I’m so excited about our big news that Lady Smut is getting an anthology published by HarperImpulse! The anthology is titled THE LADY SMUT BOOK OF DARK DESIRES. The erotic romance stories are in that range of sexy-shivery-paranormal.
So what’s my story about, you ask? Why sexsomnia of course!
Yes, sexsomnia actually exists. Yes, there are known, documented cases of people having sex in their sleep and waking up with amnesia not remembering a thing about it. Sort of a horror story for our one-night-stand-nation. Though sometimes it’s more of a mercy not to remember, isn’t it?….
To me it seems so symbolic. We LOVE paintings of women asleep where they are vulnerable and seemingly unable to resist. There’s something deeply erotic about this condition.
People did not believe that sexsomnia existed for a really long time. Now it’s easier to swallow the idea in our Ambien generation. Certain sleep aids have brought to light (especially on airplanes) the bizarre behavior of folks who look perfectly awake and yet aren’t. Witnessed by a plane full of people, their behavior proves that, oddly enough, you can be both awake and asleep at the same time.
Meanwhile, although sleep science didn’t even really get going until the 50’s and is still the most neglected biological science there is (though we spend 1/3rd of our lives doing it) scientists have finally figured out that you can do just about anything, Virginia, asleep that you do awake. Driving? Yup. Cooking? Yes—though people who eat in their sleep will often combine foods together in ways that makes them horrifically ill the next day. Anything you have muscle memory for you can do while you’re in this awake-and-asleep-at-the-same-time state.
And that includes boinking. But you don’t remember what happened when you wake up.
So this was a terrifically fun novella to research, as you can imagine. Sleep disorders can be genetic (there is a breed of dog that clearly demonstrates narcolepsy is inherited) and most often are experienced by men. However, some women do get up and night and wander about. Most sleep walkers end up getting into some serious trouble sooner or later.
And apparently, though sleep walking is common in children, it’s really much more rare in adults—and definitely something to bring up with your doctor if you experience it. In fact, very few people do seek out help for their sleep disorders, (from shame?) so sometimes it’s hard for scientists to build up a robust statistical base for how these things work. Meanwhile, those people who wind up in court have little documentation of their disorder and this can strain their credibility in the eyes of a jury.
One horrible book on sleep that I read had some callous scientist saying “Sexsomnia is only a problem if the person in bed next to you says it is.” Yet another scientist goes around documenting court cases where people claim that certain crimes and misdemeanors occurred while they were asleep. This idea that you can’t be held accountable for what you do when you’re asleep is very intriguing to me.
Some juries buy these claims, but most don’t. The scientist studying these court cases uses the transcripts to document behaviors that are reported under oath—trying to sift commonalities out from the desperate lies and tie this back to the budding sleep disorders research.
One proactive lawyer wants to advocate for a kind of sleep parole for people who get off on a sleep walking defense. They need to take their medication, or seek therapies that will help them sleep safely. Sleep safely? It’s a brave new world out there, my friends.
At any rate, my story starts off with a young economist at a summer institute. She’s got the hots for a strapping biologist but no game. Meanwhile, her economics group has recently started giving her funny looks and glances each morning. She knows she’s been a sleep walker in the past—and she’s waking up on the floor wearing different clothes—is she sleepwalking again? When she runs into a woman who studies sleep disorders she thinks she’s found someone who can help solve the mystery of what she’s doing at night – and who she’s doing it with.
However, that’s not all. As I mentioned before this is a paranormal anthology. So there is a twist at the heart of our heroine’s dilemma.
Stay tuned—and if you haven’t joined our blog, please do!