February 3, 2010

Man Rant: This Week's Exercise -- Snuggling

Welcome to another edition of the wonderful world of emasculation!  I'll be your guide, as we check our nuts at the door, strap on an apron, and just talk about how we've been feeling about things.   Chamomile tea and ginger snaps will be served, so don't be shy.   You're among friends. 

First order of business on the agenda.   Snuggling.  The act of intimacy without actually being intimate.  Sharing space without the moving parts.  Cuddling.  Spooning.   Post-coital warmth redistribution.  Refractory tenderness.   Coyote breakfast (i.e., where you'll bite your arm off before you'll wake up the other person and actually have to talk to them). 

Now before this devolves into accusations of misogyny and chauvinism, let it be known that there are some tangible enjoyable advantages to the experience.  There is the very obvious benefit of warmth, particularly in a temperate or colder climate, in a house or apartment with inefficient heating (old windows, lack of insulation, frequent cold snaps, etc.).  The utility of a warm body on a cold night cannot be understated, particularly if you don't have a dead tauntaun you can crawl into.  There are also the long-term practicalities of discussing the varied and sundry aspects of life and love while in a supremely vulnerable position of slightly pajama-ed or straight-up starkers.   The mere act of naked vulnerability lends credence and solidity to any affirmative statement of support or love, because let's face it, there's a very limited palate of body language you can throw out there when you're pinned into the mattress.  The fight or flight mechanism is under an arm-bar submission hold.  In the absence of actual sleep, you either feign sleep (keep your faux-snoring consistent and light, though, to deter suspicion), or you make a good faith effort to ponder the romantic imponderable, and hope any unachievable or patently false pillow-talk wasn't recorded (by electronic or mental lockbox means) for regurgitation at the next available inopportune instance.  So believe what you say and say what you believe when in the upright and locked snuggle position.  Because a betrayal of snuggle conversation is a betrayal of a sacred trust.   That shit will haunt you the entire relationship, for as long as the little time it still lasts.    

That's not to say that the snuggle option doesn't have its blatant abusers, though.  There are some distinct acts of snuggle malfeasance that deserve recognition and analysis.  There is the bedding hog, of course.  That guy/gal who agglutinates every square inch of every sheet, blanket, comforter, and pillow on the bed like a black hole of linen.   Which then leads into the tug-of-war throughout the night, where neither party gets full body coverage, and thus frost sets in on the lower extremities.

And this directly impacts another continual complaint.   Feet colder than a well-digger's ass.  My girl, hell, all my once and future lovers, have had feet that felt like the surface of Pluto.  There's nothing more shocking to the system than settling into bed, nodding off to semi-sleep, and then having Little Miss Cold Miser plant both frigid footpads on the thighs, top of the feet, or on numerous occasions, my flubby ass-cheeks.  There's probably no real chemical reaction to speak of, but it certainly resembles from a sensory standpoint to be what would happen if you poured liquid nitrogen into a roaring fireplace.  Good god, woman, have mercy.

That's momentary pain, for the most part, at least.  Perhaps worse than the serial bed sheet consolidater is the space shrinker.  Currently, my fine lady likes to squeeze me into a strip of real estate on one end of the bed the width of a couple of saltines. Resembling nothing less than a cuddling bulldozer, she pushes me into a  Tempur-Pedic OK Corral and forces me to make a last stand for bed autonomy. But I have simply learned that I cannot win against her nocturnal Manifest Destiny, and have come to accept that spatially, for all intents and purposes, my king-size bed is a twin bed with delusions of grandeur.

It takes a wise person to know they've already been defeated before the game starts.  Snuggling is a no-win proposition.  If you want the happy and frequent sexytimes, then cuddling is a necessary post-game news conference you have to show up for, answer questions, and face the music.  Enjoy it whenever possible.  But give no quarter on the side battles involving territoriality, bedding theft and cold fusion of the limbs.  Once a snuggling precedent has been set, the die is cast.  There's no going back.

Thus endeth the tea party.