Have you ever initiated sex while you were asleep?
September 30, 2005 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out if this has happened to anybody else.

Last night, in the dead of night, my boyfriend pulled me on top of him and started kissing me and started trying to take my pajama pants off, ostensibly in the hopes of getting laid. I was really tired, so I told him to lay off and let me go back to sleep. This morning I asked him about it and he has no memory of doing this. It's happened before- he'll wake me up in the middle of the night by kissing me, and in the morning denies it ever happened.

I actually think it's pretty cute and funny- and especially ironic, considering he is not the most affectionate guy.

What I'm wondering is, is this normal? Has it ever happened to anyone else?
posted by elisabeth r to Human Relations (32 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I remember reading an article that discussed "sleep sex", where people go all the way through the act with passion and evident pleasure, but don't remember a thing in the morning. There was one woman quoted in the article that was having problems holding back pressuring her normally rather restrained boyfriend or husband to go to sleep so she could have great sex.

Can't find the article though :(
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:26 PM on September 30, 2005

Oh man. I'm busted.

Hi, idiotfactory!
posted by symphonik at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2005

Nighthumper! Yes, it's normal.
posted by jessamyn at 3:36 PM on September 30, 2005

Sleep sex
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:38 PM on September 30, 2005

It's happened to me. I once awoke to find myself in coitis. It was bewildering... at first. Turns out later that I initiated sex, while asleep.

I'm a sound sleeper, though I've been known to sleepwalk and to talk in my sleep.

My gf wasn't upset, and afterwards was very amused by my story.
posted by funkbrain at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2005

I do this all the time. I usually wake up halfway through it, but not always. My partner loves it.
posted by pornucopia at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2005

Asleep Style
posted by flod at 3:49 PM on September 30, 2005

Well at least he asks. I prefer the sneak up from behind while she's asleep method.

Disclaimer: Ex-girlfriend was a fan of this practice.
posted by vaportrail at 4:11 PM on September 30, 2005

My ex and I did it ALL THE TIME. Sometimes she would wake up with me doing it to her, other times she'd be attacking me. Sometimes we'd remember it, other times only one of us would recall it.

Intriguing that you say he's not the most affectionate guy - my theory is that sleep sex is a "pressure valve" enabling us to live out our more primal instincts. To my knowledge I've never had sleep sex with someone new. Always someone I trust intimately and have been with a long time.
posted by skylar at 4:14 PM on September 30, 2005

I presume no one's using barrier contraception here. Because what about the times when NEITHER of you wakes up, eh?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:10 PM on September 30, 2005

My ex and I used to do this. It was funniest when we would both wake up in the morning and be completely clueless as to why the sheets were torn off the bed and find a condom on the floor.

At least it was safe sleepsex.
posted by zerokey at 5:25 PM on September 30, 2005

One more funny that got rattled out of my brain just now:
Apparently, I had fallen asleep while on top and still inside. I remember waking up to punches and screams in the morning: "get the fuck off of me..get the fuck out of me!"
posted by zerokey at 5:28 PM on September 30, 2005

Wow, other people's sex lives scare me. I'm not sure I'd ever want to be in a relationship with someone who put up with me initiating sex while she was asleep. Also, falling asleep while on top? I can't tell if everyone is so comfortable with themselves that they can behave like this or in fact insecure to the point where they consider this normal.

I mean, doesn't one think "Gee, he/she prefers to sleep with me when I can't say no," or "Gee, I must be really bad if he/she fell asleep during sex." Maybe it's me.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:35 PM on September 30, 2005

I've been known to get pretty lecherous when I'm asleep. My wife alternately finds it either funny or annoying, depending on whether I wake her out of a deep sleep.
posted by gurple at 5:47 PM on September 30, 2005

Consider yourself lucky. I've never gotten kissy with my boyfriend while I was asleep, but I did punch him in the head once in the middle of a bad dream.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 6:34 PM on September 30, 2005

We call it sleephumping... I'll wake up to a boner against my backside and a sleeping boyfriend kissing my shoulders. I generally wake up a little, decide if I'm game for waking him up and going for it (often very pleasant), or stuffing a pillow between us for him to enjoy instead. He rarely remembers fully unless he got laid (by me, not the pillow).

A close friend of mine admitted that she was married to a man who sleephumped nightly because his dreams were vivid enough to get him, err, moving in reality. She'd do the same... either help him out or build a small fortress out of pillows.
posted by hamster at 7:11 PM on September 30, 2005

It's definately you.
posted by vaportrail at 7:29 PM on September 30, 2005

I do this fairly infrequently, or so the wife tells me. Personally, I can't remember it at all, so I feel kinda . . . stiffed.
posted by Ryvar at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2005

all i can say is that it's never happened to me ... and some night, you really ought to try letting him have his way ... sounds like fun
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on September 30, 2005

I've initiated this with partners. But that's 'normal', so let me tell a different story.

I was with some people that picked me up hitching. They were two straight couples. They invited me to stay with them for the night, and I was sleeping on the floor next to one of the pairs.

I woke in the middle of the night to find my hands were wandering their way towards the guy next to me. Freaked me out! Not that he was unattractive (these people were really nice, the guys were both sweethearts, a few years older than my 17 years). But he was straight, and I'm gay. Oops. Besides, his girlfriend was next to him.
posted by Goofyy at 9:36 PM on September 30, 2005

Sleephumping is where my beautiful baby girl came from. And someday, she will use Google to find this comment. Poor little thing.
posted by ColdChef at 9:49 PM on September 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

allen.spaulding - to be clear, I was asleep to begin with.
posted by zerokey at 10:42 PM on September 30, 2005

It's not fully normal, but it can be benign - it needs to be causing problems before it's worth doing anything about. If it just makes you laugh about it in the morning, I would suggest that you steer well clear of neurologists, lest your boyfriend get sticky electrodes put on his scalp and find himself with bottles full of pills to take.

Googling for "parasomnias", specifically "REM sleep behavior disorder" and "confusional arousals" will find you more information on these topics, as well as some red flags to note.

This would be a long shot, but I present it as an example of a red flag: Does your boyfriend ever have staring spells where his attention can't be obtained; or involuntary movements? I can think of a few cases of complex partial epilepsies with nocturnal arousals and complex behaviors during the seizures; that's something that needs to be diagnosed.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:10 PM on September 30, 2005

There was also a secondary plotline on House involving a woman who had miscarried but didn't believe she could have been pregnant to begin with, then later she comes to him with hickeys on her neck, not believing they're hickeys. Turned out she'd sleepwalked downstairs to her ex-husband's apartment and shagged him, multiple times. Some comment is made about acting on her subconscious desires.

Yep, I get my learning from TV.
posted by tracicle at 12:06 AM on October 1, 2005

It happens to me and hubby sometimes. I can't really tell who initiates it because when it happens, I wake up to find myself in the middle of a mad makeout session. It's always quite heated, much more than in "real life". Things usually progress from there. It was kind of scary when we were just using condoms for BC- somehow we always managed to wake up enough to remember (I think!). I assume that he starts it (he sleep gropes me all the time) but if I wake up and find myself in the middle of it, I just enjoy it.
posted by wallaby at 5:54 AM on October 1, 2005

Hm...I can't help but thinking...

Wife: Jesus, get your hands off me, I'm trying to sleep! And keep THAT away from THERE!

Husband: Ugh..oh, sorry baby, I must have been doing it in my sleep.

Wife: Oh...I'm sorry I yelled. I know its not something you can control. Goodnight, honey.

Husband: Goodnight, dear.

Husband inner dialogue: Heh heh heh. Sleep, yeah, thats it. Heh heh heh.
posted by Atreides at 11:30 AM on October 1, 2005

See also this Mimi Smartypants entry.
posted by climalene at 11:56 AM on October 1, 2005

When I met my current gf, I did warn her that if she happens to wake me up in the middle of the night, before the top brain engages fully, then the bottom brain (ie penis) has full control over my body.

So she wakes me up most nights around 3am. :)
posted by badlydubbedboy at 4:53 AM on October 3, 2005

My ex used to do this all the time. I'm absolutely convinced that he was really asleep and unaware of what he was doing. He'd also, while asleep, propose to me and beg me to promise that I was going to marry him.

I found one of those things fun and one extremely disturbing. ;-)
posted by INTPLibrarian at 10:24 AM on October 3, 2005

It's happened to me, with one of my exs, the first time I was kind of alarmed, but on subsequent occaisions I just went with it, on average, he was slightly better asleep than awake.
posted by nile_red at 10:06 PM on December 2, 2005

Oh! actually, I've done this! A guy woke me up while I was initiating sex and I was so confused that I wasn't aroused anymore. He was pissed and I was kinda confused and suggested next time he just not wake me up...I completely forgot about it til now.
posted by nile_red at 10:10 PM on December 2, 2005

My wife is reading over my shoulder and claims that I, too, am an avid sleep humper. Though I am not aware of how often this particular affliction seizes hold of me.

I do know, however, some nights I awaken to stare deeply into my wife's eyes, and I am actually paralized by this sensation of agonizingly intense love, it's the most powerful thing I've ever felt. Better than shrooms. I can't explain why it happens, though. The feeling is so intense it must be chemical, and it happens about once a week.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:14 AM on December 3, 2005

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