[From article "Against Spooning"]
If the argument against spooning were only a physical one, I would not feel so strongly. After all, many people are gluttons for punishmentwho am I to deny them their strange pleasure? But there’s a deeper issue here, a troubling aspect of spooning that emerges in the dimension of ideology, of what it all means.
Please recall the big spoon/little spoon roles I described earlier. A look at the gay adaptation of these terms is useful in exposing the power relationship they instantiate. Among gay men, big spoon and little spoon have become softer ways of signaling whether one is a top or a bottom during sex. But, as has been true of the top/bottom dynamic since the beginning, these also carry certain connotative weight: Big spoons are manly and will take care of you (provided you let them use you to take care of themselves); little spoons are fragile, passive creatures that need to be held and kept safe. This, of course, is fundamentally a sexist arrangement, one that casts the big spoon as “the man” and the little spoon as “the woman.” To say that this power imbalance is built into all acts of spooningwhichever the sexes engagedis not, I think, an overstatement. Indeed, I would argue that spooning is always already a power play, a perverse strategy by which we nightly enact the unjust relations of “big” and “little” privilege that plague our society on every level.
We can do better than this.