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Whether it’s in an overcrowded vacation house or on a poorly-planned business trip, sometimes there just aren’t enough beds to go around. No one’s going to crash on the carpet, which means guests have to gear up for some platonic co-sleeping. But what’s wrong with a little you-sleep-over-the-covers, I-sleep-under-the-covers between friends? If you’re single, the answer is nothing. If you’re in a relationship, things obviously get a bit trickier.

Sleep is an intimate act. For many, platonically sharing a bed with someone sounds the emotional cheating alarm. Or, will it? We polled a variety of folks to find out where they stand. Our conclusion: Much like sex, the act of sleep carries different weight for different people.


I don’t really see why you would share a bed with someone and not have sex, that’s literally the only good reason to share a bed. That’s why it’s called “sleeping with someone.”

-Ellie, 25

Who would ever do that? Beds are not for sharing!

-Ruth, 78

The emotional weight is all in the details– are your bodies touching? Are you facing each other? Is anyone else sleeping in the room? It feels crazy to get caught up in these issues but I’ve definitely tossed and turned while co-sleeping to make sure I’m in an appropriate position.

-Louis, 22 

I don’t care if it’s cheating or not, it’s just nice to share a bed with someone. Relationship details don’t really matter to me, a warm body goes a long way toward comfort.

-Liz, 24


The fact that that you’d have to be all “it’s not what it looks like” if someone were to walk in means it’s cheating. Why do you think horny tweens are always jockeying to have b/g sleepovers?

-Henry, 19

It’s like anything else — it’s not cheating if you tell your significant other beforehand.

-Sarah, 36

Totally cheating. My dad eats ice cream when he’s sleeping and has no idea in the morning. How do you know you and your bed mate weren’t making out all night and both forgot about it after?

-Michaela, 28

I wanna know the size of that bed. If it’s a California King, go crazy, whatever. But twin? Then damn, I got questions.

-Lyle, 43

If the bed-sharers have any history or tension between them whatsoever, absolutely it’s not ok.

-Pooja, 23


On paper it seems totally fine, like what are you gonna do while you’re asleep? But I think that’s what makes it intimate, because you wouldn’t choose to spend that vulnerable time together with someone unless you felt really comfortable around them. And if you’re not okay with your partner being that way with someone who isn’t you, yeah I guess it’s cheating.

-Sam, 30

If you somehow don’t have a couch or a futon or even like a bean bag chair in your house, fine. But sleeping on the floor is still better than having to be like “nothing happened, I swear!”

-Prash, 31

How big is this bed? Can you reach your arms all the way out without touching another person? You need to think about accidental gropage.

-Gus, 24