Sleep sex, or sexsomnia, is a form of non-rapid eye movement parasomnia that causes people to engage in various sexual acts while they are asleep. This condition falls within the broad classes of sleep disorders known as parasomnia.
Sexsomnia can include fondling, heterosexual and homosexual intercourse, masturbation, and oral sex. In extreme cases sexsomnia may allegedly even include sexual assault and rape.
The proposed medical diagnosis is NREM Arousal Parasomnia – Sexual Behaviour in Sleep. Sexsomnia is considered a type of non-rapid eye movement sleep parasomnia. Sexsomniacs tend not to remember the acts they perform while they’re asleep.
Sexsomnia could also co-occur alongside other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep apnea, night terrors and can be triggered by stress, previous sleep deprivation and excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs.
Sleep related epilepsy may be associated with sexual arousal, pelvic thrusting and orgasms, though in these sorts of cases the acts are often remembered. Sexsomnia episodes could also be triggered by physical contact with a bed partner.
Sexual scripting suggests the importance of meanings and symbols in human sexuality. The idea of sexual script brings a new metaphor and imagery for understanding human sexual encounters as social and learned interactions.
The idea highlights three levels of scripting:
and the personal/intra-psychic.
Sexual feeling does not simply happen from within the body but needs meanings and symbols which provide cues and clues to enable sexualities to develop.
Sexual scripts can be seen as providing guideline for appropriate sexual behaviour and sexual encounters as sexual behaviour and encounters are learned through culture and others in interactions. It can be linked to theories of sexual desire but is critical of their tendency to stress the purely biological aspects of desire.
The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by country and jurisdiction.
In Europe; Spain has the lowest age of consent with age of 13. Malta and Turkey are at the highest end with the age 18.
Surprisingly, or not surprisingly at all; the national age of consent in Japan is 13.
In Indonesia the national age of consent for heterosexual sexual activity is 19 years for males and 16 years for females. Ironically, the age of consent for homosexuals is 18.
Age of Consent Demonstration in London
In Iran, sex outside marriage, regardless of age, is illegal. The minimum age of marriage in Iran is 18 for men and 16 for women. However, ways around these regulations include temporary marriages called Nikah mut‘ah; a fixed-term marriage in Shi’a Islam. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. The marriage is contractual.
The age of consent in Angola is 12 which makes it the lowest recorded legal age of consent in the world. Bolivia however, has no specified age of consent; rather it is defined as puberty.
Tunisia has the highest age of consent; namely 20 years. Although, several Middle-Eastern states rule that sex can only take place in wedlock and any sexual activity outside the marriage is deemed a criminal offence.
‘This analysis of fifty of the bestselling pornographic videos in Australia shows that women are not objectified in this genre more than men . Of our twelve measures, seven can be analysed to measure gendered differentiation of objectification in pornography. We excluded the kinds of sex acts, and sex acts causing orgasm from this part of the analysis – this data is important and suggestive but cannot be compared in this particular way as there exists no agreed scale to quantify the pleasure different sex acts cause each gender. We also excluded measures of violence from gendered comparison, as they are too few in the sample to allow comparison of gender roles to be meaningful.
Of these seven measures, one shows women being more objectified than men (presence of orgasms, where women have fewer orgasms). Three show men being more objectified than women (in time spent looking at camera, where men return the gaze less; in time spent talking to the camera, where they are also less engaged; and in initiating sex, where men are more sexual objects than active sexual subjects in seeking their sexual pleasure in the sample). Three measures showed no large difference in objectification between men and women (naming, central characters and time spent talking to other characters). […]
In the mainstream of pornographic videos in Australia we found […] and a very small amount of violence – and then, only when we erred on the side of inclusiveness in deciding whether situations might be consensual or not. The majority of scenes containing violence came from videos which were explicitly marketed to women.
Overall, women were no more objectified than men in the mainstream of pornography. These results are reassuring. This is the first study, we believe, to survey and attempt to reconcile the measures employed in previous content analyses of pornography. By choosing to use the term ‘objectification’ as the key concept under which various other forms of undesirable representation (including violence) can be measured, we believe that we have offered a potentially useful new approach to the analysis of pornography; one that allows for analyses that are sensitive to the specificity of filmic representations, that work within accepted social science definition of aggression, and can be easily articulated to ongoing public debates about the genre. We hope that other researchers will take up this approach to provide a more detailed understanding of the workings of pornography across media, and across cultures.’
– McKee, Alan (2005) The Objectification of Women in Mainstream Porn Videos in Australia. The Journal of Sex Research 42(4): p. 277-290
In Freudian psychoanalysis, a Madonna-whore complex is a psychological complex that is said to develop in the human male.
da Vinci’s Madonna
According to Freudian psychology, this complex often develops when the sufferer is raised by a cold and distant mother. Such a man will often court women with qualities of his mother in adulthood, hoping to fulfil a need for intimacy unmet in childhood. Often, the wife of the sufferer is seen as mother to the husband – a ‘Madonna’ figure – and thus not a possible object of sexual attraction.
For this reason, in the mind of the sufferer, the feelings of love and sex – the physical act – cannot be mixed, and the man is reluctant to have sexual relations with his wife, for that, he thinks unconsciously, would be as incest.
He will reserve sexuality for ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’ women, and will not develop ‘normal’ feelings of love in these sexual relationships. This introduces a dilemma where men may feel unable to love any women who can satisfy them sexually and are unable to be sexually satisfied by any women who they can love.