Stupid Tuesday Questions, Serta edition

This week’s Stupid Tuesday Question was contributed by scholar, chum and fellow LOOG blogger Jaybird.  Take it away, Jaybird!

My stupid question is on the nature of lying in bed with a (life?) partner.

When you lie in bed, on your back, is your partner on the left side or the right side?

Do you mix it up? Like, it’s wintertime, time to change sides of the bed?

Is it based on whether you’re on the right or on the left or is it based on where the bathroom is and whether your partner has bathroom priority?

A few months back, I met a couple who switched it up regularly and that strikes me as INSANE. They, of course, looked at us like we were crazy for saying “pick a side” and sticking to it for coming up on 13 years now.

I want to know who, in that interaction, was crazy.

And that is my stupid question

Fabulous.  In the Saunders/Better Half household, I am always on the left.  I have no idea how it came to pass that this would be the arrangement, but I’m pretty sure it’s been that way for the entirety of our eight years together.  I concur with Jaybird that switching it up is completely insane, and there is no way I would be able to get to sleep if I tried to do it on the right.  (I’m a lousy enough sleeper as it is.)  How about the rest of you?

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. Switching it up seems absolutely absurd. For one, I have my stuff on my night table. But mostly, I feel like it’s a different world over there on the right side of the bed. That said, when we’re in a hotel or staying in a different bed, all bets are off. There’s side-of-the bed anarchy.

  2. Separate beds at the moment, the dogs pace and keep my wife awake each night but freak out if one of us isn’t in the room with them.
    However, previous to that problem we seemed to go in waves, where we had a side every night for months and then suddenly we’d swap for no apparent reason.

  3. I have no idea how it came to pass that this would be the arrangement

    On our first night together in our first exceptionally dinky apartment, I asked “which side do you want?” and she said “the side not next to the wall”. This meant I was on the right.

    And there I have stayed, excepting the occasional illness (or similar) when, for a night, I had bathroom priority.

    I imagine that this is one of the biggest hurdles that 2nd marriages might have to overcome. (I also wonder if right-siders tend to automatically gravitate to left-siders.)

  4. On the right, always and forever. The first place we lived had a tiny bedroom, so one side was too close to the wall. Since only one of us ever had to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, it was decided that I could take the less convenient wall-side.

    There’s no reason now to have a side, but sleeping on the left side would feel… wrong.

    (To go one step further: If work travel keeps her or me on the road over night, I have to put a pillow or two to my left – so that there’s something there – to get to sleep

  5. I’m going to ask a stupider question: is the left side of the bed the left side when I’m lying on my back, or the left side when I’m lying on my stomach?

    • The left side of the bed is the side on the East, if the head of the bed is North.

      It’s the side that is on your left side when you’re lying on your back in the bed. Not the side that is on the left side when you’re standing at the foot of the bed, looking at the head.

      And now I probably broke somebody’s brain on this thread.

      • I know that’s one of the first question they ask to see if a marriage is real or for immigration status purposes. I always figured the conversation would go:

        “Which side of the bed do you sleep on?”

        “It depends what direction you’re facing.”

        “Answer the question.”

        “Lying down, or standing at the foot?”

        “Stop stalling.”

        “OK, ummm, right?”

        And next thing I’d be on the bus to Tijuana.

      • You didn’t break my brain, but I do see things differently. By your method, I sleep on the right side of the bed, but I have a strong sensation when I’m there, even when I am facing up and am clearly to the right (by my first-person perspective at that moment), that that part of the bed I am on has an inherent (inherent to the room) leftishness about it. In other words, I approach the bed initially from the foot, where the side of the bed that I am going to get into is to my left (I then walk to the side of the bed and get in it from that side). Once I’m in, I still strongly feel as though I am in the left side of the bed as anyone looking at the room would see it. Aren’t the majority of headboards (or the part of the bed where a headboard would be) close to a wall? So aren’t beds usually apprehended by observers from the foot end? That’s how I create a left and right side of my bed in my head, and both the left and right parts of the bed which that are created by me then retain their leftishness and rightishness while I am on them, no matter how I am oriented there (belly-up; belly-down; on-side).


  6. I sleep on the East. Kitty has the West.

    At one point, I jumped into the other side of the bed and it broke my wife’s brain, so I didn’t press the point.

    I see no particular madness to the switching up, except that it is evident in my experience that more than half of the people I know believe it to be madness, so insisting that it is not madness is a sign that one is likely mad.

  7. I’ve got the east side, my boyfriend has the west.

    I phrase it like that because we sleep with our heads against the north wall, but when we’re awake, we often have our heads pointed to the south (the laptop is at the foot of the bed, so we’re pointed that way to use the computer or watch stuff on the computer, or in my boyfriend’s case, to play Pokémon while I’m reading and commenting on Blogs).

    I guess that puts me on the left regardless, since i’m on my back when sleeping but on my stomach when using the laptop.

    Before we moved in together, when we were over at my house, I’d get the right side, and he’d get the left. But the laptop went at the head of the bed, so we’d be in the same position when watching stuff on the computer as we are right now.

  8. I’m on the right (as one lies prone, not supine, with head aligned to the top of the bed) but often when we’re spending the night elsewhere The Wife and I switch sides. That way it feels more like a vacation, and a little bit naughty.

  9. So, I’ve never actually kept track, but I’d say it’s probably fifty-fifty left-right.

  10. On the left (East) always on the left, even though I am the one that wakes up in the night to go to the bathroom, and the bathroom is at the other side of the room

    However, I have been lucky, my currentpartner and my two previous bfs were all three righties. It scares me the idea of a partner than would covet my left side of the bed

    Now, I travel for work 50% of my time, and I normally will take whichever side is closer to the bathroom. But I’m happy if it happens to be the left.

    But sleep with someone in the wrong side, therein lies madness

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