Status: Real (though difficult to accept as an excuse for criminal behavior)
I first reported about the phenomenon of sleep sex over a year ago. It's a rare disorder that causes people to engage in sexual behavior while asleep. It's also potentially one of the greatest excuses for sexual impropriety ever devised. Now there's a case in Canada in which a guy successfully defended himself against charges of sexual assault by arguing that he's a sexsomniac:

Jan Luedecke, 33, met his victim at a party on July 6, 2003, and both had been drinking, the Toronto Sun reported. The woman, who can't be named, fell asleep on a couch and said she awoke to find him having sex with her. She pushed him off, then called the police. Luedecke claimed he fell asleep on the same couch and woke up when he was thrown to the floor. Sleep expert Dr. Colin Shapiro testified Luedecke had sexsomnia, which is sexual behavior during sleep, brought on by alcohol, sleep deprivation and genetics. The judgment outraged women's groups, the newspaper said.

I'm willing to bet that as popular awareness of sexsomnia grows, it'll begin to be used as a defense more and more often. It'll be like the mirror image of the repressed memory mania (i.e. a mania of not remembering, instead of remembering). The phenomenon itself may be real, but it sure seems like it's a malady tailor-made for con artists.

Psychology Sex/Romance

Posted on Wed Nov 30, 2005


1. I don't call it a problem, niether does my wife.

2. I have sex while fully asleep, never waking up, or knowing about it until she tells me the next day. (maybe she is a liar)

3. She will turn me on while sleeping to get me to do it some nights. I've caught her.

4. But I also sleep walk, and will do things like laundry and dishes and never be aware that I did them.

5. Sometimes the only way I know I was "up" in either sense is where I wake up.
Posted by Yupmetoo  in  Earth  on  Tue Apr 07, 2009  at  07:22 PM
I just want answers on why I do this. My husband is confused as well. He wants to know who I'm dreaming about evernight when I have these sexsomnia acts. I have no memory of anything he tells me. It's aweful. I've been to my GP, Neurologist, Sleep specialist, hypnosis, Video EEG, you name it. No one has answers or can fix me. Yet, there are some out there that still laugh that it doesn't happen. My marriage is suffering, but there's no cure in sight and depression is huge.
Posted by Louise  in  Tampa, FL  on  Sat Jan 30, 2010  at  08:26 AM
i too am a sexsominac it is putting a big strain on my relationship with my wife. at first is was some groping that she could deal with but last week i fell asleep and i guess i tried to penetrate her with my fingers, she woke up and kicked me and i woke up and didn't remember a thing she is now disgusted with me and probably wont be sleeping with me again. i have always been a sleep walker/talker and have a high libido to begin with, i am ashamed and want to seek some kind of help with this condition because i fear it is going to ruin my marriage, i love my wife and kids more than anything in the world, im not sure how to make her understand how or why i did this i'm just seeking some help from people who also have experienced this. what kind of things have you done to treat this? how did you spouses cope with this? im at my wits end here, i don't know what else to do.
Posted by anton  in  northern california  on  Sat Feb 27, 2010  at  01:47 PM
Um this is kinda worrysome .. i co slept and still do with my children .=/ now im paranoid.. i have ocd also.
Posted by julia  on  Mon Aug 16, 2010  at  12:51 PM
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