Welcome to !Hola Papi!, the advice column where John Paul Brammer helps people work through their anxieties, fears, and life's queerest questions. If you need advice, send him a question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, so I've been seeing this girl for a couple weeks. We're lesbians, so that means we've already gone on a trip together (I had a tarot card reading that said I was going to travel with a new love interest soon) and it was great except for one thing. She snores. So loudly. Papi, it's so loud. You can nudge her all you want and it won't stop.
I'm terrible at sleeping anyway, so this is not good news for me. I love spending time with her, but I need to sleep. To make matters worse, I was complaining to my friend about it and she goes, "Wait, that sounds like sleep apnea." I looked up the symptoms and I was like... :o
I believe she has sleep apnea now, which means she stops breathing in her sleep! I have heard her do that multiple times in bed and been like, oh no, this chick is dying on me. Also, sleep apnea makes people really tired and it's not good for you, and according to Wikipedia most people have no idea they have it until they're told.
But we've only been seeing each other for a few weeks, so I don't know how to phrase it. I know I just need to come out and say it, but I don't want to embarrass her or make it seem like I don't enjoy sleeping with her (I really want that to continue!) but I'm so, so tired. Help!
Love, Sleep Apne-Uh?
I'm going to level with you, SA. I'm hungover and need an easy letter to answer. When you said you were tired, I really felt that. It's approximately 1,000 degrees fahrenheit outside and I have a headache and I have no room in my poppers-addled brain to approach anything resembling a nuanced situation right now. So here I am, fixing the snoring lesbian.
I love that you're reluctant to tell this girl about her snoring problem because "you've only been seeing each other for a few weeks" but you've already gone on a trip together and slept in the same bed because a tarot reading prophesied it. Lesbians really are living an altogether richer experience than gay men, huh? This one guy and I have been circling around each other over text for two months now and tomorrow we are "getting lunch." I want to die.
Speaking of cultural differences, SA, one time I went over to this guy's house for a casual Grindr hookup. I was going to refer to him as "a doctor" here to enrich the narrative, but I don't even think he was a doctor. I think he just worked, like... tangential to medicine somehow. But the point is, I lied down on his bed, all sexy like, and he immediately said, "Oh, you have sleep apnea." Because of the way I was breathing, I guess. Hot.
It could very well be the case that your new fling has sleep apnea and she should probably be told sooner rather than later, so my advice would be to just put it out there: "Hey, so I've noticed you have trouble breathing at night. Have you looked into it? Sleep apnea can be dangerous, and I care about you so I wanted to bring it to your attention."
Or you could just do what Not-a-Doctor-Guy did with me: say, "You have it," and start kissing me in the face while I contemplate my mortality and mentally start shopping for CPAP machines on Amazon. They're not cheap, by the way! Guess it will just have to cost me several hundred dollars to breathe at night! Makes sense. Life is so good and I love living it.
Also, lucky for you, "I have a snoring partner" is well-trodden ground in cis-het advice columnist world. They've got a head start on pretty much everything, so at times I will defer to their trove of wisdom. Let's see what we've got here. OK, here'sWomen's Health on "How I Got My Husband to Stop Snoring." Oh, wow. They're suggesting wearing a pocket tee backwards with a tennis ball in the pocket to keep them from sleeping on their backs. Sounds fake, but OK. Here's the National Sleep Foundation, which sounds legit. God, I'm so helpful. Look at me.
Well, SA, it looks like we solved yet another case here at !Hola Papi!. Your partner (new flame? Road trip buddy? Friends with benefits?) may or may not have sleep apnea, but bringing it up is a safer option for her and, most importantly, constitutes an action item for me to give you so I can roll over in bed and beg the Old Gods to take my pounding brain out of my skull, put it in an ice bath for two months, and give it back to me in a state where I will never have another migraine ever again.