Somnophilia - I like to see you sleep

Somnophilia, the fetish for sleeping individuals: Learn all about the fascination with sleeping persons, how this preference can be safely and consensually...


by Bell Bennett

11 minutes read

Somnophilia - I like to see you sleep

It's not sex that creates real connection in a relationship, it's sleeping next to each other. This trusting act of surrendering completely to the vulnerability of sleep in the presence of another. Quite a few people are deeply touched by the sight of their sleeping partner or even sleeping friends. This may sometimes be due to the fact that the tension of the day falls away from the sleeping person, their facial features smooth out and their expression takes on something naive, untouched. Often, sleeping people also appear much younger.

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And yet, the moment need not be as harmless as it seems. Because this so peaceful moment makes us vulnerable. We are helpless to the will of others. Perhaps this is where the attraction is, when people feel sexually aroused by sleeping people - in this mix of beauty and complete surrender.

View sleeping as fetish

In professional jargon, this desire is called "somnophilia". As long as these tendencies remain consensual and can be controlled, it is assumed to be a harmless fetish, as it can also develop in other areas.

Term fetish

A fetish is characterized by the lustful attention of the individual for certain objects, fabrics or body parts. The simple observation of these objects is already experienced as pleasurable by the individual. A large part of the discussion participants in relevant forums emphasizes in the representation of his preference their satisfaction by the pure observation of sleeping people. Reports of experiences are mostly voyeuristic. Lovers of sleeping people mostly seem to remain with their preference in the background. Up to a certain degree this preference experiences quite cultural acceptance. At least in its purely visual form. So probably thousands of songs and poems were written about the sleep or the sleeping face of beloved persons. Mostly only in dreamy suggestion, but actually with clear intention. The next stage would be gentle touches, manipulations of the sleeping person and in extreme cases sexual acts.

A couple that is into somnophilia

Sex in sleep - Is it allowed?

However, anyone who actually performs sexual acts on a sleeping person's body without that person's consent is guilty of a crime of violence. If the Sleeping Beauty phenomenon comes into play, the boundaries between loving touch and violent assault becomes blurred. Accordingly, the topic should be treated with care.

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Somnophilia as a disorder

If the preferences of a somnophile also relate to unconscious persons and the desire is so strong that the person affected cannot control it, medicine rates somnophilia as a disorder of sexual preference that may take on dimensions that require treatment. As soon as there is a risk of becoming a perpetrator, those affected should therefore ensure that they get help. The following are considered critical: approaching sleeping or unconscious strangers (in public places, at parties, etc.), touching them by the use of alcohol/drugs/consciousness-inducing drops in order to take sexual possession of the person afterwards.

Somnophilia as distinct from sexsomnia

Somnophilia is to be distinguished from sexsomnia. This term covers conditions in which a person performs sexual acts on themselves or others while they themselves are asleep. The affected person is meanwhile in a deep sleep phase (similar to a sleepwalker) and the next morning no longer remembers the events of the night. The disorder then becomes unpleasant when the affected person falls asleep outside their own bedroom. Not only is there the danger of going against some other one's will, but in many places it is also forbidden to undress in public spaces or to display sexual acts. Those who suffer from sexsomnia can come into conflict with the law completely unexpectedly. Fortunately, this form of sleepwalking is very rare.

A man who is into somnophilia

Somnophilia from a legal perspective

Basically, there is nothing to be said against somnophilic ideas as long as the passive part actively agrees or can agree to the actions. This is where the gray area begins. As soon as alcohol and drugs are involved, it can be assumed that the substances were used to make the sleeping or unconscious person compliant. At this point, the legal situation is no longer clear, but clearly shifts toward illegality. If charges are filed afterwards, the victim is fundamentally in the right.

Such unclear situations often lead to conflicts. The easiest way to avoid such misunderstandings is to act on your preferences only with sober people on whose word you can trust. Filing a report will result in various legal penalties and, if repeated, may result in the prescription of therapy. Anyone who incapacitates strangers by secretly administering drugs and then takes possession of them is liable to prosecution in any case.

These rights also apply in the marriage bed

Also partners with whom you have been together for a very long time are not generally willing to be surprised by you while they are asleep. On the contrary. There are quite a few reports from and about women who classify this form of act as assaultive or rape and report the not very empathetic partner. Many of the men do not even realize at first where their mistake was. (Yes, it really is usually almost always about men.) So realize that for most people their right to sexual autonomy is very important and they consider respect for it to be an essential foundation for trust in a partner.

How can the origin of this predisposition be classified?

Why, in whom and which preferences develop, is difficult to generalize. Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the helplessness of a sleeping person. Such a situation can then trigger different reactions (depending on predisposition). One person may develop protective feelings, while another may indulge in fantasies of power.

In addition, the "awake" character of the sleeper at this moment does not matter. If the power woman sleeps, even the most shy man is clearly superior to her. There is the attraction of the forbidden, the idea of doing something secretly and unseen. As said, the pure beauty of the relaxed sleeping body is not to be disregarded.

Reasons for somnophilia

Stagings of the sleeping body

In art is allowed more than in reality, and so pornographic depictions and pure sleepy fetish movies like to play with somnophilic motifs. Unconsciousness is considered a strong image in this context. The films show how people are moved and manipulated in their sleep. Their focus is between dreamy facial features and flaccid limbs. Sexual fantasies play only a secondary role in this genre.

Enjoyable Sunday morning sex

How can somnophilic predispositions be lived consensually?

Just look, don't touch. Actually, it doesn't have to be that difficult. If you already enjoy the simple sight of sleeping people, you hardly have to fear the anger of your partner. Who does not hope that their lover finds them physically attractive and therefore just likes to look at them?

Commercial offers. If you live alone, you will find a surprising amount of online material on the subject. Photos, movies, sleepy models - the scene is well positioned. Even escort ladies sometimes agree to be observed while they sleep.

Communicate boundaries. If your partner is privy to your preferences, you can discuss boundaries to keep in mind to maintain trust in the relationship. You might agree that it's okay to be awakened by sex on sunday morning or to ask her permission the night before you go

to sleep when you want to touch her later in the night. In this context, you can talk right away about how these touches may look.

Trust. Of course, a lot of trust belongs to such an arrangement. Realistically it behaves the same way with many other preferences. Those who engage in bondage games, for example, experience a comparable degree.

Escort services. If you want to live out your preferences with an escort lady, the principle of mutual consensus applies stricter. After all, it is a stranger whose preferences you do not know. If you do not stick to these agreements, an escort lady will have the same legal advantage over you as any other woman.

Sex in the morning

Of course, you should be aware that somnophilia in relation to escort services excludes any administration of drugs or otherwise inducing states of unconsciousness. Your date must be able to feel safe at every moment of the meeting.

Sex as a romantic surprise

Being touched while sleeping can lead to wet dreams and be a very pleasant surprise in the right context. Quite a number of people experience such attentions as romantic. However, you should be aware that a woman must first be physically ready to perform the sexual act. This probably makes a foreplay while asleep more realistic than the actual sexual act. Even with mutual consent, it is absolutely necessary to take steps to exclude injuries. Lubricating gel is always advisable before sex. In addition to this obvious point, reflexes exposed during sleep must be taken into account. Muscles that do not tense protectively leave arms and legs in awkward positions. Constrictions, dislocated joints and, in extreme cases, even bone fractures occur much more quickly than when awake. 

In addition, a sleeping partner cannot warn you immediately if an affection becomes painful for him or her. Most people are not very responsive immediately after waking up. So watch out that your partner cannot fall and that the airways remain clear. (This completely rules out oral sex for now).

Tips for implementing consensual settings

Realistically, you face the problem that the passive partner will most likely wake up pretty quickly. Also, even in relationships with a strong power imbalance, it is always essential to leave exit options for the subordinate partner. For sex while sleeping, this principle would have to be broken. In principle, it would be a kind of tunnel play, even if only in the broadest sense. If you want to live out your fantasies with an escort or a one-night stand, two complete strangers are facing each other. For such cases, role-playing games have proven themselves. The partner only pretends to be deeply asleep. Of course, this requires a certain amount of acting talent. But the level of security achieved by this approach is worth the attempt in any case.

What do you really need?

However, it's not the sleep itself that matters. First of all, take a close look at your fantasies. Is it primarily about the sight of the sleeping person? Or are you triggered by overpowering fantasies? Perhaps role-playing games involving nighttime penetration of a surprised woman's bedroom are already stimulus enough. Medical role-playing games can provide a similar stimulus. If it's less about the element of surprise and more about manipulation, the partner can try to surrender to you to the extent that you can freely move his flaccid limbs. Whereby, as an additional incentive, the eyes are closed or even additionally covered. Experiments with linguistically induced trance states can also be interesting. Of course, again, only with prior consent.

Romance during sleep

What is romantic and what is not, of course, everyone interprets that differently. If your partner agrees, it can be very nice to wake up in the course of sexual attentions. Maybe it already excites her when your hands drive suggestively between her thighs. Maybe she comes almost instantly when she feels your hot tongue in her center. You could simply agree that you may prepare her for your good morning sex while she is still asleep. You can consciously enjoy the penetration together with the awakening.

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Speak up!

Does it excite you to push your partner gently from your hand into orgasm after close observation? Dare, but first talk to her about these preferences. This way you give yourself the chance to find a mutual solution without violating basic rights to sexual self-determination or tender feelings. If you want to live out your fantasies with an escort lady, be sure to make your preferences known in advance so that you are not unsettled by a direct rejection of your wishes. Somnophilia is and remains a preference that seems rather harmless in its basic form, the arousal by the simple sight of sleeping people, but which is always accompanied by the invasion of the private space of the sleeping person.

Slept out conversations are a base for this.

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