Sleep sex, also called as sexsomnia, is considered as a distinct variant of sleepwalking. It is a form of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) parasomnia, which results in people committing sexual acts while they are asleep. Many cases of sleep sex instances involving masturbation by men and women are increasingly being reported. Sexual behaviours ranging from mere touching of the partner’s genitalia to real intercourse comes under sleep sex. Though less common, oral and anal sex practises also take place as part of sleep sex. Sleep sex is considered to be caused by hormonal irregularities and is linked with unfavourable variations that occur in the brain’s arousal mechanisms.
Sleepsex need not necessarily be considered troublesome. Some people who have this sleep disorder happily incorporate it as part of their normal sex lives. If the sex partner is willing to accept it as mere sex appeal, sleep sex would not be problematic. While some people do not mind having sex relationship with a sleeping partner, some others strongly dislike the idea.
Recent researches reveal that in some cases, sleep sex can turnout to be a very violent one. Many partners, especially women, consider the experience similar to that of a physical abuse. They find being molested by an unconscious husband or boyfriend who simply can not be awakened as a rape-like sex. Many men become extremely violent and demanding during sleep sex. Their partners find it very hard to cop up with the violence and the worst part is that they do not even remember about it the next morning as they get up.
Violent sleep sex remains to be a real threat faced by many couples. Neither neurology nor psychiatry has been able to point out the root cause behind this sexual behaviour. But individuals who suffer from such problematic sex episodes should seek expert help from a psychologist who has specialised in treating sleep disorders.