From the Mailbag: “I Overcame Sex-somnia”

Here’s what I think about sleep sex. It is a sleep disorder like talking, walking or eating in one’s sleep. I believe it is called sexsomnia. Some say that it is not possible, but it is. I had this, and it was hard for me to overcome this disorder. My wife would tell me I had sex with her while she slept, but I would not remember doing it or feeling it. To me, it was like a dream that was acted out. I would not know or remember doing this to her. She tried to say I raped her, but the fact that this is a sleep disorder prevented her from pressing charges. But she did leave me because she did want to help me find a solution to my problem. I went to a therapist, and he suggested a few exercises and meditation. I’m finally over it, and I have noticed the difference in my attitude towards women. I mean, I’m not as lustful and am more respectful. — Ex-Sexsomniac



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  1. lets_be_honest says:

    Weird. You get a lot these…statements?

    1. I get some weird emails, definitely. Most of them I don’t publish because they’re just calling me — or women in generally — terribly misogynistic names and I don’t want to lend a platform to all that. This past week I have been getting some INSANE emails from conspiracy theorists since an old column about a woman dating a budding conspiracy theorist was posted on Reddit. OMG, those emails (and comments — SO MANY COMMENTS that I have not published) have been grade-A cray. And it’s funny that the point of the emails was to argue that they AREN’T insane at all and I should have a more open mind. And then they tell me I should go kill myself. Mmkay. Yep, not crazy at all.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Jeez. I can only imagine. You really should make a fun day of it though. Crack open a bottle of wine and you and Drew can read the nutty ones to each other.

      2. Well, *I* think most of those kinds of emails are funny-sad, but Drew just gets angry. For some reason, he does not see the humor in some random guy telling me to hang myself. Party-pooper.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, yea, wasn’t looking at it that way.

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Ugh, I am with Drew – not funny! Be careful Wendy. Or maybe you should go by Mendy Matterberry to throw off the crazies. I’d hate for them to somehow find out where you, Mew, and Mackson live!

      5. Don’t worry, I have friends in high places.

      6. One of my cat videos blew up on youtube after some Brazilian blog posted it, and people left me some MESSED up comments about how I should be shot/killed/tortured- it was nuts.
        Oh, and the video was just of us dropping one of our cats in a pile of snow for a second! Talk about over reaction!

      7. Wow.

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        That’s scary, bethany! But 12,000+ views? That’s impressive!

      9. One day there were like 8 views, the next, 11,000! It was posted on a few blogs about people who throw their cats in the snow, or something. Then someone in Brazil posted it to their blog…?? Youtube Analytics are pretty interesting!

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        I liked “oooh a cat is wet, call peta”

      11. …the fuck??

        I seriously don’t understand, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE. I feel bad when I’m snarky to an LW, like how does anyone leave comments like that & not cry in a corner afterwards?

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        oh my god!!

      13. After I tossed my cat in a drift the other day (to thwart his escape attempt), he then took off over 3-4 foot drifts forcing me to give chase. So it’s not totally clear who is winning, the cats or us. One minute later, he was cuddling on my lap, licking himself. So he either suffers from some sort of PTSD Helsinki syndrome type o thing, or maybe he was just having fun, liking the attention I was giving him. Please don’t inform the Brazilians of my crimes.

      14. Comments like that – the hateful, pointless name-calling ones really depress me. I’m a big proponent of solar energy, and the comments in our local newspaper websites get so ugly -and I would think that was a fairly neutral topic. When it comes to the ones on any given social issue, it’s worse. I love the interwebs for providing the forum it does for this (and many other) site(s), I just wish the trolls would retain some modicum of reasonable human interaction. Anyway, lots of sentences to say “Bad trolls! Don’t talk to DW (or anyone else) that way! Bad!”

      15. *laugh* I can understand Drew’s logic. However, getting mad only fuels these guys. Tell them that you’re scared and need a big strong man to show you how, and once they show you by demonstrating on themselves, you’d be more than happy to give it a whirl. But, women are notorious liars (so intimates the bible), therefore we can’t be trusted and as such, you would never actually do it.

    1. Either that or it stems from a heated discussion on this topic and this dude feels the need to assert his POV. Didn’t that happen here at some point in the not so distant past? Or am I imagining things?

      1. painted_lady says:

        It did. Or at least we’re half-remembering the same faulty memory.

    2. artsygirl says:

      If there is a benevolent deity then yes this is fake

  2. I think there was a Law and Order SVU episode about sex in your sleep! Some guy raped his gf’s little sister. Don’t remember what else happened.

    That being said, if your life resembles a SVU episode, you have serious issues.

  3. wait a minute… i know this condition exists but how does this condition have anything to do with his attitude towards women when he’s awake (he’s “not as lustful and am more respectful”)? i talk in my sleep but that doesn’t mean i’m a chatterbox in real life.

    1. That’s what I was thinking— I mean, supposedly this condition ~does~ exist, but I’m betting this guy never actually suffered from it, if he’s claiming that the sexsomnia somehow affected his attitude towards women while awake.

  4. not buying this guy blaming sexsomnia…the last sentence he states ” I’m finally over it, and I have noticed the difference in my attitude towards women. I mean, I’m not as lustful and am more respectful”…i don’t think sleep walking has anything to do with how you are in your day to day life…same way your dreams do not reflect who you are as a person…i think this dude took advantage of his wife and came up with the lamest excuse to justify it! creepy!

    1. But don’t worry, he’s all better now.

  5. Sounds like some mens rights crapola… and/or fake!!

  6. Rangerchic says:

    This guy sounds weird but I do know this happens because it happened to my best friend. She would wake up to her husband having sex with her but he would not remember it the next day….at all. It was rare though so it doesn’t happen all the time or regularly.

  7. Woah…reading up on sleep sex: website claims that up to 1% of the population suffers from this!

  8. I actually suffered from this for years, and only a balancing condition, paranoid sexsomniac erectile dysfunction, saved my wife from years of nocturnal violation. Funny ol’ world AIN’T IT?

  9. Excuse me? Sexsomnia is only one form of PARASOMNIA. Parasomnia presents itself in a variety of ways. Talking in your sleep, walking in your sleep, eating, masturbation, initiating sex, having sex, performing a variety of tasks, insomnia, etc.

    I’d be VERY curious to know exactly what kind of “therapy” this guy did in order to cure his sexsomnia. Sexsomnia does not cause someone to be lustful during their wake time. They are not rude to the opposite sex.
    In fact, you CAN be charged with a sex crime for forcing sex upon someone even if you have sexually manifested parasomnia.

    How do I know? I’m a parasomniac. All four of my kids are parasomniacs. My oldest manifests as a sleep walker/talker. The other three are just talkers right now, with the second one also getting night terrors on occasion. I’m an insomniac, night terrors, talking, walking, cooking, other tasks, and sex acts.

    I’m going to call bullshit on this letter.

    1. says:

      The thing that bothers me about this letter is how dismissive he is if the fact that he forced himself on his wife. The fact that he didn’t mean to do it doesn’t make it less traumatizing for her, and I’m sure it didn’t help that he appears to resent her for being upset about it.

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