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The Snoregasm: Wet Dreams and What They Mean

We’ve all been there. You’re in a field of grass, smelling freshly-bloomed flowers, and there they are: the hottest person you’ve ever seen. You are overcome with desire in this amazing (if not slightly strange feeling) sexual fantasy – and suddenly SNAP, you wake up in a cold sweat. But, that’s not the only thing soaking through your sheets…You’ve just had a wet dream.

BY THE ROAM TEAM 4 MIN READ

WORDS TO KNOW
Nocturnal

Happening or occurring at night.

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Zeitgeist

the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

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What is a wet dream?

Wet dreams – also known as ‘sleep orgasms’ or ‘nocturnal emissions’ – are when a person orgasms involuntarily during sleep.

They’re called wet dreams because when someone with a penis has a nighttime orgasm, they awaken to wet sheets caused by ejaculation. During ejaculation, semen (a fluid containing sperm) is released from the tip of the penis. Wet dreams aren’t attributed to masturbation or any kind of manual stimulation - research states that they happen all by themselves.

Thanks to the 21st century cultural zeitgeist around male puberty and ejaculation, most people think that only men have wet dreams, but that’s a misconception. Women can have orgasms while they sleep too, and while they don’t physically ejaculate, wet dreams for women are usually associated with vaginal wetness (if you get wet) and/or an orgasm!

When it comes to wet dreams, they’re often the butt of the joke. We’ve all seen the classic teen flick of a young guy waking up sheepishly to wet bed sheets and trying – usually unsuccessfully – to hide them from mum, and that’s not always far from reality. Lots of teenagers and even adults can find wet dreams to be the height of embarrassment, but there’s no need to be ashamed. Most people with a penis will have a wet dream at some point or even have them frequently (especially as a teen). Equally, is it also completely healthy to never have a wet dream? Sometimes it just doesn’t happen, and that’s fine too.

Why do they happen?

We all know when people go through puberty, their hormones go a little wild. For cis males, this is when their testosterone production is ramped up, and can cause wet dreams, amongst other bodily changes.

If you’re born with a penis, you’ll also more than likely experience erections throughout the day. They can be annoying and embarrassing, especially in public or if you’re with someone you fancy, but they are completely normal. Having erections when you’re asleep is normal too and nighttime erections can last well into adulthood.

How to cope with wet dreams

Your first instinct when you’ve had a wet dream may be to clean your sheets (and you should), but there are other steps you should take too to avoid any kind of issue with hygiene. Remember to clean your sheets and yourself. If you’re someone with a penis, clean your penis and testicles and if you’re not circumcised make sure to clean under your foreskin as well. If you’re the proud owner of a vagina, peeing after orgasm can be important (especially if you’ve had penetrative sex) and a shower in the morning can help you feel as fresh as possible, but it’s not necessary.

If you’re feeling embarrassed or worried about wet dreams, talk to someone. Whether that’s a doctor, friend or other person you trust. Wet dreams aren’t a choice, so it can be hard to shake them off, but masturbating and doing the no-pants dance regularly (if you’re old enough to do so legally) can help.

Sometimes, people can feel shame around their wet dreams because they have a partner who they already have a healthy sex life with. Or people may have dreams about people who they think are inappropriate: a friend’s sibling, or maybe a teacher! It’s important to understand that wet dreams have nothing to do with your partner, how attractive you find them, or how happy you are in your relationship. Equally, just because you have a wet dream about someone doesn’t necessarily mean you fancy them! There are many misconceptions of this kind around wet dreams…

Myths and facts about wet dreams

We already know that it’s not just people with penises that have wet dreams, but there are a lot of other misconceptions and rumours about them that can be harmful to the mentality and confidence of young people in particular. For example, some people think that wet dreams reduce your sperm count if you have a penis, which is false.

Another myth about wet dreams is that masturbation can curb them. Whilst this makes sense to most people, it’s not always a sure-fire way of stopping wet dreams from happening. Nocturnal emissions aren’t just a teenage kick either, they can keep happening well into adulthood. Wet dreams are more common as a teen because of the hormonal changes going on, usually by the time we get to adulthood our hormones have settled a bit – but not always.

Some people say that having wet dreams is a sign of ill health, or something being ‘wrong’. This is entirely untrue, in fact, wet dreams are a sign that everything is functioning as you’d want!

And no, wet dreams won’t shrink your junk. Interestingly enough, there is a truth in the mystery surrounding wet dreams: you are actually more likely to have wet dreams if you sleep on your stomach, so if you want to keep them at bay, lie on your back.

To finish

Wet dreams can be an annoyance more than anything else. Having to wash your bedsheets more often than you’d like to and a quick morning shower to get rid of any evidence, can feel cumbersome. It can be helpful to remind yourself that sexy dreams can be fun and can lead you to new experiences and fantasies you never knew you were even considering. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner, you can even try out some of the naughty nuances of your night world – we’ll bring the lube!

It’s important to remember that wet dreams are involuntary and if you’re worried about how often you have them, or what you’re dreaming about, talk to a medical professional (either a doctor or counsellor) about them. There’s no shame in a wet dream — we’ve all been there, and certainly had our fair share of awkward avoidance of eye-contact when you see someone you’ve done the sleepy sex tango with! But don’t worry, and remind yourself that only you are privy to your bedtime thoughts.

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