Monday, June 25, 2007

Sleep sex beyond wet dreams

hot in bed
May I tell you something about sex that you probably never have expected to know and therefore never were afraid to ask? In my earlier days as a medical writer I have been a sexology columnist for a German magazine and I have read as many publications in the field as I could reach. But I never have come across something like the following.

Of course every woman and every man has wet dreams, at least in some periods of life. Such wet dreams may also involve masturbation of some kind without being (fully) awake. Up to this point everything seems normal and far from being subject of sexual pathology. But researchers of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center have found in the medical literature a number of cases that showed «real sex» at sleep. This sleep sex behaviour shows the same spectrum as daytime sex: intercourse with a consenting partner, with or without orgasm, but also sexual assault and rape. Let it be understood: The active partner has been asleep. In some cases the sexual arousal was so high that the researchers refer to them as sexual seizures or ictal orgasms.

The ugly face of sleep sex is that roughly every third case is violent and that the victims often are minors. In 85 percent of the cases with «consenting» adult partners the sex-sleepers suffered from adverse physical or psycho-social outcomes, but 15 percent reported having felt pleasure. By the way, pleasure was more frequent in the partners who had sex with the sleepers.

Due to the frequency of negative outcomes, sleep sex is treated as a disease. The therapy involves tranquilizer (Clonazepam) and nasal ventilation (CPAP) in most cases. But I suspect that some of the sleep sex patients would prefer to stay sick.

Read more: Sleep sex stories at sleepsex.org, an article about sleep sex or sexsomnia at Wikipedia.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/bigfatrat/198479445/

No comments: