Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Sexual advances when asleep

(46 Posts)
Goodbyetonsils Sat 03-Nov-12 10:41:46

Dp has a habit of touching me intimately when I am asleep. By the time I wake up, I am physically aroused and stupidly sometimes this leads into sex, others it involves me slapping his hand away. However I would always make it clear to him I did NOT want him doing this again, that I am not comfortable with it. However it has continued, to the point where I cannot relax when sleeping anymore. I am hyper-aware of his presence, don't lay on my back anymore and have to face away from him and certainly cannot be affectionate/hug etc as sleeping as it ALWAYS results in him initiating sex when I am asleep again. We have had countless rows over it.

Well it happened again last night after him promising me days ago it wouldn't. He is claiming he wasn't fully awake/didn't realise he was doing it. But stupidly again by the point I woke up my body was craving more and we had sex. I am confused- is this all my fault for responding despite numerous requests for him to not begin? I am exhausted and confused.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sat 03-Nov-12 11:27:15

It is not your fault: do not blame yourself for your body's responses.

Get angry at him for repeatedly ignoring your requests to respect your bodily sovereignty.

I would always make it clear to him I did NOT want him doing this again, that I am not comfortable with it. However it has continued, to the point where I cannot relax when sleeping anymore.
We have had countless rows over it.

How many times does this have to happen before you decide that enough is enough? He has made it quite clear that he has no respect for you or what you say. He is not going to stop molesting you: he doesn't want to stop.

Walk away. Since he won't stop this behaviour, that is your only option in order not to be subjected to it again. I'm sorry. But he is not a kind and respectful man, and only you are responsible for protecting yourself. Painful as it is to do, this relationship has to end.

ErikNorseman Sat 03-Nov-12 11:28:20

It does sound confusing as you are clear it's unwelcome but you do end up going for it. I suppose he hasn't taken you seriously when you have told him not to. However he is sexually assaulting you, as you made it clear he does not have your consent beforehand. I'm not sure what to suggest.

Offred Sat 03-Nov-12 15:46:46

The only thing to suggest is walking away from this relationship. The situation isn't confused by the giving in to sex once already aroused against your wishes to me. I think he knows if he does it he will get sex sometimes. It shows an entitled attitude towards sex and a total lack of concern about you or your part in your sexual relationship. Think about it, what kind of person would you have to be to be told by your girlfriend numerous times she does not like, want or consent to this, and for you continue to do it so much that your gf is now afraid to even sleep around you. Show him the cps guidelines on sex crimes and consent and then run away... Fast, he has no respect for your right to bodily autonomy and doesn't care how you feel.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 03-Nov-12 15:52:42

It's not your fault and he's been pretty clear that he won't stop trying this.

The only way to stop it is to end the relationship.

GlitterySkulls Sat 03-Nov-12 15:54:12

are you 100% sure he is awake when he does this though?

when i'm asleep my hands wander (whether to DH or myself), i grind against DH/ pillows/ the duvet... i have no memory of doing this, previous partners have mentioned it, even my mum commented on it.

however, if he is awake & is doing it knowing you've said not to, then he is assaulting you, & all i can really suggest is leaving the relationship.

clam Sat 03-Nov-12 15:54:39

This would be a complete and utter dealbreaker for me. How closely tied are you to him, in terms of children/house/finances etc...

Lueji Sat 03-Nov-12 15:56:51

No it's not your fault.
Apparently even some rape victims can get aroused. It's you body responding, not your conscious choice.

You say it's becoming a problem and he keeps doing it.
You know he won't stop, so you have to, I'm afraid.

Goodbyetonsils Sat 03-Nov-12 16:09:07

The thing is he is a "good guy" in all other aspects. We have been together for 4 years, we were planning on moving in together within the next year and he and my ds from a previous relationship have an unbreakable bond sad

He has found something called "sexsomnia" today which he insists he is suffering from- saying he isn't aware of doing it. Saying he will sleep on the floor if he has to and doesn't want to lose me.

It is stopping me wanting any sexual relationship with him atm and I cannot be affectionate with him, the nights he stays over are usually weekends and I really value my sleep- I am studying, working and bring up my ds he knows how exhausted I am. I really don't know what to do :S

Lueji Sat 03-Nov-12 16:25:32

Let him sleep on the floor then.

How do you see it progressing if you move in together?

Will he talk to a gp and seek help?

clam Sat 03-Nov-12 16:54:34

And, even if you're aroused, you need to stop having sex with him when he does it. Be furious - he's not getting the message as things are, after all.

conantg Sat 03-Nov-12 16:55:07

Get twin beds. You can keep the relationship, which you clearly value, and also get your sleep. And have sex when you both want to.

Twiddles Sat 03-Nov-12 16:57:17

If he is truly concerned about this issue / you
He should go to Gp and discuss it properly,
In meantime sleep seperately, have intimacy if u want ut, but SLEEP seperately.
It will be a good test how committed he is to sorting it,
If he isnt, your ds has an unbreakable bond with a guy who is sexually assaulting you, and thats not good for anyone

dequoisagitil Sat 03-Nov-12 17:00:14

If he suffers sexsomnia and isn't just an arse, then he should go and see his GP. He could be prescribed something. If he won't do anything to deal with it, then the answer is he doesn't really care that you're not consenting and will probably do worse once you're fully committed.

I wouldn't move in together until this is resolved.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 03-Nov-12 17:03:10

If he honestly thinks he has 'sexomnia' then he will:
1. Seek help from his GP;
2. Agree to sleep in separate rooms until he is sorted with a diagnosis/treatment.

However if he is in any way resistant to these suggestions then I suspect his sexomnia will magically disappear for a while.

Lavenderhoney Sat 03-Nov-12 17:05:05

Do you go to bed at the same time? Is he drinking? If he is awake and goes to bed after you he probably thinks he is being sexy. If not, it's a nuisance to be sure. Can you push him off if you wake up? Really make yourself? He gets one message from you then he gets an ok when in bed iykwim. Wear passion killers to bed and maybe a glass of water by the bed will cool his ardour. Dh sometimes comes home from a night out and wakes me up, and I am rather sweary at him. He leaves me alone now, ESP as I make him get up for the dc if he does it- they are up at 6.

CailinDana Sat 03-Nov-12 17:27:25

It doesn't matter whether he's doing this deliberately or not. He knows he does it, and yet does nothing to stop it. That's the main issue. He thinks it's fine to keep on doing this to you against your wishes. If he is serious about it not being deliberate then he should be protecting you against himself. Well meaning as Lavender's advice is, I don't think you should follow it because basically it involves you changing your behaviour in order to guard against him, rather than him protecting you from his tendency to assault you.

At the very least he should be sleeping away from you, but I think it would be totally understandable for you to end this relationship.

MolotovBomb Sat 03-Nov-12 18:20:46

I don't think it's necessary to end the relationship because - for as out of order as he is being - by responding to him touching you by a) being aroused and b) willingly having sex, you are confusing him and not giving him a clear message to back off

I think it is abuse of a kind ... but the fact that you are turned on and a willing participant blurs the situation. More, I think it is an abuse of your trust. He knows you enjoy what he does once he starts, but he's not listening to you into first instance when you say tat you don't want him to touch you in a sexual manner.

You need to lay down a few rules and demonstrate that younmean what you say. No sleepy-sex, and if it means him moving out of your bed whilst this gets sorted, so be it.

Good luck.

Offred Sat 03-Nov-12 18:23:31

Exactly cailin. His "I don't know I'm doing it" is not true. You have told him he does it and told him you don't like or want it repeatedly and he has done nothing. Now he is saying he had sexomnia, which really could only be the reason behind the touching and not the reason for not doing anything about how it makes you feel, because you have got so desperate over it that he is worrying you will leave. He is still not concerned about you but about himself only, that's what that says to me. I'm not sure I buy the sexomnia anyway because he is progressing to having actual sex afterwards (whilst awake).

Offred Sat 03-Nov-12 18:25:08

I don't think you need to give a clear message you don't want to have sex over and above "stop touching me while I'm asleep". It is up to him to gain consent without coercion.

Offred Sat 03-Nov-12 18:29:07

If he doesn't understand that, sexomnia or not, he isn't a good person for you to be with or for your ds to be around especially if he's watching him as a role model.

MolotovBomb Sat 03-Nov-12 18:31:27

But offred, doesn't it depend on what the couple's sexual relationship is like? All I'm saying is that actions speak louder than words and 'no' oh, go on, then isn't clear for either partner. That's why I think boundaries, supported by actions, needs to be instigated in this particular relationship.

Offred Sat 03-Nov-12 18:39:49

Allowing someone to have sex with you is not consent, particularly if the sex has been initiated whilst you were sleeping. The onus is on the initiator to gain consent before initiation and lack of "fighting back" or "saying no" is not consent. Initiation of sex with someone who is sleeping is always a potential assault with the initiator only finding out after the activity if the partner consented.

It does not depend on the relationship.

If you are going to risk it in a relationship you need to be aware there is a risk you actually may rape your partner therefore. General consent can only be given in advance and even if you think it depends on the relationship in this relationship in advance she has when not unwillingly aroused and clear minded, several times vehemently said no

BlameItOnTheCuerveForTreason Sat 03-Nov-12 18:46:12

I agree with ofred and cailin

ebwy Sat 03-Nov-12 18:50:20

on the other hand, my fiance has woken up having sex with me - which is how I woke up too.

The difference is, he has my clear permission to do so when there isn't a clear reason not to (not at the moment, I had a caesarian 2 days ago)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: