Ok, let’s jump right back in.
I want to talk about spooning, which if you don’t know is when two people lay on their sides, facing the same way, so one person is in front (little spoon) and one person behind holding the other (big spoon.) Spooning is by far my fave way to cuddle. Recently I was having a lighthearted discussion with a cuddle partner about spooning, because this position (like most sex roles) is gendered. Usually, girls are the little spoon. We both agreed that sometimes its nice to switch it up. I like being the big spoon because I like the idea of holding someone else, and I also happen to think that shoulders are really sexy so I like looking at them. And then he agreed that sometimes its nice to feel like one is being cuddled rather than doing the cuddling.
This convo I think illustrates how pervasive all this stuff is. A person, no matter who, will from time to time feel vulnerable and in need of support. Sometimes you just want to feel held, like someone has their arm around you and wants to take care of you. Why would that only be true for girls? And why wouldn’t girls want to give support sometimes?
I guess this seems pretty trivial, but if you can’t get what you need from spooning, can you really express what you need in other areas? And if, on the whole, men are afraid to be vulnerable and take the little spoon position, aren’t their much larger implications for their lives and relationships? I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men (Seas 4 on DVD is the bomb dot com), and Don Draper is always making me think about masculinity and how men have to keep up their manliness. This character is seriously afraid of letting people in, telling people too much, relying on others and being seen as weak. But no man is an island and everyone needs support in moments of crisis. I think, when spooning, its ok to switch and even more ok to ask for whichever position you prefer in that moment. Small considerations and requests like that can certainly reverb into larger, more important conversations.
(For the record, right now I need to be little spooning. Preferably while watching Don Draper strive to be a better man, but more on Mad Men later…)