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Wet dreams - you get an erect penis while asleep and ejaculate

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Nocturnal emissions. Wet dreams. Most likely you know what these are, but for the benefit of any younger readers, they are sexual dreams during which you get an erect penis, become aroused and spontaneously ejaculate semen.

Wet dreams don't occur until puberty, and when they do, they can be very embarrassing or worrying to the young man concerned if he doesn't know what's happening to his body. Often a wet dream is the first sign that a boy's sexual machinery has stared to work, after the testosterone-fuelled development of his penis, testicles prostate and seminal vesicles has caused his body to start producing semen.

If a boy has not already started masturbating, the average age of his first ejaculation in the form of a wet dream is just over 13 years. But this does vary, since by definition an average has a high point and a low point. I have counseled some men who had not had any ejaculation, either through masturbation or in a wet dream, by the age of 19.

And ejaculation can occur at a very young age in boys who have endocrine disorders, though this is rare. For a normal young man of about 13 years of age, though, his first wet dream in which he ejaculates spontaneously is psychologically parallel to a girl's first period - a rite of passage into manhood, marked by the very adult business of ejaculation.

I suppose these days, because we live in a more sexualized society, that many boys will actually reach orgasm for the first time through masturbation. There's nothing wrong with that, but it seems a shame that boys aren't able to experience the more relaxed pace of sexual development which perhaps was more common in days gone by.

Almost all young men have wet dreams, though some have far more than others. Back in the 1950's, Kinsey reported that some boys had as many as twelve a week. By contrast, others have only a handful in their entire life, so the clear message for any male reading this is "don't worry, you're normal, whether you're having loads of wet dreams or none at all". Advice from a teen website.

When a boy has grown up in a house where sex is taboo or embarrassing, his first wet dream can make him feel very shamed and unsupported. This is a real shame, since they are both natural and uncontrollable. It's much more a cause for celebration, a celebration of his transition to manhood. 

All boys and men have many more erections during sleep than ejaculations. They serve two different purposes: the erection is a way of getting oxygenated blood to the internal cavities of the penis, to make up for a lack of this during the day; the ejaculation is probably a way of relieving the excess levels of continual sperm and semen production, a fact which means you're less likely to have wet dreams if you're masturbating or having sex regularly.

As to the dreams which accompany uncontrolled ejaculation, well, they may seem crazy, but they do signify something about the subconscious's deepest thoughts, conflicts, feelings and desires. A common dream theme is sex with a close family member - perhaps the mother, if a boy has had an over-close relationship, possibly of a sexualized nature, with his mother when he was a child.

Other dream sequences can center on one's children, one's children's spouses, figures from one's life, stars of screen and stage, and so on - the list of possibilities is endless, and you shouldn't waste too much time or effort in trying to establish what they mean. Love and sex are very closely intertwined in the human psyche. 

Of course, many dream interpreters would have us believe that symbols are supreme in dreams: tunnels represent vaginas, snakes represent penises, and so on. Well, you'll probably know from the feeling which remains with you when you wake up whether or not your dream had a sexual theme, though what it might signify may be harder to establish. 

One thing that often worries guys is that their dreams contain scenes of sexual activity with other men, even when they regard themselves as completely heterosexual by day. But an occasional sexual dream about men doesn't mean you're gay, just as an occasional dream about having sex with your mother doesn't mean you want to make love her in reality.

Rather, such dreams reveal something about the undercurrents of our emotional connections with other people which have some sense of sexuality to them. And for men in particular, affection is often hard to express, especially our affection for other men. If we admire someone and like them, and perhaps especially if we admire their masculinity, a sexual dream can be seen as a subconscious attempt to absorb some of those qualities into oneself.

Masturbation is a great way of training the body to respond more slowly to sexual stimulation, and thereby developing greater control of ejaculation skills. While not a complete remedy for premature ejaculation, there's no doubt that this can significantly help young men to slow down their sexual responses when they begin to make love with a partner and delay their ejaculation during intercourse.

A presentation looked into the question of why is premature ejaculation is so stigmatized, when it is so prevalent. Dr Andrew R. McCullough, of the New York University Medical Center, led a study to investigate. The team analyzed data collected from an on-line survey of 1,158 men over 21 in a stable heterosexual relationship. There were 31 questions concerning overall and sexual health, including questions about ejaculatory control.

Those men who were classified with PE reported low satisfaction with sexual intercourse, loss of interest in having sexual intercourse, difficulty in getting sexually aroused and problems of relaxing during intercourse. These findings demonstrate the negative influence of premature ejaculation on sexual performance, enjoyment of sex and quality of life in general.

Dr McCullough suggests that the reason for stigma associated with PE might be the impact it has on many aspects of a man's life, leaving him with the sense of embarrassment and inadequacy. Dr. McCullough shows that men who lack control over ejaculation tend to be less satisfied with sexual encounters and may suffer from problems with sexual anxiety and arousal.

Dr. McCullough went on to say that both presentations drew much needed attention to the frequency and impact of PE, and highlighted the importance of open dialogue on the subject. These studies demonstrate that male sexual health covers a lot more than erectile dysfunction.

The context

Let's get one thing straight right away: a wet dream, the involuntary release of semen when you have an erection while you're asleep, often accompanied by sexy dreams, is normal in every way. It isn't a disease, it isn't a sign of masturbation, it isn't a sign of wicked sexual thoughts, and it doesn't mean you're damned to hell for all eternity. No indeed: wet dreams happen to every boy, everywhere,  during his adolescence, and quite a lot of men have them too.

They happen whether you're masturbating or not - though if you don't masturbate much they may happen more often - and they happen whether you want them to or not.

Sexy dreams, wet patches on your pajamas, and embarrassing stains on the bed notwithstanding, nocturnal emissions are a fact of life, and there's not a lot you can do about them (except maybe masturbate more, which is probably a good thing for your pleasure and sexual health. On the other hand, I suspect few adolescents need encouraging to masturbate any more than they already do.)

I remember my first wet dream (what a great term - "wet dream"...who thought that one up?). It took me by surprise when I was sleeping in a bed and breakfast - I'd have been about twelve, I think.

 I had a sexy dream about a girl at my first school who, to be honest, I'd never even looked at and barely spoken to. Why would she have been the subject of a wet dream? Perhaps I didn't speak to her because there was something about her I fancied, even at the tender age of ten. Who knows?

Anyhow, though at this distance I don't recall the subject of the dream, I do recall thinking the whole experience was very nice when I woke up shortly after ejaculating, except for the need to wash the spunk off the sheets next day.

But, as I recall, they were rather horrible pink nylon sheets, in the best tradition of the down-market UK guest houses of the time, so maybe I shouldn't have bothered, but just let the landlady have a little frisson of something or other when she exchanged the sheets.

The next night, I tied a tissue round the end of my penis, hoping fervently that the same thing would happen again...but sad to say, it was several years before I had another wet dream: rather surprising really, because I wasn't masturbating much at that time.

(Well, not at all, really, I'm very sorry to say. It would have done me a lot of good if I had been wanking every day. That way, I'd have been a lot more relaxed about sex and my body.)

Just to complete the wet dream background information: when you have a dream you may wake up, or you may not; you may have an orgasm or you may not; you may get erect or you may not; semen will come out of your penis even if it just oozes out; and - as an aside - while women may not ejaculate, they too can have orgasms in their dreams.

You may find that if you have a prostate problem, such as BPH or even cancer of the prostate, the power of your ejaculation will be affected. While we would always advise you to see a doctor, we still recommend that you read all about natural prostate remedies which are not only effective prostate supplements but also can correct prostate enlargement.

How often do wet dreams occur?

There's no point working out an average number of times a month that a wet dream occurs, because many boys and men have only a few in their entire lives, while some have lots.

But we do know a few facts: about 83% of men have at least one wet dream in their life; where masturbation is frowned on by society (ho hum), that figure rises to 98%. No surprise there, I guess. But it's very variable - some men have lots, some men have very few. (I, sadly, seem to have fallen in the latter category. Damn!)

What's more interesting is the way they happen: the unconscious mind has a way of releasing unexpressed sexual thoughts and images in the form of wet dreams. Often these dreams will be about women who you're attracted to in some way, such as media stars who you find attractive.

Unfortunately, perhaps, it's not uncommon for boys and men to dream about having sex with members of their family (for example, sister or mother, even father or brother): and no, this doesn't mean you're a pervert. It doesn't mean anything at all except that at some deep level of your mind there's a sense of love getting mixed up with your developing sexuality.

These things all sort themselves out as time goes by without you having to do anything about it, so don't worry about this if it happens to you!

Having said that, I must say I have heard a few teenagers express some disgust after they'd dreamed of sex with their mothers...anyhow....just to let you know: it may not be nice, but it isn't unusual.

We aren't sure if men who have lots of wet dreams masturbate more or less than average - in any case, I guess we'd also need to know how often they had sex, and what their sex drive was like, to make any sense of the statistics. As far as I know, this research hasn't been done yet.

Wet dreams as the first ejaculation

Now, this is much more interesting. No, really, it is. Many boys have their first experience of orgasm and ejaculation through having a wet dream. I hope they're well prepared and know what's happening to them, because if they don't, it can be a real shock.

It turns out that 13% of boys experience their first ejaculation in the form of a wet dream. These are obviously the ones who don't discover masturbation for themselves, so they tend on average to be older - about a year on average - than  boys who do ejaculate first through masturbation.

Other interesting facts about wet dreams

Normally your penis goes limp after an ejaculation, but this may not happen after a wet dream.

Some fanatical deranged so-called Christians consider wet dreams to be a sin. Personally I consider being a fanatical deranged Christian a sin.

Kellogg is said to have invented the cornflake as an anti-masturbation food. Whether or not he thought it would stop wet dreams is not recorded.

 

Other pages on the penis and testicles

Penis size
Foreskin restoration
Ejaculation and orgasm
The prostate gland
Wet dreams
Ejaculation problems
The life history of a sperm
Avoiding The Mid Life Crisis

Other sections on the site

Penis facts and penile functions
The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Penile & Other Problems