Med thumb wet dream

For adults, wet dreams are hilarious. For boys going through puberty, they’re mortifying. Your dreams are overheated and weird, and your sheets are soggy. Pokemon seems stupid all of a sudden, and you would fight a grizzly bear for a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Adolescent boys should take heart that they’re not the only passengers on the nocturnal emission express. Eighty-three percent of American males have wet dreams at some point in their life. And, while it’s less known, about 40 percent of women experience a form of nocturnal emission at some point as well.

The common perception of a wet dreamer is a spotty adolescent boy

And for good reason. Male bodies start to produce the hormone testosterone at puberty, which usually starts at around 10 or 12. Testosterone enables the body to produce sperm, which your body thinks is a super cool trick and will want to test it out — often. WebMD advise teens to expect to get erections around the clock, whether it's your 8 a.m. algebra class or the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead.

All that sperm wants desperately to get out. According to Sex Info online, a health guide maintained by students at University of California, Santa Barbara, during sleep, male genitals may rub against the bed or sheets or may be unknowingly manipulated by their owner. Morning comes, there’s a stain on the sheets — and a boy wonders how the washing machine works.

Surprisingly, wet dreams usually aren’t a boy’s first sexual experience. Evidence indicates most pubescent boys are willing to take matters into their own hands. Famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey’s research found that only 13 percent of boys experience their first orgasm through wet dreams. For two-thirds of the respondents, masturbation produced their first experience.

What about women?

More women may experience them than people might realize. Kinsey found that more than one a third of women reported having a nocturnal orgasm that woke them and left significant lubrication in its wake.

Does, um, relieving the pressure reduce their frequency?

So it seems. Colloquial evidence suggests that wet dreams happen when men stop masturbating. In an informal survey on the anti-self pleasure subreddit, No-Fap, posters reported wet dreams flaring up after their self-imposed abstinence. So-called “fapstronauts” reported experiencing wet dreams as quickly as six days after quitting masturbating. Others reported 100 stroke-less days before the night wets kicked in.

While the frequency of waking orgasms isn’t directly linked with nocturnal emissions, Kinsey’s data implied a correlation between frequency of masturbation and wet dreams. Living a dry life will likely lead to wet dreams.

If it’s so normal, why the stigma?

Because wet dreams are sexual in nature and uncontrollable, religious types are concerned about them. The Bible mentions emissions a surprising number of times. But the consensus from modern theologians appears to be that, because you don’t do it on purpose, it’s not a sin.

In terms of non-religious stigmas, it's simple: Puberty is awkward and embarrassing, and young boys are mortified when the topic of their penis comes up.