The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple's Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions

A sweet, oddly romantic illustrated book about new ways to catch some Zs

By Evany Thomas

McSweeney's (March), $15

Injected with just the right dose of McSweeney-ian humor, this book is downright precious for those of you (un)fortunate enough to be in a relationship, or even those of you who are living single. Explanations of such slumbering positions as "The Springloader" (in which one partner sleeps as if he's ready to eject the other out of bed) and "Big C little c" (a more comfy variation of "Classic Spoons") are presented in small nuggets, each pose cleanly illustrated by Amelia Bauer. Author Evany Thomas, who writes humorous TV recaps for the stellar Televisionwithoutpity.com, provides whimsical case studies and detailed steps on how to achieve a new sleeping setup. For example, with the vulnerable "Bird in Hand," in which one partner protects the other, she suggests to the submissive partner that "it may be necessary to remove all your clothing or divulge your credit history" to successfully pull it off. If you're just looking for a new position or some quirky insight into the one you and your partner contentedly form, Thomas' book will delight at first glance. But upon closer inspection, The Secret Language of Sleep is oddly and deeply romantic. It also makes for great toilet-seat reading — and I mean that in the best possible way — much like Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse, only less esoteric and not in French.

 
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