Yesterday, the Other Livvy brought to my attention this post by Exhibit A from a few years back about sleeping over after hooking up with someone, particularly someone new or that you’re just getting to know.
“Other people don’t just take up their own portion of the bed – in many cases, they have an unfortunate habit of encroaching on mine too. And when they cross that border, they often do something even more disruptive, even more alarming: they touch me.”
– Exhibit A
This is one of the biggest reasons I don’t invite people to stay over at mine, and why I don’t linger at theirs following any kind of sexual repartee. I don’t want to feel that, and I don’t want to inadvertently do that to another human.
Upon reading the rest, I felt a whole collection of sympathy pangs, which all tangled fairly nicely with my ongoing musings about how I’m trying to be better about communicating my wants and needs to myself and any current/future lovers.
I thought I was going to write about my general thoughts and reactions EA’s post evoked, and compare and contrast my own quirks regarding bed-sharing.
But then something happened to change the trajectory of my post completely.
I had a sleepover.
Someone Old, Someone New
Without going into too much detail because I want to preserve the identity of the other character in this very fresh, very raw revelation of mine, I’ve recently been exploring an unexpected, newly sexual relationship with an old friend.
But I want to talk specifically about the sleeping—just sleeping—together.
Sexy sleepovers are not something I do often. I am very selective with whom I invite into the sacred space that is my bedroom, and I don’t particularly like sleeping in someone else’s bed. Snoring, hogging blankets, and starfish sprawling are just a few things that I don’t know about yet but could arise.
Losing a whole night’s worth of sleep to awkwardly lie awake next to an intimate stranger isn’t my idea of a good time.
I don’t mind getting snuggly with the right people, but I can’t handle being smothered with that level of compounded affection if I’m not ready for it. Just because we had sex once doesn’t mean we have to go through the motions of acting like we’re in love.
The recent case with this “new” person, however, is a special one. We may be new lovers, but we have been friends for years. There is already a foundation of trust and familiarity for us to stand on with this new path.
So, our starting point isn’t the same as the others who came before. And it shows.
Obviously, I’m good with words. But that linguistic prowess doesn’t always translate to loquaciousness off-page. When it comes to speaking, I can be shy and fumbly and reek of uncertainty. That silly fear of offending likes to keep me quiet.
Or least, that’s how it was. I’ve been making greater effort to speak up, to use my words, to practice acknowledging how I feel and what I want. To deliberately make myself uncomfortable until maybe one day the discomfort will go away completely.
But it’s still scary… And I haven’t had much opportunity to implement my communication practice in the context of sex and intimate touch.
Same Land; New Borders
We have only begun to figure each other out in this new context. But one thing I learned is that they’re a very stoic sleeper.
Because I have always been aware (read: mildly paranoid) of what EA described in his post—that unexpected touch can be alarming and not everyone likes that kind of intimate touch while they’re sleeping or just waking up, especially when you’re first getting to know someone in that space—I was acutely aware of my lover’s sleeping body language. They did not make any attempt to reach out to me, and I didn’t either.
So, I interpreted the message as such:
“I’ll stay on this side and you stay on that one, if you don’t mind.”
This didn’t bother me. I simply did my best to kept a safe distance from the slumbering babe in my bed and it seemed to go over just fine—no complaints in the morning, so I didn’t think much more of it and carried on.
About Last Night…
So there we were, lying in bed next to each other. We weren’t sleeping yet, but it was well past dark. Slumber was inevitable and fast approaching. In a state of dreamy torpor, I was about to run my hand down their skin. The mere action made me flash reflexively back to EA’s post and I stopped myself in my own tracks.
Before I could over-analyze my way away from it, I blurted out the question: “How do you feel about being touched in the middle of the night?”
It didn’t come out as clearly as that because I mumbled a trail of addenda after that initial query.
I propped myself up on my elbows and looked to the wall to collect myself, walking around the words until I figured out which ones conveyed what I was actually asking and started again.
I even explained that part of why I was asking was because I’d read something on the very matter earlier in the day and wanted to know, for future reference, their feelings about this particular thing.
The answer surprised me. I learned that they’re a snuggler by nature, and “very down with that” kind of touch and contact, through the night and in the early morning hours. “And who doesn’t like being the little spoon?”
To which I responded that I actually prefer being the big spoon because I like to be able to pull away when I inevitably overheat or go numb somewhere. And being able to burrow into my lover’s back can be one of my favourite things.
It was such a simple exchange, but as far as I’m concerned, it spoke huge volumes and made immediate waves; our bodies were fused if not fully entwined for the rest of our shared time in that bed together.
But wait, there’s more…
Now, I don’t know to what extent this enriched body contact played its part in what follows…
But all through the night, I had extremely vivid sex dreams. I’m talking intense, graphic, lucid dreams that were the closest thing to real as can be.
I dreamt that the sun was already up in the room (the one where we were sleeping on the other side of my eyelids) and I was on a ravenous sexual rampage with the person who was still sleeping next to me in the real world.
And I never have sex dreams. Not like that. When I do, I certainly don’t have sexual responses to them. If arousal or release comes about, it’s only ever from anxiety-inducing dreams.
But these dreams were so intense and realistic that waking up was rather disorienting. Furthermore, I was… stupidly turned on in a completely new way. It wasn’t just a little tension or niggling discomfort—it was full-blown pain. A tight knot of need had wound around itself in the deepest recess of my cunt and it screamed in agony.
I didn’t touch myself. Even if I could (I was comfortably enveloped in no-longer-foreign limbs), I didn’t want to. I’ve never experienced such intense and profound vaginal arousal. I wanted to sit with it for a bit to see where it would go.
Eventually, it took me to a place where I finally learned about this “so turned on her wetness dripped down her thighs” that everyone’s always writing about.
I was so incredibly horny. But I was also too lazy to want to do anything about it yet; I was almost equally caught up with having the unequivocal permission to be wrapped into their body that I couldn’t even begin to compute the mechanics of sex.
But that’s as far as I’ll go with the dirty details. I’m keeping the rest to myself because they’re too precious.
Magic is Real
I have been actively working on open and honest communication in all aspects, with myself and the others I share this life with. I champion and encourage that kind of communication from my friends, my family, my colleagues; my lovers.
But this was such an exceptional, encouraging “Ah ha!” moment that highlighted how truly powerful simple words can be.
If I’d never said anything, who knows how long we’d have continued holding a shy separation between us—that clearly neither of us really wanted—but were too respectful to cross by force.
And if I’d never read that post, I’m not sure I would have had accessed the power that prompted me to ask a simple question of consent and comfort quite so readily. The immediate positive takeaway from having read it improved a relationship that matters to me—within 12 hours of having read it, no less.
If that’s not proof that word witchery is real magic, I don’t know what is.