True Dating Confession: “I’m a Sexomniac and Have Sex While Sleeping” –

True Dating Confession: “I’m a Sexomniac and Have Sex While Sleeping”

0911 sexsomnia sm

Last week, we talked about sleepwalking and sleeptalking (and this funny dog sleep-chased-a-rabbit).

Well, today, one reader reveals that she has sleep-sex

Here’s our reader’s story…

“Sexsomnia” is a silly name for a disorder that causes a lot of problems for some people. Like sleepwalking, sleep-eating, sleep-dish-washing (it’s funny, but some people do really have this!), “sexsomnia” or “sleep sex” is part of a family of disorders called parasomnia. That umbrella also includes a couple of other behaviors, like bruxism (grinding the teeth) and restless leg syndrome. Sleep sex, like all parasomnias, ranges in severity. There have been instances where a rape case was dismissed because one or the other parties was experiencing a parasomnic espiode.

I have “sexsomnia,” which means that I engage in sexual activity in my sleep.

When I was about 18 or 19, I started waking up some nights in various states of undress, often very aroused. I sweat in my sleep, sometimes a lot, and I’ve noticed it is worse when I wake up in an aroused state. Sometimes I’ll wake up while I’m still engaged in auto-erotic behavior, ranging from running my hands over my torso to out-and-out masturbation. It used to be kind of scary, but nowadays I’m so used to it I usually just go put on a new set of PJs and go back to sleep, often without ever becoming fully awake. I’d guess that I’ve done this dozens (if not hundreds!) of times.

I have only involved another person twice. The first time was really frightening. One night, I was sharing a dorm bed with a boyfriend. It’s all extremely fuzzy, as parasomnic episodes tend to be, but I do clearly remember waking up in the middle of intercourse. I asked him what he thought he was doing. He told me he had been awakened by me touching him, very aggressively, and had simply followed my lead. I later found out it’s very common for sexsomniacs to be much more aggressive in their sleep than they would be awake. Frankly, that scared the crap out of me! Fortunately I was on the pill, but there have been cases where women have been impregnated during an episode. (When you’re asleep, your judgment on contraception isn’t so good!)

I talked to a campus physician about it. By then, I had heard about the disorder and done some research. She told me it was gaining acceptance as a legitimate parasomnia, and that the only thing I should really be concerned about was making sure my partners and anyone I would be co-sleeping with understood what was going on.

My current bed partner–my husband of three months–sleeps fairly soundly and generally is not awakened by my episodes. We also have a bigger bed, which helps, since I can stick to my own side. I did, however, wake him early in the morning a few months into our relationship, somewhat insistently. That time I woke up before any penetration occurred. It took a lot of convincing to make him believe he hadn’t taken advantage of me in some way, which is something a lot of sexsomniacs’ partners worry about.

Thankfully over the last year and a half, I have awakened only myself. It definitely seems to be tied to stress. We’re buying a house right now, and I wake up two or three nights a week in an aroused state. Most of the time it’s once or twice a month. People ask me if there are erotic dreams tied to my episodes, and I honestly don’t know. I don’t have any sense of waking from a dream, and if I’m dreaming I don’t remember it. Any feeling of arousal tends to dissipate pretty quickly once I’m awake, but there is definitely a physical response occurring. My husband says sometimes I make “noises” when this is going on.

It hasn’t negatively affected my life, but I seem to have a pretty mild case. It’s not much more than an occasional annoyance–some nights I sweat through a T-shirt and underwear and have to put on fresh ones. If I had a more severe form, I would probably pursue medical treatment. Some drugs have shown to be effective in limiting parasomnic episodes. As it is, I just keep a stock of PJs where I can easily stumble over and change at 4 a.m.

I want to help make this disorder more accepted. A lot of people don’t believe in it. What’s really interesting is that after the doctor confirmed my self-diagnosis, I mentioned it to my mom, and she said my dad used to show some signs of sexsomnia as well, back when they were married. Parasomnias do run in families, so that seems to even further confirm it as a legitimate disorder.

Thanks for sharing! Dear readers, have you ever woken up to find yourself aroused? Or even making out or having sex?

P.S. One reader had a sleepwalking one-night-stand!

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