Nocturnal emission

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A nocturnal emission, informally known as a wet dream, sex dream, nightfall or sleep orgasm, is a spontaneous orgasm during sleep that includes ejaculation for a male, or vaginal wetness or an orgasm (or both) for a female. Nocturnal emissions are most common during adolescence and early young adult years, but they may happen any time after puberty. It is possible for men to wake up during a wet dream or simply to sleep through it, but for women, some researchers have added the requirement that she should also awaken during the orgasm and perceive that the orgasm happened before it counts as a wet dream. Vaginal lubrication alone does not mean that the woman has had an orgasm.


Again, those males
Into the surging channels of whose years
Now first has passed the seed (engendered
Within their members by the ripened days)
Are in their sleep confronted from without
By idol-images of some fair form—
Tidings of glorious face and lovely bloom,
Which stir and goad the regions turgid now
With seed abundant; so that, as it were
With all the matter acted duly out,
They pour the billows of a potent stream
And stain their garment.
—Titus Lucretius Carus
  • The study, authored by Antonio Zadra, PhD, of the Universite de Montreal, focused on over 3,500 home dream reports collected from men and women. Sexual intercourse was the most common type of sexual dream content, followed by sexual propositions, kissing, fantasies and masturbation.
    The study found that both men and women reported experiencing an orgasm in about four percent of their sexual dreams. Orgasms were described as being experienced by another dream character in four percent of the women's sexual dreams, but in none of the male dream reports. Current or past partners were identified in 20 percent of women's sexual dreams, compared to 14 percent for men, and public figures were twice as likely to be the object of women's sexual dream content. Multiple sex partners were reported twice as frequently in men's sexual dreams.
  • One of the most curious collections of statistics on human sexuality from the 19th century is the record of masturbation, nocturnal emission, and occasional sexual intercourse kept from 1852 to 1858 by Philip C. van Buskirk of the United States Marines (Van Buskirk, 1851-1858). Van Buskirk entered the Marine Corps as a 13-year-old-drummer boy in 1846 and was discharged over a decade later as a noncommissioned officer. Like so many other young men 150years ago, he was tormented by fears of the consequences that would result from masturbation and nocturnal emission. He studied the few medical books that were available aboard ship and learned that masturbation and nocturnal emission had dire results. Among other things, they sapped one’s strength, caused innumerable degenerative conditions, were symptoms of moral decay, could prohibit his ever marrying or siring children, and would, in all probability, bring about senility and premature death.
    He was determined to save himself, and it was to that end that he began a record of his sexual activity. By keeping track of emissions, he hoped to gauge the effectiveness of his methods for controlling and ultimately eliminating both induced and involuntary orgasms. It was to be one through study, will power, and what can only be described as clean living. He began recording his masturbations and orgasms induced by others in January, 1852. Nocturnal emissions were added to the record in September of the same year. From then until the end of 1858, he kept a careful and apparently an accurate account of all expenditures of semen.
    The questions raised by Van Buskirk’s tables concern, first, the manner in which his rates of sexual activity correspond to similar but more recently accumulated data and, second, the possibility of relating his combined rates of masturbation and coitus to his patterns of nocturnal emission.
    Although several early-day sex researchers included material on masturbation and nocturnal emission in their works, the number of cases reported was small, methods of compiling data varied considerably, and much of the information was anecdotal (Ellis, 1927, pp. 112-120, 145, 190, 297-300, 343; Hall, 1905, 1905, pp 453-454; Hirschfeld, 1948, pp. 103-121). In dealing with the relationship between Van Buskirk’s rates of emission and the rated from more recent samples, the only investigation of comparable subject matter involving large numbers of male respondents was that conducted 4 decades ago by Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin (1948). Virtually all of the material Van Buskirk recorded can be contrasted directly with similar data in the Kinsey study.
  • When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing. If any man among you becomes unclean [Hebrew lo yihyeh tahor, literally 'will not be clean'] because of a nocturnal emission [literally: 'by reason of what happens to him by night'], then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp, but when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp.
  • Testosterone has been reported to play a role in the frequency of nonerotic or reflex erections, including nocturnal penile erections and for the production of seminal fluid. There is no literature on the role of testosterone on nocturnal emission at any age. It seems reasonable to speculate that as testosterone is involved in causing nocturnal erections and production of seminal fluid, testosterone may also cause increases in nocturnal emission. It seems possible that nocturnal emissions may be induced/facilitated by factors other than hormones that prime the adolescent for this physiological response, as not all boys experienced nocturnal emission but all boys did receive testosterone.
  • 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 the 2002-2003 IYARHS, male respondents only were asked about their experiences with wet dreams. These questions include the age when they started having wet dreams and discussions about wet dreams with anyone before their occurrence. Table 4.6 shows that very few men had their first wet dream before age 12 (less than 2 percent). About half of the male respondents said that they had their first wet dream at age 14 or 15, 21 percent of men at age 14 and 28 percent at age 15. By age 16, nine in ten men have had wet dreams.
    Data in the tale also show that younger men experienced their first wet dream earlier than older men. For example, 59 percent of men age 15 have had a wet dream by age 14, compared with 29 percent of 24-year-olds. Table 4.6 also shows that 7 percent of male respondents have never had a wet dream.
    Male respondents were also asked whether they had discussed wet dreams with anyone before they had the first dream. Data in Table 4.7 show that the majority of men talk with their friends (45 percent). There are small differences by age.
    Tables 4.4 and 4.7 show that men are less likely than women to discuss physical changes in their body with someone. While 29 percent of women did not talk with anyone about menstruation prior to having their first menses, 48 percent of men did not talk to anyone about wet dreams before having one.
    • "Knowledge about Human Reproduction and Experience of Puberty" (PDF). Indonesia Young Adult Reproductive Health Survey 2002–2003. Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS-Statistics Indonesia), Jakarta, Indonesia; National Family Planning Coordinating Board, Jakarta, Indonesia; Ministry of Health, Jakarta, Indonesia, ORC Macro, Calverton, Maryland, U.S. p.27
  • Generally speaking, a wet dream occurs when we experience sexual arousal during sleep. This is especially common in men, since we naturally experience erections during the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep. Combine that with an erotic dream, and there’s a good chance you’ll wake up in a (wet) spot of bother.
    There’s also some utility to wet dreams: “For men, nocturnal emissions are a way for the body to clear out old sperm,” Ley explains. “Sperm has an expiration date, and if you haven’t ejaculated in a while, your body gets rid of the old stuff to ensure the sperm on tap is fresh and ready to hit the field of play.”
  • Wet dreams are most common during puberty, when testosterone (the hormone responsible for sperm production) levels are at their highest. This doesn’t mean there’s something wrong if you wake up with sticky briefs well into middle age, though. “Men can remain virile late into their lives — Charlie Chaplin, for instance, fathered a child when he was in his 70s — and as long as you remain virile, your body still needs to clear out old sperm,” Ley explains.
    Wet dreams are also linked to ejaculation frequency, according to Ley. “Going without orgasm for a few weeks increases the likelihood of nocturnal emission,” he says. “The NoFap trend and the idea that those in sex-addiction treatment are to remain abstinent for 60 to 90 days both dramatically increase the likelihood of nocturnal emissions.”
  • ... Again, those males
    Into the surging channels of whose years
    Now first has passed the seed (engendered
    Within their members by the ripened days)
    Are in their sleep confronted from without
    By idol-images of some fair form—
    Tidings of glorious face and lovely bloom,
    Which stir and goad the regions turgid now
    With seed abundant; so that, as it were
    With all the matter acted duly out,
    They pour the billows of a potent stream
    And stain their garment.
    • "Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, Book IV, lines 1025-1036"; (translated by William Ellery Leonard)
  • The range of possible experiences that sexually mature males can have regarding nocturnal emissions has been neglected in the literature since Kinsey's findings were published in 1948. The present study, conducted by questionnaires, found that males generally have received little information about nocturnal emissions, resulting in negative feelings about them. This occurred despite the presence or absence of the experience. Contrary to expectations, this investigation found a higher percentage of males who had never had a nocturnal emission than was reported by Kinsey. Implications for the educational, medical, and counseling fields are noted.
  • NE is a type of spontaneous orgasm, involving ejaculation during sleep. This is an autonomous reflex mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. NE occurs mostly during adolescence and in the early young adult years, but it may also occur at any time after puberty. NEs are difficult to characterize because they always occur randomly during sleep. Fresh semen samples during NEs need to be collected correctly and sent to the hospital immediately.
  • Interestingly, the NE group consisted of younger patients than the PVS, EEJ, and control groups. NEs are ejaculations and orgasms that occur during sleep. Although NEs can be experienced by men of all ages, they are most commonly experienced by young adolescents in the early years of puberty. The frequency of ejaculation by NE varies considerably between individuals and in one individual's lifetime. The highest frequency of NEs is between 16 and 30 years of age, which is consistent with our findings. This finding may be related to the strong sexual fantasies and sexual urges of young adolescents. Moreover, this result may be one of the reasons for higher semen quality from NEs. However, a large sample size is needed to further analyze whether the high semen quality from NEs is age related.
  • Our results suggest that fresh sperm from NEs serves as an alternative source of sperm for patients with idiopathic anejaculation. The purpose of sperm collection should be considered before performing procedures such as PVS and EEJ. These procedures cause several side effects, such as skin abrasion, penis edema, and autonomic dysreflexia in men with a history of SCI.
    This study is the first to evaluate the quality of semen obtained by NEs in men with idiopathic anejaculation. The semen collected by NEs had higher motility and more normal morphology than that collected by PVS and EEJ. The semen collected by EEJ had higher motility and more normal morphology than that collected by PVS. The present results provide new insights into the quality of semen from this subgroup of patients with idiopathic anejaculation.
  • Variables predicting the reported occurrence and frequency of nocturnal orgasms among women are reported. Undergraduate and graduate women (N = 245) from a large midwestern university volunteered to complete nine self-report scales and inventories. Thirty-seven percent of the sample reported they had experienced nocturnal orgasm, and 30% reported having had the experience in the past year. The predictors accounted for a statistically significant amount of variation in each of the dependent variables: 33% of "ever experienced nocturnal orgasm," 44% of "experienced nocturnal orgasm in the past year," and 27% in the case of "frequency of nocturnal orgasm in the past year." Positive attitudes toward and knowledge of nocturnal orgasms, sexual liberalism, and waking sexually excited from sleep (without experiencing orgasm) were the most important predictors of nocturnal orgasm experience. The reported incidence of nocturnal orgasms in this sample is higher than in comparative samples of previous studies.
  • Over 30 years ago Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, and Gebhard (1953, p. 192) attested to the possible importance of nocturnal orgasms when they wrote, “masturbation and nocturnal sex dreams to the point o orgasm are the activities which provide the best measure of a female’s intrinsic sexuality.” However, as late as 1970, Gebhard, Raboch, and Geise concluded that, “up to now there is an extensive lack of information on orgasms in sleep among humans” (p.18). Since 1970, only one new study concerning female nocturnal orgasms has been published (Henton, 1976). To add to the body of knowledge about this sexual phenomenon, I explored the correlates of nocturnal orgasm experience by retesting variables of potential importance gleaned from previous research and testing, for the first time, other variables of apparent importance.

"Nocturnal sperm emission in men with psychogenic anejaculation" (1999)[edit]

Hovav, Y; Dan-Goor, M; Yaffe, H; Almagor, M (1999). "Nocturnal sperm emission in men with psychogenic anejaculation". Fertility and Sterility. 72 (2): 364–5. doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(99)00239-3. PMID 10439013.

  • Result(s): In four patients, the concentration and motility of sperm obtained from freeze-thawed nocturnal emission were decreased compared with sperm from electroejaculation. Fertilization rates after ICSI using the nocturnal emission sperm were relatively low (45%). One clinical pregnancy was achieved after intrauterine insemination.
    Conclusion(s): The quality of sperm from nocturnal emissions is variable, but it can be used in assisted reproduction procedures to avoid aggressive procedures such as electroejaculation or testis biopsy.
  • Nocturnal sperm emission is an autonomous reflex mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. Because this reflex may not be fully stimulated, the concentration and motility of the ejaculated sperm might be affected. For obvious reasons, it is difficult to obtain data on the quality of nocturnal sperm emission. However, these ejaculates may be useful in assisted reproduction treatments, particularly in men with psychogenic anejaculation.
  • The aim of the present study was to evaluate the characteristics and fertilizing potential of sperm obtained from nocturnal emission in men with psychogenic anejaculation. Our study included a small group of patients, and we were unable to supervise the course of the freezing procedures. Despite these limitations, it seems that the quality of the sperm specimens varies because in 50% of patients sperm concentrations were normal and in 33% motility was good.
  • It is reasonable to assume that if a fresh nocturnal ejaculate could be obtained, sperm motility will be improved. When freeze-thawed nocturnal sperm were compared with fresh sperm obtained by electroejaculation, sperm count improved significantly in two of three patients after electroejaculation. The higher sperm concentrations are evidence of the efficacy of the stimulatory effect of electroejaculation. The thawed sperm were used in intracytoplasmic sperm injection to fertilize oocytes; overall, 45% of the oocytes that were injected were fertilized and cleaved normally.
    Our preliminary results suggest that sperm from nocturnal emissions that can be preserved may serve as an alternative source of sperm for patients who are unable to consciously ejaculate after masturbation or during sexual relations, particularly men with psychogenic anejaculation. The use of this sperm may be considered before procedures such as electroejaculation or testicular sperm extraction are performed.

“Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948)[edit]

Kinsey, Alfred C. “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co. (1948)

  • For the U.S. population, the sources of first ejaculation are, in order of frequency, masturbation (in about two-thirds of the males), nocturnal emissions (in an eighth of the cases), heterosexual coitus (in one boy out of eight), and homosexual contacts (in one boy out of twenty), with spontaneous ejaculation, petting to climax, and intercourse with other animals as less frequent stimuli for the initial experience (cf. Rodleder 1921). There are considerable differences in first sources in different educational levels. The highest incidence of masturbation as the first source of ejaculation occurs among the boys who will leave school between the ninth and twelfth grades, the highest incidence of nocturnal emissions as the first source occurs among the boys who will subsequently go to college, and the highest incidence of heterosexual intercourse as the first source occurs among the boys who never get beyond the eighth grade in school.
    • p.190
  • Where first ejaculation occurs as a nocturnal emission, it usually (though not always) does not come until a year or more after the appearance of the other adolescent developments, and the onset of adolescence should be set a year or more before the first ejaculation.
    • p.299
  • There is an interesting correlation of the source of first ejaculation and the age of onset of ejaculation. For the boys who become adolescent by 11 years of age, masturbation provides the first ejaculation in nearly three-quarters of the cases (71.6 per cent); but for the boys who become adolescent last, masturbation is the source of the first outlet in only half of the cases (52.1 per cent). Nocturnal dreams, on the contrary, are the first source for only 21.6 per cent of the younger adolescent boys, but for 37.1 per cent of the late adolescent males. The boys who mature first more often act deliberately in going after their first outlet; the boys who mature last more often depend upon the involuntary reactions which bring nocturnal emissions.
    • p.303
  • Nocturnal Emissions. These occur with much the same incidences and frequencies among the rural and the urban groups. This is true at all ages, and in all social levels (Table 118). In the few places where the table indicates some differences, there are no consistent trends.
    • p.543

“Plain Facts For Old and Young” (1881)[edit]

John Harvey Kellogg, “Plain Facts For Old and Young”, (1881)

  • Seminal emissions during sleep, usually accompanied by erotic dreams, are known as nocturnal pollutions or emissions, and are often called “spermatorrhea”, though there is some disagreement respecting the use of the latter term. Its most proper use is when applied to the entire group of symptoms which accompany involuntary seminal losses.
    The masturbator knows nothing of this disease so long as he continues his vile practice; but when he resolves to reform, and ceases to defile himself voluntarily, he is astonished and disgusted to find that the same filthy pollutions occur during his sleep without his voluntary participation. He now begins to see something of the ruin he had wrought. The same nightly loss continues, sometimes being repeated several times in a single night, to his infinite mortification and chagrin. He hopes the difficulty will subside of itself, but his hope is vain; unless treated, it will probably continue until the ruin which he voluntarily began is completed. <br This disease is the result of sexual excesses of any kind ; it is common in married men who had abused the marriage relation, when they are forced to temporary continence from any cause. It also occurs in those addicted to mental unchastity, though they may be physically continent. It is not probable that it would ever occur in a person who had been strictly continent and had not allowed his mind to dwell upon libidinous imaginations.
    • pp.353-354
  • Unchaste thoughts act detrimentally in a two-fold way. They first stimulate the activity of the testes, thus increasing the overloading of the seminal vesicles. Lascivious thoughts during wakefulness are the chief cause of lascivious dreams.
    • p.354
  • Certain circumstances greatly increase the frequency of the emissions, and thus hasten the injury which they are certain to accomplish if not checked; as, neglect to relieve the bladder and bowels at night, late suppers, stimulating food and drinks, and anything that will excite the genital organs. Of all causes, amorous or erotic thoughts are the most powerful. Tea and coffee, spices and other condiments, and animal food have a special tendency in this direction. Certain positions in bed also serve as exciting or predisposing causes; as sleeping upon the back or abdomen. Feather beds and pillows and too warm covering in bed are also injurious for the same reason.
    In frequency, emissions will vary in different persons from an occasional one at long and irregular intervals to two or three a week, or several—as many as four in one case we have met—in a single night.
    The immediate effect of an emission will depend somewhat upon the frequency of occurrence and the condition of the individual. If very infrequent, and occurring in a comparatively robust person, after the seminal vesicles have become distended with seminal fluid, the immediate effect of an emission may be a sensation of temporary relief. This circumstance has led certain persons to suppose that emissions are natural and beneficial. This point will receive attention shortly.
    If the emissions are more frequent, or if they occur in a person of a naturally feeble constitution, the immediate effect is lassitude, languor, indisposition and often inability to perform severe mental or physical labor melancholy, amounting often to despair and even leading to suicide, and an exaggeration of local irritation, and of all the morbid conditions to be noticed under the head of “General Effects.” Headache, indigestion, weakness of the back and knees, disturbed circulation, dimness of vision, and loss of appetite, are only a few of these.
    • p.355-356
  • Are Occasional Emissions Necessary or Harmless?-That an individual may suffer for years an involuntary seminal loss as frequently as once a month without apparently suffering very great injury, seems to be a settled fact with physicians of extensive experience, and is well confirmed by observation ; yet there are those who suffer severely from losses no more frequent than this. But when seminal losses occur more frequently than once a month, they will certainly ultimate in great injury, even though immediate ill effects are not noticed, as in exceptional cases they may not be. If argument is necessary to sustain this position, as it hardly seems to be, we would refer to the fact that seminal losses do not occur in those who are, and always have been, continent both mentally and physically, when such rare individuals can be found. They occur the most rarely in those who the most nearly approach the standard of perfect chastity ; so that whenever they occur, they may be taken as evidence of some form of sexual excess. This fact clearly shows that losses of this kind are not natural.
    • pp.356-357
  • Emission not Necessary to Health.-If it be argued that an occasional emission is necessary to relieve the overloaded seminal vesicles, we reply, the same argument has been used as an apology for unchastity ; but it is equally worthless in both instances. It might as well be argued the vomiting is a necessary physiological and healthful act, and should occur with regularity, because a person may so overload his stomach as to make the act necessary as a remedial measure. Vomiting is a diseased action, a pathological process, and is occasioned by the voluntary transgression of the individual. Hence, it is as unnecessary as gluttony, and must be wasteful of vitality, even though rendered necessary under some circumstances. So with emissions. If a person allows his mind to dwell upon unchaste subjects, indulges in lasciviousness, he may render an emission almost necessary as a remedial effort. Nevertheless, he will suffer from the loss of the vital fluid ust the same as though he had not, by his own consupiscence, rendered it in some degree necessary. And as it would have been infinitely better for him to have retained and digested food in his stomach instead of ejecting it-provided it were wholesome food-so it would have been better for him to have retained in his system the seminal fluid, which would have been disposed of by the system and probably utilized to very great advantage in the repair of certain of the tissues.
    • pp.357-358
  • An eminent English physician, Dr. Milton, who has treated many thousands of cases of this disease remarks in a work upon the subject as follows:-
    “Anything beyond one emission a month requires attention. I know this statement has been impuged, but I am quite prepared to abide by it. I did not put it forward till I considered I had quite sufficient evidence in my hands to justify me in doing so.”
    “An opinion prevails, as most of my readers are aware, among medical men, that a few emissions in youth do good instead of harm. It is difficult to understand how an unnatural evacuation can do good, except in the case of unnatural congestion. I have, however, convinced myself that the principle is wrong. Lads never really feel better for emissions ; they very often feel decidedly worse. Occasionally they may fancy there is a sense of relief, but it is very much the same sort of relief that a drunkard feels from a ram. In early life the stomach may be repeatedly overloaded with impunity, but I suppose few would contend that overloading was therefore good. The fact is that emissions are invariably more or less injurious ; not always visibly so in youth, not susceptible of being assessed as to the damage inflicted by any given number of them, but still contributing, each in its turn, a mite toward the exhaustion and debility which the patient will one day complain of.”
    • pp.358-359

“Nocturnal Emissions: A Comparative Study of Male Experiences Nocturnal Emissions: A Comparative Study of Male Experiences and Reactions and Reactions” (5-1982)[edit]

Barbara Shrively Matthews “Nocturnal Emissions: A Comparative Study of Male Experiences Nocturnal Emissions: A Comparative Study of Male Experiences and Reactions and Reactions”, Utah State University, (5-1982)

Visitations by the so-called "angel of the night," a term originated by pioneer sexologist Paolo Montegazza (Katchadourian, Lunde & Trotter, 1979), have resulted in trauma, confusion, or embarrassment for many young men.
  • Visitations by the so-called "angel of the night," a term originated by pioneer sexologist Paolo Montegazza (Katchadourian, Lunde & Trotter, 1979), have resulted in trauma, confusion, or embarrassment for many young men. Nocturnal emissions have often placed young men in awkward and perplexing predicaments when they wake up and find that seminal emissions or "wet dreams" have occurred. A nocturnal emission, commonly referred to as a "wet dream", is an ejaculation of semen by a sexually mature male during sleep. Though nocturnal emissions are almost always accompanied by dreaming, the dreamer may frequently awaken in the process of orgasm or during impending orgasm (Katchadourian et al., 1979). Orgasms during sleep, either nocturnal or daytime, constitute about 1/ 12th of a male's total sexual outlet at ages 21 to 25, and are, therefore, of considerable interest to both men and women.
    Though there is wide interest in nocturnal emissions, they have received sketchy treatment in the literature. In addition, the study of nocturnal emissions is part of the broader area of sexual behavior research which has often run into public and scientific resistance (Diamond & Karlen, 1980). Consequently, nocturnal emissions are widely misunderstood (Kinsey, Pomeroy & Martin, 1948) .
    • pp.1-2
  • Males who have nocturnal emissions usually receive no prior sexual information (Shipman, 1968). The cultural assumption is that there is no need to explain male sexuality prior to puberty; its first evidence will be a pleasurable dream with the tell-tale evidence found in the morning (Shipman, 1968). This contributes to the postponement or avoidance of any discussion of the physical or emotional manifestations of puberty and/or the occurrence of nocturnal emissions (Masland, Rigg, Shochet, vlestman, & Lopez, 1980).
    There are males, however, that never seem to experience nocturnal emissions. Males who have not experienced nocturnal emissions usually receive no prior information regarding this possibility and are unprepared for this phenomenon. No mention is made in the media or the literature about males having erotic dreams to orgasm without the accompanying ejaculate. Because of this informational void, trauma, confusion, and feelings of abnormality are more likely to beset the male who has not experienced a wet dream.
    • p.2
  • Few studies have been conducted on nocturnal emissions and coverage is extremely limited, probably because of the sensitive and sexual nature of the subject. Thus, the purpose of this investigation is to compare males who have experienced nocturnal emissions with those males who have not experienced nocturnal emissions in regard to their reactions to nocturnal emissions.
    • p.2
  • There is considerable variation among individuals in the frequencies with which they have nocturnal emissions. Kinsey et al. (1948) found that there are males who never ejaculated in their sleep, males who experienced only a few wet dreams, as well as males who had two or three wet dreams per night.
    This variability in male experiences is not reported in the research literature except for Kinsey's work. Furthermore, the filtering process by which research literature leads to a lay acceptance of research findings had not occurred here. As a result, the media and popular literature make no mention of this variability and, in fact, this information is little known and has had no impact on the public.
    Shipman (1968) reports that the onset of puberty associated with nocturnal emissions, particularly ejaculation, is a traumatic event in a young male's life, with almost no prior explanation of the event. Consequently, a male's reaction is steeped in fright and misunderstanding, with no apparent resource to consult to clear up the confusion.
    • p.3
  • A nocturnal emission is the body's way of relieving sexual tension, which becomes particularly high at the adolescent age (Mas1and et a1., 1980). These emissions characteristically begin when a boy is 11 to 16 years of age (Mas1and et al., 1980). Thus, nocturnal emissions are primarily seen as a phenomenon of single males in their teens and early twenties.
    A high percentage of all males do experience nocturnal emissions at some time in their lives. Ultimately, about 83% of all males have wet dreams (Kinsey et al., 1948). Katchdourian et al. (1979) state that practically all males report having had erotic dreams to orgasm at least once. McCary (1973) reports that almost all men have erotic dreams and 85% of them have had dreams that culminated in orgasm. Kinsey et al. (1948) recorded that some men experience orgasm practically every time they awaken from sleep, even though this may be two or three times in a single night. Thus, orgasm as the product of nocturnal dreams is well known in the male.
    • p.4
  • It is particularly interesting to note that there are great differences in the occurrence of nocturnal emissions across educational levels and occupational classes (Kinsey et al., 1948). Wet dreams occur most often in that segment of the population that goes to college. Among males who are in college, nocturnal emissions begin at earlier ages than among males of lower educational levels. Those men who had no more than eight years of school report the lowest incidence of nocturnal emissions, while those males who had 13 years of school report the highest incidence of nocturnal emissions (Kinsey et al., 1948).
    With regard to differences in occupational classes, Kinsey et al. (1948) reported that day laborers averaged not more than two or three nocturnal emissions per year and semi-skilled workmen reported an emission frequency only a bit higher than that. The frequency of nocturnal emissions in the college and graduate school groups, however, was close to once every two weeks at practically every age level throughout life. This means that males in the upper occupational levels report 10 to 12 times as many nocturnal emissions as reported among males of the lower occupational classes.
    College males report the highest frequency of nocturnal emissions, with a peak of 19 to 20 years of age (Kinsey et al, 1948). This can be interpreted to mean that the lowest frequency of males not experiencing nocturnal emissions should appear in this population. Since only the Kinsey studies reported nocturnal emission frequency figures, these figures can be used to validate this investigation by the similarity in sample population.
    • pp.5-6
  • Discussing sexual matters with adolescents is more often than not a difficult matter for adults to undertake. The cultural assumption is that there is no need to explain anything to young males prior to puberty and that the first evidence of a nocturnal emission will be after a pleasurable dream which the boy will come to under-stand. Adults also assume that adolescents will learn from peers whatever they need to know about sexual matters (Shipman, 1968). It is understandable, then, that the adolescent male with an inadequate sex education who awakens to find that he has had a "wet dream" may be upset and feel guilty (Masland et al., 1980).
    A frank discussion would seem especially important to explain the physical and emotional manifestations of puberty to young males. Sometimes parents make the mistake of assuming that sex information has come from older siblings, peers, or they believe such information is unimportant. Even when a background of open communication exists at home, it is usually necessary for the parent to initiate any dialogue about sex by inquiring what understanding of and experience with wet dreams the boy has acquired (Masland et al., 1980). Research findings show that in a sample of 146 male college students, 90% of the males indicated that they received no information about nocturnal emissions from either parent and that what they learned from peers was most inadequate (Shipman, 1968). Thus, the first ejaculations by males in puberty are probably profound and frightening experiences because of inadequate knowledge 'about sexual matters (Shipman, 1968).
    Thus, the first ejaculations by males in puberty are probably profound and frightening experiences because of inadequate knowledge about sexual matters (Shipman, 1968).
    • pp.7-8
  • No significant differences were found between age, living status, religion, and the frequency of nocturnal emissions at any age level. However, results did indicate significant differences (Q ( .05) were found for education with ages 20-21, 22-23, 26-27, 30-31, and religiosity with ages 18-19 and 20-21. Thus, at ages 20-21, 22-23, 26-27, and 30-31, regardless of the amount of education they had received to date, most respondents reported either never dreaming to orgasm or having had only one to two dreams to orgasm per year. It should be noted that education seems to have no bearing on the ability to achieve more frequent orgasms f or this sample. This does not validate the findings of Kinsey, et al. (1948) that the higher the education level the greater the sexual dream frequency and corresponding nocturnal emissions.
    Though there was no significance between religion and frequency levels of nocturnal emissions, there was significance at the .05 level of confidence between the frequency of nocturnal emissions at age 18-19, 20•21, and degree of religiosity. At these ages, religiosity was similar across all four levels: very religious, some-what religious, slightly religious, and not at all religious. Frequency levels at these ages clustered in never having had a dream to orgasm or having only one to two dreams to orgasm per year. Regardless of the frequency levels of nocturnal emissions at age 18-19 or 20-21, the largest number of respondents reported they were somewhat religious. But as the respondents got older, clustering occurred in the not at all religious category, reflecting their diminished religiosity.
    • pp.36-37
  • Nocturnal emissions are primarily seen as a phenomenon experienced by single males in their teens and early twenties. It was recognized by Kinsey et al. (1948), Katchdourian et al. (1979), and McCary (1973) that practically all men experience nocturnal emissions. However, the Kinsey studies (1948) found that 17% of the males interviewed never experienced nocturnal dreaming to orgasm with an ejaculate by age 47. Of the 104 males in this study, 75 reported that they had experienced nocturnal emissions, while 29 reported that they had not experienced nocturnal emissions. Therefore, 27.88% of this sample had not experienced wet dreams, exceeding the 1984 report by Kinsey. This percentage difference should be recognized and considered in terms of the 33 years that have passed between the two samples, the new lifestyles, nutrition updates, more sexual awareness, and changing sexual attitudes. Neither religiosity or educational level, as Kinsey et al. (1948) reported, appears to be operating in regard to the frequency of nocturnal emissions. This leaves a question concerning why, after over three decades of abundant sexual stimuli, the frequency rate of this sample declined instead of decreased. More in depth research would seem to be needed to accurately assess this difference.
    • pp.42-43
  • Contrary to public opinion, the results of this study show that males are not informed and educated about sexuality and nocturnal emissions. This confirms Shipman's (1968) conclusion that adolescent males are not receiving information on nocturnal emissions and sexuality. What information Shipman's sample received was from books/printed materials, while this sample received most of their information from peers and books/printed materials. In no case are respondents receiving a great deal of information, but rather are reporting no to little information from parents, siblings, media, and school classrooms; little to some information from peers and books/ printed materials. Group 1 males received less information about nocturnal emissions than males who experienced them. Thus, males who have nocturnal emissions may question their occurrence, while males who don' t experience them do not ask about what hasn't occurred.
    • pp.43-44
  • Because the empirical literature is limited and does not portray the variety of experiences that males can have regarding nocturnal emissions, this study seeks to add to the existing literature and to correct inconsistencies currently reported. Regardless of whether a male does or does not experience a nocturnal emission, a more positive body and sexual image may be brought about by accurate information on human sexuality (Wells, 1978). Most educational efforts do not approach nocturnal emissions through courses in human sexuality or related courses and parental information is extremely limited. In short, young men are ignorant about this aspect of their sexual selves.
    • p.48

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