun to talk to, and will make an intriguing character in your book! Do you get to kill him off?

        You are a brave soul to delve into a religious debate in Salt Lake City, but you probably got amazing details for your book.

        Thanks again for the hook ups. You and Heather are the best!

  19. LOL! Too funny! Had that happened to me, and my laptop required professional help to remove the disk, I’d be blaming a hubby, boyfriend or brother. πŸ™‚

    The weirdest thing I’ve researched was the history of outhouses. I also had some trouble with the Firefox/Avast rating system when I wrote a blog asking for ideas to use for a homicidal stalker in a series I’m writing. Overnight my green bars changed from green (safe) to RED (meaning it was an unsafe site…and people might get a computer virus). I had to take down the post, write emails explaining why I used the term ‘homicidal stalker,’ and…after a few days, the bars were back to green. πŸ™‚

    • I never thought of blaming my husband. That would’ve been perfect! Of course those guys at Apple would believe a guy sent his wife in to fix the problem. Kristy, you’re a genius.

      Outhouses? That’s a crappy job. Haha! I couldn’t resist that one even though it isn’t funny in the slightest.

      There are safety measures on our blogs? You are so on some CIA watchlist now. Spooky, but cool

      • Well, I’m fairly sure that, but for guys, there wouldn’t be porn in the first place…so why not blame them. πŸ™‚

        And outhouses can be funny. I’ve heard some stories from older relatives that just had me rolling on the floor…and more grateful than I can say that I never got to experience the joys of owning an outhouse.

        I haven’t seen the green bars since the last Firefox upgrade, but for awhile, something about using Firefox with Avast as your antivirus…yeah, I’m probably on some watch list now. πŸ™‚

  20. You crack me up! The disk thing sounded exactly like something that would happen to me.

    I’m always doing things in the name of research. I’ve done shady things like figured out how to steal from art museums which is fun but I get hot, sweaty and paranoid when I’m doing it because I know it’s wrong. So far my books have thieves and liars in them but if I ever need a dominatrix, you’re my info girl, right?

    Recently, a writer friend of mine pretended she was buying a luxury car and took it for a test drive. She had a hoot pretending she was Miss-I -Can- Buy- Anything-I -Want.

    • Me, or apparently Jenny has connections in the porn industry! This has been so edifying, that I can’t say it’s been a bad thing at all. What people will do for fun…

      You learned how to steal from an art museum? I’m picturing you handing from wires like Tom Cruise in that one movie ~ Mission: Impossible? Doesn’t matter, the important thing here is that you’re so funny that you felt bad for doing it. You can’t sweat when you’re suspended from the wires, it’ll trip the laser alarms.

      I’d be nervous being your friend. What if she hit someone? Yikes! That would be fun though, to be a MICBAIW for a day.

    • That was the worst part of all this. Any time I opened Pages or email, the darn thing would pop up a totally inappropriate picture. Not fun.

      Thanks for stopping by, it’s great to see your comment here! πŸ˜‰ I told my WP thing it needed to like you and stop shuffling you off to the dark corners of my blog.

  21. too funny. I can see the three of you having a good time and laughing yourselves silly. I did that research as a young woman. but those are stories for another time. thanks for the chuckle.

  22. OMIGOSH! That is hysterical. If it was me, it probably would have been my work laptop, and that would not have gone over well at all.

    Kudos for you for even going. I think I would wimp out, but just going in to the shop sounds like an interesting experience. I have somehting in mind, and I thought of calling a guy that I went to high school with to ask his “perspective” but I don’t think I could actually get the questions out.

    Gosh, I’m lame.

    • Your work laptop! Yikes that would’ve been way too embarrassing for me. What am I saying? *This* was way too embarrassing for me! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go in one of those stores again without breaking out into giggles and acting the fool. I’m totally lame. As for asking all the questions, oh man that is so hard and to keep a calm voice and straight face? Near impossible!

      But hey, if it’s for research, it must be done. πŸ˜‰

  23. Pingback: Blog Treasures 3-10 | Gene Lempp's Blog

  24. OMG! I can totally see that happening. I would have been just like you, giggling at the store and freaking out when the DVD got stuck. Of course, I’d be glowing scarlet the whole time, too. I hopee all your research helps, but if not at least you have a great story out of it. πŸ˜€

    • We’re still giggling about it! I just know this will be the question I always get asked on the chat show circuit (we have to prepare ourselves for that eventuality, don’t we?). And I still blush when I think of that darned DVD getting stuck. Oy.

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