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Did You Know Women (Can) Have Wet Dreams Too?

I just found another reason to want to get a little more sleep, sis.

Women's Health

I don't know about y'all, but when I was around the seventh grade and the subject of guys having wet dreams (with the technical term for it being "nocturnal emissions") came up in class, pretty much all I recall being told is it starts happening around puberty. Kind of like how a girl starts her period, once a young man hits a certain stage in his adolescence, it's not uncommon for him to wake up with sperm/semen on his sheets. Since he can't control it, you might want to steer clear of his bedding (you know, if the young man is related to you). That was basically it. Over and out. So, since I'm not a man, I didn't really give the topic too much more thought beyond that.

Matter of fact, if I'm going to be completely honest, up until a couple of weeks ago, I still never cared to do much more research on the matter. For better or for worse, I've never had an—eh hem—run in with wet-dreamed-sheets, so there was no real reason to ponder the issue. That is until, while I was doing some research on another matter entirely, I noticed a health-related article that spoke on the fact that women can have wet dreams too. Whaaa? Now, you've got my attention.

What You May or May Not Already Know About Wet Dreams

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Just so you can process this without immediately thinking about your little brother or even your son, let me start by saying that there is another term that is used for wet dreams; one that I never even considered before. What is it? Sleep orgasms. Yep. When a guy has a wet dream, he's pretty much partaking in an orgasm that transpires in the midst of having a dream—oftentimes it's erotic but it doesn't always have to be—of some sort. The reason why it's associated so much with males and puberty is because that is typically around the time when young men begin to have sexually-related fantasies (when they're asleep and when they're awake); however, it definitely should go on record that grown men can experience wet dreams too.

As I did more research on all of this, I also learned that wet dreams do not reduce a guy's sperm count (although it can get some of his "older sperm" out of his system), it won't shrink his penis, and it does not negatively affect a person's immune system in any way. One more thing is that it's also quite common for women to have a few wet dreams of their own.

What Is a “Female Wet Dream” All About?

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Again, if you look at all of this from the perspective of being a sleep orgasm, the fact that women are able to have a wet dream makes a lot of sense. Typically, they start to happen for us when we're around the age of 21. One study revealed that as much as 40 percent of women have reported having at least one wet dream by the time they reached their 40s. As far as what triggers them for us, a great sex dream oftentimes gets the credit, although some medical professionals say that we are perfectly capable of having one, even if we don't dream at all. How can you know if a wet dream/sleep orgasm has indeed happened to you? Word on the street is that an accelerated heartbeat, combined with more-than-usual vaginal lubrication are two pretty telling indicators. Oh, and if you're wondering if there is a certain "kind" of woman who is far more likely to have them, the answer is "yes". Another study revealed that women who naturally have an open mind and curiosity about sex are likely candidates to cum in their sleep.

I'm thinking that as you're taking all of this in, it's making more and more sense why both men and women can have wet dreams. But if you're like me and you're wondering what causes our bodies to react in this way when we're actually not (at least fully) conscious, I looked that up too.

When we reach a REM state of sleep, our breathing and heart rate naturally accelerates (which is why our body temperate tends to rise in the middle of the night too). When that happens, blow flow increases throughout our system, including to our genital region. Since we're not really able to control our inhibitions like we can whenever we are awake, it's much easier for us to get sexually excited and, as a result, have a full-on orgasm. This is especially the case if you're a woman who often sleeps on your stomach because that increases the chances of experiencing clitoral stimulation.

Now, with all of this on record, let me try and address a few other things that you might be asking yourself.

If you've never had a wet dream before, no, there is nothing wrong with you. Again, around 40 percent of women reported experiencing them. This means 60 percent have not (or at least, they haven't yet).

If you're curious about whether or not sex-related dreams will automatically result in a wet dream, the answer is no. There's no real scientific basis for this, other than, just like you might not always have an orgasm via "awakened sex", the same thing goes for how your mind and body respond/react when you're sleeping.

If you've wondered why you've awakened to feeling like you've had sex—whether you "feel that way" mentally or even physically—but, for some reason, you can't seem to cum when you're conscious, this isn't abnormal either. While there are dozens of reasons why it can be challenging for women to climax, a huge one is overthinking; something that doesn't typically happen when you're catchin' z-z-z's.

If you have wet dreams often and you're actually trying to figure out how to make them stop, good luck. While you can try a mental exercise like consciously thinking about any and everything other than sex before turning in, remember that, since you can have a wet dream, even without a sex dream, there's a good chance that you could have one, regardless of what your thought patterns are.

Oh, and if you've never had a wet dream before and you want to try and experience one, having sex, reading erotic or even sex journaling can get your mind in the mood to do some exploring while you rest.

Welp. There goes one of the things that tripped me out recently. So, the next time the topic of wet dreams comes up, just remember that it's not "boy's talk". Women have them too. They are natural. They are beneficial (just like any orgasm is). And, they are definitely a perk that comes with sleeping. Sweet dreams, sis.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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