Dear Dr. Kate,
I’ll just cut right to the chase: I have orgasms in my sleep, what can be called “wet dreams.” When I dream something erotic (even if it’s just my husband and I having sex), not only do I become aroused, but I have actual orgasms. I would say I have several wet dreams a month.
Now, I’m not complaining — it’s kind of awesome, to be honest! — but I want to know how common this is amongst women? Because I’ve never heard of women having wet dreams. Men, yes…women, no. Although, my own husband hasn’t ever had a wet dream. I find that strange, because I always thought that men are the only ones to have them.
So what’s the deal?
— Sexy Sleeper
You’re not alone. The 1950s sex researcher Alfred Kinsey estimated that 40% of women will experience an orgasm while asleep before the age of 45. And these unconscious orgasms seem to be more common as we get older (something to look forward to!). The going theory is that during sleep, our normal inhibitions don’t hold us back, so things that we find erotic — even if disturbing or “forbidden” — will arouse us in a way that wouldn’t happen while we’re awake. And women may climax faster when asleep, for the same reason. For good or bad, these orgasms are not usually voluntary or under conscious control — so there’s no point in trying to prevent them.
Having orgasms while sleeping is not a sign of sexual dysfunction, and they’re not a comment on the quality (or quantity) of your sex life. While there’s some crazy psychoanalytic research out there about what sleep orgasms signify, I think they’re just a sign of a highly tuned sexual system, one that’s built for our pleasure round the clock. So enjoy!
Best of health,
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.