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September 20, 2006



WHOA! This is crazy. I was just talking about this with my boyfriend the other day. Indeed, one of the (last and unresolved) reasons we are hesitant to "sleep together" is for the very reason you stated here - we want to actually fall asleep next to each other afterward, particularly after our first time. I do not want us to have to hide it, and then for one of us to get in the car and drive all the way home immediately after! That just feels... wrong. We are going to be so nervous (hell, I'm already scared and intrigued out of my mind as to what it will be like!) After a deeply physical, spiritual and emotional together, I want us to comfort and pray together, and fully appreciate the significance of that moment. The question that remains for us is... where and when? And will it be to our liking?

I agree - sleeping with each other after the act is one of the reasons I was (I am?) committed to waiting.


Thanks for the shout-out!

In an odd way, reading this article this morning made me envious of some of my Christian conservative friends who lost their virginity on their wedding nights. After making love for the first time ("making love" is another questionable euphemism), they didn't have to tear themselves apart and go home. They "got to sleep with the person they first slept with", and given how rare that experience was in my social circle, it's one perhaps to be envied!

There's a bit of a false dichotomy here. Among myself and the people whose sex lives I'm privileged enough to know in this level of detail, the vast majority of them "got to sleep with the person they first slept with," and none of them were married. The real difference is that while they didn't "wait for marriage," they were not sexually active until after they'd graduated high school and had considerably more autonomy.


Honestly, I think I like the sleeping together as much as, if not more than, the actual sex. It's warmer, and its nice to hear someone's even breathing and feel his/her heartbeat. It's a very connective feeling.


Well, I hear the false dichotomy. It's one of the drawbacks to early sex, I suppose. Waiting until one's got the freedom to spend the night together -- whether married or no -- has its advantages.


When I moved in with my boyfriend, I gave up a comfy queen sized bed in my mother's house in exchange for my boyfriend's lumpy and battered full sized mattress. We are not tiny people, and never had enough room, but lying together in the bed, it didn't matter. We were together. It's not just the sleeping together I love, but also the cutesy little night time rituals we share before we fall asleep, such as him tickling my nose with his goatee, or the two of us kissing each other's foreheads and hands. These things make us feel more connected emotionally, and they are what I miss most when he has to work at night.

But, you know, I am glad we have a bigger and more comfortable bed to share now. :)


Separate blankets are the secret to a happy marriage. (Separate bathrooms are a close second, if you can afford it....)


Honestly, I often don't like sharing a bed with my girlfriend - which is unfortunate, inasmuch I live with her. I'd never actually say that to her, but I just don't sleep well with her there. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and she'll have her arm around me and it'll feel like it's 110 degrees, and I have to push her off. Or there's a snoring issue.

I slept better when I was single. I can't be the only one ...


jt: I agree as well. I don't sleep with people that often, I tend to have the occasional one-night stand. When I am in bed with someone I just find it impossible to sleep. Maybe it's a personal space issue, but I just don't like being next to someone all night long. The sound of them sleeping, their breath on me, their touch. All these things keep me up. I'm probably in the minority on this issue, though. Also, I have a hard time sleeping anyway, so having another person in my bed just makes it that much worse.

I've just started law school in the last couple of weeks, and my furnished apartment has only a twin bed, so it's not like I'll be having other people sleeping in it even if I was in the mood to. Hell, I'm a small guy and even I have a hard time with how small it it. I forgot how I put up with it in undergrad. Then again, I was sleeping alone through those years as well. With one notable exception, I haven't slept with anyone on a bed smaller than a full sized.


For me, sleeping together is all a matter of the other person. In a relationship where there was great friction (or with the ex who had persistant morning dragon-breath, but wouldn't go brush for god's sake), I'd find that a king sized bed wasn't even large enough. With my man now, the queen bed feels too large at times, and right now, with him back in his town and me in Colorado, my bed feels barren. I actually woke up in a panic one night (when he was back home) thinking that I'd possibly kicked him, stolen the blankets, or otherwise done something offensive -- because why wasn't he in bed with me? Oh, right. He's not in the same state.

I remember, in college, a guy friend (one I never dated) telling me that he couldn't imagine sharing a bed, and how uncomfortable it sounded. I climbed up on his bed where he was sitting and instructed him to lay down. I then curled up against him, threw a leg lightly over his, wrapped an arm across his chest, and snuggled my nose into his neck. "Any questions?" Nope. He got it. There's a big difference between *splitting* a bed and *sharing* a bed.

Finally, Mermade, I agree with others who've said that marriage isn't a requirement to sharing a sleeping bed with your man after the first time. I did, and I was a sophomore in college. Living on your own, or at the least, away from your parents, is more what I see as necessary. That said, you and J will do what makes the most sense to you guys!


As far as sleeping on teeny beds goes, I have a somewhat of a solution. (This only works well if one of you is rather small and the other is not, and whoever's bigger can sleep on their back while the smaller one sleeps on their stomach.) Being an undergrad, with a boyfriend in the dorms and me in an even smaller room, twin beds are all we've got. Since my boy is rather bigger than me, (I'm 5'2", 98 lbs) I tend to get scrunched against a wall. So now when I sleep over or vice versa, I sleep on top of him, with my head on his chest. Listening to his heart helps me go to sleep faster, (but only if I don't focus on where various bits of me are situated in relation to him, which of course makes it rather difficult to sleep.) He also snores on occasion, but I stopped feeling bad about telling him to be quiet, which usually works. And I'm definitely with Jendi on the separate blankets, especially since I get cold very easily and he doesn't.


I was very moved reading about your father being able to share his bed with your mother on his last night. My grandfather was also able to spend his last nights with my grandmother. He died in his own bed, surrounded by his wife and children, listening to Frank Sinatra (his favourite musician).


Snuggling up together and falling asleep is simply one of the simple pleasures of life, and I must say that this is something I always valued with my past lovers and now with my partner. Sex was often great, but sleeping together was calming, nesting, humanizing, and even healing. A few times, young and horny though we were, we were happy simply to sleep together.

I must say, however, that my partner snores awfully, has been to the doctor, etc. Often, I end up on the floor in the front room (we live in a very small flat), and sleep disruption can be a serious problem. So, I value those few nights I can stay in bed with him.


Sleeping together is OK. I slept in the same bed with my sister until my early teens. After that, my best friends often slept over and vice-versa, so I was usually sleeping with another person. As an adult, when I was single, I used to always crash out a various friends' houses and crash out in the same bed with them (male or female). I admit that my very favorite sleeping partners are my cats. I just like having another living soul dozing on the bed- whether it's my friend or my cat, or my BF...


I certainly sleep with my boyfriend more often than the euphemism, lol! One of the things that made us want to live together quickly was so that we could sleep in the same bed every night. It is absolutely incomparable as a bonding tool in a relationship. Every night when we go to sleep, some part of our bodies are touching. Maybe we're spooning, or maybe my foot is just touching his foot. We might go to bed at the same time or hours apart, but as you said, we sleep sounder when we're both there. If we're apart, we have to take steps to be as tired as possible before we go to bed, or neither of us can get to sleep. We both snore, but it doesn't bother either of us.

The concept of separate bedrooms is so alien to me, I can't imagine how couples do it!


Sleeping together (just sleeping) is a social adaptaion that humans haved used for centuries and centuries for safety, the development of intimacy, and dammit it feels good. In our sex-driven society, just sleeping together has become sexualized so that sharing sleep with anyone other than a sexual partner is weird, gross, taboo, wrong. I never thought about this much until I had children and we decided to share sleep with them (or "co-sleep" as many call it). The reaction from mainstream Americans is that sleeping with your children is making them dependent on you, is a sign of your own neediness, etc. This is laughable since people have been sharing sleep with family for eons. It's not like the cave-men carved another hole in the cave for each child! While it does bring up some challenges that require creative solutions (sex on the kitchen counter, anyone?) I have loved the months we chose to sleep with our daughters. They are now sleeping most of the night in their own beds (and they are 3 years and 18 months, respectively).

Naomi Patrao

Oh Hugo! What a lovely, lovely post!
You don't know me, but I have been reading your blog with great interest and an increasing sense of affection. I plan to write to you, but have been so busy with my University apps, (Master's in Public Health - International Health and Health Policy), that I have pretty much been putting it off. But I soon shall!
Warm wishes dear blog-friend


Thanks, all, for the interesting comments and kind words. And thanks for "de-lurking", Naomi!

Now, I was always taught that beds were for two things: sleeping and sex. That meant no studying on the bed in college (a rule I stuck to scrupulously; I usually studied lying on the floor); it also meant not having kids in bed with you. I wasn't in my parent's bed as a child, except when I was very tiny (a few months old). But maybe it's a WASP thing to see the bedroom as the parents' sacred space.


What a great post..certainly several things that have been on my mind lately. My boyfriend and I somehow managed to actually sleep all night the first time we shared a bed and that meant more to me than the first time we 'slept together.'

I never sleep well by myself, but it's part of a neurotic tendency I have. I always sleep more soundly with him. I even count it lucky that we have similar sleep patterns and habits.


I'm looking for info to support my need to sleep through the night with my boyfriend. We live together, but have separate bedrooms because of his inability to sleep with someone else in the same bed, although we did sleep together for almost 2 weeks on a cruise. I feel "distanced" from him because of this separation at night. It's a very important part of my relationship with him and has nothing to do with sex. He doesn't know why he can't sleep with someone, says he has never been able to except on the cruise. I'm still looking for answers in how to deal with this because of it's importance to me. Thanks for your words and comments from others.

Lana Frederick

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Kirt The Childrens Beds Expert

I can't refer "Sleeping together" to sexual intercourse. Though I had my own room as a kid, there had been a few rare occasions where my brother and I had had to share a bed on family trips. We were "sleeping together" in the euphemistic sense without ever having the chance to actually fall asleep side by side in the same bed.

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I definitely prefer to actually sleep alone whenever possible. Its just more comfortable, and I don't have to worry about waking up my boyfriend if I move around a lot or get up to grab a drink of water. Hopefully we don't move in together any time soon. :P

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I like this They "got to sleep with the person they first slept with", and given how rare that experience was in my social circle, it's one perhaps to be envied!

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Like many of my peers, I became sexually active when I was in high school. My girlfriend and I were able to find times to be sexual after school or while out on dates, but we both had strict curfews.

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