I'm worrying about pillowcases
September 13, 2018 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Is sleeping on a satin pillowcase going to be offputting to skeptics?

I started using satin pillowcases to combat super-dry hair and to maintain blow-outs - it's working and I have great hair days for little effort. This is a practice I would like to maintain in the future. That said, no one I've dated have ever seen me use one of these pillowcases and FWIW, most of the men I've dated have had a skeptic streak and have given me a hard time (or worse) over any preferences of mine they couldn't scientifically validate. Does AskMeFi think I'll need to defend this to a future partner? Has anyone else run into issues over something similar?
posted by blerghamot to Human Relations (76 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think anyone who gives you shit over your pillowcase choices does not deserve to be in your bed long-term! Also probably most guys don't even know that satin pillowcases are a hair-care thing.
posted by mskyle at 6:40 AM on September 13 [149 favorites]


Also probably most guys don't even know that satin pillowcases are a hair-care thing.

Which is part of the issue - they'll investigate it so they can tear the practice apart because it's unfamiliar to them.
posted by blerghamot at 6:41 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the issue here is that you need to stop inviting assholes into your bedroom.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:44 AM on September 13 [222 favorites]


Maybe stop dating assholes?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:45 AM on September 13 [47 favorites]


It's not the pillowcases, it's the men! Think of your pillowcases as Jerk Detectors. If a man you date is going to nit-pick you about a pillowcase (ffs!) then out he goes. Whatever you do, don't tie yourself in knots to please someone who nitpicks your every lifestyle and home decor choice.

These men aren't "skeptics," they're bullies. Hold out for someone kind and respectful.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:45 AM on September 13 [99 favorites]


Which is part of the issue - they'll investigate it so they can tear the practice apart because it's unfamiliar to them.

Don't date people who want to tear your ideas apart for the sake of tearing your ideas apart. I mean it's one thing to disagree about something and talk about it, it's another thing to go out of your way to find some evidence that your partner is wrong and misguided.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:46 AM on September 13 [21 favorites]


most of the men I've dated have had a skeptic streak and have given me a hard time (or worse) over any preferences of mine they couldn't scientifically validate.
that's not being a skeptic, that's being an asshole.

I mean, you can scientifically validate it for them yourself - you have experimented and have actual evidence that it helps your hair. You can run a live study for them if you really want to! but honestly anyone who gives you a hard time about something as small as this that has absolutely nothing to do with them needs kicking to the kerb immediately.
posted by corvine at 6:46 AM on September 13 [31 favorites]


I find the idea of a guy 'investigating' what kind of material your pillowcase is made of really odd and the idea that they think less of you because of your explanation really off-putting.

On the other hand, this sounds like a handy way to filter out the jerks!
posted by like_neon at 6:46 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


Alternatively, if you want to keep both the guys and the pillow cases, don't tell them you do it for a theoretically scientifically valid reason. Just tell them you like satin pillow cases. Lots of people do.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:48 AM on September 13 [26 favorites]


I'm pretty much as pro-science as it comes and ... yeah ... I'm with the others that this is reflective of the guys that are coming into your bedroom.

It's a pretty far leap from being anti-vax or buying stuff from goop to having pillowcase preferences. I mean, if they make your hair look better, they make your hair look better. Maybe it's a placebo effect (i.e. maybe you sleep differently on them) but they make your hair look better. Any truly scientifically minded guy would accept the results of your experiment and move on.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:48 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Don't explain why you like them? Why do you have to explain why you're using them though? I do not understand this part.

They're pretty. They feel nice. No science needed for cotton pillowcases, so no science needed for satin ones. Don't explain at all.

Has anyone ever asked you why you use cotton pillowcases? No. If anyone asks (why would they ask?!) why you use satin pillowcases, you can say that you like the way they feel on your skin. Some rando guy doesn't like the way they feel? Ok, that's fine. Keep the cotton pillowcases and put one on when rando comes over!
posted by the webmistress at 6:50 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


I mean it's one thing to disagree about something and talk about it

Don't want to threadsit, but sometimes it's just this disagreement and not full-on skepticism. But the thing is, I don't want to have to defend my preferences that have nothing to do with the other person. Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern? One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable.

I guess my question is, how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?
posted by blerghamot at 6:50 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If I were to walk into a bedroom set up like that, I might notice that the pillowcases don't match the sheets and comment on that from a design perspective, but.. meh?

You aren't refusing to vaccinate your kids or taking homeopathic remedies to the exclusion of going to the doctor. You're having a preference for a type of pillowcase. There is a qualitative difference here, from my perspective as a dude who is generally pretty skeptical and cynical. Antivax is a creepy dealbreaker to me because it hurts people, whereas a preference for satin pillowcases is a preference that, at absolute worst, leads you to spend a bit more than me on pillowcases.
posted by Alterscape at 6:50 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


On forgetting-to-preview and reading your followon: This is about the assholes, not the pillowcases. Stop dating assholes.
posted by Alterscape at 6:51 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


The problem isn't how to justify the pillowcase to the dude.

The problem is that you have invited a dude into your bedroom for sex, and instead of focusing his attention on you, he is examining your choice in bed linens. This is kind of like what the director of one of my school plays said once when we were painting the sets and made a mistake - "if the audience is sitting there looking at the brick pattern on the fake fireplace instead of looking at us, the brick pattern is the least of our problems."

And anyway, there's a whole very big school of thought that holds that satin sheets are supposed to be sexy anyway. I mean, hell, Madonna even sings about them in "Express Yourself."

Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern? One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable.

We agree. However, we are suggesting that instead of trying to think of a way to defend your satin pillowcase, that you chuck the dude who does that and find a dude whose attitude is "satin, cotton, linen, I don't give a shit about the pillowcase, I'm here for your hot bod anyway, get over here".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 AM on September 13 [30 favorites]


Yes- you are agonizing over a problem that should never be happening in the first place. Cure the disease, and stop trying to treat the symptoms. #stopdatingassholes
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:53 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


Guy here. It would not ever occur to me to
  1. Wonder why someone had satin pillowcases
  2. Have the nerve to demand an explanation
  3. Do "research" so I could "debunk" them
It's insane.
Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern? One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable.
Yeah, that's nothing to do with you (or your pillowcases.) That's pure asshole behavior that you shouldn't have to put up with in the first place.
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 6:55 AM on September 13 [22 favorites]


Logged in to say that my boyfriend would be the first person to set aside or take special care of my hair pillow for me. If someone picks apart your self care stuff, they aren’t good for you.
posted by Marinara at 6:56 AM on September 13 [26 favorites]


The scientific answer to your question is that satin is a filament fiber, while cotton is a staple fiber. This means that cotton has a bunch of microscopic grabby little arms, while satin does not. The Textile School explains the difference in detail.

The interpersonal answer to your question is that men who demand scientific citations for your preferences are jerks, and you should not date them. I have broken up with men over this behavior; it's bad behavior, and shows a lack of boundaries on their part. Saying you like the way your hair looks when you use a satin pillowcase should be more than enough "proof" for anybody, as should saying "because I like it."
posted by sockermom at 6:58 AM on September 13 [73 favorites]


Telling OP to stop dating assholes isn't really helpful (although it is amusing) because she may not know they're judgey, challenging assholes until they see the pillowcases, and she is afraid they'll then morph immediately into Bill Nye the Science Guy. Which may kill the lady boner, let's face it.

Practice saying, "Why do you care, rando???" for the times a guy will ask why you have satin pillowcases and then try to debunk your theories. Which I predict will be never.

Oh and I'll bet your hair looks mahvelous.
posted by the webmistress at 7:00 AM on September 13 [9 favorites]


how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?

If you frequently feel worse after he speaks to you, he's gone. Line drawn. Job done.
posted by flabdablet at 7:01 AM on September 13 [56 favorites]


I agree with the above comments, but as a side note, I think that one way to deal with the overly skeptical is to phrase things as preferences/choices, rather than to get into the weeds about what works or "makes sense."

So if the question is "why satin pillowcases" the answer is "because I prefer them" or "because I like how they feel." Similarly, if the question is "why do you have this plant here?" or "Why do you do X this way?" They answer can be similar. "Because I like it." "Because I prefer to do things this way." That way you can head off a debate over whether the plant improves indoor air quality, or whatever.

Being skeptical is one thing, but someone who won't let you have preferences you can't back up with peer review is a completely different animal.
posted by mercredi at 7:02 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


Date the guys who gives you an extra set of silk pillowcases as a gift, no questions asked.

Dump the guys who annoy you with questions about why you like silk pillowcases.
posted by HeyAllie at 7:02 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


I guess my question is, how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?

Normal curiosity: "Oh, these are pillowcases new to my experience on Earth as a human being. Please tell me about them!"

Negging: SAYING LITERALLY ANY OTHER F*CKING THING.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 7:06 AM on September 13 [20 favorites]


This makes me wonder if you might want to have a friend review your dating profile, or do some evaluation about how you're meeting guys. Like, I can absolutely picture the kind of guy you mean - I've met them, they exist, I've met perfectly lovely women who seemed to end up with them over and over. But "I am sick of having to fight for my right to pillowcases" is a sign that something much larger needs to be fixed.

Some idle thoughts:

1. Do you have interests that attract a higher proportion than normal of asshole men? (Libertarianism, atheism, some really technical hobby?) Can you downplay or omit these in profiles and try to find men who are compatible with you in other respects?

2. Would you say that you grew up in a household where you were bullied or second-guessed a lot? My friend who ended up with a lot of these guys had really controlling parents who had valued her primarily for her looks and ability to enact upper middle class professionalism, and she had trouble breaking free of the idea that she needed to perform correctly. If this is you and you have the opportunity for some therapy, that might help.

3. Are you in your early twenties? I'd say I encountered far fewer of these kinds of guys after about 27 or so. Maybe list some "maturity markers" when you're imagining who you want to date - for instance, deep six anyone who evinces this kind of skepticism in casual conversation. IME, these guys can't get through a conversation of more than twenty minutes without running down people or ideas they think are stupid.

4. Clearly visualize the kind of guy you want to date and seek those people actively. I found this kind of visualization really helpful because it was easier to winnow out people who had interesting qualities but a lot of drawbacks.

I am sorry that this is happening! I went through a "date terrible people" cycle for quite a while, and what I found was that I was drawn to people who wanted to tear me down because I'd been taught by my adolescence that I deserved to be torn down. I eventually got out of that horrible psychic backwater and dated better people, though.
posted by Frowner at 7:08 AM on September 13 [68 favorites]


Hey, I remember your previous question about hair dryers. Gently, I would suggest worrying about the possibility that you might date someone who might criticize you about very specific things that you do/own/use/enjoy is borrowing trouble. The hair dryer, the pillowcase — these are red herrings. The fact of the matter is, you'll never be able to fully insulate yourself from every potential criticism that every potential partner might have of you. That's a never-ending abyss of self-criticism and it's a game you can't win.

I sympathize; I'm in a relationship with someone who has criticized a number of my preferences, and it has taken a toll on me. I find myself hiding really silly things like "I'm reading another book about mountain climbing" or "I'm having cheese and crackers for dinner again". But it's no way to live, and it's something I have to work on with my partner.

You should take the energy that you're putting into crafting defenses against criticisms that haven't happened yet and redirect it toward self-love. Focus on being 100% comfortable with being you. Don't give your exes' voices room in your head. Strengthen yourself to shut down the next jerk who pulls this crap on you. You deserve better.
posted by neushoorn at 7:33 AM on September 13 [40 favorites]


But the thing is, I don't want to have to defend my preferences that have nothing to do with the other person.

Look, if a satin pillowcase can function as an asshole-alert, then you need to get several satin pillowcases. Maybe patent and market your new asshole-alert system. ONLY AN ASSHOLE WOULD CRITICIZE OR NEG A WOMAN'S PREFERRED PILLOWCASE. Not every asshole will do this, but only an asshole would do this. Your system will have NO FALSE POSITIVES. You are lucky to have discovered this. Many people go through their entire lives without a functioning asshole alert! If I weren't already happily married I'd be running out to get a satin pillowcase right now, although I personally prefer cotton. (My hair is not great.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:39 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


Shit, I brought a satin pillowcase that doesn't match any of his bedding to my partner's house (we live apart). He did not make a peep. That is what you need to be aiming for.

Grown-ass adults understand that people have preferences different from theirs.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:44 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


People who neg like this don't really care about whether or not satin pillowcases have scientific validity or whatever. They care about

1) Being right
2) Making sure you know they are right
3) You being wrong

The bonus to #3 is that it loops back to #1 automatically sometimes. You will get in the habit of not doing anything or saying anything because #1. You stop having a fully formed opinion because #1. This doesn't have to be dramatic, Lifetime movie action all the time. Sometimes it is as insidious as "Oh, I am not going to buy the precut chicken tonight for dinner, Dave says it is stupid and wasteful to do that," and now you have 35 less minutes that night to do what you wanted to do because you are trimming chicken, even though you really wanted to get to that book you have been reading.

The best way to avoid this is to carefully listen when you first are talking to these people. I can disagree with you and your positions on certain things, that is fine. We don't all have to agree on everything. I sometimes learn new and valuable things in discussions that start as pleasant disagreements.

But it is pretty rude to disagree with your preferences on personal habits, for instance, if we are just shooting the shit about them (and you are not advising me directly), and if we are having a discussion wherein evidence is necessary for presentation, to discount my evidence based solely on the fact that I am presenting it (and not the source, the quality of the evidence, etc.).

In short, if he shoots you down because that was a stupid thing to say (however politely that phrase is said), drop him. Listen carefully for all the ways people say that. Learn to hear it.
posted by oflinkey at 7:48 AM on September 13 [29 favorites]


What possible way could there be to argue against "I like to sleep on a satin pillow"?

If they even attempt to argue with your preferences they can take a long walk off a short pier, no?
posted by lydhre at 7:54 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Why not just say “I like the way it feels” if anyone asks? Even the most skeptical can’t really argue with your sensual choices—after all, you’re touching them.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:55 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


It seems like a really unlikely point of contention, but I wouldn't even start from the point of defending the choice.

"What's up with this pillow case?"
"It feels nice."
"Well I think it's no good because XYZ."
"Here is a cotton pillow case for you, then."

I kind of can't imagine a dateable person pushing past that.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:56 AM on September 13 [14 favorites]


Just my anecdotal two cents, I am a woman with long thin hair. I have slept on flannel pillowcases (which feel great in the winter), but they are so grabby they actually work snarls into my hair as I toss and turn during the night. (Even worse during sex wiggling). So I don't use them. And this anecdotal evidence helps me believe that your hair gets less wrecked on a slipperiery satin pillow. So, I believe your observation. I can't swear if I would believe you if I didn't have my own experience to back it up. But I see what others are seeing on the meta level. A man who doesn't listen to your lived observations and is sure, without much relevant experience, that he knows more than you do about fibers rubbed against hair, is a man who might habitually ignore your statements and preferences. We don't like those men. (And we don't like commenters who say "we" and try to speak for everyone. Heh.)
posted by puddledork at 7:58 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


sockermom's got a good summary of the actual science involved here. I'd add that if otherwise scientifically-minded people ignore textile science, that's some sexist crap. The Venn diagram of Science! and Fiber Arts! would show a significant overlap.
posted by asperity at 7:59 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


Not long ago I was chatting with my new beau before I was about to take a flight. I mentioned to him that I usually opt out of the backscatter x-rays, for a mix of logical and illogical reasons. I called it one of my more "magical thinking" behaviors. I was a little nervous to mention it, because like you I'm a woman in the world who has dated and interacted with men who weaponize their "reason" and "logic" to attack my preferences, beliefs, and choices. This takes a toll; it makes me distrust myself and men and feel that I need to protect myself from their "lively debate," which only serves to cut me down to size.

You know how my boyfriend responded? He said okay. He asked with curiosity, not judgement, what my reasons were. When I hedged and said I didn't have great reasons and didn't want to be pressed he said he wouldn't press me. And we laughed together about the ways we are both sometimes superstitious. We also laughed that we both like to be right but long ago learned that it isn't fun or loving to force our rightness onto a partner.

Those kind of men are out there. Those are the men worth dating.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 8:02 AM on September 13 [34 favorites]


There’s a man. Negging you. IN YOUR BEDROOM?

Let that sink in for a minute.

If it’s a booty call, fine. Address it by saying it’s none of their business. If it’s anything more, it’s time to take a look at your chooses around men, not pillow cases. You deserve better. These men don’t deserve to be anywhere near your bedroom.

Glad the hair is good!
posted by MountainDaisy at 8:06 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


I don't want to have to defend my preferences that have nothing to do with the other person.

Then don't. I can't tell from your question whether the guys you're bringing home are argumentative jerks, or if you're reacting to idle questions defensively.

One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable.

"Because I like it" is enough. You can't convince another person that a subjective preference has objective benefits. If you keep trying to with multiple other people, it may not be them, it may be you.

I guess my question is, how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?

By responding as though their question is the former rather than the latter.
posted by headnsouth at 8:06 AM on September 13


Does AskMeFi think I'll need to defend this to a future partner?
I mean, we don't have a crystal ball. As far as I know, satin pillowcases aren't common, people who see them might think "ooh, fancy" or not think about it at all/notice it; giving people a hard time for having satin pillowcases isn't a Thing that I'm aware of. Anyone who does can GTFO.

However, and I say this gently, I think you're asking the wrong question. The question is not, "will guys I date think satin pillowcases are weird and give me a hard time about it; do you think I'll need to defend this" I think the question you need to ask is why I am drawn to/attracting these skeptic types that bully me for my choices and how can I attract guys who are respectful?

To your next question,
how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?

The answer is contained in your paragraph above, where you show good boundaries: "I don't want to have to defend my preferences." This is a good start. Next time someone starts digging into you, say "This is what I like/prefer/this works for me" and "I'm not interested in debating this. I like it/it works for me." I have noticed that some guys have this tendency to DEMAND PROOF for whatever to establish their dominance and you want to get away from these types immediately. They're not open to learning about you as a person, nor do they understand people who are not them might think differently. I have no time for people who have no interest in my opinions and don't consider my opinions valid for ME. If they're not into my preferences, that's fine, but they shouldn't be disrespectful about it, and that's what they're doing.

Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern?
This is the sort of thing I would say too, so if you're comfortable saying it out loud, I encourage you to do so. Don't be afraid to walk away if you need to.
posted by foxjacket at 8:11 AM on September 13 [9 favorites]


Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern? One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable. I guess my question is, how do I draw the line between okay curiousity and negging everything I do?

I think this line is really going to be based on how you feel about the interaction and how he responds to your expressing that feeling. You can just say, "This is my choice and I don't want to discuss it." If he keeps pushing past that, then you know he's a jerk and not worth your time. I got in a big argument with a boyfriend in college who was furious that I didn't lock my dorm mailbox. I didn't share the mailbox with anyone, and I told him that if we lived together, I would lock it, but this was my mailbox and I didn't want to unlock it every time I got my mail. In retrospect, that was a huge red flag that I missed. I could have saved myself a lot of grief by recognizing that as controlling obnoxious behavior and breaking up with him.

While it's true that you can avoid some potential bad behavior by just saying you like the way satin pillowcases feel, I would encourage you to go ahead and say you like them because they make your hair look better. His response to that is information about the kind of guy he is.

Your feelings are information too. Don't ignore them. You have the right to drop guys who make you feel bad.
posted by FencingGal at 8:44 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]



... sometimes it's just this disagreement and not full-on skepticism. But the thing is, I don't want to have to defend my preferences that have nothing to do with the other person. Like, why are we even discussing this, how is it any of your concern? One of the things that happens is that our dynamic gets worn down because they keep being ??? about random benign choices of mine and it's uncomfortable.
My wife thinks that the way I cut onions is weird. I don't know, maybe it is, but it works for me. At some point I started getting annoyed because she'd bring it up every time I cut an onion in front of her, which, you know, happens a lot. So now I have this phrase that I use in those situations: "Don't mess with my system." We both know that it means something like "You may have a point (or you may not), but it doesn't hurt you either way and I don't want to talk about it any further." And then we can let things drop.

Asking once about something is okay curiosity. Engaging in friendly conversation (eg "Why do you cut onions that way? I like to do it like this.") should be within bounds. But the key is how the interaction makes you feel. If somebody is making you feel bad about yourself or your benign choices, that is out of bounds. You are absolutely right that if it doesn't affect them in any way, you shouldn't have to justify yourself. Good on you for recognizing that. Communicating this to the other person is ok. You can try "Don't mess my with my system" if you like, I don't charge royalties on it :)
posted by number9dream at 8:54 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


Where's the line? Interrogating you about innocuous and perfectly logical personal choices is the line. Getting on your back for no earthly reason and calling it "skepticism" is the line. Not being able to disagree without judgment and assholery is the line.

It's not like you're saying you have to sleep with special crystals or the hair faeries won't visit you in the night. Anyone who can't immediately grasp that a smoother fabric would be gentler on hair is....not smart.
posted by kapers at 9:02 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Also, can you teach yourself some voice tricks that indicate "I'm serious"? My feeling is that if a dude bothers you about the use of a commercially available pillowcase produced under conditions no worse than any other pillowcase - or if he's constantly getting at you about how you make a sandwich, etc - you should dump him tout suite, but voice tricks are also useful.

When I did door to door polling, they taught us a bunch of stuff like dropping your voice at the end of a sentence, eliminating rising tones at the end of a sentence, leaning forward, dropping your chin, curbing your enthusiasm and "nice" signifiers, etc. I'm sure if you look online for something like "tone of voice and authority" you can find videos and articles.

Since AFAB people/cis women/etc people get pushed to make nice all the time, I think we don't realize how many "I won't push you, don't take me seriously, don't get mad, I'm likeable" signals we're taught to put into our speech. I've found that when I focus on dropping my voice, keeping a flatter tone, avoiding "cute" or funny language and looking pleasant but not smiling it really cuts down on a lot of pushback and bullshit about this stuff. It might be that using some voice skills would filter out a lot of these jerks before they even get to the pillowcase stage.
posted by Frowner at 9:05 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


The best way to deal with questions like this is to repeat to them that your pillow case/food preferences/whatever are what works for you and they can deal with it because it doesn't affect them at all. If a guy is just super logical and really wants to understand just tell them it's good for your hair and try to keep it light unless they ask about it more than once. Guys might end up reacting to how feminine and luxurious satin is (so shiny!) more than to the issue of it's what works for your hair, I would maybe make a joke about how fancy and high maintenance my hair is with a wink and leave it at that.

I am a fairly snowflakey sensitive person, and I've encountered guys who don't like that about me because it means I have certain needs or boundaries and they don't want to deal with thinking about my needs. It's a huge red flag. My boyfriend changed the way he fell asleep (with tv on) because it was interfering with my sleep, he knows I need to get to sleep at a decent hour and supports that versus criticizes me for not being more like him, basically he accepts that what I'm telling him is valid and true and works to support me getting my needs me instead of telling me I'm wrong or should feel differently. Meanwhile he loves to play golf, a sport I don't understand and didn't really respect at all, but he has told me how much he loves it and how good it is for his well-being and that's enough for me to support him going to play golf regularly and shutting up about how it's expensive and boring etc.

I rotate pillows because my neck is crappy, I need a certain weight of duvet, I sleep with a nightguard, sometimes use a pregnancy pillow for my knees, sometimes a sound machine, and I've never had a guy give me a hard time about any of that beyond a bit of teasing because it is a ridiculous set-up (and it does take some courage to bust out a nightguard with a new person!). In relationships you shouldn't hide your quirks and needs because the right person will accept you and be happy that you know what works for you.
posted by lafemma at 9:11 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Looking back at your posting history, you've asked:

* How do I find a boyfriend who doesn't mind my pillowcases?
* How do I find a boyfriend who doesn't mind me blowdrying my hair in the morning?
* How do I find a boyfriend who doesn't mind me knitting in front of the TV?

As if having silk pillowcases, blowdrying your hair and knitting are all special cases that make it particularly hard for you to find a suitable partner, rather than just, y'know, completely normal things that completely normal people do every single day.

Gently, I would suggest that the problem is not just working out how to sift through boyfriends, but you having the confidence to take up the damn space in the world to which you're entitled in order to live your completely normal life - and exploring this in counselling might go a long way.
posted by penguin pie at 9:15 AM on September 13 [78 favorites]


Is sleeping on a satin pillowcase going to be offputting to skeptics?

Unlikely. I’m fairly skeptical myself and have never heard anything plus or minus said about satin pillowcases. Unless you are claiming they have Pyramid Power (tm) the topic is not likely to arise.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:18 AM on September 13


I was coming in to say, this seems like an awful lot of worrying over a very unlikely series of events where you have a hypothetical partner who will hypothetically notice your pillowcase and hypothetically be an asshole about it.

Then I saw neushoorn's comment and they said pretty much everything I wanted to say but nicer. I also remember your blowdryer question and think you should stop dating assholes, but more importantly I think your sense of what's normal give and take in a healthy relationship needs some recalibrating first.
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:18 AM on September 13


Just in case you are a person with an atypically high number of idiosyncrasies/quirks where things must be Just So and nobody can question it (really doesn't sound like it): then you are probably not the appropriate match for a partner who is very skeptical and would benefit from someone more mellow and open-minded.

Again, this doesn't sound like you at all, this is just to say that even if some of your preferences and practices were way outside the norm, you still would deserve a partner who doesn't make you feel bad about them.
posted by kapers at 9:21 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Hey OP, I have dated many men like you describe. It is super exhausting to spend your life on tiptoe, constantly picking apart every choice for possible ammo to preemptively defuse.

It is also really hard not to end up dating guys like that because a) so many guys are like that and b) so many of them are really good at browbeating us into thinking WE are somehow the ones who are doing something wrong by not having a carefully crafted defense for all the minutae of our personalities and lives. It is really easy to get sucked into that game/dance involuntarily.

It is important to understand that this behaviour from men isn't reasonable. It attempts to paint us as "unreasonable", but actually it is their behaviour that is absurd and indefensible. Expecting someone to justify their needs, desires, preferences and choices has nothing to do with being a "skeptic". It has to do with being a bully.

The subtext here is that these men assume any decision that isn't the same decision they have made is automatically suspect and probably inferior. It galls them that people do things differently than them. However, if you were to do everything the same as them, something else about what you do would gall them because they aren't the ones controlling your actions.

They are controlling and self-absorbed. They are trying to bolster their ego by tearing someone else down.

I have found CoDA (codependants anonymous) to be a useful program in helping me identify healthy boundaries for me and unhealthy codependant behaviours from someone else. They have lots of great literature on subjects like boundaries. Maybe you should check it out.

You deserve to be treated better than this. Take care.
posted by windykites at 9:28 AM on September 13 [29 favorites]


Put satin pillowcases on both sleeping pillows. Then it's just fancy decor in your womanly boudoir.

If mannerless Joe still offers commentary, or asks for a 'normal' case, remove the satin case from his pillow to reveal the plain-weave cotton one lurking beneath.

I'm with everyone else, though - upgrade your choice of sex partner, these petty nitpickers shouldn't even be crossing the threshold.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:30 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Hang on a second. I've been reading some of the answers, and I now have a question for you:

Are you asking this question because this is a thing that has actually happened, or are you asking this because it is a thing you are afraid will happen?

If it has actually happened, then my advice to kick the dude out holds. If it has not happened and you are instead asking just in case it might happen, then my answer is "the same, but I am reasonably confident that it won't because the average dude isn't going to be looking at your pillowcases if you're also in the room and you're naked because they're going to be too busy looking at your boobs".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:34 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Guys who are like this are not just assholes, they’re frequently dumber than they think. They don’t know anything about pillowcases, hair, or textiles, but they demand a scientific explanation and are not curious or interested in your empirical experience? That’s not actually scientific or rational, that’s lazy and arrogant. A true skeptical/scientific mindset would be to 1) explore the evidence and maybe test the hypothesis themselves, if they’re REALLY actually interested or 2) accept that you may or may not be right, the “science” does not exist yet (though it does), and that regardless science has omissions and oversights and evolves over time so being a blowhard about pillowcases is probably a stupid move.

Anyway, I don’t know if this guy actually exists or if you’re worried he will, but the solution is: try not to date stupid guys, especially stupid guys with a huge ego.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:46 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


The point about jerks has been made sufficiently. But, there is something in you that now doubts yourself because 1 or more assholes have questioned you about something that they don't know about or even care about. You sound smart and competent; you should require that people in general treat you with respect and especially anyone with whom you have a relationship, whether it's for 1 night or 1 lifetime.

You are using the heuristic method; you have investigated satin pillowcases and found them to be effective. My Mom used satin pillowcases and they helped her maintain her 'do. Do what works for you. If there's a particular person hassling you and you choose to sleep with them because they are wildly skilled or something, up your game to bright red satin pillowcases.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


The subtext here is that these men assume any decision that isn't the same decision they have made is automatically suspect and probably inferior.
My best friend calls this "show your work!" and I understand why you're concerned about it. I have mostly dated men who want me to show my work, even when I'm talking about the topic that I have a PhD in and teach at a university (somehow, those credentials are not sufficient work-showing). So I don't think that it's something that you shouldn't be worried about, nor do I think that it's something that "the average dude" wouldn't do.

My last boyfriend, a perfectly average dude, and I broke up because I didn't care for a movie that he liked, and when I said I didn't really care for it and he asked why, my reasons weren't sufficient to him. He argued with my preference in a way that was really strange, giving me all kinds of "evidence" that countered my feelings. He demonstrated a complete lack of boundaries in this interaction.

Dating can be scary. In the past I would have tried to smooth that interaction over by telling him he was right. I would have then stopped talking about the way I actually feel about things as trivial as movies. When a partner argues with you about the way you feel about things, or about the things that you enjoy, what they are really saying is that you are not capable of liking things or disliking things on your own. This makes you distrust yourself and your feelings, which has the outcome of never disagreeing with your partner. See why I say this is about boundaries? It is actually a request that you shrink yourself, that you conform to their preferences rather than having any of your own. Why are their preferences fine, while yours need to be backed up with evidence? That seems pretty strange, doesn't it?

When you've been in relationships like this, you learn to anticipate more relationships like this. It would probably be very useful for you to spend some time and effort really digging in to what you like. Being single has been really great for me because I just get to do what I want, with nobody questioning my preferences. And when this last guy did question my preferences, and he wouldn't back down and he got weird about it, I was able to make a very clean break. He thought that it was very strange that we broke up over this, but it wasn't.

It is easy to say don't date assholes, and it's easy to say just dump people when they treat you like this. But in practice it's really hard! It took me a long time to be able to just drop somebody for being like this. I would encourage you to do some work on yourself so that you feel strong enough to just walk away when a guy questions you like this. The standard saw here is therapy, which I found helpful. I also found it helpful to bounce these incidents off of my friends, who validate my feelings when a partner is being weird.

Best of luck.
posted by sockermom at 9:54 AM on September 13 [38 favorites]


Just as another datapoint, I'm a pretty skeptical guy and I already know about silk pillowcases.
posted by rhizome at 10:11 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Gently, I would suggest that the problem is not just working out how to sift through boyfriends, but you having the confidence to take up the damn space in the world to which you're entitled in order to live your completely normal life - and exploring this in counselling might go a long way.

Quoted for MFing Truth!

OP, you deserve to live your life without worrying about what some idiot man is going to say about it. It's really hard to resist the conditioning you get growing up a woman in the western heteropatriarchy, but you'll get there. It's OK to resist it.
posted by apricot at 10:29 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


It is entirely unavoidable that men in the future will demand you defend any of a hundred million things that do not require defending. Not all of them will be potential partners, probably the largest percentage will be people you encounter in the workplace followed by randos/friends of friends/people on the internet, and then finally potential partners.

There is no way to prevent it from happening. Especially at work since you likely do not have a choice in who you have to spend time around there.

When it happens, just don't defend it. Just be like, "that's my thing, it's mine and that's how I like it and it's not hurting you" and wander away. If that comes from a person you have a choice about, un-choose them *because they did this*. There's your filter. Use it. When you find people who don't do that - people who are much more inclined to either not give a shit or want to be into the things you are into, the people who are like "hey, do *I* want a pillowcase like that? Is it good? You like it so it seems like it would be good, because I like you and value your opinions!" - keep hanging out with them. That's the path to being surrounded by good people, identify when they are good and nurture *those* relationships, binning all the other people who show themselves to be assholes. That greatly reduces the likelihood you'll be called on to defend yourself more than once by anybody.

And please consider getting some targeted help with this particular strain of anxiety, along with doing work to increase your confidence that you are allowed to have things that are yours and that are the way you like them because you are a valid human being.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:37 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


1. Do you have interests that attract a higher proportion than normal of asshole men? (Libertarianism, atheism, some really technical hobby?)

I am a Libertarian atheist skeptic who has dated a lot of Libertarian atheist skeptics and even I agree that someone who would pick apart your choice in pillowcase is just being abusive for the sake of being abusive.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:23 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Guys who are like this are not just assholes, they’re frequently dumber than they think

Oh yeah, these guys are almost universally idiots (or idiots in all but one very specific aspect of the universe in which they are highly knowledgeable). I think that's why they are so insecure and dickish in the first place, these are men who have something to prove and they are using you as a foil to prove it.

Not dating guys who are dumber than you are and who also expect or need you to dumb yourself down to below their level helps to avoid these scenarios. That's easier said than done if you are a woman who's been taught that her intelligence or confidence are bad/ intimidating/ unfeminine/ invalid. It is possible. Therapy has helped me accept that my value to the world does not depend on some jerkoff being better than me. Therapy might be good for you also?
posted by windykites at 11:40 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Maybe a good rubric is to look for guys with good hair. Also, you can casually bring it up before sexy times, "What did you do today?" "I almost got in an accident coming back from buying a silk pillowcase."
posted by rhizome at 11:45 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


So, it sounds to me you worried about a hypothetical dude who will freak out about if you want a satin pillowcase. To be honest, I'm not if that guy actually exists.

I'm a dude and I hate, hate, hate satin bedding. To me it's the same as sleeping in Saran-wrap. If I were dating you, I'd put up with it the first few times (because sleeping with someone is all about being open to new and perhaps uncomfortable situations since everyone in the entire world is different), but eventually I'd either just take it off and use the raw pillow, or bring my own pillowcase.

However, as much hatred I have in my heart for satin, it would never even cross my mind that satin pillow cases need to be proven as effective. I'm marrying someone in a couple weeks who uses a satin pillowcase, and until this AskMe I've never thought about it, besides how much I hate it when our pillows temporally get switched.
posted by sideshow at 11:49 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


So many great responses here!

One of my favorite phrases to shut down talkers-at:
"I don't need your agreement."

They have literally nothing to say after that.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:15 PM on September 13 [22 favorites]


I read the first line of your question and immediately knew you were the same person who wrote this and this. You've been given some great advice above about this specific issue but there's obviously a pattern here. How a hypothetical future partner might react to your benign lifestyle choices should not be causing you this much anxiety. I promise you that most reasonable, emotionally mature people won't incessantly bug you or question your relationship because of the way you prepare food, dry your hair or any other thing that has little to no impact on them. Yes, some of these things require minor compromise that would usually be considered well within the realms of acceptable. The pillowcase thing? If that bothers someone you're dating, they're dumb and you should tell them you no longer require their services.
posted by MysteriousSympathy at 1:52 PM on September 13 [9 favorites]


"Every love goddess sleeps on satin."
posted by SemiSalt at 3:40 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


This is my last comment on this, I swear. But I can't believe no one (myself included) has brought up sealioning yet. Sealioning is a common tactic that men use, often but not necessarily on the Internet, to invalidate women's experiences. Sea lions don't actually want real data; they just want to tire you out and cut you down. I like to call them JAQoffs ("just asking questions!")
posted by sockermom at 5:17 PM on September 13 [11 favorites]


Practice saying “You really want to debate about [insert thing here]?” in the most ‘wtf did you just do’ tone possible.

To address your other question, a good boundary check might be “If he said that to someone who I respect deeply, would I think it was a dick move?”

I had a long relationship with a guy who did this kind of thing all the time and only realized he was being an asshole when I saw him do it to my best friend. It was a minor epiphany.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 5:54 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


FWIW, most of the men I've dated have had a skeptic streak and have given me a hard time (or worse) over any preferences of mine they couldn't scientifically validate. Does AskMeFi think I'll need to defend this to a future partner?

So you know how AskMeFi sometimes just tells people that it's ok to break up and they have permission to do it, now go forth and DTMFA?

No, you do not need to argue with a partner who feels they can't scientifically validate your preferences. You can DTMFA right then!

I hope these pillowcases will allow you to detect any MF's so you can quickly DTA and go forth to meet someone amazing.

Has anyone else run into issues over something similar?


Like arguments of the form "You are wrong and you don't actually like X!"? I usually express surprise that they think they know better than I do what I'm thinking, and ask if they know how to read minds. Then I go talk to someone else who isn't that person.

I'm guessing that for some men this is a "seduction technique", argue with someone so they feel they have to keep talking to you and then get them to go on a date. I'm also guessing that for some men it's a -- hobby, I guess is the word I'm looking for here. They seem to socialize with their goal being to find things they can tell people they are wrong about. You are not required to help them participate in this hobby.

You don't actually have to try and convince a specific man that you have valid preferences. You can just not talk to that specific man about your preferences. Perhaps he'll go off in the world believing horrible things about you because of your use of satin pillowcases -- let him.
posted by yohko at 6:29 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I mean...I guess I’m going to be odd woman out here, but my husband asks me a lot of questions. Here are some things that work for us:
- I tell him he’s annoying me and he immediately stops :)
- I ask him if he’s trying to understand or trying to be right (the answer should be trying to understand and he knows this and gives us both time to pause and reflect on where the conversation has been going)
- I borrowed this from a friend: I say “you can’t bring facts to a feelings fight.” this, again, is short hand for us where I’m quickly conveying “hey this is something that has emotional weight for me so just slow down & think about it”


Husband is total ask culture and I am total guess culture. I wouldn’t trade him in for anyone, he’s the love my life. He asks SO MANY QUESTIONS ranging from things I could not possibly know the answer to to questioning things I consider to be none of his business. I’m certain I have very annoying habits too. I’m just saying not all these dudes are necessarily assholes. Although it never EVER would have worked out if husband didn’t immediately stop and reflect when I remind him of my boundary.
posted by CMcG at 7:42 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Picasso said, “When you love a woman, you don’t start measuring her limbs.” Or her pillow cases. Dump these MFAs now.
posted by cartoonella at 8:46 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Frowner FTW

Dominant, arrogant, defines himself primarily or *uniquely* by his intellect (can be clever etc, what I mean is: he sees himself as a capital I intellectual and insists with force that everyone else see him that way, too) - maybe no more of that guy.

Look for kindness, willingness to a) listen and b) accept influence, humility, and an emotional connection between you, above all. Even if it means he’s a little less ambitious. (Though obviously, one can be empathetic and ambitious... I’ve just noticed that there’s often a trade-off.) Even if it means you don’t necessarily share a ton of common interests - as long as there are some - and you feel accepted, loved, respected, and understood in the ways that matter to you most.
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:00 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Never explain yourself
posted by lampoil at 2:09 PM on September 14


I think I would answer anyone who was trying to debunk my pillowcase choice with a pause, an incredulous stare, and an "...okay" in a tone of voice that made it clear that this was a resoundingly stupid thing to be trying to "debunk" at me.

I do remember your previous questions, OP, especially the one about your boyfriend being mad at you for knitting while watching TV, and... it just hurts my heart. You sound like I did when I was married to an emotionally abusive man -- his constant picking at me for such small things -- things like my hobbies, or how long it took me to get ready for work, or my pillowcase just ground my self-esteem and my personality down to nothing. You shouldn't have to be prepared to defend your choice of pillowcase to anyone, ever. You shouldn't have to feel bad about knitting while you watch TV, or blow-drying your hair, or anything you do that is literally not causing any harm at ALL to anyone. Your choice of pillowcase does not affect anyone but you, and is no one's concern but yours.

You deserve better treatment than this, OP. I don't know if it's just one guy who is treating you this way, or more than one, but you? You deserve better. You deserve to live your life without being made to justify or apologize. You really do. Therapy helped me to see that; maybe that's an option you should consider? You can also MefiMail me if you want to talk.
posted by sarcasticah at 10:41 AM on September 15 [12 favorites]


I know I'm pretty late on responding to this, but if you're still reading I'd like to give an extra voice to how much you shouldn't put up with this bullshit.

I have a degree in materials science, and I've spent the last 10 years working in a materials research lab. It is literally my job to question and investigate what types of materials would be optimal for the design and function of different products.

When my fiancée and I were first dating, I noticed she used a satin pillowcase and asked why. She explanation was similar to yours - it helps to prevent her hair from becoming matted while she sleeps. My response was "Oh, interesting. I've never heard of that before." Shortly thereafter, I bought a satin pillowcase for my bed so she would feel more comfortable when staying the night at my place.

It's reasonable likely that I have a better reason and am in a better place to question what your pillowcase is made out of than any guy you will ever date, but y'know....I do my best not to be an asshole. Nobody wants to have to scientifically defend the personal choices that make them happy and comfortable, especially something as small as a pillowcase. You deserve better than that.
posted by parallellines at 8:39 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Thank you to everyone who responded. I didn't mean to abandon the thread or make anyone feel like I've ignored their advice... I just needed to step away for a while and think.

Some of the solutions to this situation are simple; others, not so much. I will try to keep all in mind when I get in one of my silly worry vortexes, though.
posted by blerghamot at 8:51 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


I think readers are supposed to digest the advice given here, taking as much time to do so as needed. And your worry isn't silly - it sounds like you've had some disappointments, and are trying to avoid similar situations in the future.

Also, your question made me fish my forgotten satin case out of the linen closet. Thanks!
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:35 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]


So you know how AskMeFi sometimes just tells people that it's ok to break up and they have permission to do it, now go forth and DTMFA?

Yeah OP, I think you should consider this thread a preemptive "DTMFA" you can pull out and use like a "get out of jail free" card if you ever encounter a man who questions your choice in pillowcases or otherwise gives you "a hard time (or worse) over any preferences of [yours] they couldn't scientifically validate."
posted by Jacqueline at 5:13 PM on September 22


Honestly, OP, I think you accidentally invented a really useful lifehack/diagnostic.

"Worried the guy you're seeing is an irredeemable asshole and misogynist? Switch one of your pillowcases to a satin cover! You'll be AMAZED by the instant results!"
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:17 AM on September 24


« Older What's the best meal to make for someone in a...   |   Do you have a fave pressure cooker Aloo Gobi... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments