I think I read this story in Omni magazine in the '80s.

It's about two lovers who discover that whenever they're touching each other, time stops for everyone and everything else. Time just stands still outside of their bedroom - like hitting pause on a VCR.

I do remember one small detail: these two people tried to experiment with this ability, and they discovered that they could prepare meals, and that they would stay hot while time was paused. They experimented in other ways, too, though I cannot recall how.

Sometimes my searches turn up a story about two lovers who are time travelers - there is jealousy and some paradoxes - but the story I am thinking of is not a story about time travel, at least not directly.

I've tried googling for it, but the search terms (e.g. "lovers touch time stops") are so non-specific that all I get are false hits. I've tried looking here both using Search and Similar Questions. No joy.

  • Welcome to the site. Could you take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit in any more details? Every little bit helps us.
    – amflare
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:13
  • 1
    Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction is a graphic novel with a very similar theme. You might also enjoy The Fermata by Nicholson Baker.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:13
  • @amflare: I have edited to add the one detail I can recall other than the general theme of the story.
    – Blinkenjim
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:21
  • 1
    I remember this story. The phenomenon starts after a particularly intense lovemaking session, and the end of the story is that they've tired of each other due to the uninterrupted time together, but can't stand the thought of going back to living in normal time, so they just lie in bed, touching, but not doing anything.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:06
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/230092/… (which is newer but has an accepted answer)
    – Otis
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


This is called Rent Control by Walter Tevis, a short story included in his book Far From Home. As for the food part, the quote in the book is:

The food was always hot, unspoiled; no time had passed for it between their meals. They could not watch television or listen to records while suspended in time; no machinery worked while they touched.

You can read the short story here.

As for its appearence on omni magazine, it appeared in the October 1979 issue, and also in Best of Omni 3 according to what I found.

  • This the story I remember, for certain. Hopefully the same is true for @Blinkenjim.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:28
  • I wonder if I can still get that sweet HiFi Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:48

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