Yep, you read that correctly – I have nocturnal orgasms.
And I’m grateful for them because my sex drive has declined tremendously in lockdown due to the natural stress of navigating life during a global pandemic.
But when I was younger I had no idea what was happening was normal.
I remember one day as a teenager, I was with my sister and two of my cousins and we happened to get onto the subject of orgasms. I looked at them in all seriousness and asked if they had ever had one during their sleep.
They looked at me with completely blank facial expressions, as though I had just spoken to them in a foreign language.
‘You mean like… moaning in your sleep or something?’ one of them asked. ‘Yeah, how would you even know if you were sleeping?’ another chimed in.
I quickly laughed it off and changed the subject, but it left me confused for some time.
A few days after this conversation, I did some more research – I figured I couldn’t be the only woman in the world who experienced them – and what I found is that around 37 per cent of women will experience sleep orgasms by the age of 45, according to a study conducted by the Kinsey Institute.
Typically we’ve learned to associate this with ‘wet dreams’ that adolescent boys have. However, climaxing during sleep is different in a myriad of ways.
For women, there isn’t obvious physical evidence of orgasm – like ejaculate – rather, women can be awoken through experiencing a jittery sensation and pulsations in the vagina.
The body has mysterious ways of filling the void of pleasure by subconsciously trying to find other ways for sexual release
I would simply wake up amid sexually-charged dreams and immediately feel involuntary, rhythmic contractions tremble throughout. And it felt like a rush of orgasmic euphoria.
At first I would only have them a few times a – but now (especially during lockdown) it happens multiple times a month. I’ve noticed it’s particularly during times when I experience a ‘sex drought’ because of a low libido.
As a graduate student studying human sexuality to become a sexologist, there’s never a dull moment in my programme, and it’s very much one of the coolest parts of my life right now.
I’ve learnt that the body has mysterious ways of filling the void of pleasure by subconsciously trying to find other ways for sexual release. The more stressed I am, the lower my sex drive is.
The lower my sex drive, the less sex that I have, making it more likely that my body needs some sort of subconscious liberation. I have had sleep orgasms while in a relationship too, but they aren’t as common as when I’m single (or social distancing).
Just last week, I fell asleep while binge-watching season five of Love Island on Hulu, and the last thing I recalled was watching two of the contestants, who were coupled up, go into the ‘Hideaway Suite’ (a secret room in the villa where the contestants presumably have sex due to the amount of privacy they have).
Next thing I know, I was having a sex dream about some of the hottest contestants taking turns to feed me grapes, give me a full body massage and lick me everywhere.
As I woke up, I felt my heart beating rapidly and my vulva start to pulsate vigorously. It was one of the best dream and orgasm combinations I’ve ever had in my life.
I’ve tried to figure out if I can purposely induce them, but it hasn’t worked so far. Though a study published in the journal Dreaming found those who sleep on their stomach are significantly more likely to have sex-related dreams compared to those dozing off in other positions.
Research also states that they’re most likely to occur during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, when a person’s brain is the most active. During this stage, there is increased blood flow to the erectile tissue.
Learning this made me feel better and helped me realise that orgasming in one’s sleep – at any age and any gender – isn’t abnormal.
In fact, it’s actually quite fun.
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