How Are “Wet Dreams” Related To Men’s Waking Sexual Behavior?

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A male reader submitted the following question:

“Are wet dreams a sign that you aren’t ejaculating very much when you’re awake?”

Thanks for this very interesting question! So-called “wet dreams”—known among sex researchers as nocturnal emissions—are indeed related to men’s sexual behaviors during waking hours.

As some evidence of this, a 2014 study published in the journal Dreaming found that the male participants who said they ejaculated most often during the day were the least likely to experience nocturnal emissions. Whether these ejaculations occurred through masturbation or partnered sex didn’t really matter—guys who ejaculated more from either activity tended to have fewer wet dreams.

Thus, it does indeed seem to be the case that wet dreams are more common among guys who have a lower ejaculation frequency in everyday life.

However, frequency of ejaculation isn’t the only thing linked to wet dreams—they’re also related to age. Specifically, adolescent boys and young adult men are more likely to experience them than older guys.

Wet dreams may also be a function of hormone levels to some extent. For example, in a 2011 study of hypogonadal boys (i.e., boys who produce much lower than usual levels of sex hormones), nocturnal emissions increased significantly once they began taking testosterone supplements.

So, to answer your question, yes, wet dreams are definitely related to male sexual behavior—but they’re also related to a number of other factors.

On a side note, I should mention that wet dreams aren’t exclusive to men. In fact, women can have nocturnal orgasms, too, which you can read more about here.

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Image Credit: 123RF.com/Eugene Sergeev

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