In rereading some of the old literature on black and white dreaming I came across this:
Perhaps the most striking finding in the present study, however, is that of the high incidence of nocturnal orgasms reported by female neurotics (47 per cent) as opposed to the incidence reported by female controls (8 per cent) (Tapia, Werboff, and Winokur 1958, p. 122).In clarifying what they mean by "noctural orgasms" Tapia et al. say "A positive response was counted when a subject reported experiencing 'wet dreams', climaxes, or orgasms in his [sic] sleep or dreams" (p. 121). By "neurotic" of course they mean... well, who knows?
Eight vs. 47? Six times higher? Presumably it's not as fun to be a waking "neurotic" as a waking non-neurotic, but it sounds like in sleep the situation is reversed! Or are neurotic women just more likely to report nocturnal orgasms? Well, why would that be?
Winokur, Guze, and Pfeiffer (1959) extend the Tapia et al. results to include "psychotic" women too (perhaps a better-defined group than neurotic), reporting nocturnal orgasm rates of 42% in that group, 46% in neurotics, and 6% in psychologically healthy women. Henton (1976) also reports a positive relationship between high levels of reported anxiety and high levels of reported "sexual excitement during sleep" (though, um, unless I'm reading things very wrong, the numbers on his key table seem to run the other direction; this is what I get for reading crappy journals). Finally (the last report on this topic I can find) Wells (1986) finds anxiety to be predictive of reported nocturnal orgasm in a complex multiple regression taking into account "age, marital status, race, religious affiliation, religiosity, liberal or conservative political views, and hometown population" (p. 428) and 71 other variables including even views about the normality of noctural orgasm, sexual satifaction, and frequency of awakening with non-orgasmic sexual excitement. (I'm not sure I'd have wanted to "control" for those last variables in determining influence on orgasm, since they seem likely to cohere with rather than to confound the factor under study, but what the heck -- even so, Wells got her result.)
This is what you get when you let professors take sabbatical. It turns out they have nothing better to do all day than chase down weird literature on female orgasm.
(I'm not entirely without excuse: Lisa Lloyd was my dissertation chair, and I thought it might make a good footnote.)