Every month, Thomas will be answering your pressing relationship Qs. If you've got one, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask away!
I've just started seeing a guy and it's all good. The sex is great, he's funny and he doesn't annoy me. But there's one problem. I like to sleep naked, which is fine because I'm small and I don't have bits hanging off me. But he also likes to sleep naked, and he's big, sweaty and has all sorts of appendages. Plus, he rolls around at night ... a lot. I don't want to say anything yet because it's pretty new, but I also don't want to be sleep deprived.
Is this a thing, do all guys like being nude at night? How can I fix this situation?
Every so often a question comes along that makes me stop and wonder if I'm on the right path in my life. This is not that question. In fact, this might just be the most pressing problem this column has faced.
For the record, I find sleeping in the nude very attractive in women and hideous in men. When I see my girlfriend asleep in her most natural state, it's breathtaking. Like stumbling across an incredible oil painting.
Meanwhile, if I sleep nude, I look like Hagrid on a bender. Everything is everywhere, it's a melting pot of skin and hair and just, regret. It's horrific, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
So to get things started, I'd like to officially dispel the myth that most men enjoy sleeping nude. From the research I've undertaken (a panicked WhatsApp text to my mates), these are the responses I've gotten.
ME: Quick question for column research, does anyone sleep nude. Why/why not?
FRIEND ONE: Research! Hahaha. Get a real job mate. But, nah.
FRIEND TWO: No. I feel too vulnerable.
FRIEND THREE: Yes more comfortable. Not as hot.
FRIEND FOUR: Rarely. Only if it's too hot. I like the feeling of being held in place.
FRIEND FIVE: Nup. I like having everything tucked into a little hammock.
Now this experiment, outside of being a smart way to prove how many friends I have (five and counting), delivers some conclusive evidence.
Firstly, as I mentioned earlier, it seems most guys would rather have their junk jammed up. This is because a nude night's sleep involves hours of tucking, rearranging, shifting. It's a logistical nightmare.
Secondly, the only time nude sleeping seems to be on the table is when the temperature is an issue. The hotter the night, the nuder the man. Now, this might bode well for you, because, in the words of Jon Snow, "Winter is coming", so your bed buddy might be less sweaty and more covered.
But cooler temps are still a while off and this fleshy disaster demands immediate attention.
Now because it's early days I can appreciate that it's a tricky subject to tackle. You don't want to scare him off, because it's not a deal breaker. But also you'd like to be able to sleep through till morning without his clammy mass giving you night terrors.
Luckily there's another universal truth about guys that works in your favour. We love new underwear. There's not a man out there that doesn't slip into a fresh pair of Calvin's and silently whisper, "I am a young Mark Wahlberg."
As a 'fun' gift, buy him some briefs and present them to him right before bed time. Do the whole 'ZOMG put them on for me!' then as soon as he slips into them, hit the lights.
A nude night's sleep involves hours of tucking, rearranging, shifting. It's a logistical nightmare.
If you don't want to spend the cash on the gift/you're not sure if he'll be around long enough to warrant a present, then you can also try nude-shaming him.
I don't mean point at his body and laugh, but make him feel awkward by clothing yourself. Next time you go to bed together, chuck something on, like a loose shirt with comfy undies. There's nothing more confronting than a nude male body next to a clothed female. (The reverse is not true, however.)
As for him rolling around at night, you might be able to solve two of your problems, by dealing with that one issue.
Years ago I travelled to Japan with my brother and we shared a 'double' (it was a king single) bed. It was very confronting and we both hated it. To avoid any kind of brotherly bottom brushing we constructed a pillow wall. It was three pillows wide and two pillows deep - the kind of wall Trump would be proud of. Not only did this remove any chance of unfortunate touching, but we didn't even see each other during the night! It was great. If you recreate the pillow wall, you won't have to worry about old mate being nude because you won't even lay eyes on him.
Worst case scenario, he might ask "Why are you in that weird fort?" and BOOM - perfect time to bring up the nudity. Win-win, my friend.
Last but not least, do the honourable thing and blame someone else. Your flatmates, your parents, anyone who might potentially enter your room when he's naked as the day he was born.
"Hey, reckon you can throw some boxers on in bed? [INSERT NAME] came in the other day when we were asleep and they saw your whole setup. I don't care obv, but I just don't wanna make them feel weird."
If that doesn't encourage him to cover up the rig then I feel you may be fighting a losing battle. Let me know if you want the building plans for the pillow wall, it was pretty detailed.
Best of luck with the birthday suit sitch.