Dear Alice,

I'm a sixteen-year-old girl. Do females have wet dreams like boys?

—asking

Dear asking,

You betcha. In 1953, Alfred Kinsey, Ph.D., the famous sexuality researcher, found that nearly 40 percent of the 5,628 women he interviewed experienced at least one nocturnal orgasm (orgasms during sleep), or "wet dream," by the time they were forty-five years old. A smaller study published in the Journal of Sex Research in 1986 found that 85 percent of the women who had experienced nocturnal orgasms had done so by the age of twenty-one... some even before they turned thirteen. In addition, women who have orgasms during sleep usually have them several times a year. Dr. Kinsey and his colleagues defined female nocturnal orgasm as sexual arousal during sleep that awakens one to perceive the experience of orgasm. Girls and women who don't have orgasms in their sleep, or who don't know whether or not they've had them, are perfectly normal. It may be easier for men to identify their wet dreams because of the "ejaculatory evidence." Vaginal secretions could be a sign of sexual arousal without orgasm.

Similar studies find that a much higher percentage of boys and men experience wet dreams. This, combined with a greater focus on male sexuality by science and the public in general, are probably two big reasons why we don't hear very much about women's nighttime orgasms. In fact, Alice thinks this is the first time this question has been posed here. Thanks for asking.

For some more information about wet dreams, read Dry up my wet dreams! in Alice's Sexuality archive.

Alice!

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