Ever Had a Wet Dream? We Did a Deep Dive on Why They Happen

The phrase “wet dream” has, lately, come to suggest one thing superb.

Think of individuals saying issues like, “this lineup is a coach’s wet dream” in a sports activities context or “this movie is a film nerd’s wet dream.” It’s meant to indicate one thing so superior it’s exhausting to even conceive of.

But for these experiencing them in actual life, whether or not for the primary time or again and again, there’s no assure {that a} moist dream will likely be an particularly nice expertise.

The fact is, ejaculating in your sleep — a.okay.a. a nocturnal emission — could be as complicated and irritating pretty much as good old style wetting the mattress.

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Your physique is doing one thing with out your data or consent whilst you’re asleep, and it’s your waking self who has to take care of the results — together with cleansing up the mess.

And but, on the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless an ejaculation — an expertise inextricably linked with the best bodily pleasure

So what precisely is a moist dream, anyway? Who do they occur to, and may you forestall them from occurring? To reply these questions and extra, AskMen spoke to a handful of intercourse specialists. Here’s what they needed to say:


What Is a Wet Dream?


“Wet dreams (also known as nocturnal emissions) are instances in which a person involuntarily orgasms in their sleep,” says Dr. Justin Lehmiller, scientific advisor for Lovehoney. “These are called ‘wet’ dreams because the individual may awaken to find a wet spot on their bed or pajamas from ejaculate.”

If you’ve a penis, this ejaculate will likely be composed of semen, however Lehmiller notes that moist desires “can potentially happen to anyone regardless of their gender, although men are more likely to report the experience than women.”

Despite their title, moist desires aren’t all the time related to erotic or sexual dream conditions; they’ll “also happen due to some type of friction at night within bed,” says intercourse educator Debra Laino.

Though masturbating to orgasm in mattress is regular and wholesome, and may even operate as a sleep assist, that’s not the identical factor as nocturnal emission; Laino additionally clarifies that since they happen when the individual is asleep, historically, moist desires “occur without any manual stimulation.”

Are Wet Dreams a Bad Sign?

If you’ve by no means had one earlier than, waking as much as understand you had a moist dream could be an disagreeable expertise, however there’s nothing to be involved about.

“Wet dreams are not inherently bad or harmful,” says urologist Dr. Jagan Kansal, founding father of Down There Urology. “They are a normal and natural occurrence that often happens during adolescence and continues into adulthood. It is a part of the sexual development process for many individuals. There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about experiencing wet dreams, as they are a normal aspect of sexual health.”

Ultimately, the cleanup could be the worst half, says BIPOC sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexpert for the sexual wellness model/retailer Lovers.

“Wet dreams are not a bad thing unless you don’t like messes,” she says. “Most of the time, people enjoy being erotic in their dreams and having the feeling of safety can boost the eroticism factor, especially in a dream. Wet dreams are great for stress relief, to recognize someone’s own erotic subconscious desires, and/or activate an erotic goal they never knew existed in their conscious mind.”

Why Do Wet Dreams Happen?

“The exact reasons why wet dreams occur are not fully understood, but they are generally believed to be a result of hormonal changes and the body’s natural processes of sexual maturation,” says Kansal. “During puberty, the body undergoes significant hormonal fluctuations, and sexual thoughts and fantasies become more prevalent. These factors can contribute to the occurrence of wet dreams.”

In reality, moist desires aren’t the one factor your penis would possibly do whilst you’re sleeping.

“Our genitals are actually surprisingly active during our sleep!” says Lehmiller. “We undergo four to five phases of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep on a typical night, and during this time, both penises and clitorises experience erections that last about a half-hour each on average.”

“This is thought to be the result of various hormone and neurotransmitter fluctuations that happen during sleep,” he provides. “Specifically, testosterone and various brain chemicals involved in regulating sexual arousal rise during REM cycles, and it’s possible that these may trigger wet dreams on occasion as well.”

Again, as Dr. Kansal famous, there’s not sufficient info on moist desires to know for certain but. Lehmiller notes that different components which may contribute to experiencing moist desires embrace “having a particularly intense sex dream, surging hormones during puberty, sleeping positions that place more pressure on the genital area, and not having had a waking orgasm for a long time.”


How Common Are Wet Dreams?


“Wet dreams are pretty common,” says Stewart. “They happen a lot in puberty because of the surge of hormones and the many ways that someone can find arousal in their everyday life.”

In reality, some information suggests most individuals have had at the least one of their lives — however not many greater than that.

“A nationally representative survey of American adults found that a majority (53%) reported having had at least one orgasm while they were sleeping,” says Lehmiller. “However, most of them said this is something they’ve experienced very infrequently, reporting five or fewer of these orgasms in their lifetime.”

And, in fact, there’s nothing to be involved about in case you’ve by no means had one.

“The frequency can vary greatly from person to person, with some experiencing them frequently, while others may never have one,” says Kansal. “It is important to note that the absence of wet dreams during puberty does not indicate any abnormality or cause for concern.”

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Regardless, it appears that evidently the expertise of moist desires peaks round one’s early teenagers.

“We know from other research that reports of wet dreams are most common during puberty and become less common with age,” says Lehmiller, with Laino noting that many individuals expertise their first one “around 14 years of age.”

“Older men can also have wet dreams as well,” she explains. “It is important to note that some men may not have a wet dream in puberty and may have them a bit later on.”

And relating to experiencing moist desires as an grownup, the frequency “can depend on various factors,” says Kansal, “including individual biology, sexual activity levels, and overall health.”

Either means, there’s no indication that there’s an “unhealthy” quantity of moist desires to have.


How to Prevent Wet Dreams From Happening


If you’ve skilled greater than your fair proportion of moist desires and also you’re sick of them — or in case you simply wish to make sure you don’t expertise one to start with — you could be questioning: is it potential to stop them?

“Unfortunately, there is no way to stop a wet dream” from occurring in a assured means, says Stewart.

However, there could also be methods to scale back the chance of them occurring, which could be helpful if, as an example, you’re not sleeping at residence and wish to be assured you received’t make a large number on another person’s sheets, or in case you merely don’t benefit from the expertise of waking up from one.

For one, Laino notes that in case you’ve been viewing loads of sexual content material that’s been stimulating your mind, however not attaining orgasm from it, that may very well be an element, and reducing out that engagement with porn or erotica might decrease the probabilities of a moist dream occurring.

On the flip facet, you can additionally merely attempt to make sure that, if and if you do interact with sexual content material, you then masturbate to climax.

“If you want to experience fewer wet dreams, one self-help strategy you can try is to masturbate to orgasm sometime during the day or before bed,” says Lehmiller. “If you can trigger your refractory period before sleep, that’s likely to reduce the odds of a wet dream occurring.”

Either means, Kansal notes, it’s helpful to do not forget that moist desires “are a normal part of sexual development and are not considered a problem or something to be overly concerned about.”

“If you have any specific concerns or questions,” he provides, “it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance and support.”

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