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Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing Paperback – July 13, 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As anyone who has ever spent the night next to another person knows, one can learn a great deal about someone over the course of a night. Rosenblatt's book is a sociological study of this overlooked phenomenon, and he reveals all the factors involved in bed sharing, "couple interaction," and the effects of a shared sleeping environment. Based on interviews with 42 heterosexual and homosexual couples, and four single individuals, Rosenblatt explores the entire nighttime procedure, pleasant and not; reading and watching television in bed, tossing, turning, cuddling and sleeping. He also spends a chapter discussing the morning routine, taking into account the differences between couples with children and without. While the study lacks any groundbreaking revelations, it highlights smaller details that may be overlooked when considering the impact of bed sharing. In one particularly revealing example, a woman explains how she and her husband divorced, in part because he refused to break his habit of leaving the television on in the bedroom when the couple went to sleep. While one does not emerge from Rosenblatt's study with an entirely new perspective on the nighttime habits of couples, the book reassuringly asserts the age-old maxims it never hurts to hear: the keys to a good relationship are intimacy, communication and plenty of compromise.
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Review

"This is the most fascinating and engaging book in the family arena that I have read in many years. It fills a significant and important gap in the social science literature. Every interview is informative and some are even hilarious." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press; First Edition edition (July 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791468305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791468302
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book as I could take comfort in knowing that I was not the only one out there having trouble sharing a bed with someone. And I was able to show my spouse that I wasn't just complaining needlessly. Unfortunately, the book was not as helpful as I had hoped because it didn't offer many suggestions on how to actually get some sleep.
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Format: Paperback
First, what this book isn't: It isn't a book that will help you get a better night's sleep, it isn't a self-help book on relationships. Rather, it's an academic/scholarly study of bed sharing that has mass appeal beyond the ivory tower. And in that respect, it's a great book--fascinating, interesting, and fun to read. Although we spend (hopefully) a third of our days in bed, the topic has been completely ignored by academic anthropologists.

Rosenblatt approaches bed sharing as a negotiation, a sociocultural institution, and a private affair that is nonetheless soaked in cultural expectations and standards. Let's face it, although many of us have shared a bed, few of us have stopped to think about the subtleties of doing so because when we're near a bed, we just want to get in it and sleep! Rosenblatt makes you think, perhaps for the first time, about all that's involved in sharing a bed--all the nuances and norms that you've probably engaged in but never realized or questioned.

Despite the scholarly nature of the book, it's very readable and doesn't drag itself down with discussions of esoteric theories. I found myself laughing out loud in some places because I could relate so much to what the interviewees were saying. And this book was all I could talk about to my friends for days afterward. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun reading an academic study.
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Format: Paperback
While sleep is usually thought of in terms of the individual, for millions of us it is a two-person activity. The author is one of the first to examine sleep in this way, and I soon realized why...the conclusions are obvious. Yes, the temperature of the bedroom matters. Yes, a TV in the bedroom can interfere with sleep. None of what is discussed is at all surprising. Further maddening is the style in which the author presents his data. Instead of presenting anecdotes or case studies in prose form like most nonfiction authors, we get unedited dialogue between the author and the interviewees. This alone would be hard to read, but Rosenblatt complicates it further by inserting parenthetical comments made by the primary speaker's partner. Example:

Kristen: ...'cause I can always put on more clothes and still be (laughing) (Dan: warm) warm.

An old axion states that an invention always seems obvious once it is in front of you. I acknowledge that the premise behind the book is novel. For me, however, it wasn't worth the read.
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Format: Paperback
The author interviewed 40+ couples and presented us an interesting
look at couple sleep. The most fascinating thing from this
sociological study is the role "sleep" plays in couple relationship.
Sleep, traditionally regarded as simply rest, has become vital part in
building intimate relationship. Sleep together provides a private
platform for a couple to communicate, share, and plan together.
Although these are not some exciting insights, researchers in
sociology and psychology may borrow these results for the problems
they study.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was feeling frustrated with my own couple bed sharing challenges, and reading this book gave me hope that we will adapt (we have) and comfort that pretty much every couple deals with all kinds of conflict, challenges, rules, joys and idiosyncrasies in bed.
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