Recently, I was asked what are the differences between Somnophilia and Sexsomnia.
This is great question. Somnophilia is a paraphilia in which sexual arousal or orgasm are stimulated by intruding on and awakening a sleeping person with erotic caresses, but not with force or violence. For a complete definition please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somnophilia .
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To better understand the differences let us define paraphilia and parasomnia.
A paraphilia is sexual arousal to objects, situations, or individuals that are not part of normative stimulation. Paraphilia involves sexual arousal and gratification, involving a sexual behavior that is atypical or extreme. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphilia for more.
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A parasomnia is a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal and unnatural movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or during arousal from sleep. Most parasomnias are dissociated sleep states which are partial arousals during the transitions between wakefulness and NREM sleep, or wakefulness and REM sleep. For more read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasomnia
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Even though both, somnaphilia and sexsomnia, involve sex they are far from the same. It is very unfortunate the adult entertainment industry ascribes the term “sleepsex” to what is really a somnaphilia fetish. Unfortunate since Sexsomnia is also known as Sleepsex. So when a person conducts research they will be bombarded with pornography depending on the term they use. I highly recommend using the term Sexsomnia.
Personally, I take a que sera, sera approach to any fetish between two consenting adults. However, let me be clear… No similarities exist between somnophilia and sexsomnia. Somnophilia is a conscious decision to engage in sexual acts while the sexsomniac has no control over sexual actions since they are unconscious during the sexual event.
Hopefully, this will clear the air and set the record straight about both somnophilia and sexsomnia. Let us spread the word about sexsomnia aka sleepsex. What do you say?
If you have any questions or comments please let me know. Thank you.
Take care and be well.