It is necessary to pay attention to the psychological and physiological (physiological processes, subject to tonic deceleration and phase acceleration) aspects of sleep. They are usually related, but this connection may be disrupted (for example, after stereotactic damage to the Kahal nucleus, which is probably accompanied by damage to the arch, which is an important part of the limbic system). It is possible that the physiological processes in the dream will proceed without disturbances, while in the mental component of sleep disorders appear, that is, the person will not see dreams or will not be able to recall them [Jovanovic, 1965]. However, only 40-50% of healthy men feel subjective in their sleep, usually at a young age.
Although erections are managed biologically in a dream, they are still controlled by the psyche; Thus, they reflect the predominantly biological influence, then predominantly the psychic. Physiological processes prone to tonic deceleration (and reflecting the predominance of vagotonic influences) reflect biological influences. Physiological processes that are amenable to phase activation are connected predominantly with psychic influences, manifested in the content dreams and, probably, other, as yet unknown forms. This is evidenced by the results of studies in men under different conditions, as well as the impact of mental shock experienced during the day and eliminating nocturnal erections.
The impact of various mental experiences on the occurrence of erections in sleep was known long ago. However, objective observations, for example, phallographic registration in combination with systematic studies using psychological tests and recording and systematization of the content of dreams, were not carried out until 1966, when Kogasap et al. Published the results of their observations about the effect of fright in a dream on the appearance of nocturnal erections. According to Jovanovic A972), in during the first night, the erection men who were examined were, as a rule, weaker.
Unfamiliar situation caused both dreams of awesome content, and easing of erections. A significant reduction in erections in the dream was also noted in cases when the examination was conducted by an unfamiliar person (male Or a woman), while in cases where his wife was conducting, these changes were not noted. Mental influence on erection in a dream should not be neglected especially when it comes to evaluating erections in individuals who have committed sexual crimes (if they do not have gross intellectual defects). We can assume that the research of such individuals will not be reliable if they are informed about the purpose of the observations. To that the same results obtained in the surveyed for one or two nights are not enough to draw certain conclusions. Only observations over 10-20 nights with a polygraphic recording of sleep for its entire duration can in certain cases provide sufficient information. Fisher et al. A965) did not inform the examinees that they would study their erection, and the purpose of the study was called studying the movements of the body in a dream. This contributed to obtaining better results and eliminated certain possibilities of distortion of mental origin.
Studies of erections in sleep showed that they are most pronounced in men at the age of 21 years. Men less than 20 years of age had weaker erections than men aged 20-30 years. Young people aged 18 years had the same intensity of erections as men aged 40-50 years. But at the age of more than 60 years, erections were more pronounced than in adolescents before puberty. Even men aged 70-80 years can observe erections in a dream, that is, many years after they have lost the ability to perform sexual intercourse and any erotic interest (Rubin, 1963). This is evidence in favor of the modern concept of the mechanisms of managing erections. Kinsey et al. A948) observed two 88-year-old men who had been unable to perform sexual intercourse for 15 years, but they still had morning erections. Fisher et al. A965) view this phenomenon as a regression of nocturnal erections associated with the phase of rapid movements of eyeballs during sleep, to the primitive stage of genital organization characteristic of childhood.
The severity of erections in a dream depends also on whether they appear only on a biological basis or are additionally supported by an erotic component. According to Jovanovic A972), erections in a dream can be divided into non-erotic and erotic. Before the erotic component of erection proceed in accordance with certain regularly observed regularities. They reach a certain intensity and within their phase reveal periodic tonic changes.
When a factor associated with eroticism and libido, in most cases, the erection increases. In this case, the biological periodicity manifests itself differently, since it “adapts” to the new situation. The results of patient surveys also convincingly show that, in the changes concerning genitals, there are biological (non-erotic) and erotic components. In diseases, there may be at least 5 groups of phenomena: 1) the enhancement or weakening of the biological (non-erotic) component; 2) strengthening or weakening of the erotic component; 3) parallel strengthening or weakening of non-erotic and erotic components; 4) the cross-strengthening of the non-erotic component and the weakening of the erotic component; 5) cross-attenuation of the non-erotic component and the enhancement of the erotic component. In all these changes, manifestations of the disease can be observed, which are expressed by abnormal reactions.
With the enhancement of the non-erotic component, other unexpected reactions may occur, for example, sadistic ones. With the weakening of the non-erotic component, impotence and lack of libido (with the erotic component preserved) can be observed. With the strengthening of the erotic component, hypersexuality, and also, depending on the person and situation, more or less pronounced reactions with deviation, vot norms. With a weakening of the erotic component, non-erotic reactions and non-erotic sexuality are relatively higher. Parallel strengthening of non-erotic and erotic components causes the development of hypersexuality and the emergence of a reaction with a deviation from the norm. At the same time, the possibility of committing crimes motivated by sexuality is not ruled out. Parallel weakening of non-erotic and erotic components leads to pronounced hyposexuality or to asexuality.
In patients with impaired potency throughout the night, there was a decrease in the time of erections, their weakening, as well as significant breaks between the phases of erections. In the period of dreams there were fewer changes. In patients with disorders of erection and sleep, as well as with neurotic sexual disorders, there were more significant erectile dysfunction in sleep; Duration of erections and their severity have been significantly reduced, and the phases of dreams are shortened. The most pronounced changes in the erection in sleep are observed in patients with reactive depression (even more so with endogenous depression), with potency disorders, as well as in castrated ones.
Jovanovic A972) also studied an erection in a dream in men with psychogenic impotence. It was noted that after treatment, despite the normalization of erections in sleep and their appearance in a state of wakefulness, in 45 of 113 patients the frequency of sexual intercourse did not increase. The author explains this by the presence of impotence. But a man suffering from psychogenic impotence is not really impotent. His sexual potency is only suppressed by psychic influences. By catamnesis it is established that in such patients after treatment there were expressed sensations of the strongest erections both in sleep and during wakefulness. The reason for maintaining the previous low frequency of sexual intercourse was not a violation of potency, but personal factors, the lack of vital potential and a violation of emotional connection with the partner.
It should be emphasized that in almost all groups of patients there was a close relationship between potency disorders, changes in erections in sleep, and sleep disorders. This relationship allows objectifying the recognition of potency or impotence by recording sleep and erections in sleep, although impotence itself can not be objectively established. The results of the studies also show that erections increase during the period of dreams that are sexually colored. At the same time, erections partially or completely disappear, if the body or the psyche is affected by negative factors, for example, fatigue, worries, fear. The results of studies allow us to state that periodically arising erections in sleep are closely related to
Potency and libido.
Depending on the nature of erections in sleep with a high degree of probability, one can draw conclusions about sexual behavior during wakefulness. Usually there is a parallel violation of erections in sleep and sexual behavior in a state of wakefulness. It follows that in spite of the absence of methods for determining potency and libido in the waking state, they can be studied by means of the polygraph registration of changes in the genital organs during sleep.Studies conducted by Jovanovic A972), allowed to correct the views on the violation, defined as “night priapism” (painful nocturnal erections). The author has shown that such a violation is subjective in nature and is caused by mental causes.