Full disclosure — I still occasionally sleep with a stuffed animal chicken that I’ve had since I was a kid. He’s just a cuddly friend with whom I could never bear to part, plus my fiancé finds it cute, so it’s not an issue.
However, if my guy still had a stuffed animal that he slept with every night, it would’ve definitely taken some getting used to (and making fun of) on my part. There’s just something about a guy needing a stuffed animal to fall asleep that, while endearing, is not terribly sexy.
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But that notion doesn’t seem to stop a significant number of dudes from curling up with their fluffy childhood companions on the regular. According to a study commissioned by British bed company Time4Sleep that surveyed 1,000 people, half of the men still have their stuffed toys from childhood, and a quarter still sleep with them. Surprisingly, only 39 percent of the women polled still had theirs. Forty percent of the men who kept their stuffed bears and dinosaurs and whatnot said it was because they couldn’t bear to part with them. Thirty-seven percent said it was because it reminded them of their childhood, which let’s face it, was probably filled with much more sleep than adulthood.
And that’s not all — ABC News found that 25 percent of men who travel regularly for work bring a stuffed animal with them in their suitcase. Scott Hardy, a 34-year-old businessman, says he brings his stuffed beagle named Barkley with him on trips, because his girlfriend (now wife) gave it to him. “I travel enough that it’s a nice reminder of home,” he told ABC News.
Surprisingly, a number of men are quite open about still sleeping with a stuffed animal, even if they have girlfriends. Thirty-one-year-old Wesley Greenhalgh has a lion that wasn’t even a childhood toy, but one his 5-year-old son gave him to replace the one he lost.
“I’ve named him after my idol Liam Gallagher,” he told the Daily Mail. “My girlfriend was a bit surprised when she first found out she would be sharing a bed with not just me but also a cuddly lion, but she soon got used to it.”
However, while Greenhalgh is open about his stuffed lion sleeping habit with his girlfriend, he keeps it a secret from the rest of his family. So there is some level of embarrassment around being a grown man with a stuffed animal, but not enough to entirely curtail the habit.
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Twenty-one-year-old Ashley Kovacs took it a step further though — he hid his stuffed mouse Mr. Fluffylamp (best name ever) from his girlfriend for an entire year. Perhaps he wasn’t sure if Fluffylamp would scare her off if introduced too early in the relationship? Anyhow, it all turned out fine in the end. “I kept it a secret from my girlfriend for the first year of our relationship, I think she thought it was a bit strange at first but she knows I’m a big softie so she wasn’t surprised.”
I suppose finding out your boyfriend has a stuffed animal isn’t among the worst things they could’ve been keeping from you. However, no bear should be allowed to hang around during sexy time — that’s where I draw the line.