About Somnophilia: Symptoms, Treatment, and Other Things You Need to Know

Updated on November 5th, 2021

Also known as the sleeping beauty syndrome, we will examine the curious case of somnophilia, a rare paraphilia. Here, we will be showcasing the symptoms, treatment, and other things associated with the condition. 


What is Somnophilia?

Somnophilia can be defined as a condition whereby a sleeping or unconscious partner typically arouses an individual. That is a unique form of paraphilia, and it can take creepy levels of depravity if not timely nipped in the bud. People suffering from adverse cases of somnophilia have the potential to be menaces to society, as they can go to incredible lengths to get what they desire. In the earlier times, somnophilia was closely linked to necrophilia, or sexual arousal or intercourse involving corpses. The relationship isn’t difficult to decipher, as corpses do not have the potential or slightest inkling of resistance. Somnophilia is a potentially problematic form of paraphilia, as it can lead a person suffering from the condition to go down a morbid rabbit hole to get whatsoever they want.

Somnophilia is not a Gen Z concept, as it has been around since the late nineteenth century or earlier twentieth century. Back then, people who suffered or went through this rare form of paraphilia were frowned upon mainly or punished in grotesque ways. The reason was that such a paraphilia was seen as horrible, depraved, and potentially scarring to the general society. However, thanks to the advent of science and what have you, understanding somnophilia is much easier. Now there are ways to decipher the symptoms before it is too late. There are ways to treat the condition before it gets too dicey, and you can eradicate the issue before it escalates.

Symptoms of Somnophilia

Here are some of the most glaring symptoms of somnophilia, certain red flags that you must take into account.

1. Excessive fantasizing when near the unconscious

There is hardly anything wrong with savoring the beauty of a partner that is sound asleep; more so, you are merely admiring your significant other. However, this trait can quickly become problematic if you find yourself constantly and toxically fantasizing about the said partner. The problem is not that you are sexually aroused; instead, it is the fact that the inability of the person to respond is a turn-on. That is the first glaring sign of somnophilia, and you should handle it at the earliest stage. Excessive fantasizing when near the unconscious is very unhealthy, as there is no way that an unresponsive individual can even consent to a possible sexual encounter.

2. Overt sexual desire with the unconscious

Following the first stage of excessive fantasizing, the next step of somnophilia is to express this desire by using physical touch. It is thoroughly wrong, as such an unconscious or unresponsive individual was not given the choice of acceptance or refusal. Worse still, people who exhibit this form of paraphilia are pretty dark, calculated, and know what they are doing. Whether they know about the consequences is a question for later, but it is crystal clear that they cannot help themselves. Expressing sexual desire with the unconscious is a dark symptom of somnophilia, and it has the potential of escalating pretty quickly.

3. The absence of remorse

People that are not going through the condition of somnophilia typically show remorse when they excessively fantasize about an unconscious or unresponsive individual. People that aren’t exhibiting the signs of somnophilia express regret when inadvertently partaking in such behavior with the unconscious. However, someone neck-deep in somnophilia would have no qualms about such an action (even when caught). As they say, this is usually the point of no return, and it is crystal clear that immediate action must be embarked on.

Treatments for Somnophilia

Somnophilia is a rare and unwelcome form of paraphilia, and here are some ways of treating an individual exhibiting such traits.

1. Personal Therapy

Somnophilia does not have to be treated except such a person is flirting with criminal tendencies. However, it is better to be safe than sorry, and anyone that exhibits such quirks should be referred to a proper sex therapist. The first way to go is individual therapy; here, a somnophilia patient can express his reasons for swinging in that direction. Therapists are trained for this, so they would be the last set of people to judge someone with such a rare case of paraphilia.

These therapists will help the individual identify the origin of somnophilia. They will help the patient understand why this is not a healthy practice in the long run, and hopefully, they will take a break. An individual therapist can treat somnophilia, just like in all cases of paraphilia; patience is of the essence.

2. Orgasmic reconditioning

In advanced cases of somnophilia, the patients would find themselves sexually aroused and almost to the point of having an orgasm when near a “sleeping beauty.” Sadly, this is what turns them all, but thankfully there’s is not a lost cause. Orgasmic reconditioning is another form of treatment that has been successful for many people going through advanced stages of somnophilia.

Orgasmic reconditioning entails the individual affected by somnophilia taking a visit to a sex therapist, who will then get to work on the orgasmic sensors. That is done delicately to prevent such an individual from descending into a state of unresponsiveness. However, orgasmic reconditioning has yielded some success over time, and some individuals affected by somnophilia have cut out the habit and returned to normalcy.

3. Hypnosis

That is usually the last resort, and it is typically employed and utilized by the time a said individual has gone to the dark side of somnophilia. Like we said earlier, somnophilia is not that much of a problem as long as it doesn’t lead to criminal tendencies. However, not everyone can exhibit control or proper reasoning, so that that hypnosis might be necessary.

Hypnosis is a valid form of treatment for somnophilia, so far as a registered and credible expert gets the job done. It is important to note that hypnosis is a last resort and should only be used when all the other forms of treatment have been confirmed to fail. Please, do not let an untrusted individual handle the hypnosis of a somnophilia patient; it could lead to much more problems in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Somnophilia is the usual type of paraphilia, which could be harmless in some cases but potentially damaging in other cases. That is because, just like in different equally unorthodox types of paraphilia, somnophilia has potentially toxic extremes. That is why we have shown you the steps to diagnosing somnophilia and potential red flags to look out for. We have also given you a list of treatments to consider after the problem has been identified. Just remember, no two individuals are the same; no two cases of somnophilia are the same. As such, treat all points on their merits (or demerits), and the somnophilia can be nipped with time.

Sophia is a mental health and wellness expert with a background in psychology and over 8 years of experience in content writing. She focuses on learning and writing about the skills people need to heal, cultivate happiness, and restore joy in their lives.

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