Ally and Justin Swift (38 and 39 years old, respectively) have been married for 8 years and together for 11. They have two kids and two dogs. Ally is a school administrator and Justin is a consultant with a technology and software firm. Ally describes their relationship as being strong, and that Justin is her “pillar of support.”
Justin says their sex life is “as good as could be expected with kids and full-time jobs.” Ally translates that to cold hard numbers: “We usually have sex about every two weeks and I sometimes give him a blowjob, maybe a few times a month.”
Austin Mueller and Derick Long are both 21. They’ve been dating for two years and living together for one. Mueller is a pharmaceutical technician and Long is a shift lead at a coffee house. Mueller describes their relationship as “very happy and fulfilling.”
Long also says he’s “very happy” with his relationship. The two say they have sex about twice a week and usually do “other stuff, like blowjobs” once a day.
Hannah Brandt, 19, and Brandon Thompson, 23, have been dating for one year and living together for about two months. Both describe their relationship as “happy.” Hannah is a full time student and Brandon works for a landscaping company. They have sex about once a week.
Lilly Roth, 26, and Katie Wong, 24, have been married for six months and together for four years. Lilly is a teller for a bank and Wong is currently completing her student teaching. Wong says that her relationship with Roth is “the happiest I’ve ever been” — and Roth agrees. The two both shyly say a typical week for them includes sex about three times a week.
Ashleigh, 29, and Alex Creed, 32, have been married two years and together for eight. Alex says he’s ecstatic with his relationship with Ashleigh, something she agrees with. Both say they are actively working towards more intimacy in the relationship.
Ashleigh is an assistant manager at a retail store and Alex is a restoration construction contractor. They say over the past year, work has made intimacy harder for them, and that they only have sex about once a month.
For one week, all five couples were asked to sleep naked with one another each night. Every participant in the study assured us that they don’t prefer to sleep naked now, that some sort of pajamas, t-shirts or bottoms are worn at all times throughout the night normally. At the end of the week, we followed up to see how it all went down.
The idea for us trying to get people naked with one another comes from pervasive studies around the Internet about how sleeping naked with a partner (or by oneself) can impact mood, intimacy and general well-being.
One study, from Medical Daily, claims that couples who slept naked reported being happier than their clothed counterparts. Psychology Today reports that direct psychical contact between partners leads to better conflict resolution and closeness.
The How’d It Go?
Is the secret to a successful relationship really slipping off your pj pants?
When interviewed after the experiment, all five couples said they were at least as happy as they were before. So that’s a start.
“It actually helped us kickstart intimacy in the bedroom,” Ashleigh Creed says. The couple admits to having sex four times throughout the week, instead of their usual one-fourth.
Alex said he was better off after sleeping naked for a week. “It was kind of fun, and it sort of helped both of us get in the mood more,” he says. “It was easier for cuddling to lead to other stuff.”
Mueller and Long also report that it was a great thing for their relationship. “We had sex every day we did it,” says Long. “It was just very intimate.”
The time spent cuddling nude in the mornings made Mueller feel closer to Long, he says. “It definitely helped me feel even more connected.”
Roth and Wong had mostly positive results. “It was really weird at first,” says Wong, “and I got colder at night so we had to put another blanket on the bed.”
They fooled around more, though. “It was definitely easier to touch her for back and shoulder rubs to turn into touching or oral sex,” shares Roth. Wong says she didn’t feel like it made her feel any different in the relationship “She’s my best friend and I am already so connected with her. I don’t know if how we sleep adds or detracts from that.”
Brandt and Thompson said the week was not a success for them.
“It was just too weird,” says Brandt. “I like pajamas. They’re warm and cozy and sleeping naked felt gross, like the sheets were dirty.”
Thompson says he didn’t feel any more or less connected to Hannah. “It’s probably the same. We still had sex once, but she washed the sheets literally every day, which was a little annoying.”
When Ally and Justin Swift explained what happened during their week of sleeping naked, Ally covered her face with her hands, and Justin chuckled darkly.
While they both said they personally liked it, it was also a “disaster.”
“It made me feel really close to him when we were all cuddled up at night,” Ally confides. And Justin says that he liked that touching Ally was easier and more accessible.
They had sex twice during the week, more than typical for them. But things went awry on the fifth day.
“It was a Sunday and we were letting the kids sleep in and the two of us were just talking and snuggling naked,” Justin recalls, as Ally groans, her face still in her hands. “Our bedroom was hot, so we were on top of the comforter, and our son, who is seven, just came in. No knocking, we didn’t hear him get up.”
“It was awful,” Ally sighs. “He was mortified and I was mortified, and Justin was just laughing.”
Both say they’ll be sleeping with clothes on for the next several years — at least until the children are gone.
Just like with other surveys found 'round the Internet, it appears sleeping naked can kickstart a sex life or make people feel closer with their partners. However, results of our own study seem to depend closely on individual relationships and situations.
“People should try it,” advises Justin.
“When kids are at sleepovers or something,” Ally quickly interjects.