What it's like to have sexsomnia...

'Someone Else Was At the Wheel': What It's Like to Have Sexsomnia

I live with a sleep disorder that makes me initiate sex in my sleep. Before I learned from it, I feared it deeply.


I have sexsomnia, a sleep abnormality that causes me to initiate sex when Iím asleep. Think of sleepwalking, but instead of walking I, well, you know. Those of us whoíve got what the DSM-5 calls non-REM sleep-arousal disorder, which research has found to be as much as three times as prevalent in men as in women, are prone to fondling a partner, performing oral sex, and even engaging in full-on penetrative sex and reaching orgasm, all while completely asleep. For me, as I understand is common, it flares up when Iím stressed, sleep-deprived, going to bed drunk, and particularly some combination of all three. Iíve only recently learned that thereís a name for this disorder. For years, Iíve just thought of it as somethingóor someoneóthat activates inside me at night.