Posted in News
September 9, 2016

Goodnight innocence

Isabelle Drake’s Fetish 101

Who doesn’t love the sweet fairytale Sleeping Beauty? A beautiful woman, frozen in time, awaiting her true love’s, awakening tender kiss. Ahhh.

Recently, I stumbled upon a very different version of Sleeping Beauty. In this one, from 2011, the main character is a university student who needs cash. She replies to an ad and starts working as a series of erotic freelance jobs.

I started to wonder, did a little research, and sure enough this sleeping beauty thing is a fetish: somnophilia. In its simplest form, the somnophiliac seeks to awaken a sleeping person with erotic caresses, gentle non-violent touches. Some scholars speculate that this particular interest is related to the much less romantic necrophilia, the desire to have sex with dead bodies. Obviously in this case the goal is not to awaken the sleeping but rather to take advantage of their incapacitated state.

It was difficult finding scholarly work on this topic but I did find an article from Psychology Today that offers some analysis. “Although somnophilia appears to have some characteristics in common with necrophilia, the two syndromes do not necessarily reflect the same underlying pathology. Using Freudian theory, Calef and Weinshel speculated that underlying somnophilia was the desire to return to the maternal womb, and that somnophiliacs had unresolved Oedipal complex issues, fixations on pre-genital stages of psychosexual development, and castration anxiety. However, as with almost all psychoanalytic theory, it is hard to design any research to either confirm or deny such speculations.”princessaurorasleeps

Carolyn Fay’s of the University of Virginia, explores the sinister side of this fetish. “Contemporary sleep fetish culture is driven by the idea that the sleeping person is an absent person…To the fetishist, sleep is that perfect moment when consciousness is evacuated, leaving a living, breathing fragment, worthy of love.” [Those who seek to actualize their desire to have intercourse with a sleeping person may use drugs to maintain the unconscious state] “for if the person wakes up, the fantasy and the fetish object become lost.” (2002).

That’s all very dark. Whatever happened to the sweet, delicate princess trapped under the glass? Is that innocence gone forever?

After some looking, I found House of the Sleeping Beauties (2006). Plot info from IMDb: Edmond, a man in his sixties whose wife has recently passed away, is told about a secret establishment where men can spend an entire night in bed alongside beautiful, sleeping young women, who stretch, roll over and dream, but never awaken. Bedazzled by their seductive yet innocent tenderness, but distressed about the reason for their deep sleep, he delves into the mystery of the house of sleeping beauties.

The film is German and the only trailer I could find is without subtitles, but I don’t think you need to understand the words to understand the story or main character.

What have we learned? The Sleeping Beauty fetish is out there and until some of the other fetishes we’ve explored here on Lady Smut this one comes in extremes. From sweetly romantic to darkly dangerous.

Keeping you up-to-date and informed is what we do here at Lady Smut. So follow us. We know what you like.


Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series. You can follow her serial SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD here, every Sunday on Lady Smut.

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  • Post authorKel

    How very interesting that there is a fetish based on the ideals of the “sanitized” Sleeping Beauty story… in the original, she is raped and wakes up in labor; not exactly innocent but very appropriate to the fetish in a way.

    Look, humans don’t actually change.

    Also, that fetish scares me. Not in a “can’t function” sort of way, but more in a “Oh gods, I thought I was over this… need some tea” kind of way.

    • Post authorIsabelle Drake

      I know what you mean about the tea.

      Reply to Isabelle Drake
  • Post authormadeline iva

    Ooooh — I had no idea about that original version. Where did you find it, Kel? How fascinating because Kleist–the German Romanticist–has a tale that plays upon that scenario you describe– but I never knew *that* was the source.

    Meanwhile, I saw that movie — yeah. Creepy. And she is definitely doll like.

    In writing “Sexsomnia” I did a lot of research on paraphilias specific to sleep — things that can go awry when you’re unconscious. I found out about somnophilia, but couldn’t think of a happy way to twist it into something sexy.

    The happy thing about our world today is that as we lose our prudish attitudes towards sex, men (it seems to be mostly men) who have this fetish can find willing partners, instead of unsuspecting victims. I’m sure there are TONS of women out there who would love to play out a sleeping beauty fantasy.

    Reply to madeline iva

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