Is it OK to wake my partner for sex?

Dear Anna,

My girlfriend and I go to bed at different times. She tends to fall asleep about an hour before I do on weeknights. What I wanna know is, Is it OK to try to wake her up for sex? Or would she just be pissed off and grumpy about it? Sometimes I rub her back a little and she seems to enjoy that, but can I take it further? —Gone To Bed

Dear Gone To Bed,

Just when I thought the questions this week were all snoozers, you send in a literal question about snoozing. Here’s what I think, GTB. You’ve probably got an hour window (more or less) in which it wouldn’t be considered gauche or rude to try to gently sex your partner up, depending on what she has going on the next day, of course, and whether she’s out cold or simply sleeping lightly. Obviously if she is in a deep sleep, don’t expect her to be all, “Oh hai, charming boyfriend, so happy to feel your penis prodding me out of my REM state.”

If she’s moving around a lot, however, responsive to questions, etc., she probably wouldn’t be horribly offended if you, like, started kissing her neck and seeing if it went anywhere. If she seems irritated or remains unresponsive after a few minutes, it ain’t gonna happen and you should just masturbate quietly in the bathroom like the rest of us. You’ll find plenty of randy and tanned video folks available on the Internet to help you rub one out no matter how late it gets.

The most important part of this somnolent scenario probably lies in your foreplay delivery. No one wants to wake up with an ear full of saliva—except Bob Saget, and even he is tiring of it. To that end, keep your “moves” soft, gentle and non-invasive. Since you’re her boyfriend, you probably know the kinds of touch that will help get her in the mood, and you can use them to your advantage. Just don’t, like, “accidentally” dump a bucket of Pringles on her head or blare the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” in hopes that she’ll wake up and want to blow you. Everyone knows that only works when it’s Guy Fieri.

If it’s the middle of the night and you both wake up at the same time, you might have better luck instigating a soporific screw, which is, in my experience, the funnest way to remedy a night terror!

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you to simply ask her how she would feel about being woken up for sex, if you haven’t done so already. If she hates the idea, then you can table the pre-dawn petting scenarios and come up with a better sex schedule that involves you both being totally conscious. I know, zzzzzzzzzz.

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