Help! I keep orgasming in my sleep and others know about it!
January 31, 2020 7:18 AM   Subscribe

I orgasm in my sleep with vocalizations. I'm a female aged 25-30. It's embarrassing and the only reason I know is because I've had family tell me. I don't know how to stop.

This has been happening to me since I was going through puberty. I'm not sure exactly why it happens, but I do notice it tends to happen if I don't sleep enough or sleep particularly late. I can tell it's happened the next morning because of the increased moisturize and because of the heavier feeling you have after orgasm. I also tend to moan apparently as told by family members, although they put it more gently than that. I want it to stop. I can't go on sleep over at others houses. I have a male family member that lives with me and he's been slightly creeping me out since he realized that this has been happening. I need to leave my living situation asap I don't feel safe anymore.
I'm not a super sexual person and I only masturbate maybe once a week.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

One obvious thing to try is masturbating more, perhaps before bed. Not such a bad prescription, really; you may enjoy it or learn some things about yourself!
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:25 AM on January 31, 2020 [13 favorites]

Ugh, I'm so sorry about the male family member creeper. He's beyond the pale, but I don't like how the rest of your family have handled this, either. This is harmless to you and them. If they noticed, they should have at the most felt affectionate amusement and gone about their days with their mouths firmly shut. They should have respected your privacy and not talked about this, either among themselves or with you. The person to tell you about this is your first co-sleeping partner and nobody damn else. It's none of their business that you have better dreams than they do. Meanwhile SaltySalticid is probably right about the solution.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:39 AM on January 31, 2020 [13 favorites]

Would this still bother you even if no one overheard you? If so, is there a doctor or other medical care provider you could talk to about this? They might be able to refer you to a specialist and you should be able to talk to them openly without worrying about judgment. People do all kinds of things in their sleep and medical professionals who specialize in sleep wouldn’t think this was something to be embarrassed about or make you feel awkward.

If the problem is really that you don’t like being overheard, then it makes sense to focus on a way to get a more private living space, or to make sure you have as much privacy as possible in the living space you’re currently in (could you play a white noise machine while you sleep? Move your bed against a different wall? Etc), or to find roommates who will understand the issue and not make you feel creeped out or judged. It sounds like this current family member is definitely a problem.
posted by sallybrown at 7:50 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

I have this occasionally. its usually because I haven't had sex recently and want to. so masturbating more often may help? sorry about the creeper relative, that sucks!
posted by supermedusa at 7:50 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would immediately get a white noise machine and put it right outside of your bedroom door to prevent your family member from hearing you while you sort this out. Look for ones that therapists use. I think one brand is called Marpac Dohm.

While you're waiting for your noise machine, I would go with SaltySalticid's suggestion, which might completely solve the issue. Then perhaps move out or have your family member move?
posted by vivzan at 7:57 AM on January 31, 2020 [15 favorites]

Has anyone else actually said they think you're orgasming or you sound like you're orgasming? People can make moaning sounds in their sleep for all kinds of reasons. Even if you're pretty sure you're making the sounds because you're having an orgasm, other people may not be making that assumption. I think most people would just assume it was random dream-related vocalization, maybe due to a scary dream. If no one else has suggested orgasm as a cause, I wouldn't assume that's what they think and I wouldn't say anything that might encourage them to think that. I would just say something like, "I vaguely remember having a scary dream. I must have been trying to scream in my sleep."

If you know for sure that your male family member thinks you're having orgasms in your sleep and he's doing/saying creepy things because of it, that does sound like a bad situation that might warrant moving out. But you certainly ought to be able to sleep at other people's houses or have roommates without worrying about making sounds in your sleep. Most people aren't automatically going to assume you're having an orgasm and you don't have to tell them.
posted by Redstart at 8:00 AM on January 31, 2020 [35 favorites]

Is this spontaneous orgasm or are you stimulating yourself in your sleep? If the latter, you could try ways to stop yourself being able to touch yourself, maybe safety pinning your pyjama top to pyjama bottoms or wearing mittens to bed?
posted by Balthamos at 8:03 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

You might consider audio and or video recording yourself as you sleep so you can hear for yourself what others are hearing and or seeing what you are doing. That way you'll have a better understanding of what's actually going on instead of third party reports.

For video you'd probably need something with night vision and near infrared illumination unless you can sleep with the lights on.
posted by TheAdamist at 8:15 AM on January 31, 2020 [7 favorites]

Gently, I think this I need to leave my living situation asap I don't feel safe anymore. is the more important issue. Sleep noises and sleep disturbances (you note you think you're not getting enough sleep) are certainly things you might want to work on, but get yourself into a living situation where you feel safe, first.

Sallybrown has offered some good strategies in the meantime.
posted by crush at 8:28 AM on January 31, 2020 [42 favorites]

I do this every month, right before my period. I can tell when my period's coming because of my falling-asleep-orgasms.

It sort of annoys my husband because he gets woken up on a weeknight by me having sexytimes without him. I...honestly don't feel sorry at all, hehe.

Anyway, hormonal cycle.
posted by Omnomnom at 9:22 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sleep Medicine is a branch of medicine that can look into this for you. Just because your sleep activity is pleasure-based, rather than involving choking off your own air supply, walking around, talking, or whatnot, it's a disorder if it's messing with your life, and it's messing with your life thanks to the people in your house being weird about it. It could be the sign of a hormone imbalance or something neurological that needs attention. Whether it's a bad thing or innocuous thing, it may also be treatable, too, and you won't know until you talk to a doctor.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding white noise machine/ box fan placed close to the door / playing 'sleep soundscapes' via your phone or laptop overnight.

A full bladder can stimulate pelvic floor nerves, leading to orgasms while you're asleep; empty your bladder before bedtime. (Try stopping fluids a couple of hours before that time, too).
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:22 AM on January 31, 2020

it's a disorder if it's messing with your life
WHAT. No. The determining factor for whether an aspect of a person's physicality is "disordered" cannot be other people "being weird about it." That kind of thinking has a long and terrible history, especially for women, especially when the supposed "disorder" is anything to do with women's sexuality.

Also, Sunburnt, are you a sleep specialist? Are you the op's sleep specialist? These dreams--like pretty much any observable phenomenon to do with sleep, which we famously know very little about--could maybe be a sign of something. However, nobody here is in a position to say that, and pointing it out seems unnecessarily alarmist because nothing in the post hints that they are a problem. Like, at all. She's having wet dreams. That's a thing normal people do. What's not a thing normal people do and what may well be a disorder of some kind is the behavior of the creep-O male relative. It is not normal to tease family members in ways that violate the incest taboo and invade their privacy and make them feel unsafe. The unhealthy one here is the creep-O and op's going to a sleep doctor won't do a thing to solve his problem.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:59 PM on January 31, 2020 [19 favorites]

People orgasm in their sleep all the time!! Neurological disorder is frankly an irresponsible suggestion and I wish people weren’t acting like you’re doing something weird. I’m not a doctor but that’s normal and the sounds you make in your sleep are involuntary. So other than prioritizing sleep, experimenting with getting off before bed, and trying sound-dampening methods, I urge you not to think of this as a problem.

The problem is your family making wildly inappropriate comments, and most importantly, the family member who’s making you feel unsafe. Can you afford to move? Are you in a position to kick him out? Do you have a friend you can trust you could stay with?

These family members are abnormal—you’re not.
posted by kapers at 1:14 PM on January 31, 2020 [11 favorites]

Are you actually orgasming in your sleep, or are you assuming you are because people are telling you you're moaning in your sleep, and thus they assume that you are orgasming? Because I moan in my sleep when I'm just having weird, non-sexual dreams. Most people do, it's very normal.Whether you are or aren't, your family members are being very weird and inappropriate -- you aren't doing anything wrong, you do not have a neurological condition, and you aren't abnormal. People make noises in their sleep all the time.
posted by sarcasticah at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm a little puzzled as to the setup here. Do you not have your own room? Making noise during sleep is 100% normal, but it's a little unusual to make so much that it can be heard outside a closed door. If you do have your own room, then +1 white noise as step 1. Plug in your phone near your (closed! locked!) bedroom door and play it while you sleep; it should drown out whatever is going on. I use a free app from TMSoft called "white noise" which works a treat. There are many options.

If you don't have your own room, and you can't get one (which, by the way, who's that creeper relative? He's gross, can he be evicted? Could you have your own room if he were gone?) then other suggestions here might be more on point.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:00 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Are you sure it's true? Maybe someone else in the house (Creeper?) has been watching porn and then lying about the source of the sounds.

And not to scare you but is there any chance someone else has been coming into your room while you sleep? You can test this easily by putting a little piece of tape on your closed door from the inside, or putting a crumpled kleenex right against the inside of the closed door, so when the door is opened, it moves the kleenex. Make sure the test you use is subtle so anyone opening your door can't detect it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd maybe record myself all night to see what was really going on. (I would suggest hiding your recording device so it's not visible in your room when you're out or while the recording is actually being made, just in case any other funny business is happening).

If the sound is coming from you, you could also masturbate more and keep recording, and track if the sounds still happen if you've masturbated before sleep, or if they're correlated to anything else like drinking, medication, watching certain media before bed, etc.

You can get a white noise machine (marketed for better sleep or to help babies sleep). They sound like loud static and can drown out noises so others can't hear any noises you might make as clearly if you play one in your room while you sleep. Secondhand on Facebook Marketplace you can probably find one for under $20. A loud fan, pointed away from you, or a TV or radio on static, can serve the same purpose although they might be more annoying for you to sleep through.

I'm really sorry about the creeper! Hope you can get away from him asap. I think that's much more important than whatever dreams you may or may not be having.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:08 PM on January 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

Nthing that this is totally normal - I do this as well. It’s not related to how much sex I have, but a full bladder is usually correlated, so try limiting liquids as suggested above. White noise machine suggestions are also good!

The one thing I wanted to strongly reiterate is this is normal, and not shameful, and there’s nothing wrong with you. Every partner I have had has seen this as a feature, not a bug. Some friends are slightly envious as well. Do not let anyone, family or partners or strangers, tell you this is a bad or shameful thing.
posted by umwhat at 4:03 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

So this was happening to me rather frequently over the past six months (although I don't vocalize). I would become semi-awake and feel myself orgasming. This then activated some wicked stomach cramps, which then started a cycle of me feeling the orgasm approaching and trying to stop it, while still half-asleep. This interrupted my sleep, then making me really tired the next day. Rinse-repeat.

It personally made me feel really... uncomfortable? For reasons I haven't bothered to really delve into. However, everything I have read indicates that this is normal. I never figured out a cause or a cure (more sex and/or masturbation/more orgasms/less alcohol/no food before bed/going to bed on empty bladder... didn't seem to make a difference). Eventually it just slowed down in frequency and it's been a while since it's happened (or at least that I've been aware of it).

If you have your own bedroom, I do recommend -- at a minimum -- getting a wedge for your bedroom door, until you can move to a safe place. Not just a lock, but something that requires force to open and would presumably wake up you in case someone was trying to enter.
posted by sm1tten at 5:37 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Of course I'm not OP's doctor or any doctor; a sleep disturbance that affects other people will be affecting OP's life partners. OP says:

> I can't go on sleep over at others houses.

OP's not just having wet dreams, she's having wet dreams at a rate which are interfering with a social life and possibly sex life too. The frequency is a potential problem for OP. What I described as a disorder is a general rule of thumb for when a normal behavior becomes excessive to the point of interfering with normal life, but not a capital-D Disorder, not without a capital-D Doctor saying so.

OP can likely find a Sleep doctor who's a woman; this isn't the 19th century. You and I are not her doctor, and neither of us knows if this is nothing or this is something. Even if it's a somewhat enviable problem, it's a problem for OP or we wouldn't be here. If it's normal, let her hear it from a doctor, instead of Dr. Metafilter.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:41 AM on February 1, 2020

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