Wet dreams. Nocturnal emissions. Sleep orgasms. Whatever you want to call it, they all mean the same thing. And they can happen to anyone — not just a hormone-crazed teenage boy.
I’m sure it must be a confusing, messy, emotionally charged event for a young man to experience his first nocturnal emission. You go to bed dry, and you suddenly wake from a weird dream about your freshmen art teacher pole-dancing at a strip club full of cats drinking martinis, and you’re covered in your own sticky mess, feeling a mixture of pleasure and embarrassment.
It’s a totally normal, healthy biological event during puberty. But this kind of spontaneous orgasm doesn’t just happen to adolescent boys. It can happen well into adulthood. And it can happen to women, too.
Unsurprisingly, there’s not a ton of research on the subject. One 1986 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 37% of women have experienced at least one sleep orgasm.
I, happily, have experienced far more.
Not everyone likes it
I started digging into the female “sleepgasm” after reading a fantastic article from traceybyfire, who presents a clever and fascinating view on the subject, but from a completely different angle. She wakes up writhing and thrashing on the bed, jolted out of sleep violently. Suffice it to say, it’s not her ideal way to exit dreamland. Sometimes I Orgasm in My Sleep
Thoughts on why it happens and how to prevent it.
But everyone’s body is different. I wake from a sleep orgasm slowly, floating pleasantly into reality as soft waves of pleasure pulsate outward from deep within my ladybits.
I don’t thrash around the bed or twist myself up in my sheets. I literally feel myself travel from sleep to consciousness, my body still, no physical movement except for maybe a slight thrusting of my pelvis — because at that point, I’m wanting to keep it going. I’m wanting more.
It doesn’t happen often. Once in a blue moon I’ll experience this phenomenon, orgasming with absolutely no stimulation from any outside force.
It’s like magic.
It used to freak me out
Although I enjoy it now, that wasn’t always the case. Though boys may hear about it from parents, friends, the internet, or sex ed, there’s just not a lot of talk about how it affects females.
I was young when it first happened to me. Maybe ten years old — before I even knew or understood what an orgasm was. I didn’t wake up messy, but I had no idea what my body was doing. It didn’t hurt or feel bad at all, quite the opposite really, but I couldn’t figure out why this unusual activity was going on down there, and we tend to fear the unknown.
It felt pretty much the same back then as it does now — slow, subtle waves of pleasure that start during a dream and gradually get stronger, until the sensation wakes me up at its peak, and then slowly starts to fade.
As a kid, when I had no idea what the hell was going on, the dreams I had were strange. I dreamed of someone touching me, and there were a few times I honestly feared that someone was fondling me in my sleep — that’s how real it felt.
It was a confusing, anxious time as I made my way into puberty. And it was something I couldn’t even put words to. I couldn’t communicate my concern to my parents.
Talking erotic fantasies with your partner
When I started masturbating as a teen and discovered what a conscious orgasm from physical stimulation felt like, it was a much more intense physical experience and far more pleasurable than the subtler sleep orgasm.
From that point on, I’d experience an orgasm in my sleep maybe two or three times a year. And when it happens, I’m usually dreaming of something erotic.
I sometimes have incredibly realistic sex dreams where an Adonis of a man is just going to town on me. I literally feel the penetration — I feel his dick thrusting in and out of my vagina like it’s the real deal.
There have been times when I’ve woken up just when I was about to climax, and I’ll find myself squeezing my legs together, my hand on my aching vulva, wanting desperately to bring myself to completion. The worst is when a busy morning routine doesn’t allow time for masturbation or morning sex.
But even if I do climax during sleep, it’s a sleep-dampened version that just leaves me wanting more. It’s like the appetizer of orgasms — enough to whet my appetite, but not enough to satiate me.
I’ll communicate these events to my partner. Usually during sexy texts exchanged while we’re both at work. I’ll tell him about a sex dream I’ve had in detail — whether it’s about him or not. He often does the same if he has an erotic dream.
Whether you orgasm in your sleep or not, communicating sexual dreams you can’t control or even sexual fantasies you imagine while awake can really spice things up in your romantic relationship.
When he and I talk or text about our strange sex dreams or our sexual fantasies in general, it creates this delicious build-up for when we have sex that night (or, sometimes more realistically, that weekend).
The last time I experienced a sleepgasm, I was actually dreaming of my partner fucking me. Dreamland is the Wild West of the imagination. I could dream about any fantasy my limitless imagination can concoct, and my mind goes and dreams of my boyfriend. I believe it was because we’d been having a dry spell and I was missing the physical connection with him.
In any case, talk (or text) about your sexual fantasies with your partner. If you don’t already do that, take the initiative and start. Opening that line of conversation up can make you feel quite vulnerable, but it can also make you both feel exquisitely aroused.
It’s a funny thing that I can’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse without clitoral stimulation, but I can orgasm with no stimulation at all. It’s like having sleep-induced psychic powers. Like sexual-telekinetic superpowers that allow me to think myself into orgasm just from dreaming it.
I’ve never climaxed from vaginal intercourse alone. I’m still holding out hope, and I certainly enjoy trying, but it’s yet to be a thing. I belong to the larger group this rings true for: only a quarter of women consistently experience orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. Those lucky ducks. No, I don’t let this get me down. I’m perfectly happy to orgasm through clitoral stimulation while simultaneously being penetrated by my partner’s fingers or cock — it just takes some multi-tasking, and that’s A-okay.
And while nocturnal orgasms are more common during our teenage years — the time our hormones are raging as our sexual organs start to reach maturity — it can also happen well into adulthood.
It’s imperative to keep communication active when it comes to sexuality and sexual biological functions, whether it’s within our romantic relationships, or with our children who may be confused and questioning a certain experience.
I make it a point to let my partner know that he can always come to me with fantasies, and I won’t judge — as long as he gives me the same courtesy.
Thank you for reading! You can find more of my work at https://firstname.lastname@example.org .