Probably more … Yup, it’s true …

Boy is this guy sleepy or what?

Is this guy sleepy or what?

… but not as many as former basketball great Wilt Chamberlain … please correct my math if necessary, but isn’t that one woman EVERY night for 55 years? With all that “sleeping”, Wilt must be VERY well rested … maybe lots of sleep makes a fellow tall.

And this is what brings me to one of my anal-side pet peeves.

When you came across and read this blog title, did you have visions of me making my best pouty-lipped Mick Jagger sexy look, bedding down and fornicating with dozens of lovelies? I thought so. Admit it.

NOPE, not the case … it’s just a euphemism:

An agreeable word or expression substituted for one that is potentially offensive, often having to do with bodily functions, sex, or death…”

Why do we use euphemisms to describe and hide what’s really happening?

Alright, I know the answer to my own question.

We often want to soften our words and statements if things appear too blunt in their truer form. I can understand the use of caring euphemisms when we don’t want to hurt someone.

euphemism lady's bathroom

I understand using the softer “passed away” rather than dead when talking to newly aggrieved family members. I understand describing someone as “big-boned” when it comes to sensitive weight issues.

We say these things to protect ourselves or others and their feelings, much like we utter little white lies when our partner says, “Does this make my ass look big?”, or “Was it good for you?“, or “Did you enjoy my new risotto recipe?

But the expression, “to sleep with someone”?? This one bugs me every time. It’s particularly deceptive and misleading.

Who are we protecting when we say “Margaret and John slept together”?

Is it so difficult for us to say that Margaret and John had sex … made love … mated … humped their little hearts out?

I hear “slept together” and I want to know …”Oh, does John snore much?” or  “what colour was Margaret’s flannel nightie?“. We all know there was no snoring (and if there was, I feel badly for them) and Margaret likely wasn’t wearing a flannel nightie at all, am I right?

When I hear someone say they slept with another person … I’m confused.

As a youngster living in a small home, I slept in a bed with my older brother every night until I was about 10 years old, yet to the best of my recollection, we never once “slept” ie. had sex, unless I’m suppressing some unpleasant memories. Please tell me I’m not suppressing any unpleasant memories!

When my kids were little toddlers, they climbed into our big adult bed to escape their fears or to seek comfort for their sickness, snuggled under the covers, and we “slept together”.

I’ve slept with many many others e.g. school groups, relatives, fellow travellers, over the years in tents, cabins, hotel rooms, living room floors, airplanes … but with rare exceptions, while “sleeping” with these women and men and kids, I’ve not had sexual relations of any type. I just : “SLEPT”.

euphemism

Euphemisms in and of themselves are not all bad. They often add colour or texture to our everyday language. Take as an example Meatloaf‘s song Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Now there’s a wonderful illustration of great use of the euphemism.

Some other examples of euphemisms?:

  • Correctional facility instead of jail
  • Departed instead of died
  • Differently-abled instead of handicapped or disabled
  • Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide
  • Turn a trick instead of engage in prostitution
  • Negative patient outcome instead of dead
  • Relocation center instead of prison camp
  • Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths
  • Letting someone go instead of firing someone
  • Put to sleep instead of euthanize
  • Pregnancy termination instead of abortion
  • Adult entertainment instead of pornography
  • Portly instead of heavy or overweight
  • Chronologically-challenged instead of late
  • Break wind instead of pass gas
  • Economical with the truth instead of liar
  • Powder your nose instead of using the toilet
  • The birds and the bees instead of sex
  • Between jobs instead of unemployed
  • Go all the way instead of have sex
  • Domestic engineer instead of maid
  • Sanitation engineer instead of garbage man
  • Vertically-challenged instead of short

Yes, our use of language is filled with sanitized ways of saying what we really mean and sometimes I just want to yell out in frustration.

For me at least, if I’ve made love or had sex with someone, the last thing I would want my lover to pass on to others is that they “slept with Larry“.

Whaddya mean, slept!??“.

Maybe Wilt Chamberlain has laid down beside so many women that the only energy he has left is for sleep. But I’m not that naive.

I prefer to keep a separation of state in the bedroom. Sleeping and making love are two separate activities, just like cooking and eating. They may be related and take place in the same room, but they are definitely not the same thing.

Sure, I’ve slept around, so have you. I love to sleep.

But I have way too much male ego bubbling inside me to have anyone insinuating I’d been so lax in the sexual, intimate arts that we were “sleeping”.

Let’s leave it at that, shall we? …

slept around

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