Last night I did something I’ve never done before: I slept naked, alone, in my bed.
I usually sleep with my window open — there’s a screen, of course — so gusts of wind can circulate in my room. Last night, though, there was not a single gust of wind. It might have been 75 degrees outside at midnight and maybe 80 degrees in my stupid bedroom that doesn’t have air conditioning. I flipped and flopped and wondered how my pillows could possibly feel so warm. At last, I decided the only thing left to do would be to take my pajamas off — my “pajamas” being a summery romper that weighs, at most, three ounces.
Let me be clear about something: I never sleep naked, even if I’m sleeping alongside a dude and even if we just had sex. It feels so … bare to me. I have to wear underwear and pajamas — top and bottom preferably, unless it’s summer and I’m wearing something lighter — or else I can’t fall asleep.
As you can imagine, this has not been such a popular opinion with dudes.I feel like I have had whole relationships where we’ve debated why the guy wants me to sleep naked and I don’t want to. The conversations usually go like this:
Him: Wait, what? Why are you putting a T-shirt on? And pajama bottoms? No!
Me: Because I need pajamas.
Him: Just sleep naked, like I do! (pulls his boxers off and tosses them on the floor)
Me: Umm … I don’t like to.
Him: I’ll keep you warm!
Me: I really need to feel fabric on my skin.
Him: But I want to feel your naked body against me!
I get it, men, I do. Sleeping next to a naked woman is one of the best things about being a man, if not the best thing. If you can’t get enough “naked woman time” in during the daylight hours, make up for it during nighttime. Sleeping together naked is really intimate and it feels lovely to touch the soft skin everywhere on a woman’s body. It makes total sense.
But I don’t want to do it. I need a barrier of pajamas. You could armchair-analyze me about how I have issues with being too vulnerable, or I’m ashamed of my body, or I’m a humungous prude, but all of those theories wouldn’t be true. Truly, I think men sleeping next to me naked has ruined the “sexiness” of it for me. Guys sleep naked — I think — because they are constantly sweaty human beings who perspire like Tour de France cyclists throughout the night. Have you ever smelled a guy’s sweaty sheets? I am sure you have. Think about why that is.
When I woke up this morning naked, I felt gross. It may have been because I was hungover. But I think it was because I knew I’d been sweating all over my bedsheets for eight hours. I did not feel like the lovely Venus birthed from Botticelli’s clamshell, nude and pristine for all the world. I felt like a boy.