28 September 2011


I was interviewing a person for the book last week and towards the end of the interview she asked if I was going to ask her about sex. Was I interested in her and her husband's sex life in the context of them having separate rooms?

Well yes, I was - but I was a little hesitant to ask. I'm still getting comfortable with my interviews but plan to come right out and ask the question next time round.

I must admit, that when the topic of sleeping separately arises, so often, so do the questions about sex.
  • Where does it happen?
  • When does it happen?
  • How is it instigated?
But mostly..... does it happen?

Let's take a minute.
Close your eyes and remember when you first started having sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Did you live together? Did you sleep in the same bed every night? Did you even sleep in the same bed any night?

My guess is that you didn't share a bed night after night, but you did manage to find a way to have sex with each other. As do separate sleepers.

As I am at pains to point out, couples who are choosing to sleep separately aren't doing so because they don't like each other or are angry with each other, it's a practical solution to a practical problem (broken record noise inserted here). So there is still a physical attraction to your partner and you still want to have sex with them.

Keeping a sex life exciting between a long-term couple has spawned a library of books and self-help columns. There are some basics that we have learned and one of these is to try and keep your sex life exciting by not just relying on slipping in to bed every night and hoping the partner is keen to 'get it on'.

Long term couples often fall out of nude sleeping, sexy lingerie, scented candles and dimmed lights and more into practical sleep wear and a plethora of less-than-sexy habits and 'add-ons' they gather around them as they get older.

If this clip from the movie 'Date Night' resonates, you get what I mean.

The Ask Men website - written for men, by men (I assume) - even advocates sleeping separately to spice up your sex life in the article 'The Argument for Separate Beds'.

(This is the first overly male focussed discussion on the topic I have found - I'm thrilled.)

So let me answer the questions. I can confidently provide the answers based on my own experience, the experience of my co-author Sue, and the experiences of all seven couples we have interviewed to date.

Where does it happen?

In one of the beds, or in another location in the house - again, remember those early dating days.

When does it happen?

When you both feel like having sex - in the morning, the evening, the afternoon, etc etc, just like everyone else.

How is it instigated?

Probably more proactively seeing as you don't just expect to see your partner in bed every night. In fact, dare I suggest that it might even make the pre-sex stage a little more exciting as one of you has to instigate the event.

And does it happen?


It's just s...e...x.... 

We've been doing it for years and ain't gonna let some little thing like separate beds get in the way.

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