This is a totally bizarre series of questions, I'm sorry for sounding so ridiculous here. They are mostly questions relating to etiquette, but since they are all focused around sex I thought it would be okay to post here. They aren't vagina specific though, so I don't know if this is allowed.

Is it weird to never let someone you are dating sleep over at your house? I mean, is it weird to just always sleep over at theirs? They can come over to your house to meet your family or whatever, but not sleep over. Is that bizarre? Do other people do that?

I live with my mum and my step-dad. And I am not at all comfortable having people I'm dating over. I have only ever been in very short-lived relationships, so this is not an issue that has ever been raised before. But with every relationship I get into, I freak out about how, when the time comes, I will have to explain this. I don't want to have sex in this house. Not just that, I don't want someone I'm dating to sleep over in this house even if there is no sex. Because I have so many issues related to the childhood abuse I mentioned in my previous post, it's hard to explain but I see my bedroom here as my 'safe' room. And I just don't want anything relationshippy or sex-related to go on in here. Is that stupid? Like, is that something that is understandable to an outsider, or just bizarre? Night-time is a very strange time for me, I always feel a little uncomfortable during the night because it is triggering for me and I can get upset very easily at night, so I have very specific night-time needs. I need to either be alone in my safe room, or with him at another location. I can't have the two merge, if I have him in my room at night I will freak out. I'm fine in HIS room, because it's a totally different place that has no association to my childhood, and I can relax because it is his space. But if he is in MY space I will feel triggery and won't be able to relax. Does any of this make sense?

I don't know how to explain it to people I'm dating/seeing. I feel like I already have so many limitations in regards to sex; with my vulvodynia we can't have sex often and when we do it has to begin by being gross and clinical what with all the lidocaine I have to use, and I can get triggered and dissociate, or become upset and have to stop…there is so much about me that is just terrible and abnormal, relationship-wise. I feel like adding this to the list is going too far and he will think of me as high maintenence or too much effort or just hopelessly weird. I was hoping that maybe other people who have no issues at all just, for some reason, don't have their significant other sleep over at their house? Instead they just stay at their SO's place all the time. Is this something that ever happens with regular couples? Is there a more normal excuse I could use? As far as I can tell most couples alternate, 'my place/your place', different decision every night, even when they live with their parents.

Sorry for the length and the bizarre nature of this post, I hope I'm not breaking any rules. This has just been buzzing around my head for ages.

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22 Responses to Bedroom etiquette/sleepover situations, is this weird?

  1. Nai99 says:

    I don’t think it’s odd that you don’t want him in your space at all. Before I was married and lived at home I wouldn’t have my boyfriends spend the night because to me it felt weird and it just wasn’t a boundary I was comfortable breaking.

    Plus, it would have been so weird for me with my parents also there.

    I think you can just tell your SO that you’re parents don’t feel comfortable with you having people over. Even if you’re an adult, it’s a fair compromise as its also their home. I don’t think most people would question that.

    Once you feel more comfortable with your partner you can tell them your real reason, but it’s not something you need to really explain at the moment.

  2. 062ulova says:

    Honestly, I think not wanting him in your room is perfectly okay. If that is your safe spot and you don’t want him there, I think that’s fine. If that helps keep you comfortable and feeling safe, I don’t see a problem with it. If YOU feel like it’s a problem, then I’m sure there are ways to slowly change that.

    I mean honestly if I was having a sexual relationship while living with my parents I would not want to have sex in that house, it would be too weird for me. Childhood associations can be really powerful and you’re not alone in that.

    I hope this provides you some reassurance. *hugs*

  3. KcaClo says:

    First, I don’t think there’s anything “terrible” about you, and your needs and concerns make a lot of sense, just the way you’re explaining them here. I think you’ve actually done a very good job articulating them. If you feel comfortable trying to talk about it, your partner might understand.

    If not, I would buy: “I live with my mom and step-dad and they’re sensitive about having my boyfriends under their roof”/ “they’re a wee bit conservative” / “the walls are thin and I don’t want to risk them hearing us have sex” / “I can’t fully relax when I think about my parents right downstairs, and that means I can’t enjoy sex as much.” / “your place just puts me in a sexier mood” or some variation of that.

  4. EadWo says:

    First off. Absolutely NOT weird. You have every right to have sex in whatever way works for you, and to protect yourself however works for you. You’re not causing anyone any harm with these restrictions, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

    Second, I never have been a fan of having people stay over at my house, relationship wise or other. I just don’t like people in my house. And that’s ok! I would recommend not making a big “thing” of it, I’ve found that I can generally steer things so people go away, or we go to their place. I think mentioning that you are uncomfortable with staying over in your parents house is a totally reasonable and understandable thing for most people – it’s a squick thing for lots of folks! So I would just be clear that it’s not something you’re after, and if they don’t want to stay at their place, maybe you guys could talk about staying at a hotel instead, or your alternative of choice for couple time that doesn’t hit your buttons.

    For me, my car is my “safe” spot, and I absolutely hate having people in my car with me. So don’t worry about being “weird”, cause you’re not. So, don’t worry about being weird or anything, it’s pretty ok and normal. *hugs if you want them*

  5. Remoma says:

    I personally don’t think it should necessarily seem odd to a partner at all. You’re living with your parents. Even when you’re an adult, having a guy come sleep over can be a tricky subject unless it’s a situation where you’re married to the guy or in a long-term relationship.

  6. Laite says:

    I don’t think it’s bizarre at all! Not that it’s commonplace, but I think it happens often enough where couples will tend to spend more time at one half’s place.

    When I lived with my parents (and then again, in a house with my brother), I would never have men over to sleep. For me, it was about respecting my family. I put this out in the open early on with all of the people I got intimately involved with so it never came to a cumbersome point.

    Is he aware of your experience as a child? If he is, I would suggest (and I know it won’t be so easy) telling him about your thoughts and feelings like you told us. From reading, you seem very self-aware and know how you perform best pretty well, and I bet he can see that, too. If it strikes him as “bizarre” initially, I’m sure it will wear once he understands.

  7. Floofa says:

    I don’t live with my parents, but I do board at an older woman’s house with another girl. I’ve been in a relationship for a year, and my boyfriend just understands that we do everything at his place. I wouldn’t be comfortable having him over here, even though the people I live with aren’t my family (and my landlady told me she’d be fine with me having a man over some nights).

    It’s never been an issue, nor do I think it should become one for you as people have said – most people would be squicky about having someone over to their parents house!

  8. Hteall says:

    It is not stupid to want a place of Your Own that is Safe. It is not stupid to defend your safe place from potential threats (like relationships that go bad, or even just complex). It is not stupid to be triggered. (Unpleasant, yes. Stupid? No.) It is not at all stupid to arrange things so you can avoid being triggered.

    You are not being stupid. You are protecting yourself as you need to do at this time.

    So, reasons? Saying that your mom and step-dad don’t want you having people over and, heave a big sigh, their house, their rules… that could work. It could also work that you say you’re just not comfortable having someone else over when the other adults in the house will ASSUME Things. As others have said, when you feel more comfortable with someone, you could tell that person the truest reasons. And how they react to “no sleeping over, no coming over” is one way of gauging whether you’d want to tell them anything else, y’know?

    (I’m probably a bit odd in other ways; I was fine having my SO over in my room, “childhood” or not, but I would not at all have wanted to sleep in his parents’ house! Unless they were gone on a trip or something. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with. I was comfortable in my place, and would’ve been uncomfortable in his parents’ place.)

    *offers hugs if they’ll help*

  9. Dnete says:

    Not weird, especially with such good reasons.

    When I still lived with my parents, my boyfriend only slept over a few times out of convenience/necessity–early trips the next morning, not wanting to drive him home really late at night, etc. He always slept in a separate room. My parents weren’t comfortable with him and my room, and with them there, neither was I.

    The one time I slept at his parents’ house I slept in his sisters’ room. I was snowed in there, and it was a similar situation to my parents.

    It’s a little different now since he has an apartment at school and I’m sharing a house with friends, though.

  10. Etafornia says:

    my brother recently brought his fiancee to meet our parents. he’s 46, been married 3 times (he’s a widower now). we’re in texas, my brother and his sweetheart live in georgia (in separate houses).

    my mother made them sleep in separate bedrooms. no canoodling in her house by unmarried people! so its absolutely an acceptible thing to “blame the parents” while you’re under their roof, and when you’re not under their roof any longer, THEN you can explain what you need to.

    its ok. not all couples alternate, not all parents are ok with their (adult) children having sex in their house, and that’s ok too.

  11. Naemsk says:

    I was just going to say this – my grandma did the same thing with my aunt and her boyfriend (both in their 50s, she had 2 kids!) making them sleep in separate bedrooms, and my parents did the same when my boyfriend and I stayed over for a wedding (we’re in our late 20s)

  12. XdxWoman says:

    My parents wouldn’t let my boyfriend and I sleep in the same room when I was pregnant OR AFTER I HAD THE BABY!! They still don’t & we’re engaged and the kid sleeps with us, we haven’t ever new tried but she would be so confused! They’re not even religious. My dad also doesn’t “feel comfortable” with my uncle and his husband sleeping together so they get to come to my house, all the better for us! Anyway, OP, I don’t think it’s weird. A lot of people’s parents don’t allow it (as you can see) at any age or under any condition but marriage.

  13. 689No says:

    It’s definitely not weird at all. If you’re hesitant to get into the details about it with your SO, you can always offer some other reason like “my parents are really conservative about that kind of thing in their house.” And honestly, I wouldn’t worry that much about what other couples do. You and your SO should find a situation that works the best for the two of you

    In my case, my boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 3 years now. While we live together now (not counting his military deployments) that wasn’t always the case. He has never spent the night at my parents’ house (where I was living after graduating college) for a variety of reasons. Mostly because he has his own house about 20 minutes away so it was always more convenient for me to just go over there. But also because my dad gets all disgruntled and weird if he so much as walks back to my bedroom when we’re over there for dinner or something, and I just think it would be awkward as hell for the two of us to be spending the night over there with my parents in the next room. I’m pretty sure if we did end up needing to spend the night over there, my dad would try to force my boyfriend to sleep in the spare room or on the couch.

  14. Sronia says:

    That absolutely makes sense.

    Two stories:

    I was staying over a friend’s house a few weeks ago. I stay over his house a few times a month and we always share a bed, but his parents happened to be out of town this week, so he left his bedroom door open. Instantly, my chest got so tight. There is something about open bedroom doors that is extremely unsafe to me. So even though my friend, whom I trust, was right there, even though I knew we were the only people in the house, I HAD to get up and close the door and was really shaken about it for a while.

    My sister told me a story recently, too. On Sundays, she starts getting really cranky and withdrawn. She will read alone in her room for hours and if her partner, with whom she lives, tries to talk to her (even about dinner or something), she gets really upset. She mentioned it to her therapist and her therapist duh’d that that is her safe time, in her safe space, where she goes when she starts to get stressed. Her partner speaking to her there feels like a violation, and the more he tries to smooth it over, the more unsafe she feels.

    She and I had different experiences growing up, I think (we’ve never talked too in-depth about it), but we both have pretty specific things we need to do to make ourselves, and our bedrooms feel safe.

    Knowing what makes you feel safe(r) is a HUGE accomplishment. People work for a long time to figure out things they can do to feel safer. If you have found a boundary that works for you, that is IMPORTANT. You may find over time that this is something you want to do some work on, or that if you ever move, your boundaries will change. But for right now, it sounds like the boundaries you have established at healthy and help to keep you feeling safe. You don’t need to feel weird about that.

  15. Gni007 says:

    I think it’s great that you know what your needs are. And I think it’s totally reasonable to ask him to respect them, and expect him to. 🙂

    Like everyone else has said, you can always blame the parents, either directly or indirectly. But you could also mention your discomfort without getting into the triggery awful details… I mean, you could just say this was your room as a child, and it’s not a place you feel like you can be sexual, so you’d much rather be with him at his place.

    For me, well, I really love sleeping with people – I mean sleeping. I like not being alone in my bed. But it’s easy for me to imagine your situation, and honestly if a lover told me we couldn’t stay at her house I’d probably be curious but accepting. If she never wanted to spend the night with me that might be a deal-breaker, but if she’d sleep in my bed but wasn’t okay with sharing hers… well, like I said, I’d be curious! But that’s totally her right and I don’t think I’d mind.

    All the couples I know of have to sort this stuff out. Even if you both lived alone in places with no particular memories attached, you’d have to figure out where and when to sleep together. You’re just adding another dimension to that.

  16. 61kTuT says:

    Not weird at all! I was experiencing very very low sex drive whenever I took my boyfriend back to my parents’ house. Even though it didn’t have to do with abuse, I realized it was because I saw my childhood bedroom as someplace innocent and relaxing. I slept and watched TV in here…and never had sex.

  17. Ecnne says:

    Everything I would have said has pretty much been said – definitely not weird at all, perfectly understandable.

    I just wanted to add that I have some specific sex-related needs myself and even though I’m dating someone young and in his first relationship, he’s been really understanding. I’m telling you this to say I think you should always do whatever you’re comfortable with and you need, because there may be a greater chance than you think that someone else will be okay with it. I have certainly been pleasantly surprised.

  18. Kdgle says:

    One more voice….not weird. At all. I live alone and I am very careful about who gets to come over. I feel very much that my house is my safe space and I don’t want anything bad to happen there. (This gets carried to a slightly ridiculous extreme for me: I do not want children and therefore I don’t even take pregnancy tests in my house because were I to be pregnant, I wouldn’t want the memory of the positive test in my house…I’ve met three other women who feel the same way. Barnes and Noble bathroom all the way, baby!)

    I think you’ve gotten excellent suggestions about how to handle it. I would add only that the older I’ve gotten, the easier it has been to be more assertive about my needs and wants. It almost feels good now, as guilty and strange as it used to make me feel. You absolutely have the right to protect yourself and your space.

  19. Sseyle says:

    Not weird. 🙂 sounds perfectly reasonable and makes a lot of sense, IMO.

    Also though, even if it was totally weird, that’s ok. You are allowed to be you, and really you probably want a relationship with someone who will accept you as YOU.

  20. Begana says:

    I think it is even pretty normal for couples in relationships to not alternate whose place they stay at. Like, with my ex, he always stayed with me just because his roommates were noisy, his apartment was always messy and my house is just more comfortable. I am also kind of particular in that I like to have my pillows, a heating pad if I get a cramp in the night, be able to get up in the night and watch TV if I can’t sleep, etc.

    I think if you aren’t comfortable explaining everything to him yet, you could just say “I’m not comfortable with you spending the night at my parents house” just because it’s your parents house, or even just say your parents aren’t OK with it.

  21. AtaFriut says:

    Not at all weird, I promise! I would never let a guy spend the night while I lived with my parents either, and even now that I have an apartment I still go over to my boyfriend’s place all the time: unlike me, he has no roommates, and we’re LOUD. 🙂 I agree with everyone saying that being frank and open about not feeling comfortable having sex at your parents house is the best plan of action. Be assertive!

  22. Siaora says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful responses! My mind is totally at ease now.

    I won’t be able to say that my parents are too ‘conservative’ or anything of that nature, because they’re about as blatantly liberal as is humanly possible. They’re both artists and they’re totally chillaxed about everything.

    I will, however, just say that I am not comfortable having a guy over when my parents are there because I don’t want them to be assuming anything naughty is going on and it would just be awkward for all of us. I’m reassured now that that’s a valid excuse and it’ll do until we are closer and I’m willing to be more open about everything.

    Thanks again guys, all really helpful answers.

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