Imagine: It is a dark and snowy night. A heterosexual pair is drunk; they make eyes at each other and make haste for the male’s bed because, “I have a single in Pine Street, babe.” There is a consensual (and therefore sexy) hookup. There is snuggling and no question that she will stay the night because Pine Street is in Canada. There is only a duvet.
Scene of the crime: The girl wakes up, freezing. She gets fully under the duvet and promptly sweats to death, only to get out of the duvet and freeze. She puts duvet half-on, half-off and her upper body is cold. The girl passes a long uncomfortable night and grouchily whines to her friends at brunch. She sees the boy in the hot food line when she goes up for more pancakes, and an awkward hello ensues.
Mystery: Why does the inability to regulate body temperature ruin so many sleepovers?
Prime suspect: Comforters.
Look. What is it with boys and bedding? Ahem. Sorry—men and bedding.
I do not sleep in other people’s beds. (Hello future employers and Mom and Dad!) But even if I did, my sample size would not be big enough to make the sweeping generalization that most men only have a duvet on their bed, not the objectively better sheet blanket comforter combination. I am a detective, and this is a serious mystery I need to uncover.
Do most boys really sleep with only a duvet? Is this different than the way most girls sleep? Does the duvet thing result in poor temperature regulation only when two people are in one bed? I, Katherine Churchill, reporter (cough columnist) and detective extraordinaire, begin my half-assed investigation, notepad and cheap Halloween magnifying glass in hand.
First, I ask science, with all its magically, incomprehensible authority. Science takes three forms in my life: a looming INS requirement, the Internet and my roommate, whom I will call W.
I ask W first. I do not always trust W as source, because she uses Science to lie to me sometimes. Like that time she convinced me I would get cancer if I kept drinking hot drinks through a straw. But I decide to ask anyway.
“W, what do you know about bedding and body temperature?” I ask warily.
“Katherine, what? Also, can you throw out that expired milk in our fridge?”
She is no help. Also, I suspect she is lying about the expired milk.
Via the Internet, I discover that women’s body temperatures differ from men’s by up to 3 degrees Celsius. Additionally, oral contraceptives (quite possibly at play here) can alter a woman’s internal temperature regulation. Equipped with this proxy-forensic evidence, I turn to eyewitnesses.
I ask my first female witness, who I found in the Union (where I perpetually reside): “How do you feel about boys’ bedding?”
To which she responds: “I don’t know what that means.”
“What have you noticed about boys’ bedding?”
“It’s always navy blue.” This, while true, is getting me nowhere.
I ask my first male witness: “Do you sleep with only a duvet cover?”
To which he responds: “What the hell is a duvet cover?”
“Like a comforter.”
“Why didn’t you just say comforter?”
I ask my second male witness: “Do you sleep with only a comforter?”
To which he responds: “You’re kind of creepy.”
My investigation begins with little promise. I decide to take this in a different direction.
I survey boys (ones I know, so as to minimize the creeping-out), and here are my results:
Only comforter: 16.
Full bedding: 6.
Two duvets and a sleeping bag: 1.
Comforter and Snuggie: 1.
Girls who have difficulty regulating temperature with only duvets: 20.
Girls who do not have difficulty regulating temperature during sleepovers with only duvets: 3.
I ask another female respondent how well she copes with a boy under a comforter, and she said, “I sweat balls.”
All temperature discrepancy leads to the culprit, which I have suspected all along: Lone comforters. My suggestion: Get some top sheets and blankets. It’s layering—you just don’t put your winter coat on in a heated room and sweat to death when you have a flannel to wear instead.