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Heiman, M. (1976). Sleep Orgasm In Women. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24S(Supplement):285-304.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24S(Supplement):285-304

Sleep Orgasm In Women

Marcel Heiman, M.D.

IN SUMMARIZING THE LITERATURE of the past hundred years regarding sleep orgasm in women, the findings of the non-psychoanalytic writers (Rosenthal, 1875); (Kisch, 1907); (Heyn, 1924); (Imielinski, 1961); (Winokur et al., 1959); (Gebhard et al., 1970); (Kinsey et al., 1953) are as follows:

1. Sleep orgasm may be the result of psychic stimuli proceeding from the brain.

2. Sleep orgasm is the expression of a normal sexual drive, and neither the cause nor the result of neurosis.

3. Sleep orgasm may occur prior to the experience of wakeful orgasm, and the memory of it may have become repressed.

4. Sleep orgasm may be the result of sexual abstinence.

5. Sleep orgasm may be the result of anxiety.

6. Sleep orgasm may take place-exceptionally-prior to the onset of menarche.

7. The person in the dream accompanying sleep orgasm may or may not be an incestual object.

Although some of these findings also hold true for men's sleep orgasm, the differences are even more significant. It is beyond the scope of this paper to expand on these.

The early psychoanalytic writers, mainly Rank (1912), Freud (1900), and Ferenczi (1925), considered undisguised dreams of sexual content a rare occurrence, and thought of them as being the result of unacceptable pregenital and/or incestual wishes.

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