Big spoon = big problems.
I’m a man who enjoys a good spoon. There are few things more relaxing or intimate than going to bed early on a chilly night, getting under some flannel sheets, and spooning with your partner until you both fall asleep.
It’s lovely … when it works. But cuddling and spooning can be surprisingly tricky, especially for the big spoon. Now, in my experience, the man is normally the big or outer spoon, but that has less to do with gender politics and more to do with relative size.
I’m much bigger than my wife, so the outer spoon feels like the natural position for me. (I’m definitely not saying men can’t be the inner spoon. Sometimes that’s awesome.) When she’s the outer spoon, for me, it feels less like I’m being hugged and more like I’m Luke Skywalker training on Dagobah with Yoda on my back.
However, even though spooning is cuddly and warm — and can occasionally lead to sex (big plus) — it’s not always the most comfortable position in the world for many men. There are … problems, things we quietly tolerate, because we don’t want to be the jerk who ruins the relaxed vibe of the overall spoon.
It’s not that we’re anti-cuddle. It’s just that spooning isn’t without its own particular challenges.
Here are 6 things that (I think) men secretly want to admit to their partners about spooning.
1. Did you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?
Remember that line from Jerry Maguire? Wasn’t it adorable? Well, now imagine someone taking a child-sized eight-pound bowling ball and placing it on your upper arm for eight hours. Would that be comfortable? It’s so sweet having your partner’s head cuddled up on your arm until your arm goes dead and you can’t feel your fingertips anymore.
So, if your partner is trying to place a pillow between your head and their arm, it’s not that they don’t love the feel of skin-on-skin, they just know that, in ten minutes, their arm is going to be a painful, bloodless lump of pins and needles.
2. The pillow doesn't help much
And placing the pillow between your head and their arm? It only delays the inevitable. It adds a layer of cushion, for sure, so there’s not as much dead weight on our arms, but eventually, we can feel the numbness spreading and we’ve got to get our arm out of there.
How bad is it? I’ve had moments in bed where I’ve completely irrationally thought about how comfortable I’d be without a right arm. No disrespect to amputees at all, I’m just saying the “arm under the head” spooning position can be a logistical headache for the big spoon.
3. Your hair is a nightmare
It looks SO good and I’m glad you didn’t go with bangs either, but think about it — your hair is going to be in my face ALL NIGHT. Like I’m going to be inhaling your hair directly into my mouth. That’s not fun.
With that in mind, anything you can do to help us out would be greatly appreciated. Maybe shower right before bed, so your hair is still wet and plastered down a bit. Or don’t opt for a perm. Or don’t question when we twist our pillow to make a little retaining wall between our mouths and your hair.
Because, even though we love you, we don’t want to spend all night tasting your product.
4. Sometimes you fart
It happens. Sometimes it happens a lot. And there’s nothing we can do about it. You’re asleep, your body relaxes, and it just comes out. And, thanks to the typical spooning position, you’re farting directly into my crotch. Which is fine. It’s cute. Just keep that in mind the next time you act like you’re dying when we let one squeak out on the couch.
5. Sometimes I balance my phone on you
The thing about spooning is — in a perfect world, both people involved in the spoon would fall asleep at exactly the same time. But, in reality, that doesn’t always happen. That means, as the big spoon, we’re in the position where we’re wide awake with an unconscious person pinning our right arm in place.
So what do we do? We watch TV. The age of streaming video had been a godsend to the inequitable spooning relationship. I just use my left arm to balance my phone on my little spoon’s upper arm, turn on Netflix, and I watch Parks & Recreation until my right arm goes numb.
Little spoons make great media stands.
6. We don't break the spoon because we don't love you
We just have to pee.
And our arm hurts.
But mostly we have to pee.
(We still love you.)