Regardless of the actual sizes of the two people, the big spoon is the person who is embracing their partner from behind, and the little spoon is the person in front being embraced. Any gender can play either role, though typically the cis-het stereotype always has the man as the big spoon and the woman as the little spoon. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, Blaylock-Solar tells mbg it can be nice to switch it up sometimes.
“Being the one who is embraced can give you an opportunity to be in a vulnerable position where you can be supported,” she says, adding, “Often because of toxic masculinity, a lot of guys don’t feel they have space to do that, but being the one who’s embraced allows you to receive the benefit of that expressed vulnerability and knowing that you’re safe. “
When we’re in a safe and loving relationship, we have the opportunity to operate outside of those cultural constructs, Blaylock-Solar says. So while everyone may have their preference of being the big or little spoon, who doesn’t want to be held sometimes?