There’s sleep talking, sleep walking, and there’s also sleep sexing. In a rare condition experienced by less that 1 per cent of the population, sexsomnia involves trying to have sex with your partner, while you’re asleep.
In what can be a horrific way to wake up, the condition is reported to affect mostly men, however there are an increasing number of reported cases appearing in women too.
While the exact cause of sexsomnia is unknown, researchers have suggested that disruptions in sleep cycles, alcohol consumption, or sleeping pills can increase the likelihood of sexsomnic episodes.
According to some open sexomniacs on social media platform reddit, there is often no awareness or memory of the episodes occurring, and episodes are not always unwelcome.
“There's been about a dozen times my wife and I have both awoke while having sex. There's nothing better than waking up to an unplanned orgasm. There's been times when the wife has messaged me asking if we had sex the night before,” said user creer22.
One female user backed up the positivity of the experience. “Me and my husband do it all the time and I really enjoy it! It’s a different turn on feeling,” said Harry-Potter-Girl.
It seems however that these cases are in the minority, with the awkward and embarrassing nature of the condition usually more prevalent.
“I don't remember a thing about it, but it's probably caused by my anxiety problems,” said yesimhiding. “The worst time was quite recent, I tried it on and apparently thought things were going well because I launched myself on top of her (I was even talking to her throughout this lol) and accidentally head-butted her. I imagine this was because I was asleep and couldn't see anything.”
There is no known cure for sexsomnia, but one user (who has since deleted their account) had an innovative way to prevent sleep-sexing. “Sometimes I sleep in bluejeans and a belt to help. I can't get them off while sleeping and usually give up....”