The Politics of Sleeping with Someone (Without Sleeping with Someone)
I have this one friend – let’s call him Ron – who refuses to sleep in the same bed with a girl after he’s had sex with her. To me it sounds hilariously awkward, the sex over and Ron sliding out of bed to go sleep on the couch, leaving the girl alone and, in my imagination, ashamed and confused. Ron believes that if two people sleep in the same bed together, that implies a level of feeling and intimacy that he isn’t comfortable with. He’ll sleep in the same bed as his girlfriend, when he has one, but never with someone he’s only casually interested. Sure, it might be a mixed message, considering he’s just humped the daylights out of the girl. Ron doesn’t see it that way. There’s a fine line between sex and love, just as there’s a very distinct difference between a dirty movie and a real one. To blur the two can be baffling – imagine how odd it would be if there was a long dating montage set to “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by the Spinners, right in the middle of a porno.
There is also a fine line between friendship and courtship, which is what the topic of today’s blog is. If ever the situation arises when you and your OGF (Opposite Gender Friend) are going to sleep in the same place, and there’s only one bed, what is the best, most civil, most appropriate, way to go about it?
Last September I moved from Incheon to Seoul; it’s sort of like going from New Jersey to New York City. Most of my friends, though, are back in Incheon, and so I find myself making the trek back on weekends to hang out. This creates a problem, because after the subway closes at 12:30, I don’t really have any way to get home (I’m too cheap to spend the money on a cab back). So, for the last six months, I’ve either hung out in the bar until the subway opens back up (5:30 AM) or I’ve crashed at a friend’s place. The situation gets further complicated, though, since most of my pals are OGFs. Usually, they’re quick to draw a line in the sand:
“You can come crash at my apartment,” an OGF will say, “but you’ll have to sleep on the floor. Sorry.”
That rule is typically set in stone. There is no sleeping in the same bed as your OGF. On one hand, it makes sense. Let’s take C-Batz for example. She and I are friends. Why would we sleep in a bed together? I wouldn’t sleep in a bed together with Perkins or Toronto or one of my other male friends. So why would I sleep in a bed with a female friend? Just because it’s a girl? To C-Batz (or pretty much any OGF), the key to the scenario is the “friend” designation, and friends don’t sleep in a bed together.
I, of course, take exception to this a little. It seems to me that, unlike guys, girls will sleep in the same bed together and seem to enjoy it and find it fun. It’s nonsexual and safe. They’ll also sleep in the bed with a gay dude and cuddle him up like he’s a big teddy bear. Why then, is sleeping in a bed with a straight male friend completely out of the question? Is there a fear that I’ll lose control, that being around a woman will involuntarily cause sexual arousal and I’ll pounce, like a horny meerkat, on my poor unsuspecting OGF, who will have to fight me off with the nunchucks she keeps at her bedside?
In truth, that could happen. Cause really I don’t trust myself all that much. That’s beside the point, though.
All of this comes into question because a few days ago I reacted badly when trying to have a sleepover with my OGF, Special K. We had gone out drinking with friends and I had gotten obscenely drunk (what’s new?). Special K offered to let me crash at her place, which was nice, and I should’ve been grateful. Instead, I acted like a big baby. We got to her apartment and she instructed me that we’d be sleeping in the bed head-to-toe, meaning I would have my head on one side of the bed and she’d be sleeping with her head on the other. Fair enough? Nah, not at the time.
See, to me, one of the advantages of having an OGF is that, you know, she is a girl. I felt cuddly on the night in question, like I needed a hug. What would be the harm in cuddlin’ up with Special K? It wouldn’t be sexual. It would be friendly, like when Michael Jackson was sleeping in the bed with all those little boys.
Special K was having none of it. She got out of the bed and onto the floor. “What?” I thought, offended. “Am I a leper? Am I not cuddle-worthy? DO I DISGUST YOU?” I felt like the Elephant Man (who might’ve also had his bones cuddled by Michael Jackson), and so I chose to leave. I booked it out of there and staggered my way to a motel.
Of course I was wrong and out-of-line, but still I feel that this is an issue that needs to be questioned. Is it possible that a woman, or a man, has to have some sort of romantic interest in a person in order to sleep in the same bed with him/her? Is Ron right? Does sleeping next to a person really cross a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed?
Maybe I just need to find more male friends. With my luck, I’d go to crash at some big Irish guy’s place, and he’d demand that we spoon. Eh, whatever. I call little spoon!