And I dare
anyone to prove otherwise
When you're young, it's sort of the thrill of breaking the rules. Parents make a huge fuss about getting their children to go to sleep, so there is something of a rebellion lying there in the dark, talking to the sibling/friend in the bunk above or below. You are so desperate not to give up the fight, to continue being awake despite the fact all the other odds (lights off, in PJs, in the bed) are against you, that you'll happily talk about anything. It is often here that the true intelligence and emotions of the young come out... in this environment, free from one's peers, there is no need for a facade to maintain one's image or reputation.
Then, you get older, and maybe you've just spent a night at a friend's house - drinking, maybe a bit of smoking (substance of your choice)... and two or more of you are all crashed out in the one bedroom. Maybe two or three crammed into the bed, another one or two on the floor. An eerie twilight from the streetlight outside floods through the window, together with the gentle whoosh of night traffic, or the clickety-clack of trains, their horns blasting a mournful tune through the night.
And something will happen. Perhaps two of you aren't tired at all, and you've continued a conversation from earlier in the evening. Maybe there'll be a dispute over who sleeps where. Or a light-hearted implication that two of you WANT TO sleep together. Or someone kicks someone. And there'll be giggling, and whispering, not quietly but out of spite for those who might want to sleep.
So, you'll all be lying there, unable to see one another, listening to the voices drifting around the room. Personal anecdotes will be shared, and, much like a real-life Everything2, one topic will somehow lead on to another, people joining and dropping out of the conversation as interest grabs or loses them. Often, this is when you truly get to know your friends. For whatever reasons, people become much more open when they're lying in bed. Maybe it's because they know they're more vulnerable in bed, but trust you enough to sleep with you, and so are now willing to risk mental as well as physical well-being.
The final, and most advanced 'form' of this is the legendary pillow talk - the post-coital exchange between lovers. Having just been physically intimate, you now share the same mental closeness. You are both naked and entwined in one another's arms, completely vulnerable but also completely trusting the other. Foreplay is often begun by an intimate conversation, but it's usually in the afterglow, where there is no urge for sex, that the conversation can grow, drift, and develop.
They say you always sleep better in someone else's bed, and this carries over. You can lie there, surrounded by another person's stuff, and yet feel completely at ease. Hours, days, even entire weekends can be spent simply lying in bed together, talking, getting to know one another, growing ever closer.
There are few better ways to spend a weekend.
15/03/2013: It's been almost 11 years since I wrote this. Recently I was privileged to gain the romantic interest of a girl 13 years my junior (I'm 33 before you call the police) and one day she was feeling sick. She invited me to come over, bearing gifts of company and medicine. We spent the afternoon cuddled together in her bed, talking about topics intimate and common, private and personal. We played songs on our phones and sang a duet to Lady Antebellum, and it was just wonderful. Eventually she wanted to go to sleep so I tucked her in and let myself out. Things have fallen apart since then (she has issues which sometimes made things difficult) but I am happy to have the memory, and hope she's okay, and happy.