Sleep sex or sexomnia: A dangerous disorder, can ruin lives

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 13, 2016, 2:53 pm IST
Updated Jun 8, 2018, 3:22 pm IST
It refers to any sexual behavior that happens while the person is asleep of which the person has no memory.
The action includes: masturbation, fondling, sexual intercourse and in some extreme cases even sexual assault.
 The action includes: masturbation, fondling, sexual intercourse and in some extreme cases even sexual assault.

In 2014, a case was reported where a Swedish man was acquitted of rape charges after the court found that he was asleep during the assault and it was proved that he was suffering from "sexomnia".

Have you ever heard of this term before?

What is it?

This thing is quite similar to sleepwalking. Sleep sex or sexomnia is real and it refers to any sexual behavior that happens while the person is asleep of which the person has no memory.

According to TheSexMD, “The sexual activities involved range from loud moaning, to masturbation, to touching and kissing a partner, or attempts at having sex. There also seems to be a large range in the intensity of the behavior, but some instances of rape as well as violent masturbation resulting in bruising have been reported.”

Neurologist Michel Cramer Bornemann, MD, a professor at the University of Minnesota talking about a case to WebMd says, "After the couple would fall asleep, the man would masturbate."

This thing happened a few times and then the couple decided to seek help. The wife started thinking that she wasn’t satisfying her husband and started doubting herself. However, that wasn’t the case, it was his sleeping disorder that was causing the problem.

History:

No one from medicine wanted to address this disorder. Professionals knew about it but feared that the masses wouldn’t accept this medical condition.

But, in 1996, Dr Colin Shaprio and Dr Nik Trajanovic from the University of Toronto, and Dr Paul Fedoroff from the University of Ottawa in Canada wrote a research paper on the disorder. The research started citing the disorder as a part of defence cases against rape and sexual assault.

Causes:

This is a parasomnia, where our brain is often confused between weather we are awake or asleep. Often the person might feel that he/she is awake and will know what they doing but have no control over this action.

The actions include: Masturbation, fondling, sexual intercourse and in some extreme cases even sexual assault.

Doctors till date can’t identify the cause of this disorder and what causes such reaction. The people suffering from like sleepwalking or sleep talking are at higher sexomnia than people who don't.

Drugs, stress, alcohol and sleep deprivation can also tiger this disorder. Many reports also claim that proper sleep can reduces the number of occurrences.

Not common, but dangerous

This is not a very common condition, but it’s very difficult for people who are suffering from it. The disorder is reported mostly in men.

Many suffering from it are unaware of this condition and often feel embarrassed to seek professional help. But one should be cautious as it can cause a lot of serious problem if not addressed.

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