Which Side Are You On? Get it now on Amazon!  Which side of the bed do you sleep on? As creatures, we each have two sides, but in a couple, we tend to take to one side. Learn what your “sidedness” says about you and your couple hood. This fun analysis of bedroom geography, body, mind, and spirit is good for all couples, straights and gays because in any couple there are two genders. Learn what you give and what you receive and consider experimentation with your “sidedness.”

Introduction

Which side are you on?  Many books and heated discussions ask that question about politics and religion:  Democrat or Republican?  Atheist or believer?  Some are almost as fervent as to whether you prefer Microsoft or Mac.    God, politics, and computer brands are the three areas not to be discussed at dinner parties or on airplane rides—for the safety of all concerned.  But “which side are you on” is a question that persists.  We often seem to set up two sides, whether to win the other over, to build a bigger fence around ourselves, or just have fun in debate.  This book asks that question, which side are you on, about bed.  Which side of the bed do you sleep on?  The left or the right.

Before you answer, let’s get oriented around the bed.  Don’t look at the bed, from the floor, at the foot of the bed:  hop right in!  Lie down—on your backs, please.  Now, which side are you on, left or right?

Just as you are left handed or right handed, most of us are bed sided.  Which side of the bed do you sleep on: the left side or the right side?  This is not about which side of your body you sleep on.  This is when you are flat on your back.  As for body sides, though, it seems most doctors say it is preferable when possible to sleep on the right side of your body with the left side up—because that way there is less pressure on the heart.  But that is not our question.  Our question is which side of the bed.  Lying on your back, are you closer to the left edge or the right edge?  OK; now we have that straight and we are ready to move on.

If you are one half of a couple, when you answer that question, you also answer which side The Other is on:  you are on the right and the other is on the left?  Or you are on the left side and the other is on the right side.  It can’t be any other way, which is one reason why couples are so interesting and so puzzling.  What makes a couple “work?”  Together you are one unit, and that unit has many aspects, some of which we take apart in this book to understand and then experiment with your relationship.  Relationships start—and end up—in bed.  Often they also fail in bed.  This book is about the feng shui of sleeping sides.

Most beds inhabited by two adults host one man and one woman, but they may also be occupied by two men or two women.  This book applies to all of you, for even in same-sex relationships, there tends to be gender:  “butch and femme” and all the other pet words that are used to describe the emotional, behavioral, and appearance of two parties to a homosexual partnership.  Let us get some language conventions down early here so that we do not get mixed up or offend anyone as we move on.  Your sex is your sex:  you are born a woman or born a man—or you got surgically changed into one or the other.  That accounts for about 99% of us—some few are born, we are told, with pretty ambiguous genitalia and cannot be fairly classified as really one or the other.  But most of us can.  So you have a sex.  You may not be having sex as in participating in sexual relations with another, but, still, you have a sex.

Gender, on the other hand, is cultural, not physical.  Most born women either naturally have or get told by media, parents, and other officials to be or seem “feminine.”  Most born men either naturally have or get told by their officials to be or seem “masculine.”  Those are genders.  So masculine and feminine are cultural distinctions whereas woman and man are made from the get-go by those XX or XY chromosomes.  We also have the word male and female, often used as though they are about nature, but we will try to reserve even those words for the cultural distinction.  So when we use woman we mean woman and when we use man we mean man.

A woman may be very masculine in that she may exhibit behaviors and attitudes culturally associated with men (think Joan of Arc) and a man can be very feminine in that he may exhibit behaviors and attitudes culturally associated with women (think of your own example, because I do not want to insult anyone).  Well maybe Bruno holding his adopted black baby would be “ok with it.”  But typically we root for the “move up” and ignore or just whisper about the “drop down.”  When a woman moves into the heroic masculine column, we tend to think:  wow, good for her; when a man moves into the nurturing feminine column, we tend to raise an eyebrow.  This must be due to the traditional hierarchy that valued men above woman so that a move from M to W is seen as a move down or a demotion while a move from W to M is seen as courage.

 

 

I experienced this inequality recently in a class.  There were 19 students and I asked them to raise their hands and be counted if they were men (9) or women (10).  Then I asked them to raise their hands again if they were males.  Again 9 hands went up.  Females?  Nine.  Then I asked to raise their hands if they were feminine.  Seven admitted to this.  Masculine?  Thirteen proud hands went up.   Apparently only one knew that he or she was both masculine and feminine, since 13+7=20 and there were only 19 in the class.   So you get the idea:  we have six types, not two.  Which type are you?

  • Feminine woman
  • Balanced woman
  • Masculine woman
  • Masculine man
  • Balanced man
  • Feminine man

You can check what you are—and you can even check what you wish to become.  You cannot do much about your sex, but sometimes gender is yours for the taking if you have the courage, curiosity, and openness to explore the opposite of what you have been programmed to become.  If we have 7 billion people in the world, in truth we have 7 billion genders, but to keep it simple we will stick with six.

It can also be a good exercise while we are here on this topic to check what you think your mate is and also to mark what your mate might become.  You want an unorganized woman to focus?  She would become more “masculine.”  You want an insensitive man to listen and actually look at you when you talk?  He would become more feminine.  You want two strong lesbians to get along better?  Or two soft lesbians to get entrepreneurial and make some money?  Two expressive gay men to get more done?  Some gender tweaking might be in order.   Can it be done?  We are going to approach it subtly:  in bed.

bed

 

This book is about the mattress feng shui of gender.

We all have some mix of gender even if it does not “go with” the conventional culture’s notion of “girls are girls” and “boys are boys”.  So even if you are among the estimated 5% of the population that is gay, you probably have a “side” that suits you and your partner’s side.

If you sleep alone, I suggest to you that you, too, have a preferred side.  Lots of times you do not realize what your side really is, too, until you break up with your mate and your body gravitates—rolls, stretches, lands—where it wants to be while alone.  You may realize then that you gave into your partner if you took to a less-preferred side which you only realize once you are alone.

When you begin to watch these things, you begin to get clearer and more balanced. Each one of us, man and woman, gay and straight, has two sides of our body, a left side and a right side; but in relationship to one another, we are on a side.  We tend to take to one side or the other, the left or the right of the unit of the couple.  This positioning says something about our relationship, but it is rarely looked at for the rich source of information, exchange, and experiment that it provides.

Sidedness is visible in many zones of our life, but we ignore its meaning and impact.  Just as we sleep on one side, we drive on one side, walk on one side, and do many things on one side—or the other—but we rarely think about it.  This book takes a look. I have asked about 500 people, and now I ask you, too:  Which side are you on?

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