In the world of kinks, there is also one related to sleep – somnophilia. If you are wondering, what is somnophilia? First, we will tell you that there isn’t only one definition. Somnophilia refers to the sexual arousal one has when caressing someone who is sleeping, usually a stranger. Somnophilia occurs without violent and forced behavior and belongs to sexual paraphilia.
Somnophilia has several definitions and interpretations, but they are all related to sleep. It can also mean sexual intercourse with a sleeping partner; some definitions claim that the partner is unconscious. This is often associated with somnophilia fantasies. One of the signs that you have this kink is if you are excited by the thought of your sleeping partner and the activities you can do in that case.
There are also special interpretations and treatments, including hypnosis and behavioral therapy, if destructive behavior can be problematic and dangerous. Find out in this article what somnophilia is and everything you need to know about this behavior.
What Does Somnophilia Refer To?
When it comes to this unusual interest, there are different interpretations, so what is somnophilia? Somnophilia refers to a particular sexual interest in which the thought of having sex with a sleeping person turns you on. It is important to mention that this can be both consensual and non-consensual, which is sometimes the case with sexual assault.
Sometimes, people’s interest in somnophilia is linked to their interest in BDSM. Somnophilia fantasies can be closely related to BDSM fantasies. Also, this behavior can refer to the fact that you are excited when you imagine how you are sleeping, and someone provides you with sexual favors and attention. There are also interpretations from the point of view of psychology, and there are also different types of somnophilia.
Types of somnophilia can be divided according to the following characteristics:
- consensual and non-consensual relationship
- passive and active role
The Psychological Roots of Somnophilia
When asked what somnophilia is, an answer can also be given from the point of view of psychology. There are different causes in psychology when it comes to somnophilia, so fantasies of this type have multiple origins. In this case, we distinguish between somnophilia when the partner sleeps all the time and when the partner wakes up during the sexual act. Then the activity continues, which is popularly known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome.
There are also different motivations for somnophilia. Research claims that there is a greater interest in practicing somnophilia where there is consent compared to the one without consent. This is how it is concluded that the primary motivation isn’t related to other similar behaviors, such as necrophilia.
When it comes to psychological research on somnophilia and the differences between men’s and women’s preferences, men often choose an active role. The passive role is equally represented among men and women.
As with other sexual fantasies, somnophilia has different roots in psychology. This is because different people are attracted to different things and fantasies and have their own motivations and reasons. When investigating the potential motivation, you need to consider what role people choose (active or passive) and whether or not it is consensual.
What is often associated with somnophilia is sexual abuse, which is easy to conclude since there is also a type without consent. Also, a tiny percentage of somnophiliacs belong to this type, which is prone to offending in terms of sexual activities.
Somnophilia and BDSM
We have already mentioned that somnophilia is related to practicing BDSM. More precisely, people who are prone to somnophilia fantasies often also have tendencies towards BDSM fantasies.
As you already know, sexual fantasies are a large part of sexual activity, and somnophilia and BDSM have certain points in common. Somnophilia and BDSM practices have similarities that are clearly observed most in the partner who has an active role in the somnophilia scene.
An active role in somnophilia has BDSM ideas as a starting motive. The motive for the active role is not related to the fear of rejection by the partner or the desire to hurt the partner. The main motive here is establishing a power relationship and a dominantly submissive relationship with a sleeping partner.
This type of relationship dynamics also attracts people who opt for the passive role of a sleeping partner. In this case, passive somnophilia refers to the desire for your partner to perform sexual activities on you while you sleep. Other types of fantasies are associated with masochism, submissiveness, and being forced into these activities. The idea of consensual non-consent can also be found here.
Somnophilia and Necrophilia Fantasies
We have looked at some of the motives and causes for somnophilia, and now we will explain the connection between somnophilia and necrophilia and the fantasies that go with them.
Necrophilia is the term for a sexual interest involving dead people. Many studies have examined the connection between these two types of behavior and fantasies. This refers to partners who actively participate in a non-consensual somnophilia scenario.
Perhaps you have never thought about what could be the similarity between these two sexual interests, so we will help you with this explanation. The similarity is that both interests want to have sexual relations with a partner who accepts them, does not oppose them, and does not resist. This is clearly seen in somnophilia without consent. In this way, the partner in an active role can fulfill his sexual desires.
Both non-consensual somnophilia and necrophilia thus basically have an interest in partners prone to passivity, characterized by the fact that they are not opposed to activity. According to some explanations, somnophilia of this type can be an alternative to necrophilia.
This led the researchers to conclude that there are similar psychological causes underlying both non-consensual somnophilia and necrophilia. Research has also dealt with the relationship between somnophilia, which is attracted by the absence of consent, and biastophilia. Biastophilia is the general absence of consent during sex. This is how they came to the conclusion that these two interests have similarities. This is also sometimes the motivation for fantasy somnophilia.
Sleep Kinks And Sleepy Sex
When it comes to somnophilia, we can also talk about similar terms in the bedroom, such as sleeping sex and sleepy sex. Sleeping sex is actually somnophilia, while sleepy sex is different and should not be confused.
Sleepy sex can be that comfortable sex in the morning before work when you are half asleep. This type of sex is the one that pleases both you and your partner and is especially attractive in the morning when you don’t have much time. Of course, there are prejudices that sleepy sex is also lazy, but that is not true at all because this bedroom activity is equally passionate.
Another concept we have is sleeping sex. This type of sexual activity belongs to sleep kinks. One of the partners is sleepy or half-asleep but completely asleep and unconscious. This is a bit of a taboo topic because it concerns power relations and similar dynamics, consent and non-consent, mandatory open communication, and legality.
This particular sleep kink refers to people having desires for sexual activity while their partner is asleep. It can be specifically penetration, but also other sexual activities. In the case of the passive role in this scenario, there can be an agreement that the active partner wakes up the passive during sex. The activities can certainly be continued if the passive partner wakes up during the scene. Otherwise, the active partner can later tell the passive what happened.
Can Sleep Sex Be Consensual?
When it comes to various kinks, fetishes, and sexual practices, consent is critical. The question arises, how can sleep sex and somnophilia be consensual? Within sleep kink, two popular terms refer to types of consent. Those two terms are:
- consensual non-consent
- blanket consent
First, we have the term consensual non-consent, which is complex if you aren’t familiar with BDSM and similar practices. This is a somewhat misleading term in the context of sex practices, as it refers to two seemingly incompatible things. At the same time, it includes consent and non-consent, essentially an oxymoron.
For the best practice of consensual non-consent, when it comes to any kind of kink, including somnophilia, you need to communicate openly with your partner. This applies to all aspects of the scenario, so you know you’re on the same page with your partner’s goals.
Consensual non-consent refers to giving your partner consent to continue sexual acts even when there is no consent. It sounds somewhat confusing, but there are concrete examples that will help you understand what this means. For example, tying and bondage can be practiced with consensual non-consent. You have given your consent for your partner to touch you, and then you are helpless, so your partner can do anything with you.
It is important to remember that there are certain risks with this type of kink practice, so you should be careful because it can quickly go wrong. This is important so that there is no regret, guilt, anger, etc., where communication is essential. This also includes trust in the partner, so it is vital to know the person with whom you will practice consensual non-consent.
The next important term for practicing somnophilia is blanket consent, which refers to giving consent to a partner without giving consent for the same thing again. In this way, your partner has permission to do anything to you, because there is your trust.
You don’t have to give your consent again, and your partner doesn’t have to keep asking you again. This is a concept you can understand more easily because it is quite common in long-term and casual relationships. There are limits here that should be respected when it comes to practicing sexual activities, and you should also know what your partner likes and what doesn’t.
This is also about trust, communication, and how well you know each other when functioning in the bedroom. For example, if you like to be bitten by your partner, you don’t have to give consent every time. This also applies to somnophilia. You need to know your partner and your relationship dynamics to practice somnophilia with any type of consent best.
There are certain exceptions when it comes to blanket consent. Especially in somnophilia and its practice. There are some situations when you still have to ask your partner for consent. Such situations include colds, menstruation, headache, and the like. Maybe you or your partner just don’t feel like having sleep sex, so you need to know that there are exceptions for sleep sex that should be respected. As we mention again, communication is key!
How To Introduce Somnophilia To Your Partner?
You are probably also wondering how to introduce somnophilia and your relationship with your partner. If you are interested in this practice, as we have explained in detail, what somnophilia is and its main features, you can suggest it to your partner.
As with any other kink, the key is to introduce kink into your relationship slowly. The first and most important thing is to talk to your partner because open communication is important for everything to go well.
Explain to your partner what you expect from the somnophilia scenario and what particularly turns you on in that kink. It can be taking control or feeling wanted. Your motive for telling your partner may differ depending on your role, active or passive.
If you agree with your partner to try sleep kink, ensure everything is safe and as it should be. Agree on boundaries and what is allowed and what is not. This applies to full sex, oral sex, condom or no condom, and the like. Specify other things, such as the duration of the act or the time – in the middle of the night, before morning, etc. Be detailed and communicate clearly, without judgment and prejudice. You can come to an ideal agreement on your ultimate somnophilia fantasy. And then make it happen together!