I hate the his/her side of the bed meme

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You heard me. It’s obnoxious. (Not just because of the inherent cissexism/heterosexism.)

If you’re not familiar with what I’m referring to, it’s a relatively common joke that (in a cishet relationship) women take up most of the bed while the dudes are relegated to a small sliver at the edge.

I couldn’t find exactly the one that ignited this train of thought for me, since it was someone else’s random Facebook post from months ago, but here are a couple examples of what I mean:

what

why

 

This is such a common/popular joke that you can buy bedding based on it:

whyyyy
Fucking cafe press.

This irritates me because there are several obvious explanations for this phenomenon. And because I’m the smaller, estrogen-filled partner in my particular arrangement.

Heavy-ness

Generally speaking, men are heavier than women. If you have a box spring mattress (seems most people do) and put a heavy thing on it, the whole bed bows toward that point. Less-heavy things on the bed will roll toward the depression, because gravity. Being the smaller partner in this situation is actually really uncomfortable because it’s difficult to find a good way to sleep on your side without inevitably leaning/rolling toward the heavy person. It takes conscious effort to prevent yourself from ending up on their side of the bed, and obviously that’s not possible while you’re unconscious.

The solution is that everybody should be using memory foam mattresses. My partner and I bought a memory foam pillow-top thing to put over our spring mattress (for unrelated reasons) and it pretty much eliminates this problem.

Warm-ness

People who are full of testosterone tend to be warmer than people who are full of estrogen. Body temperature declines over the course of the night, so obviously you’re going to unconsciously gravitate toward the warm thing. Especially if gravity is literally pulling you toward them.

Some measure of affection

Chances are, if you’re sleeping in the same bed with someone, you like them to some degree and want to be close to them. Men bitching about how their partners end up hogging the bed strikes me as somewhat… douchey. It’s almost like a “fuck you” to the partners who like to cuddle. As well as being totally ignorant of the above points.

Of course, there are people who hog the bed. Some of them are probably women. This complaint pops up often enough in this specific dynamic to convince me that it’s more likely that the above reasons apply than an overwhelming number of women are bed hogs.

Just another example of a problem created by men being blamed on women. Fucking patriarchy. :p

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I hate the his/her side of the bed meme
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18 thoughts on “I hate the his/her side of the bed meme

  1. 1

    You had me until this:

    “The solution is that everybody should be using memory foam mattresses.”

    It’s a fine solution if you don’t mind the gross feeling of memory foam mattresses, but otherwise…

  2. 2

    I do suffer from this problem, but that’s only because I let my dog sleep on my bed. (My dog, translated: “You didn’t need all that space did you? Thanks! Enjoy the edge of the bed!”) So, if we change this insultingly gendered generalization meme to just be about dogs, it will work much better. 😉

    Also, holy crap yes, memory foam mattresses are amazing.

  3. 3

    I got the feeling that when two people are in a bed that are used to sleeping alone they both feel like the other person takes up most of the bed.

    however, I’d hazard that men are more likely to complain about women doing women things like shopping and crying and liking pink things and having feelings- so this falls under one of those ‘dang wimmen’ memes that is debatable, at best.

    is there a word that means something like microagression except referring to gender policing? It feels like one of those

  4. sw
    4

    Men bitching about how their partners end up hogging the bed strikes me as somewhat… douchey. It’s almost like a “fuck you” to the partners who like to cuddle.”

    A man can withdraw his consent to cuddle whenever he wants. His body, his choice. Just because he’s agreed to share a bed with you, doesn’t mean he’s agreed to cuddle all night.

    🙂

  5. sw
    5

    Also, to deride this as cissexism and heterosexism is to leave out an entire group of people that are being just as discriminated against by memes such as this: single people.

  6. 6

    Chances are, if you’re sleeping in the same bed with someone, you like them to some degree and want to be close to them. Men bitching about how their partners end up hogging the bed strikes me as somewhat… douchey. It’s almost like a “fuck you” to the partners who like to cuddle.

    I take issue with this a little bit. I like to cuddle, even as I’m going to sleep. But I fidget in my sleep. I roll over. Various body parts go numb. I don’t like being locked into one position. The problem is when someone is cuddled up next to me, I try to not disturb them, but when I want to roll over that becomes problematic. Or if I have an itch. Or if my arm goes numb. I prefer to cuddle for a bit as we drift to sleep, but then decouple before I meet the Sandman. I don’t think it’s douchey to realize that my fidgeting would disturb my partner’s sleep. Just the opposite actually.

    1. 6.1

      Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from. I would guess that you wouldn’t complain about them being all up on your side of the bed, though, since you seem to be more concerned about their quality of rest than anything else.

  7. 7

    I don’t know if we are outliers, but my husband and I have the opposite problem when we sleep together*. I’m the one who ends up on the edge of the bed.

    Or, I used to, I should say.

    Last year I found the most amazing Ikea bed in a used-furniture warehouse. Barely used, and only cost €200! It is king-sized (6′ wide), and the two sides have separate 3′ wide mattresses. Even better, each half can be independently adjusted to have a slope at either or both the head-end and the foot-end.

    Hubby is happy, because it doesn’t feel like separate beds; he can cuddle me for a while before going to sleep. I’m happy, because he prefers to sleep totally flat, so he soon moves back to his side. I get to sleep on my own, with the head-end and my feet raised. Because of my health problems, I cannot sleep in one position for very long. I wriggle a lot and wake frequently; so, having separate mattresses, we both get a better night’s sleep.

    Now to find a way to stop him stealing the duvet when it’s cold, and piling it up on top of me when it’s hot… 😉

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *We live in Ireland, but he works in Canberra; since I came home last year, we’ve only had a few weeks, twice a year, together.

  8. 8

    It fits my wife and me, but it’s definitely not her fault. I just feel more comfortable with an arm and a leg hanging off the edge of the bed for some reason. Even when she’s on a trip or something I end up waking up hanging off the edge of the bed. Or possibly sideways with a limb at each corner.

  9. 9

    I had to comment on this. Please do not take this to mean I support any gender specific meme. My ex and I shared a California king size bed with a memory foam mattress. I tend to sleep on one side of the bed, near the edge and do not take or need half of the bed. I am not a restless sleeper, and I pretty much wake up where I went to sleep. Almost without fail I would be woken at least once a night feeling like I was about ready to be pushed out of the bed by her. My space was reduced to just about the width of my body on it’s side. So I definitely have experienced this phenomenon.

    That being said, I don’t think this is a gender specific thing. I have zero doubt that men do it as much as women. I suspect that the reason the ‘women do it’ meme started is because men feel they have the right to the bed and complain about it more.

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