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how do we all immediately know what 'to sleep with someone' means ? Options
prolixitysquared
Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2009 10:43:12 PM
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In a post in another section, I was writing about the show Dateline: To Catch a Predator, where certain adults use the Internet to seek out sexual relations with underage kids and are then are exposed for their crimes on screen. I'm sure most people, at least in this country, have at least heard of the show.

As I was typing, I started to write 'to sleep with' and quickly deleted the words to write 'to have sex with,' to be clear. Of course, I'm talking about the pedophiles. But anyway, it brought to mind a question I've had in my head for a long time. Before now, I've never had a real outlet for it. So here it is-- how is it that we all seem to know 'to sleep with someone' is synonymous with 'to have sex with someone' ?

Even as a kid, I somehow quickly picked up on this unwritten rule when I heard it in conversations that probably weren't intended for my ears.

I am wondering if other cultures, with different languages, have this same phrase or similar ones ? Or of course, their own versions ? There are plenty of other phrases I could bring in here to offer the different ways sex between two people is described in short throws of words. But my point with this post is to find out how such a light-weight phrase has become and stayed the somehow least offensive and regularly accepted norm for referring to this specific act.

I understand that sleeping with someone can involve sex, but it's also still quite possible to sleep next to someone without the act of sex being involved. I think this is important to keep in mind when considering other languages and their common phrases about this subject or at least the interpretations people speaking other languages could make if a very similar phrase doesn't exist in those other languages.

Any takers ?
kaliedel
Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2009 11:11:48 PM
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The one issue I see is that "sleep with someone" is, at least predominantly in our culture, almost always used in reference to sex. In fact, I can't think of one time in my life when I've seen the phrase and it didn't refer to or imply sex. For me, that's the primary reason we all know what it implies, as it is used almost exclusively in that manner.
mediagod2004
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 12:41:37 AM
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I would say also the term 'sleep with' is predominately referred to in a sexual term but really only among adults. For example, my parent's use to call my friends that were boys, my boy friends. "Joey's boyfriend is staying the night tonite with Joey.", was not uncommon and in just that ONE statement it applies to both posts.

[p]To kids sleeping together, means just that and only that.
For an adult it is AT MINIMUM an act of Sensuality if not Sexual Acts.

Kids just see it as they get to giggle and wrestle as they go to sleep, or whatever we DID when we are kids depending on our ages (hint hint - yes it DOES happen if it didn't happen with you, it did me and it was innocent and not about sex as much as exploration). We would giggle and pass gas and make noises until the 2nd or 3rd time we got the SERIOUS "Don't make me come in there. Now go to bed!!!". Then we gave up and fell asleep giggling.

These were innocent times and far from anything that would have anything to do with some adult being involved. This does NOT preclude when an ADULT, sleeps with a child for comfort. I have had to lay down with many of my kids, nephews, nieces, kids I babysat when younger, even a couple foster kids needed me to just lay in the bed where others needed cuddled. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the entire need is from and for the child and ends with them. Once asleep, outta bed unless you fell asleep too which I've done (See Mel Gibson's Directorial Debut in "Man Without A Face" for just how misunderstood things can get and be where MEN are involved even there there has been a flood-life increase in women being OUTED. Notice I do not say, they've STARTED, they've always done it, it just wasn't talked about at all. And unfortunately still in society if the ages are just right, we have, unfortunately Dad's and Friends telling us we are NOW MEN. It's just as and can be even MORE destructive forever changing everything in how they view themselves and trust in relationships, etc,.

But what these people, men and women alike purport and plan to do on Predator, entirely, 180 degree difference in intent. One has nothing to do with the other. Also, children of teenage, most often know the term 'sleep together' and would NOT be confused as to at least there would be something sexual done to some degree. Any younger than certain ages, depending on the specific child's emotional growth and understanding, and you are out of luck scumbags. They do NOT equate it with sex unless you are 7 years old and you both just happen to be in a curious mood. Other than that, you are not welcome to 'sleep with' any child.

ORIGINAL POSTER:
I also agree the big 'takedown' at the end seems overdone but you MUST understand possibly a couple things.

More cops get in hurt or killed in simple domestic situations, simple car stops, etc., these are mundane, everyday occurences. There are many of these people apprehended who end up with a long history of assault, or robbery, rape, etc., if these people have ONE inkling the thing my be a setup, you never know, as a cop, what they might be carrying for the cops, not to mention, do they have anything for the child they've come to visit, a knife, mace, taser, gun.

SO, I don't blame the cops. They have to clear about 25 feet minimum to get to the person and still maintain distance and cover to not scare of newer ones that show sometimes at the same time as we've seen in some episodes. They MUST close that distance to not allow the person any slight second to think, screw it, I'm pulling a gun because I'm screwed already, especially the ones who are already violent sex offenders. So, understand, they are pumped and ready to detain as soon as possible and eliminate any threat and protect all around and themselves at the same time. What if the perp ran back IN the house? So, it may seem TOO MUCH but, time flies when you are apprehending a perp who you cannot even imagine what they might do in any situation.

I've seen video footage of a man, in front of his child, a woman cop, all calm during a SIMPLE traffic stop and without any indication, no escalation, no signals at all, out of the blue without warning, he busts her in the face as hard as I've seen a man hit another man -- and his child just is in shock while he continues to pummel and punch full punches like she was a man instead of a small framed officer and he acted as nice as possible, there was no warning.

She ended up barely living and entire face reconstruction.
I wouldn't blame cops for not walking up to every single car, even for a simple traffic stop with their gun out, maybe not point but out at least, because of all the times they end up getting shot or ran over by perps who pull over.

That's my two cents. I'll leave another post for my general thoughts of the show since you almost asked two questions. What do we think of the show? And, do we feel the cops are over zealous in their take downs?

Ciao Bello,
Joey
PS - Excuse my 'signature at the end here, I coded it wrong'
Luftmarque
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 1:27:04 AM

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Yesterday I read an article about a lawsuit over one-word obscene words being used on TV. The author pointed out that at one time bull was considered too indelicate for mixed company and the phrase gentlemen cows was used instead. I believe that was around the time when one couldn't use the word leg and a lot of table legs were covered to avoid any suggestiveness. Sleep with I suppose started as a useful euphemism, but as pointed out, it now can hardly be used for any other purpose besides the sexual reference.
Angus
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 1:44:25 AM
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Try French ... Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? Very similar.
Cheegine
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 7:56:04 AM
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Yes, there are hints about SLEEP WITH. But not always, it depends. When the condition has nothing to do with the hint, surely we would use the phrase without any hesitation, unless you want to make a joke with it.

As the phrase does have such meaning, I would avoid using it, when I do not mean it.
risadr
Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009 4:29:47 PM
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I agree with mediagod2004.

I frequently sleep with my daughter (we coslept until she was 8 months old and she still frequently sleeps in the bed with us), and my parents also always referred to my friends as my "girlfriends" and my "boyfriends."

When my "girlfriends" would stay overnight at my house, we would almost always sleep together in the same bed, but all that was happening there was sleeping.

It wasn't until I reached high school age that I started to associate the idea of "sleeping with" someone with "having sex" with them.
early_apex
Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009 6:09:17 PM
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The writers of the Bible, no strangers to euphemism, would employ the term to lie with, as in:
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. (Gen 4:1a). The results of these meetings seem to have always been eventful. So there is some historical reference for the discussion.

In comparison, sleep is very oblique, because that is what takes place after, or instead of sexual activity, so it is almost a contradiction. By glossing over things so heavily, it does tend to poison the language, as there is now no way to refer to an innocent encounter.
kaliedel
Posted: Monday, May 11, 2009 2:16:48 PM
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Early apex makes a good point - it really is very difficult to refer to an innocent encounter of "sleeping together" in the English language. And, even if there was, I'd imagine most people would be dubious it was innocent at all; perhaps a consequence of oversexed Western culture?
risadr
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 11:49:53 AM
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Touche, kaliedel.

And I second your assertion that Western culture is oversexed. I'm terrified for my daughter to start school (and it's still several years off), because sex is something that is now frequently occurring with children as young as 9 years old. I don't know about anyone else, but in the third grade, sex was the farthest thing from my mind...
kaliedel
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:07:04 PM
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risadr wrote:
Touche, kaliedel.

And I second your assertion that Western culture is oversexed. I'm terrified for my daughter to start school (and it's still several years off), because sex is something that is now frequently occurring with children as young as 9 years old. I don't know about anyone else, but in the third grade, sex was the farthest thing from my mind...


I don't have any children yet, but the idea of a 9 year old even thinking about engaging in sex is frightening.
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