A new study by PhD student Elizabeth Deehan and Dr Ross Bartels entitled “Somnophilia: Examining Its Various Forms and Associated Constructs” has been published in the Sexual Abuse. 

Somnophilia refers to a sexual interest in having sex someone who is asleep and is an under-researched phenomenon. Using an online sample, this new study provides the first empirical investigation into somnophilia. The study contributes to the literature by:

(1) offering a new measure designed to assess an interest in and proclivity towards somnophilic behaviour.

(2) showing that somnophilic interest is associated with necrophilic, biastophilic, and sadistic sexual fantasies, as well as a need for sexual dominance

(3) highlighting that many people are also interested in being the recipient of sexual activity while asleep (the authors term this “dormaphilia”), which is associated with masochistic fantasies and a need for sexual submission

The paper suggests that somnophilia may not be as rare as first thought. It also indicates that it is important to differentiate between consensual somnophilia and non-consensual somnophilia.

Elizabeth Deehan is now continuing to investigate somnophilia more deeply as part of her PhD research.