Women Worry About What They’re Wearing. Men Worry About What’s Underneath.

attractive woman wearing sexy dress

Hi Evan,

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and most of the questions you answer are so serious and sad. So, I have a more light-hearted question, but one that’s been on my mind for a very long time. I hope you can answer it.

What do guys have against nighttime clothes?

Every single boyfriend I’ve had always wants to sleep in the nude! But, more importantly, they want me to sleep in the nude too! It’s not like they had six packs and bulging biceps. And, it’s not like I’m a candidate for the SI Swimsuit edition…I don’t even own a bathing suit. But still, whether it was winter or summer, spring or fall, they always wanted to be in the buff.

I like my nighttime clothes — no, I’m not talking about a grandma flannel gown that covers me from neck to toe or sloppy sweats. I’m talking about sexy teddies or lacy gowns. You know the stuff in the Victoria Secret Catalogs…the stuff that’s supposed to drive men crazy. Sadly for me, it ends up being the stuff that I only get to wear when I’m sleeping by myself, because whenever I tried to sleep in them with my boyfriend present, I’d get “Yeah, it’s nice. But, why don’t you take it off?”

So Evan, why don’t men want women keep some clothes on when it’s time to go to sleep?



Hey Kenley,

I appreciate your fluffy question, and while I’m not sure I have 1000 words worth of material on it, here’s my two cents:

Frankly, the nicest bra you own is the one that finds its way to the floor in the next five minutes.

First of all, I can’t speak for all men, but I don’t think that every man likes sleeping in the nude. I don’t know what your sample size is, but if it’s 4 or 5 guys, it may be just a coincidence that they’re all night nudists. Personally, I like wearing boxer briefs. Dangling around at night is a little uncomfortable for my tastes. My wife would prefer that I wear nothing though. Not exactly sure why.

Next: women care about what they wear approximately 4000 times more than men do.

When you get a new pair of shoes, a fresh pedicure, or a bra/panties set from Victoria’s Secret, the odds that we notice hover somewhere between slim and none. Frankly, the nicest bra you own is the one that finds its way to the floor in the next five minutes.

Third: I think most men would agree that nothing beats skin-on-skin contact. It doesn’t matter if you spent $100 on some tiny, flattering, lacy number; when you get right down to it, it’s just getting in the way of the guy who wants to feel: your bare skin.

Fourth, when you get really practical about it, I’m not sure it really matters what you’re wearing when you go to sleep.

Because an old silky thing feels the same as a new silky thing. Because when the lights are out and you’re in REM sleep, you could be wearing a clown suit and no one would know. Because any item you’re wearing is merely an impediment to skin-on-skin intercourse.

I’m sure there are some guys out there who prefer lingerie to nudity, feel free to speak up in comments below, but, in general, women care about nightwear (and daywear) far more than men.

Because any item you’re wearing is merely an impediment to skin-on-skin intercourse.

So, Kenley, feel free to continue wearing lingerie to bed. If it makes you feel sexy, that’s great. If it keeps you warm, that’s a bonus. But don’t expect a man to prefer scratchy lace to warm, smooth skin.

You may worry about what you’re wearing; we just worry about what’s underneath.

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  1. 1

    I’m a nighttime nudist and had to “convert” my boyfriend when we started dating. I suspect that he only wore boxers to bed in the beginning because his previous girlfriend only had sex with him once every few months and if he went to sleep naked, she’d pick a fight with him for trying to coerce her into having sex. I love cuddling bare-skin-to-bare-skin! So I think it’s just due to the individuals you’ve dated and not necessarily a gender thing.

  2. 2

    I do not know about other man, but I am always hot when I am sleeping. The last time I slept with someone, a few hours into it, I had sweat rolling off of me. I had on a pair of boxers and the girl had on a shirt and pj bottoms. She curled up next to me and pressed her ass into my stomach. That just made me even hotter. I do not know why, but every chick that I have even slept with seems to be 20 degrees colder when the slip under the covers. Some have called me an oven because I get so hot. I feel that less is more, I just have a hard time sleeping when I leave the bed wet.

    Put on a pair of socks and a few other things. Keep the blankets at a minimum. If you want to spoon with me while I am sleeping, shed a few layers and get close. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a woman in my arms that is causing me to look like Shaq at the foul line, with sweat beading up on my forehead.

  3. 3

    To me, NOT ‘dangling around’ when sleeping is incredibly annoying. I don’t want to be constricted at night!
    I’ve always slept naked, woman or no woman.

    Like Thomas, i’m always hot when sleeping.

    I don’t think this is necessarily a male/female thing.

  4. 4

    My last 3 boyfriends have all slept in the nude. One time I had laid out my pj’s and went to take a shower and my bf hid them from me. I’m not one to sleep sans pj’s, but haven’t minded being a nude sleeper when dating someone who is. You men radiate some serious body heat and I’m always cold so it seems to even out.

  5. 5

    My ex could go either way, though definitely preferred me nude. I would usually start off nude, but if i got cold in the middle of the night I’d put some item of clothing back on. Good question Kenley 🙂

  6. 6

    I’m with Evan. Having our junk dangling around while we’re trying to sleep is distracting.

  7. 7

    i LOVE this question…..for better or worse, my sampling pool of partners is not, ummmm, small and 99% of these men slept in the nude. i’m also raising a son, who has gone from sleeping in footie pajamas (so cute!) to nothing in 16 years and i don’t think its because he thinks he is “supposed” to sleep in the nude….maybe its genetic? it is sad when the expensive “little nothing” that i took hours to pick out gets nothing but a quick admiring glance that quickly turns into an exploration of the garment to find out how to get it off! i don’t necessarily want to sleep in it, but the lingerie does make me feel sexy, so i would prefer to keep it on for awhile 🙂 i love to sleep in “his” t-shirt……

  8. 8
    Seductress Within

    I’ve been in one relationship where the man wanted us both to sleep naked. He thought it was sexy, there was nothing in the way for middle of the night sex he loved the skin to skin feeling.

    I don’t know why she keeps running into the same kind of man, but it a compliment, he wants her in all her senuous glory and there’s nothing wrong with that!

  9. 9

    Heh, I guess I am strange in many ways.. but I will not as in _NOT_ _EVER_ sleep without a bra.
    It isn’t because I would be ashamed what my breasts look like.. My breasts are fabulous DD.. and I want them to stay that way. I’m 39, and they still are better shape than most 25 year-olds breasts of same size. I’m totally convinced that it is because I wear a bra, and I don’t let them hang around and sag to the sides – or against one and other.

    I don’t really care if a man wants me to be bare or feel them during the night.. that is his problem. I’m in bed at night to get sleep, not to entertain him by being a sleeptoy.

    I don’t mind taking bra off for sex but I sleep the way I want to and feel most comfortable.. and that is with a bra on, and piss off any man who thinks he has a say on that.

    And besides.. like someone said.. Most men are just too warm to sleep close to, and if it gets all sweaty under duvet -> I sleep under different covers – thank you.

    If those personal oddities are a problem to some man and stop me having a relationship, then I am rather without such. I value my sleep (and sanity that comes with good sleep) way beyond any man..

    1. 9.1

      Constant bra wearing makes breasts sag, according to this study:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259073.php

      I’m 34 and have 36Gs and I regularly take a day (and every night off) from wearing bras.   It seems boobs are like feet, and if you constantly support them the muscles stop working properly.   I love free boobs!   (And my feet have never been better since I gave up all supportive footwear.)   Constantly wearing a bra sounds very uncomfortable to me… 🙁

      Perhaps genetics are helping your boobs stay up.   I wouldn’t doubt genetics are helping mine, but I will never ever wear a bra to bed even if it supposedly did help 😉

      Also, sleeping naked is supposed to help regulate body temperature better, and skin on skin contact is very good for you, so anyone who sleeps naked shouldn’t worry about their habit 🙂

      1. 9.1.1

        ..caro……the article excludes women with weight problems, more than half of the population in the U.S. has a weight problem….lucky you….


    2. 9.2

      I’m 47, with 40DD, and always sleep in a sports bra. I can’t stand dangling either. And, I’m not saggy. I’ve been told by a few men that I have breasts of an early 30s woman, in their experience. I’ll take that.

      I tend to be cold at night, but I also prefer to sleep nude, with just my sports bra. I’ll take it off as many times as I need to, to make him happy, but it goes back on for sleep, unless he’s going to support them.

      I disagree with the article. I’m not fat, though curvy.

  10. 10

    I personally don’t like to be “dangling” while I’m in bed asleep or trying to go to sleep. Then of course the several middle of the night erections prove to be quite more of a challenge sans underwear. Rolling over with a “kick stand” isn’t a lot of fun…lol (you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful) Because men like the room temperature lower most of the time. I have no problem with a woman wearing whatever she feels comfortable in when we’re done err…..having “fun”. It’s when they put it on in advance as a signal to let us know that it won’t be “happening” tonight that aggravates us !! 🙁

  11. 11

    @NN post #9- I know you’ve ocnvinced yourself otherwise, but wearing a bra almost 24/7 is not recommended/ideal. It’s a myth that it keeps you from sagging. The only time you need to worry about good support is when running/exercising.

    i don’t expect this to change your mind or behavior, just wanted to give you a different point of view.

  12. 12

    LOL! Gimme flannel pj’s!

  13. 13

    I’m amazed that noone mentioned this, but I (and I guess a lot of men) see anything a woman wears as “gift wrapping”. Yes, it makes the gift nicer, but we’re not interested in the wrapping.

  14. 14

    I sleep with basketball shorts on alone, nekkid with someone.

    I definitely want my partners to sleep in the buff because it just flat-out feels better than sleeping with clothes (any type) on. Sexy night clothes is cool, but once the lights are off what’s the point? Isn’t this part of that whole intimacy thing, cuddling with a partner without clothes is more intimate than not? Interesting question and responses.

  15. 16

    I vote for no clothes in bed.

  16. 17

    Only my first boyfriend (we were 17) insisted on wearing tighty whities to bed, and said, “In case there’s an emergency,” which I never quite got. I took it to be insecurity, but maybe it was just that he had a, “kickstand issue,” that he was too shy to talk about! Lol…an illuminating thread. Everyone else: the way God made ’em, I think without exception or discussion.

    Personally I have never found anything to sleep in that didn’t tangle around me, end up around my armpits, chafe, stretch, wad up, etc. which does not bode well for comfort. So, you can guess how I sleep, and like swimming in the nude, it’s rather freeing. Though just now I was sleeping in my long underwear and wool socks on the futon sofa. Fell asleep there on this sub zero night.

    Agree on the skin-on-skin: I think we were made for that…there’s something primal about it. It can be sexual, but it can also be really comforting on some deep level.


  17. 18

    When alone, I sleep in silky pajamas (above the knee most of the year, ankle length in winter) because I find most other materials will do the bunching number that Moonsical mentioned, which can be somewhat disruptive of my sleep.

    I agree that the skin-on-skin contact is wonderful, but don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to have nudity to reach such a state. Most of my silky pajamas leave a fair amount of skin exposed, and if a guy’s wearing boxers he also has a fair chunk of skin exposed, so there’s lots of space available for direct contact. Though I will also say I’m not averse to being naked if that’s how the guy prefers it.

  18. 19

    Sleeping nude for a man is a bit much. Boxers make things a LOT more comfortable.

  19. 20

    Well, I know it is not “recommended”, but I don’t believe it. I use correct size bra, unlike 90% of women.

    You can call a lot of things a “myth” if you want to, but to prove it, you need scientific data.. if not controlled tests of studygroups, then at least epidemiological study done – and you don’t have that.
    Which means the recommendation you are talking about, is based on educated guesses, which is same as someones opinions.. And knowing of experience how some medical advice is based, I know of it.. and I disagree.

    I at least have anecdotal evidence otherwise, and I said that I am convinced when I look around in my friends.. and comparison to my mother (who has similar size) my breasts are way better looking at what hers were at the same age.
    (Sure, I don’t have kids.. but of course it is also a “myth” too, that they ruin the body.)

    1. 20.1

      There is scientific data to support the fact that wearing a bra weakens the muscles in your chest that prevent sagging. So to say you disagree with the scientific proof is lazy, pompous and makes you sound less than intelligent. If you like wearing a bra to bed, that’s great! Keep doing it! But don’t say it prevents your breasts from sagging, because it absolutely does not! You can more than likely chalk your luck up to genetics. Sorry hon, but that’s the truth.

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