Between The Sheets: What This Couple Learned By Writing About It

Jen and Jason at their son Fenn’s first sports event, a minor league baseball game. Fenn lost interest after the ice cream.

By The Mother List Staff

It sounds like an episode of “Sex and the City.” Two writers decide to sleep together each week, then critically review each other’s sexual performance with unflinching honesty in a popular urban magazine. Will their war of words drive them apart or lead to a more meaningful connection? That’s the premise of the new novel Mr. Nice Guy, written by real-life married couple Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer. But what we want to know is far more personal: How much of the sexual criticism in the book is… real?

“I’m definitely not criticizing my wife in the novel!” Jason says.

“That’s the right answer,” Jennifer responds with a laugh.

But that’s not to say it’s all fiction. The couple (who have a toddler and another on the way) plumbed their own experiences for the book — and in the three years it took to write, they were talking and thinking a lot about sex. That turned out to be great for their relationship, they say.

Here are three big things they learned while writing about sex:

1. It’s good to have a reason to talk about sex. Jason admits: He’s always felt a little awkward bringing up sex with his partner.

“It’s not that I’m uncomfortable talking about it — it’s just that I never knew when to bring it up,” he says. “It always seems like a really abrupt subject. Like, we’re making waffles and talking about the news and then, wham, I bring up some fantasy?”

But working on a project like this book created constant opportunities to talk about it, which made their relationship (and sex life) stronger. Not writing your own sexy novel? No problem, the couple says: Just listen to a sex-related podcast, watch a steamy movie, or find some other conversation-starter. (“Hey, you could even read Mr. Nice Guy together!” Jason says.)

2. Put yourself into the other person’s sheets. Everyone (hopefully!) wants to please their partner, but we rarely try to see sex from their perspective. The book forced Jason and Jennifer to do that, though: Sometimes Jason would write from the female character’s perspective, and sometimes Jennifer wrote from the male’s.

“That was really useful,” Jennifer says. “As I thought about the male character in our book, I’d often then think of what Jason would want, or how he’d react to things.” Both say it made them more mindful — and giving.

3. Talking about it makes you more adventurous. In the book, the two characters have to complete different sexual challenges — sex outside, or covered in food, or using certain toys. And of course, it’s no fun just imagining activities like that: Once you’re talking about them with your partner, you have to try them, too. Though the couple will admit one oversight: They wrote a scene that featured a remote-controlled vibrator, but neither of them has ever actually tried one before. When they explained that on the podcast “Sex With Emily,” the host insisted she mail them a remote vibe.

“Oh, we’ll definitely put it to use,” Jennifer says.

Have a story to share or questions for the authors? You can stay in touch with them through Twitter and Instagram:

Jason: @heyfeifer
Jen: @propjen

 

To get your copy of their book, go here.

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