Saturday, 19 February 2011

on sleeping together

For a long time, since The Boyfriend 5 years ago, it's been hard to find a libido that nightly matches my own and although it has its place, I don't want an all too regular peck on the cheek and straight to sleep situation just yet, if ever. I understand that sharing a bed can be nice, cosy, and convenient, and cocoa and a good book in bed is one of my favourite solo pursuits. But to spend months on end with a warm (or hot!) body sleeping next to me and no action, well, what's the point? This can happen when you become a Girlfriend.

Add to this the potential of snoring, duvet hogging, sweating, other people’s alarm clocks and my own nightly impression of a washing machine on its spin cycle, and all that early days la la stuff of falling asleep spooning, waking up smiling is easily forgotten as tiredness and irritation take over. Good sex can ensure a post orgasmic deep sleep will kick in before the snoring, duvet hogging etc. gets going. An alternative can be drink, or drugs, but is any relationship or shag worth turning to drink or drugs? Even if that’s what got you into it in the first place.

A word of practical advice: if you do fall into this kind of situation, it's key to be able to get home easily. It's hard to sleep when you're thinking "what the fuck am I doing here?". I once dated a disaffected Marxist with a nice line in dates and wry political banter but zero sex drive. I used to leave his flat in the mornings tired and tetchy to seethe my way across the river from South London. Apologies now to those commuters I glared at, I was tense with a sexual frustration bordering on aggression.

It is still considered more rude for a lover to leave or be asked to leave in the night, rather than stay until the morning. I think it is time to turn this on its head. If there is any rule it should be, make us breakfast or call us a cab. If you chaps are in the slightest doubt about wanting to wake up with us, don’t put us in the position of seeing that doubt in the morning - it only compounds our own doubts. When it comes to our generation, you guys are rarely ‘all that’, more often ‘what’s left’. And women, we can leave too. On a high, without having to hear or say the words ‘I’ll call you’. See how quickly the cliches roll in?

And don’t reference the leaving afterwards, if you do speak. Either side can find themselves saying ‘I missed you this morning’, and they may not mean it. Bang! You’ve started the day on a little lie. Lovers beware, be aware.

Of course, it is nice to wake up together, that’s what holidays are for.


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