Sexomnia, Or Sleep Sex, Is A Legitimate Medical Disorder

Sexomnia, also known as Sleep Sex or informally as “banditing,” is a form of parasomnia (similar to sleepwalking) where the person afflicted goes to great lengths to initiate sexual behavior while sleeping.

Back in 1996, Dr. Colin Shapiro and Dr. Nik Trajanovic, researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. Paul Fedoroff from the University of Ottawa, Canada, wrote a research paper on the sleep disorder. The paper, entitled “Sexsomnia – A New Parasomnia?” was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry in June 2003. Before the paper was published, sleep sex or sexsomnia sufferers and medical professionals alike were aware the condition existed but were afraid to acknowledge it or legitimize it for fear that friends and peers would dismiss it as willful behavior rather than a legitimate medical condition.

But after the paper, “Sexsomnia – A New Parasomnia?” was published, sleep sex was further legitimized in both the medical fields and legal system, being cited in court cases worldwide as part of defense attorney’s cases against rape and sexual assault charges against their clients. In November 2005, a Toronto, Canada court acquitted a man of sexual assault after it was brought up in his defense that he had been diagnosed with sexsomnia. The court’s decision was appealed but the appeals hearing upheld their decision in 2008. An American from New York was cleared of three rape charges while visiting Britain in 2005 and a British RAF officer was cleared of rape charges after using sexomnia to explain that he was not in control of his actions when he repeatedly raped a 15 year old girl in 2005.

Sexsomnia has also been widely discussed in the media in different lights, from being a devastating disorder and breaking up relationships to being a humorous measure of one’s sex drive.

However it’s viewed, it is legitimate, although people afflicted with sexomnia often go for years without notifying their doctors of the symptoms for fear of being ridiculed by friends and family.

Learn more about sexomnia at Wikipedia.