For obvious reasons, we’re talking a lot about consent at the moment. And given that it’s a big topic, it seemed like a sensible time to raise a question that I’ve been wondering about for a while. Sleep sex.
I’ve written before about how I don’t think that people who commit sex crimes are always inherently evil – that they’re sometimes fundamentally decent people who’ve been under-educated about what consent means, and who become victims of that lack of information when they hurt another person. Could sleep sex be a part of this?
Is there a possibility that inside a relationship we get so enured to the concept of having another person’s consent that we take it for granted? And does that mean that we shouldn’t be waking our partners up with oral sex? The early morning blow job, or waking your partner up by turning them on, is (when executed properly) a classic move. It’s like the best alarm clock ever.
It puts a spring in your step for the rest of the day and leaves you feeling sad for the rest of the losers on the bus who haven’t already had sex this morning. But, you can’t ask a sleeping person for consent.
Often in a relationship we rely on implied consent (responding to the other person’s advances, taking their vocal enjoyment as consent) rather than affirmative consent (saying ‘yes, I want to do this’). But a sleeping person isn’t initially ready to give either type. So, should you avoid it entirely?
Sexpert Annabelle Knight told Metro.co.uk that while morning sex is great, waking someone up with sex isn’t always the best plan. ‘Waking your partner up with sex can do wonders for your relationship. ‘
Post climactic chemicals such as Oxytocin and Serotonin help to combat stress, make you feel happy and improve your general health by reducing the risk of headaches and illness. ‘It also bonds a couple – couples who engage in morning sexual activity are less likely to stray as they feel their sexual needs have already been met and are therefore less prone to fantasies of other people or acting on them.
Of course there’s always the issue of surprise sex being unwanted. ‘My advice here is to wait until they’re at least half awake before you try anything. Most people need the toilet first thing and trying to concentrate on having a good time sexually when you’re dying for a wee won’t make for satisfying sex.
‘Successful morning sex comes (pardon the pun) from both partners feeling well rested and fresh, which may mean a quick swig of mouthwash and a toilet trip before you get down to it. The more comfortable you are the more you can concentrate of the experience itself and not external factors.
‘Couples who have been together for a long time can slip into a rut when it comes to checking that the advances are wanted. Even if you’ve been together ten years you still need to make sure sex is consensual. ‘Consent is a huge part of a happy and healthy sex life, being able to talk to your partner openly and honestly is hugely important and not just if it’s a threesome or anal sex that’s on the table.
Long-term couples are less likely to view their partner not wanting sex as rejection, so don’t be afraid to say no to them.’ So, if waking someone up with sex isn’t important to both of you, skipping it in favour of a quick pre-sex chat and wee is a good plan. That said, if you and your partner are both actively aroused by and committed to the idea of being woken up with sex, there are ways to mitigate the potential issues.
As with so many things, the issue here really is about communication. Talk to your partner about consent, about whether being woken up with oral sex is something that they really want – in reality not just in fantasy. Lots of the things that turn us on in our heads are a bit uncomfortable in real life, especially if (like Annabelle says, you need a wee!)
Similarly, read the mood of the day. If you had a fight before you went to sleep, initiating make-up sex is not a good plan, in case it upsets the other person, but if you had a conversation the night before about how you want to squeeze in a quickie before work, you’re on more solid ground. If you do attempt to make morning sex happen and the object of your affection isn’t initially responsive, back off.
Don’t get upset with them or imply that they’re being unreasonable, and give them the space they need to decide whether or not they want to have sex with you at that moment. Giving oral sex is often portrayed at some kind of gift, so having it rejected can feel hurtful. Try to remember that even if the activity is designed to give the other person pleasure, that still doesn’t mean it’s ungrateful or wrong for them not to want it.
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