What Is Sleep Sex
Sleep sex, also called sexsomnia(性眠症), refers to a sleep disorder where sexual behaviors are initiated and occur while an individual is asleep either involving a partner or in the presence of a partner. Sleep sex is in fact one type of sleep disorder (parasomnia拟梦症) that involves sexual behaviors. Only recently have researchers documented enough cases of sleep sex to propose that it be considered a unique diagnosis of sleep disorder.
Sleep sex encompasses a range of sexual behaviors, including (but probably not limited to):
- sexual touching of another person
- sexual vocalizations (moaning) and talking
- masturbation 自淫 (with and without orgasm)
- performing oral sex
- sexual intercourse (with and without orgasm)
While there are too few documented cases for researchers to describe sleep sex conclusively, the current understanding is that in cases of genuine sexsomnia, the behaviors are “involuntary” in that the sleeping person initiating them is unaware they are happening, and often has no memory of them occurring when confronted at a later point with the behavior. In several case studies, partners who are sexually acted upon describe having to shake or slap their partner to wake them up, at which point they appear disoriented and confused.
Interestingly, in some cases the partner reports that the sexual behavior during sleep is significantly different from the sexual behavior while awake (and in two cases I read, the sleep sex was preferred).