Sleeping in Separate Bedrooms

Today, the most common excuse for avoiding sex is: ‘I’m tired’.This simple phrase seems to be replacing the classic: ‘Sorry, I’ve got a headache’. Given that the amount of sleeping disorders has increased with our hectic lives, it’s really no wonder that more and more couples have chosen to sleep in separate bedrooms during the working week. Oddly enough, many of them claim that this unusual arrangement not only gives them a far better quality of sleep but that doing so has improved their sex life as well.

I’ve always had a preference for sleeping alone. It’s not that I don’t enjoy ‘spooning’ with my boyfriend, far from it. I love to see how gorgeous he looks when I’m partially awake and he’s oblivious. And I adore the sensations I get when his inquisitive feet search for mine under the covers. On the other hand, I resent it when he sleeps with his arms raised and I feel is his elbows digging in to me when he tosses and turns. He’s even more annoying when he steals all the blankets and clings on to them. But the worst crime he commits, above all others, is when he snores.

It’s assumed that snoring is more likely to occur when the snorer is sleeping on their back. When my boyfriend commits this crime, I try to roll him onto his side as gently as I can. He’ll wake up for a split-second and I’ll inform him, as patiently as possible, that he was keeping me awake. After settling down, he’ll turn onto his back and snore again, much to my irritation.Then, I miss out on some much needed sleep, I wake up in a bad mood and my desire for sex becomes non-existent.

Sleeping in separate rooms makes a lot of sense when you have different work schedules. If your partner gets up an hour earlier than you, wakes you up, and then you can’t get back to sleep afterwards it can be infuriating to say the least. I can’t imagine a worse start to the day. On the other hand, it may also be a turn-on to move over to their, recently vacated, side of the bed. You can snuggle in their warmth, sniff their pillow and drift off to sleep again.

separate bedrooms venus o'hara 2

On a recent trip to England, I went to visit the new home of one of my friends. The house looked like something out of a magazine-spread. My friend, and his new wife, were proud to show it off to me. I was given a tour which placed particular emphasis on the master bedroom, bathroom and closets. It seemed like a newlyweds dream. But then, upon entering the guest room, I noticed that the bed hadn’t been made after being slept in. The happy couple became uncomfortable all of a sudden. After a pause, my friend explained that he slept there during the week because, according to his wife, he snored like a bear. I reassured them that I understood the problem and that their solution didn’t seem strange at all.

For me, the best thing about sleeping in separate rooms during the week, is that you can use it as an excuse to get more action on the couch during those eternal ad breaks on TV. Sex doesn’t have to be confined to bed as most cohabiting couples seem to believe. Having two beds to mess up always adds a touch of variety. Although you can enjoy moments of privacy and solitude in your own room, you always know that your partner is close by if you want a little instant affection or something more. The best thing about this arrangement is that you get to choose.

Then, the weekend comes around and everything changes. When the alarm isn’t required and there’s no time pressure, sleeping with my boyfriend becomes the best experience ever. Interestingly, the issue of being elbowed during the night bothers me less, as does the blanket theft or snoring. Since we can stay in bed longer, its almost a pleasant experience to be woken up several times during the night. Whenever it happens, we begin ‘spooning’, we exchange drowsy kisses and we drift back to sleep at our leisure. It’s at times like this that I can’t imagine us wanting to sleep in separate bedrooms.

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Translation of ‘Durmiendo en habitaciones separadas‘, published in El Pais.

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