Don’t laugh, but my boyfriend f–ks me when he’s asleep. I know he’s not pretending because he snores while he’s f–king me! It doesn’t do a whole lot for my self-esteem. In fact, it’s really getting annoying, and creepy to boot. What can I do?
I’m not laughing. “Sleepsex,” or sex activity that occurs during sleep, is a recognized phenomenon in sleep research.
Most sleep researchers don’t believe it’s classifiable as a distinct sleep disorder like sleep apnea (a temporary stoppage of breathing) and think it’s a variant of sleepwalking. Also, they’re leery about classifying the disorder separately because of the potential for abuse.
Like you, most partners of sleepsexers find the episodes disturbing. People have broken up about it. But that’s only because they haven’t written to Woody. I say throw caution—and your legs—to the wind. Use the disorder to improve your sex life.
There’s a great example of that possibility in a report published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. A sleepsex sufferer was a lot more aggressive and dominant with his girlfriend during sleep, biting her and talkin’ trash. Though she was disturbed about the whole thing she found that she liked his late-night persona better, so they incorporated it into their daytime sex. You go, girl.
What causes “sleepsex?” One theory flashing its girdle around scientific circles is the classic Freudian repression vibe about doing in dreams what you’re too afraid to do in life. But some researchers think that theory should be a little more modest on account of there’s so much flab around it. They point out that sleepsex doesn’t always occur when a person’s dreaming. There’s just not enough research to make any theory hard enough to penetrate the scientific community.