Of all my characters in the Sophie Katz series Dena, her story and her exploits, has always been the easiest to research. It's not that Dena and I have that much in common but her "interests" turn up the most pages on a Google search. Sophie's a little harder, there are far fewer websites explaining how to solve a murder (Sophie's thing) than there are websites on how to handcuff your lover (Dena's thing).
During the first round of edits on Vows, Vendetta's and A Little Black Dress my editor asked if I could add a conversation in which Sophie and her friends list off some of the more bizarre places Dena has had sex. I was on a time crunch so rather than use my imagination I simply Googled: Most Unusual Place I've Had Sex. Immediately 12 or more pages of message boards popped up each containing dozens of confessions in regards to the various strange and public places Mr. and Ms. Anonymous chose to get freaky in. When reading this stuff you have to assume that some of it's made up but most of it sounded plausible and, for the purposes of my book, very usable. By far the most common "unusual" place was a church. The pews, under the organ, at the very alter, it's all apparently a major turn on for people. I noticed no one said they'd had sex in a synagogue. Guess synagogues aren't sexy enough. Perhaps I should be offended.
On a similar note, a while back a friend of mine sent me an article that explained which nationality of European men have the biggest penises and which have the smallest. According to this article the Brits didn't fare very well but the French were right up there near number one. That surprised me because while I've never been with a British man I did date a French guy in college and...well, I just wouldn't have guessed French. But regardless it did occur to me that this is exactly the kind of article Dena would send Sophie and it might make a fun conversation to include in a book. So I went ahead and Googled penis size and I was actually rather surprised and entertained by what I learned.
First of all human males have bigger penises than any other primate so you know, let's hear it for hominids. Secondly there have been a LOT of studies done to help the scientific community better understand what is an average penis length. Studies have been published in the Journal of Urology, the International Journal of Impotence Research and many other esteemed medical journals. In these studies the penis was always measured after the volunteer took pharmaceuticals in order to achieve an erection. However one of the most comprehensive and apparently accurate studies was conducted by Lifestyle Condoms who sent researchers down to Cancun during Spring Break and rounded up 401 volunteers willing to have their penis measured and just over 300 of them were still sober enough to get it up without the help of pharmaceuticals. What they discovered was that the average penis size is 5.9 inches. "Large" is considered to be around 6.3 inches. Subsequent studies have backed this up.
I'm writing this not just because it amuses me (although God knows it does) but because considering the number of "enhancement" products I've been seeing advertised on TV and elsewhere I have to assume that this is an issue that is of major concern for many men but I also suspect that those men are comparing themselves to unrealistic examples just as women compare their bodies to the airbrushed women on the cover of Shape Magazine. So if you know a guy who seems insecure about this you might want to give them the 411 before they start taking a bunch of pills or whatever. 6.3" is large. Lifestyle says so and they should know. I'm sure Dena will have more to say about it in the 7th Sophie book. Maybe she'll do her own study in between pulling Sophie out of various life-or-death situations.