Because her husband is a rare condition, a woman who feels “used” by her husband and has sexual relations with her while she sleeps should be warned that she may feel abused.

  • Mumsnet’s Mumsnet forum asked a mother what she should do to address her husband’s sexual insomnia. 
  • He would kiss her, smother her with his affections and even penetrate her skin.
  • Commenters advised her to find a place to rest and for him to see a doctor.

Unwittingly, a husband gropes with a woman who has had sex since he was diagnosed with a rare sleeping disorder. The wife has been informed she is being abused 

The British woman took to parenting forum Babycentre to explain how her husband, who she has been with for ten years, will take off her clothes, fondle her, and penetrate her while they are both asleep.    

She wrote that ‘it’s mostly just mild irritation to me. He doesn’t do this every night, but it can be worse or better at times’. It’s mostly touching over clothes and him thrusting his hands into my underwear. But, I almost always get up fast and push him to the side. This usually wakes him up.

The condition of Sexsomnia, also known as parasomnia, is an inherited sleeping disorder that can cause the person to engage in involuntary sexual acts.

Although some commented that he was not to blame, others raised concerns about his inability to seek help and questioned his assertions that he had a sleep disorder. 

A woman took to Babycentre to ask whether she was justified in feeling hurt after her partner had sex with her while sleeping

Babycentre received a call from a woman who was hurt by her boyfriend’s sex during sleep.

The shaken woman asked for advice on what to do, saying that she was 'between anger, tears and hurt'

A shaken woman sought advice from a counselor, stating that she was “between anger, tears, and hurt”.

Explaining her husband’s nocturnal habits, the woman wrote: ‘Sometimes I wake up to find my clothes off or pulled down. 

“It has an impact on me, even though my partner of ten year trusts me and I can’t help but know that he is asleep. I feel vulnerable and used. It’s difficult to describe how it feels.

“I’ve been awakened by him trying to have intimate sex with my once or twice. I was only woken up by the gentle penetration.

“We didn’t go to bed until after we had shared drinks with our friends. We both had quite a bit to drink. His sex was with me, and I was awakened.

Commenters immediately told the woman she needed to make her husband seek help immediately and not sleep in the same room as him

Commenters told the woman that she should immediately make her husband seek medical attention and refuse to sleep with him in his bedroom.

Is sexsomnia a real thing?

‘Sexsomnia’, or Sleep Sex is a sleeping disorder or form of parasomnia that causes an individual to involuntarily engage in sexual acts. 

The disorder first became known in the 1990s. The 2003 issue of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry brought it to our attention. 

Initial classification was parasomnia. This refers, in part to an unwelcome behaviour while a person sleeps. 

This category also includes:  sleepwalking, talking, teeth-grinding, even getting up and other actions. 

Some triggers, including alcohol intake, are thought to be more likely to cause sexsomnia. 

Although there is limited research into sexsomnia, it is believed to be a rare condition.  

According to the Healthline report, these are some of the most common symptoms. 

  • Inducing or fondling foreplay in bed with partner
  • Pelvic thrusting
  • Sexual intercourse mimicking behaviors
  • Being unaware of behavior later

She said, “It only took a few seconds until I screamed and he woke me up. It’s been the first time in my life that I feel terrified.” 

Babycentre friends urged her leave immediately and made him go to the hospital.

One person asked: Can he recall it? Although my husband was prone to sexsomnia from time to time, he has never been able recall it. After we figured out the cause, it made me feel terrible. I would just go with it. It felt almost like rapey.

Another remarked on the fact that she is being sexually abused whether he is asleep or not, saying: ‘You do not have to accept sexual abuse just because it’s caused by a medical condition, not least an *undiagnosed* one.’ 

You should not share a bed again with him until the condition has been properly diagnosed. It is not the fault of your partner if it’s a medical issue. However, it IS his responsibility and you should not just accept it.    

A commenter asked him if he still remembers the nightly assaults. Later, the woman replied that he didn’t. Because I do not want to have sexual sex, I won’t go along with him. He’s probably more likely to do it if I turn it down and he’s already tried it. As if it’s playing in his head when he falls asleep.

Someone replied, “It would be unfair to place the blame on him.” He said: “It’s probably unreasonable to expect an apology from someone who doesn’t recall and has no control over.”

“Absolutely speak about it. Try to find a trigger.

However, another person disagreed and wondered why he wasn’t more concerned about his sleeping habits: ‘I’ve been thinking about this and initially thought well if he’s unconscious then it can’t be his fault, but he’s known this has been an issue for years and (presumably) hasn’t done anything to prevent it, and therefore is culpable.’

Two commenters were at odds over whether her husband was at fault throughout the sleeping assault

There was a dispute between two commentators over the husband’s guilt in the sleep assault.