A Night in a Twin Bed

An illustrated guide to sleeping with someone

by Hannah Westerman; illustrated by Abigail Censky


Phase One—Pre-Cuddle

So, you’ve invited your significant other/love interest/cute classmate over for some Netflix and chill. It’s just the two of you, a twin bed and a laptop. You want to set the mood for potential physical intimacy early on. It’s time to break out a classic in cuddling: the Amputation.

The Amputation

One partner puts their arm underneath the head and shoulders of the other partner. Great for snuggling—terrible for blood circulation. After a few minutes, the partner on top will ask if this position is still comfortable. The partner underneath will lie and say yes. This dynamic will continue until the discomfort becomes so great that the partner underneath will be forced to remove their arm or risk losing the use of it forever.

Phase Two—Preparation

The pretense of Netflix has finally been abandoned. But before you can both get naked, the bed needs to get naked. First, set the laptop a safe distance away. Don’t risk sending your technological life smashing to the ground. Next, strip the bed down to the sheets. Twin beds provide limited space and you can’t sacrifice any to pillows or blankets. Take the extra pillows and decorative comforters and shove them to the floor. A clear, open space is more conducive to the rest of the night’s activities.

Phase Three—Foreplay

The lack of space is no excuse to skip straight ahead to the main event. Some contortion will be necessary, so consider stretching first. Be careful to avoid the Wedge, where one partner is asked to move back further and further until they are jammed against the wall in a 90 degree angle. You just need to be creative with the space.

The Cliffhanger

An innovative position that allows the partners to exercise their rock-climbing muscles. One partner hangs halfway off the bed, gripping their partner and the bedframe for balance. This allows the other partner to spread out comfortably. Use the thrill of a potential fall and subsequent concussion to heighten your arousal.

Phase Four – The Main Event

Leave the Kama Sutra gymnastics to the lucky souls with queen beds. And be careful about banging headboards. Dorm walls are not as thick as you think and you have neighbors.

The Ride

After the balancing act of the Cliffhanger, get back in the saddle for this classic position: partners taking perpendicular positions in the bed, so the limited space is maximised. A warning, this position does leave you exposed. If you have room-mates, make sure to eastablish a system or be ready to try out exhibitionism.


A position to make your sex life even hotter—literally. Perfect for the dead of winter when your heater is on the fritz and no one has responded to your work order. The partners go under the covers before beginning the main event. Trying to find a position and pace that don’t result in an irreversible tangle of sheets and limbs adds a new, exciting challenge.

Plan B

Eventually both partners give up on the bed, citing space limitations and a creaking bed frame. Instead you have sex on the floor on top of the pillows and blankets you discarded in phase two.

Phase Five—Post-Cuddle

After the finale, you may want to prolong the physical intimacy. Avoid the dreaded Flapjacks position. Immediately after sex, the top partner collapses and lies flat on top of the other in post-coital exhaustion. While a space saver, Flapjacks is a one-sided comfort at best. The top partner may benefit from soft cleavage pillows but the bottom partner will be sacrificing the ability to breathe. Instead, try a mutually beneficial post-cuddle position like the Backpacker.

The Backpacker

A great position for fitting two people comfortably into a bed barely meant for one. It’s similar to the familiar spooning but instead of the smaller partner being on the inside, they’re on the outside.  To conserve space while maximising cuddling, the outside partner curls around the back of their partner like a backpack. Perfect for the Colorado College student who wants to go backpacking even in their sleep.

Phase Six—Sleep

Though less exciting, sleeping is an equally important part of the night and sometimes the most challenging to achieve in a twin bed. Partners must balance the lack of space with their need for personal room.

The Water Slide

Partners lay side-by-side on their backs. Legs are kept straight and arms are crossed over each partner’s chest. Partners are able to be close together without invading each other’s space. As long as nobody moves in their sleep, this position is perfect for sharing a bed equally.

Peas in a Pod

For partners who don’t want to touch while sleeping, this position is the uncomfortable solution. Each partner curls up at either end of the bed. Nestled among blankets and pillows, each “pea” can enjoy their contact free zone while simultaneously gaining cricks in their necks that will last the entire next day.

Phase Seven—Morning After

The night is over but it still takes some skill to maneuver a morning in a twin bed.


You and your partner attempt to get redressed without leaving the bed or pulling back the sheets because, at some point in the night, your roommate returned. Think ahead. As passionate as it may seem to fling away clothing as you undress, you will regret it when your underwear has gone missing.

Biological Warfare

The lack of space in a twin bed really promotes an intimate night of snuggling. Partners can wake up in each other’s arms, the other’s breath being the first thing they smell. With such close quarters, a tin of mints on the bedside table is a smart investment.