Slow news day? We always laugh when we see a story break about — gasp! — sleep sexing! OMG! Did you know people perform sex in their sleep sometimes? It’s a mainstream media favorite when pageviews need a lift. People love sex and it’s totally OK for the media to talk about it in the context of something involuntary.
“You know how, when you’re sleeping, and you get that sexy feeling, you wake up and nudge the other person in your bed for a wee-hour encounter?” the MSN BodyOdd article asks as an opener. “Well, what if you weren’t actually awake?” Nice!
A recent study released at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting found that 7.6 percent of patients seeking help at a sleep clinic had reported an incident of “sexsomnia.”
Note that percentage, people: 7.6 — of individuals already diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. Yup, slow news day. We’re not having a slow news day, but what the hell, this is how much we love you. Here are some facts about sleep sex, stripped of the chorus of OMGs:
Shakespeare described it in Othello, but the name “sexsomnia” wasn’t coined until 1996 by Paul Fedoroff, a forensic psychiatrist in Ottawa, Colin Shapiro and Nik Trajanovic, researchers at the University of Toronto, in a paper called “Sexsomnia – A New Parasomnia?” (the aforementioned MSN article says it was coined in 2003, which is actually the date this paper was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry).
The new study, a survey of 428 men and 404 women, found that those who reported sexsomnia were twice as likely to be using drugs. Now that’s interesting. We wish someone had followed up that correlation.