Sexsomnia or sleep sex is a condition that is still being explored for its cause and operation. This strange behavior during sleep has only been officially named and recognized for less than 10 years. Dr. C. M. Shapiro was the first to coin the term sexsomnia.
Most of us have heard of sleep walking. This occurs when a person gets out of bed and begins to wander around while still sound asleep. Some have even been known to exit their house or apartment and stroll through the neighborhood.
Sexsomnia occurs when a person begins a similar routine to sleep walking, but seeks to engage in sex without awakening. Because of the risk of having sex with total strangers, this can be a quite serious condition. There is a chance of becoming pregnant and/or contracting a disease during an episode of this behavior. It is thought that sexsomnia is closely related to the wet dreams that many experience during adolescence and other periods of sex deprivation.
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There have been documented accounts of women who have had multiple partners during periods of sexsomnia. Many who suffer from this report frequent fatigue after what appears to them to be a good night’s sleep. Neighbors and roommates have reported being confronted for sex by people with sexsomnia.
While most people are simply willing partners for sex when sexsomnia takes over, some have been know to become quite aggressive. Rapes have even been reported by victims of people who are sexsomniacs. Convictions can be difficult to obtain if the illness can be substantiated because it is believed that the person committing the rape was unaware of his actions.
Other sexsomniacs have become improved and more considerate lovers during spells of sexsomnia. Wives and girlfriends have been quite complimentary of men who have displayed these tendencies during their bouts of sexsomnia. The men involved often are likely to be concerned about their partner’s pleasure over their own. They do not rush to complete the sex act, but spend time in foreplay to make sure that the woman’s pleasure is maximized. (About Sexsomniacs)
This condition can be treated with some medications to reduce the likelihood of nocturnal amorous adventures. Getting adequate sex when awake is thought to help alleviate the episodes. Also, it is recommended that people who suffer from this condition try to avoid stress especially just before retiring for the night. High stress conditions have been demonstrated to increase the frequency of sexsomnia.
If you think that you may be a victim of this condition, it is recommended that you see a sleep specialist to get into treatment and therapy. Because of the risks from sexsomnia, it is better to get treated sooner than later.
Source: Teal, Allen. (2007) Sexsomnia (sleep sex) Causes Helium.com http://www.helium.com/items/711504-sexsomnia-sleep-sex-causes Retrieved 21 Oct 2012