‘Sexsomniac’ Cleared of Assault: London Evening Standard
Yesterday, London Evening Standard’s Miranda Bryant wrote a piece on Darren Greenwood, 33 who was cleared of an accusation of sexual assault after claiming that he suffered from “Sexsomnia”. He said he must have assaulted the 21-year-old woman in his sleep because he could not remember doing it.
This was a landmark case supported by medical experts, who claimed it was a clear example of the condition. The woman had just met the Bethnal Green window fitter, she slept in his bed after an evening out last year. She woke up in the middle of the night to find him committing a sex act on her. The Jury in Chelmsford crown court was told that the last thing he recalled was giving her a “quick goodnight kiss” before waking at 11am the next day. He told the police he was “oblivious to anything”.
I have to admit that I am slightly skeptical towards “Sexsomniacs” then again I have never met a person with the diagnosis. The article is a bit fluffy: what does a sex act mean specifically? Was it rape? Why did she not try to wake him up? OK, he might have been a stone cold zombie but all night? Why did she not wake him up as soon as she could? Did she know he was a ‘Sexsomniac’? Did he really not know? He is 33 years old and have never been in a similar situation before? I think it sounds dubious – Perhaps I am ignorant! Is there a cure apart from asking a friend to lock you up at night? (There is a link to treatments at the end of the post)
The Telegraph featured an article on the same topic in 2008. The headline said: ‘Sexsomnia’ More People Suffer from ‘Sex while Sleeping Disorder’ study claims. The study claimed that more people than previously thought claimed to suffer from ‘Sexsomnia’. Canadian researchers found almost one in 12 people had admitted engaging or initiating some sort of sexual activity while they slept. It is mind-boggling that this has not happened to more than 1 in 12. If you are in a long-term/committed relationship I find it difficult to believe that this does not happen pretty (semi-) frequently. I think you only qualify if you have sex and then can’t remember anything at all or have sex with friends you have invited to stay overnight and then don’t remember. Or if you masturbate all night and then is too tired to get up and work the next day and you have no idea why you are so tired. Would it not be funny if they did MSLT tests on sexsomniacs? Now, I am a bit mean. The people who really need the help are probably to embarrassed to step forward and ask for help from a neurologist.
“While our finding of eight per cent of people reporting sexsomnia seems really a high number, it should be stressed that we only studied patients referred to a sleep clinic.” I imagine that you would be much more likely to find sexsomniacs among people who have been referred to a sleep clinic than you would if you studied a section average of the population. Is this sensationalist journalism? Probably…
I found another article on the Telegraphs Website called: Sexsomniac tries to force wife into sex while asleep : about a man who tried to force his wife to have sex with him at night. He turns into a sex-crazed monster and rips her clothing and then the next day has no recollection at all. If I were his wife I would get a tazer and tame him into behaving at night. Joking aside: This sounds genuine, and I have to admit with some difficulty in this case, as with many other sleep disorders there is a wide spectrum of severity and symptoms which means that you can’t disregard the fact that a person who has been accused of sexual assault potentially could suffer from ‘Sexsomnia’ and need to have professional medical test for verification.
If you would like to know more about Sexsomnia go to www.sleep-deprivation.com. They answer questions such as: What is Sexsomnia? Who suffers from it? What are the effects of Sexsomnia and they also list various treatments.