17 January 2006

Are you a sexomniac?

Many people fall asleep after sex, but there are some that sleep during sex. Canadian researchers have named this intriguing phenomenon "sexomnia".


Many people fall asleep after sex, but there are some that sleep during sex. Canadian researchers have named this intriguing phenomenon "sexomnia" – a condition in which people who are asleep proceed to initiate sex with their bed partner.

Three researchers from the universities of Ottawa and Toronto and the Toronto Western Hospital, described "sexomnia" as a mix between having a wet dream and sleepwalking.

The study results were published in the June edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Some partners not phased by sexomniac's advances
The researchers made an even more astonishing discovery when they found that not all the partners of people with the disorder were distressed or irritated by the idea of having sex with an unconscious person. In fact some almost prefer it.

The researchers define "sexomnia" as a "distinct variation" of sleepwalking and stumbled across this phenomenon while interviewing patients at a sleep clinic.

"Only subsequently did the issue of sexual behaviour during sleep emerge," wrote the study authors, although they had noted prior cases of indecent exposure during sleep.

Not yet recognised
"We anticipate that the number of potential cases is large but sexual behaviour in sleep is not yet recognised by physicians as a behaviour of note or a problem," say the researchers.

The researchers' study consisted of 11 case studies, mostly male. A 35-year-old married man admitted that he had sexual dreams and "enacts these by having intercourse with his wife, who is convinced he is asleep…(he) is only aware of his behaviour from his wife's reports."

He's a different person when he's 'sleep-sexing'
Two girlfriends of a 43-year-old man "independently confirmed that he frequently engages in sexual behaviour while asleep. One describes him as a 'different person' during these activities – apparently he is a more amorous and gentle lover and more orientated towards satisfying his partner."

However, not all sexomniacs are more sensitive, another 37-year-old man is "more aggressive and more amorous" while he's sleeping, says his wife. "He indulges in behaviours while asleep that he does not undertake when awake…there is no stopping him."

But she admits, when he tried to throttle her, she had to slap him. (Health24)




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