Mixed sex sleepovers

By Rachel Hynes.

Just cleaning up after a birthday sleepover. My daughter had six friends stay over last night. They all bunked down in the loungeroom, eating pizza and watching DVDs. Till 3 in the morning.

Two of the kids who stayed over were boys. This scenario was one I’d ruled out a year ago. I am nothing if not inconsistent.

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My daughter goes to a co-ed school, and is very fortunate to count boys among her good friends. In the past she has asked to stay at others’ places, where there would be boys and girls sleeping over, and I’ve said no. Like the teenager she is, she’d asked ‘Why?’

Sometimes I am not very good at answering ‘Why?’ Sometimes my rules are a bit like those on Family Feud – asked a question, I give an answer that is most likely to be held by the majority of the population, the ‘most popular response’.

So there was a bit of that going on here. And also, it’s very complex. I know that boys and girls can be ‘just friends’, but at that age there is a lot of line blurring. And although I might know my daughter and where she’s at, I can’t say the same for other kids I don’t know so well.

Then she’d ask, ‘If I was a lesbian, does that mean I wouldn’t be allowed to have girls stay over?’

Jeez!  I don’t know!!!!!

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Anyway, I decided that I was actually ok with it. They’d all be in the loungeroom, which I’d have to walk through (several times a night) to go to the loo. I am also a light sleeper so I thought I’d be aware if there were any clandestine visits to a bedroom (I must say this was unlikely given these kids, but I’ve been surprised before).

They had a great time, it went off without a hitch, and I’d probably do it again.

Or would I? These kids are 14/15. Do the risks change at 16? 17?

I know some parents might wonder what the fuss is about, while others may think mixed sleepovers are entirely unnecessary and asking for trouble.

What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.



  1. I don’t get the ‘if boys and girls get together they must be doing it’ stigma.. I am friends with two girls and a guy and we often have sleepovers. We are 16 and 17. Sure we’ve developed feelings, that’s what happens when you’re 16. But we don’t go around screwing everything that moves! Especially not during a sleepover and especially not in someone else’s house! It’s paranoia to think that. If they were planning to do something like that, it wouldn’t be at a sleepover.



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