“Sleepover? For adults?” you may be asking. “What do you mean?”
Two-person pajama party. Duo slumber party. Couple cuddle fest. Jammie jam. No-sex sleepover. It can happen early in the relationship. You’re not ready to have sex, so you only cuddle and snooze with your new sweetie all night.
Sleepovers are living on the edge. There is potential danger. You have to trust the guy enough to know he won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. I’m not advocating them, however, I know they happen. I’ll share some guidelines if you decide it is right for you.
When are sleepovers likely to happen? When you’ve been out on a date until late. Your date brings you home, but is exhausted and has a long drive ahead, or has had a tad too much to drink so is uncomfortable driving. Coffee would barely make a dent in his alertness. He’s been a gentleman in every encounter with you. You haven’t had to reel him in. He’s shown he is trustworthy through his actions and words. He’s honored your boundaries.
One option is for him to sleep in the guest room or on the couch. But know that if there are sparks between you, one of you may join the other before morning. More often sleepovers are in the same bed.
- Explain he can stay, but there will be no sex of any kind. Some people have Clintonian definitions of sex, so be clear you mean no sex.
- Clothing is not optional. At minimum, undies must stay on, in their proper place (around one’s knees does not count as “on,” although technically they are on your body). Ideally, you both wear — and keep on — something non-sexy, e.g., t-shirts and sweat pants, pajamas — tops and bottoms. Flannel or cotton, not silk or satin. The less exposed skin the better, so avoid camisoles. I’m not meaning to sound prudish, but you want to be uninviting in this situation. Don’t don your frilly, see-through negligee for a sleepover. Save it for later. It will only invite trouble.
- Expect there will be some “exploration” — unless you have a bundling board. It is hard for two attracted people to keep their hands off each other. So verbalize your boundaries and if his hand “slips” reinforce what’s OK by moving it as well as restating your boundary. If this “slippage” happens more than a couple of times, kick him out.
- You have to stick to your own rules. You can’t change midway and say, “You feel so good, let’s have sex.” You are then sending mixed messages and he won’t want to honor your limits in the future because he won’t think you’re serious about them.
- Don’t be a temptress to test his mettle. It is hard enough for two people to lie together, so don’t let your hand “slip” to a sensitive zone, nor engage in passionate kissing or other provocative behaviors. You are putting him in a double bind and most mortals would not pass the test. Don’t do this.
So with all these rules, why do it? And why wouldn’t you?
- You confirm you can trust him to honor your wishes. If you can trust him in the face of temptation, it will deepen the relationship.
- There is something delicious about sleeping intertwined with someone you care about.
- You may not get a lot of sleep. Sleeping with someone new takes some getting used to. It’s easy to wake when he turns. He may snore. Sleeping with your head on his chest may sound romantic, but it can create neck pain.
- He will be there in the morning, when you’ll have morning breath, possibly a hangover, and sans makeup. You may also have to share bathroom time before work, find him a toothbrush and razor, make him breakfast.
Sleepovers are really a matter of trust. For a sleepover to be successful you have to have clearly defined boundaries and confidence in your and his ability to respect them. Be firm in your rules. Don’t waffle. When pajama parties work, they are a delicious way to deepen your relationship.