Sexsomnia

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Me, sleeping, 2010

I recently read about a phenomena called “sexsomnia” (a condition in which a person will engage in sexual activities while asleep) that has rapidly increased amongst men, especially men accused of rape and sexual assault. The accused men claim they suffer from sexsomnia – but they use it in order to avoid going to prison. They can’t be found guilty or being held responsible for their rape or sexual abuse if they weren’t aware of their own actions. This is a very sad and troubling social development. Either there’s a severe epidemic of sexsominia spreading – but only man to man – or it’s a tragic trend. It’s affecting me deeply because I use to live with a man who would only want to have sex with me while I was asleep. I often found myself being in the middle of an intercourse while sleeping in my own bed at night. Always from behind. I heard his breaths and grunts as he was handling me as if I was nothing more than a fuck doll. Once I woke up this way, I felt confused and strange. Like I didn’t know if it was a good thing or not. We hadn’t been sexual together for a few years, the only times were were intimate was when I was falling asleep, waking up or sound asleep. Never during the day. Never when I felt sexy and ready. Always when I was in my most vulnerable state – relaxed, unprepared and kind of out of it.

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Even though this made me feel confused while it was happening, I let him do it to me. I didn’t fight or push him off. But it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t enjoying myself. My pussy wasn’t even wet – my mind was in a totally different place. My friends label this as ‘rape’ – I didn’t see it that way at the time, but now I see how I was sexually abused while I was asleep and thinking I was in my safe place, with the man who was supposed to protect me, not cause me any discomfort or abuse. When I confronted him the next day I asked him “What were you doing to me last night?” and he answered with a smile: “Oh, yes – wasn’t it nice?”. “But… I was asleep” I said and he shrugged his shoulders and simply answered: “Well…so was I”. And that was that. He never asked me if it was OK to do that, and I was too confused to tell him that it wasn’t. We weren’t having any intimacy or sex when I was awake so I thought, at least I’m having sex, even if it was in some twisted way. I wish I could have left him before we became sexless. As soon as a relationship dies that way, it’s probably gonna stay dead anyway.

I used to live with a man who suffered from sexsomnia, but he loved his disorder and embraced it. I have a feeling that it’s probably exactly what most men who claim they suffer from sexsomnia also does. What a lovely and convenient disorder for a man – but what a nightmare for his woman who can never be sure of what happened to her while she was asleep – in her own bed at night.

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