Thursday, October 9, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Elizabeth Black!!

Sexsomnia – Having Sex While You Are Asleep
Elizabeth Black

Imagine that you are sleeping peacefully, enjoying your night of restful slumber. Then you get up at o-dark-thirty in the morning, roll over onto your spouse, and fuck the hell out of him. Afterwards, you collapse onto your side of the bed, and sleep like a baby until morning.

The problem is that you were asleep while you did this. You don't remember a thing. The only way you know is because your spouse had first told you about these episodes, but you didn't believe him. So, he videotaped you in the middle of the night while you were busy bucking away on him, although you were in slumberland the entire time and completely clueless.

My new unnamed serial for the upcoming women's erotica web site Excitica includes discussion of this phenomenon, called "sexsomnia", or "sleep sex". Sex therapist Sydney Tanaka's new client, Brooklyn Dale, has many sexual hang-ups, including sexsomnia. During their first session, Brooklyn brought along a videotape of one of her sexsomnia episodes to watch with Sydney, hoping to get some insight into why she does that. Sydney watches the video with Brooklyn, but she is disturbed to realize that she is sexually aroused watching Brooklyn ride her very pleased husband reverse cowgirl style while she is fast asleep. While the serial is much more complex than sexsomnia alone, when I first learned of it, I was so intrigued that I had to include it into the storyline for this serial.

Think sexsomnia is all phooey-hokum make-believe you'd see only on Springer? Think again!

Psychologist Michael Mangan, Ph.D. is well-known for his research on sleep disorders, in particular sexsomnia. His web site describes sexsomnia as "sexual behavior that occurs during sleep. Some people seem to enjoy it and view it with a sense of humor. However, it can be disturbing, annoying, embarrassing and is a potentially serious problem for some couples and individuals." Factors that affect sexsomnia include alcohol and drug abuse, stress, other emotional problems, and fatigue.

Two researchers who have studied sexsomnia include Colin M. Shapiro and Christian Guilleminault. Shapiro had studied eleven people who had engaged in sexual behavior while they were asleep. Two were women. Nine were men. In his paper that detailed his findings, "Sexsomnia – A New Parasomnia", he wrote that sleep sex is another form of parasomnia. Parasomnias are "events that occur intermittently or episodically during the night. They may occur in any phase of sleep. Most parasomnias are characterized by partial arousals before, during, or after the event." Sleep sex ranges from loud moaning which disturbs other people to outright sexual assault. This disturbing behavior often accompanies abuse of alcohol and drugs, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Guilleminault conducted a similar study. His findings were published in the March/April issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Like the Shapiro study, the patients symptoms ranged from loud moaning to outright sexual assault. According to an article about the study published at the Talk About Sleep web site, "patients, like the Shapiro patients, had no recollection of their activities, since they were asleep. Guilleminault divided his patients into three categories – annoying, behaviors that placed the patient at physical risk, and those patients who made unwanted and sometimes violent sexual advances on their bed partners while asleep."

Think this is impossible? It might not be. It was initially thought of as rare, but researchers studying the phenomenon believe now that it may be more common than initially thought. It also made for a great plot device for my serial for Excitica. Look for the serial to come out in 2009.


Disclaimer: The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.

6 deadly screams:

Molly Daniels said...

Wow...had not heard of this!

I'd respond, but it's TMI...

Gracen Miller said...

I think I've heard it all now. lol And here I thought after reading your topic that it was going to be about sex dreams. Boy was I in for a surprise. *grins*

Thanks for blogging with us today, Lizzie.

Elizabeth Black said...

It's a real disorder - a paraphilia. I'm working on a serial for a new women's erotica site, and one of my characters suffers from sexsomnia. It's even been used as a defense against rape accusations.

I'm glad to blog here today. Thanks for the invite, Gracen!

Molly Daniels said...

You've GOT to be kidding me!

'I'm innocent, Your Honor...I was asleep when I forced myself on him/her!"

THAT sort of thing???

Gracen Miller said...

lol I agree, Molly. I thought the same thing. I can just hear the snickers in the court room with that defense.

Elizabeth Black said...

Oh, yeah, that's exactly it Molly. One guy was able to get around a rape charge using the sexsomnia defense. Amazing, isn't it? The new Twinkie Defense.

Check out the Jan Leudecke case: