I’m Always The Big Spoon

by Patia Braithwaite

SpooningI like to be spooned. I admit it. I’m unapologetic about my desire to curl into my man’s chest and stay there. For those who aren’t familiar, the term spooning refers to a cuddling style whereby two people sleep side-by-side, curled into each other in the fetal position. One person is nestled into the other person’s chest (like spoons). When I’m spooned I feel safe, warm and, sometimes, a little frisky, but somehow I end up as the big spoon – the person on the outside holding and supporting her mate.

Relationship after relationship, men twice my height and weight get into bed and nestle themselves into my chest. When I don’t shift into ‘big spoon duty’, they slyly wrap my arms around their large torso. Night after night, in all of my relationships I become the reluctant big spoon. In the morning, when we wake, I’d lie on my back and these same large men would cuddle into the space where my chest and armpit meet. In all situations, I’d end up with my arms wrapped around my beloved. They looked both peaceful and oddly pathetic. I’m physically uncomfortable and irritable.

So I’d do what I thought “good girlfriends” do: I’d kiss them on the forehead and judge them silently …

“What’s with dudes wanting to be up under me,” I’d ask my friends.

Many of my friends shared the same sentiments; they remarked about how odd it was that men wanted to be little spoons. They complained of the weight on their chest, or the lack of reciprocity, but not all of my girls shared my disdain.

“I like it,” my friend Jai once said. “I like to feel the warmth on my belly.”

Now, I’m no monster. I don’t have a problem with a balanced spooning relationship, but for some reason this behavior was often one-sided and consistent. After years of looking down at the man in my arms, I started to wonder: what does this behavior actually mean?

I devised elaborate theories about men who aren’t man enough, but then I met the love of my life and he professed his love for spooning. I had to dig beyond the disdain and really figure out how I felt.

Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making The Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma, has some unique views on how sleep positions can indicate latent desires. She believes that when a man wants to be a ‘little spoon’ it can indicate that, “he wants to feel protected and taken care of. In those situations the woman may be the breadwinner or caretaker.”

She had the following tips to share:

1. You can’t judge a pattern from one night:
Patti warns that when looking at cuddling and sleeping patterns, it is important to examine behavior over a span of time. “It could just indicate that he had a bad day, or lost his job.” Because many men (and women) have trouble communicating their needs, a little late night spoon might just mean he needs a bit of extra affection. Before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to really assess if this is actually a habit.

2. How you wake up is more important than how you fall asleep:
One of the light bulb moments, for me, was that every man who ever wanted to be spooned by me didn’t actually fall asleep that way. We’d get in bed, spoon and talk for a while, and then we’d sleep in separate corners. Patti says, “It’s possible that you have a ritual when you get into bed, but how you wake up is more telling. The majority of body language comes from the more primitive part of our brain, so body language reveals our true feelings. When we sleep we’re our most honest, vulnerable selves.”

3. Look beyond the big spoon:
Apparently body language happens in clusters. This means that a man who likes to be little-spooned isn’t necessarily looking to be coddled without giving love and affection in return Patti says, “There are things he can do to show reciprocity. If he’s reaching back to grab you or if he kisses you, it shows reciprocity. It says I want to love and I want to give you love in return.” For me, part of feeling frustrated by the constant big spooning, was the idea that there wasn’t a mutual exchange of comfort. Realizing there are other non-verbals can take some of the frustration away.

4. Bring it to a verbal level:
Because body language can indicate feelings that we might not consciously own up to, Patti suggests bringing your concerns from the subconscious to the verbal level. “Now, don’t say ‘am I going to have to do this all the time,” she warns. “Instead, talk about your needs and his. Ask him if there’s anything going on that he may want to talk about.” I can’t say this will go over well, but if you decide to talk about it, Patti suggests the following: “Men are most receptive to confiding in you when you are laying side by side. If you want to ask him about his feelings, consider lying side by side instead of sitting face-to-face.”

So, after pondering and researching and talking it over with my friends, I gathered up the courage to ask my boo why he likes it. With body language tidbits and compassion in my head, he looked at me and shrugged: “I just like to feel your breasts on my back.”

The truth is, when you love someone, you kinda sorta don’t mind it at all.

  • Anthony

    If men like to nestle in your chest, I can probably come up with two reasons why. If these your man is really into your breasts, you two should have some sexy fun, and then you need to tell him how how you want to be spooned.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Sounds like these men are nestling up to women like they did when they were little boys. Ewwww.

  • Kaeli

    It is all a matter of personal preference. No need to a body language expert to tell us the meaning of why people like to cuddle in a certain position. With some ex’s I preferred to be cuddled and with others I just really enjoyed wrapping my arms around them and holding them. It depends on the individual relationship. That is the importance of real INTIMACY in relationships. Respect what people like, talk about it, and no judgement. I would never judge a man for preferring to be held. We need to stop with the gender roles nonsense. Guess what??? Men are humans too and sometimes want to be held. In real grown up mature relationships his woman would let that be ok and he would do the same for her.

  • talaktochoba

    i see absolutely nothing wrong here; we turn most into our natural, unvarnished honest selves in our sleep, so if you call to the little boy that is in all men, 1) you must smell naturally wonderful and, 2) you will one day make a GREAT mom, and 3) since we are all momma’s boys, what boy could ask for more than that?

  • Fredsan

    Men are becoming women.. What man wants to be the lil spoon!? Y’all need to leave them momma’s boys alone lol.. The lil spoon? Ni&&a please!!!

  • dbsm

    i thought spooning was fcuking in the position you described–great for lazy/sleepy middle of the night moments! Sleeping in spoons is a great way to know when he is ready to be full awakened!

  • Toni

    this is hilarious! I actually like being Big Spoon…less pressure. I have tons of (natural) hair that I don’t always twist and wrap at night, that usually has some pungent (not funky, but pungent) aroma to it. I wouldn’t want to wake up with a face full of castor oil…so big spoon works for me.

    Not to mention it’s cute; legs intertwined, your arm across his-resting on his tummy, his hand on top of yours… how cute is that?

  • ImJustSaying

    There seems to be conflicting descriptions of spooning here
    1) Both people laying on the same side of their bodies right next to each other. Looking like a true spoon curve.

    2)If the man is laying on your breasts that’s not really spooning just cuddling.
    That’s just my opinion though.
    For the “he’s a momma’s boy” people this is not some male “problem”. I LOVE TO CUDDLE WITH MY BIG BREASTED FEMALE FRIENDS. This is not sexual though I’m sure there are those that would like it to be. There is a comfort from feeling the warmth of a friend or lover’s bosom. I like to do this with my man too. The hearing of the heart beat also is relaxing. It’s just comfortable not some twisted connection to wanting another mother figure.

    I am 27 years old and I believe in Equal Opportunity Spooning and Cuddling for all.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    I like spooning and being spooned :)…

  • Karyn

    I’m the big spoon!! No shame in my sleeping game. All through college (undergrad and grad) I had to sleep with a body pillow to my front *Kanye shrug* I knew I’d eventually be the big spoon when I married the man. It’s either me sprawled out on his chest or me holding him like that body pillow. He likes the feel of my breasts on his back…so I’m gonna give the man what he wants.

  • Fredsan

    I had to give you a thumbs up because the thought of u cuddling wit yo big breasted friends is hot dammit!! All im sayin is a man shouldnt be playin the lil spoon!! I mean u suppose to be the dam protecter!! And roles do matter, i dont get these new dudes.. It must be the hormones they puttin in the food these days

  • Me

    Sometimes I’m the big spoon and sometimes my bf is. It just depends but he loves for my to lay on his chest when we cuddle.

  • lola289

    Nice post!

  • Sweetles

    I’m always the little spoon.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Nothing wrong with a man being the little spoon. This is my problem with young guys, they have this weird pseudo masculinity thing that has little to do with actual masculinity. If a man is the protector then he should show it by actions that protect, not by superficial things like whether he’s the little spoon. If an intruder comes in and he defends the house he’s a protector regardless if he was the little spoon or big spoon moments before.

  • au napptural

    Little spoon for life! I would be the big spoon occasionally, if asked. But if some oversized Negro was consistently trying to curl up in my arms…no. I’ve done it, I’m not about that life.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    With the last guy I dated we alternated. One person would ask “Big spoon or little spoon”. Sometimes I’d say big spoon, other times little. I like to be cuddled but I also like resting against a guy’s broad back. I find it very comforting.

  • Trisha

    This is one of my selfish traits: I love being the little spoon. Especially after a long day – one of the greatest benefits of a relationship is spooning and laying my head on my man’s chest. By now, it is an unspoken word. He knows when I just need to cuddle by the look on my face.

    However, I don’t leave him out completely. It depends on how stressful his day was as well. But even within those situations, we’ll still end up with him spooning me.

    This is such a cute article – something different. 

  • T-top

    Lol…you sound like my gf talking about a “broad back”. She’s currently single and she’ll say I just need a big ole’ gorilla to cuddle up with. Haha… :)!

  • Fredsan

    Amen

  • Fredsan

    These young guys are already wearing tight little pants and shirts. Now you dont mind if they little spooning!!! Im telling ya, ya’ll gonna miss us when we gone lol

  • Chacha1

    I don’t feel comfortable being the spoon and I almost never am. It feels really awkward with my being well under 5 feet/140 lbs, and him being well over 6 feet tall/200 lbs.

  • JS

    I know I’m in the minority, but in general I hate spooning. If I’m trying to fall asleep I don’t want to be touched at all. I feel awkward cause I’m a tosser in my sleep (and while falling asleep) and if someone is all up on me then I feel like I can’t move. I don’t mind cuddling watching a movie on the couch and spooning then but my sleep time is sacred. The only times I have spooned falling to sleep with a bf were when its zero degrees outside in the dead of winter and the need for body warmth overrides my need for personal space.

    However I will say I have always been the little spoon, my past bfs have always wanted to cuddle to sleep and I’ve had to wait until I know they are sleeping before I can crawl out and over to my side. One even liked to interlace fingers, lol I had to cut that shit out real quick!

  • Chacha1

    **I meant to say I’m well under 6 feet

  • dbsm

    i get too hot to be in spoons for long. its best when i am cold, and i am often cold. i also dont like, most times, to feel like i am restricted in my movement, because i, too, turn 360 degrees while sleeping or trying to sleep.

    and like some other commentor stated, the definitions of spooning here are all messed up. you can’t lie on someone’s chest and be spooning

  • Nakia

    Spooning is back to chest, like spoons stacked in a tray. My question is this: can you really call it spooning if your man is bigger than you. That kinda negates the neat and cozy premise of the “spoon” position. Doesn’t it just become cuddling, then? I’m a pretty small girl and tend to date much taller men. I can’t imagine the reverse spoon of which you speak but I have no problem cuddling my man, and certainly no problem with the reverse.

  • LemonNLime

    I love this article, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I prefer to be the little spoon since l like to feel small, dainty, and engulfed in a man’s arms but I’ll be the big spoon too when my guy needs it. If I was a man, I’d want to lay on something soft and warm too!

  • cb

    HAHA!

  • cb

    ‘oversized negro’ really…lol

  • MySister’sKeeper

    Cute article, but what is described is not spooning. Spooning is when the couple is laying side by side, not facing each other, where one person’s back is pressed against the other’s chest. Otherwise, it is just cuddling, which is great as well. I find spooning my man difficult because he is bigger than me. I do it every once in a while, but spooning a dude much bigger than you is a whole lot of work. I wouldn’t dare try sleeping with the one arm under him. Yes, I know it’s painful for men too when they wake up with that dead arm, but I have no interest in the long term destruction of my delicate limbs. But cuddling, when he puts his head on my chest, is nice too. Men need some good holding and loving just as we do. And I agree that this is often a golden opportunity for great conversation. It’s like the truth position. :-) That cozy nook between a man’s armpit and his chest….I’m falling into a happy sleep just thinking about it.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    2 things.

    It’s hard for me to spoon and not be the big spoon, simply due to my height vs the men that tend to be drawn to me. My life is starting to be come a real life Robert Crumb “Big Girls” strip.

    Second, I don’t wanna spoon unless it leads to forking.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    I do definitely go for the beefy guys. I love broad shoulders.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Loooooove to spoon. Cute article. I’m usually the little spoon but only until I fall asleep.Took turns. If he was having a bad day … I’d be the big spoon until he fell asleep. No likey all that dead weight on my arm. Miss it though. *Le sigh*

  • lol

    what’s the other?

  • AdorkAble.

    I start off as the big spoon, and fall asleep and wake up either in the same position or on my side facing the other way and being made the little spoon. It works well until I have to go to the bathroom which involves trying to dislodge my husband’s arm and move, only for him to pull me back, tighten his arm, bury his face into my neck and groan. He lets go instantly when I tell him I’m about to wet the bed. Best start of my day.

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