How to cope with sleep-sex fantasy gone wrong?
November 6, 2012 12:00 PM Subscribe
A few months ago during pillow talk, I gave my husband permission to have sex with me while I was asleep. Last night he did it, and I felt far more violated than I expected. How should I deal with these feelings of resentment and regret, given that I gave him prior consent? (Possible TW.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My husband & I have a rich sex life, and I've always felt comfortable sharing fantasies and exploring new experiences with him. We are very sexually available to each other, and often one of us will wake the other up in the morning with some form of prelude to lovemaking. At the time, the idea of him taking me while I was fully asleep seemed sexy, though I will admit that I assumed I would wake up before it really got going. Last night proved me wrong, and I wasn't prepared for how horrible and violating it ended up feeling.
We went to sleep as usual, and at some point I started to have a weird dreamlike feeling that something was poking around my vagina. It was of course totally dry, so it was an itchy, uncomfortable feeling. I shifted position and drifted back into sleep.
The next thing I remember is being on my back under him, though I don't remember feeling him penetrating me or any of the usual sensations of sex. I was uncomfortable (I'm pregnant so missionary sex can be awkward) and tried to shift around again so I could go back to sleep. It hurt and I started to get upset that I couldn't do anything about it; it felt like a bad dream I couldn't wake myself up from. At some point he must've gotten off me because I ended up curled up on my side.
I think this is when he started to have some regrets of his own, or concerns that I hadn't wanted it; he hugged me and roused me more fully. I got up to pee (again, pregnant, so sleepwalk peeing is something I'm quite good at), and when I came back I got back into bed ready to sleep. I had no memory of the sex at this point. As far as I was concerned, he had just snuggled me a bit and woken me up.
He hugged me again and I asked him what was wrong. He said that we'd had sex. I was sleepy, but waking up more, enough to be mystified. "We did?" I only remembered dreamlike flashes of the experience, none pleasant. I think I had assumed it *was* a dream. I told him I didn't remember, but it was okay, that we'd talk about it in the morning.
I had a hard time getting back to sleep because the more I thought about the experience the worse I felt. It was the most powerless I've ever felt; I didn't want what was happening to me but lacked any capacity to express that. When we talked about it in the morning, he admitted that he'd felt bad about it too. I asked why he continued, and he said he had really wanted to have sex, and since I wasn't fighting back he didn't feel like he had forced me. I tried to express to him that I couldn't have fought back; I literally had no capacity to do so. I think he understood how I felt, and he agreed to never do it again unless I am awake and aware enough to consent.
In many ways, it was just a sexual experiment gone wrong, and we were able to communicate openly about it both before and after the fact. And given that he had prior permission, I don't feel that he acted out of the boundaries of our relationship in any way. But I still can't shake the feelings I'm having now, ranging from resentment at his lack of sensitivity to intense feelings of physical violation. I really don't want to say the r-word, since there was prior consent, but the feelings of helplessless, confusion, and shame are all there.
What can/should I do to deal with these feelings without blaming him or accusing him of acting improperly? I want to find a healthy way to cope that acknowledges the bad experience I had, and allows me to move on physically and emotionally, so this doesn't fester into something that could really damage our relationship.