Q&A: I Try To Have Sex While I’m Sleeping

QUESTION: My girlfriend says that I sometimes try to have sex with her in the middle of the night or that she will wake up to find me masturbating kind of aggressively. At first I thought she was joking (I can’t remember any of it), but it’s happened enough now—and she’s serious enough—that I believe her. What would be causing this? What can I do about it?

This is sometimes called “sexsomnia” and is a feature of some sleep disorders. I’d recommend checking in with a sleep specialist who may be able to screen you for sleep disorders and, if they can identify sleep problems, may be able to offer treatment that helps to curb these middle-of-the-night episodes.

It may be that you’ve masturbated during sleep with no recollection for months or years, and never known about it, if you’ve never shared a bed with anyone before.

There are all sorts of things people learn about each other when they start sharing a bed.

It’s lucky you have someone who has helped identify this as there are instances in which they have essentially sleepwalked and tried to have sex with someone where they live (like a family member or person in their apartment building) and then had no memory of it the next day.

In other words: this is an important issue to look into, so please do check in with a healthcare provide who has expertise with sleep disorders.