Making Sense of Sex Dreams

If you want to get someone’s attention, throw in some sex. Salespeople know this. Authors know this. The media knows this. Your subconscious even knows this. That is why the same people who dismiss their dreams suddenly sit up and start asking questions when they start having sex dreams. So, what does it all mean?

First let me say that sex dreams are common. Dreaming about sex doesn’t mean you are a sex addict, pedophile, cheater, or that you aren’t in love with your partner. Sex dreams are like any other dreams. They are symbolic. Since symbols are personal to each dreamer, you are really the only one who can say what they mean. Also like most dreams, they don’t tend to be literal, so if you dream about your partner cheating on you, it doesn’t mean that he is. If you dream that you are sleeping with someone other than your partner, it doesn’t mean that either of you desire each other. You have to look at the dream as a whole. Here are some examples of what I mean.

Emotional Themes

What is the emotional theme of the dream? Are you afraid? What about excited? Confused? Indifferent? Emotions play a huge part in the language of dreams. Dream language is a bit like speaking without verbs so cluing into the emotions can help give context to the objects and action. This is particularly true in a culture where sex often has no context – it’s just about hooking up.

Who Are These People?

It’s common to dream about having sex with friends, lovers, old lovers, strangers, and even random people. Sex usually isn’t sex, but a symbol for something else, such as betrayal, union, or creation. In the same vein, people are seldom meant to represent themselves. They are usually symbols for something else. Strangers could be a sign of joining with something new or something dangerous. A family member could be a symbol of one of their characteristics like kindness, stubbornness, or support. Old partners could be about clinging to something that has already gone. A boss could be a symbol for someone in authority.

Look at Your Symbols

Everything in the dream is a symbol. Your symbols are like words. When many words come together, they create sentences. Then sentences make stories. This is how you can make sense of your dreams. If I had a dream about being raped by my boss, I could walk around fearful that my boss has some nefarious intentions towards me. However, If I looked at the symbols in my dream and saw a desk, office, light, boss, being held down, dislike, anxiety, it might be easier to connect that to an overall feeling that I am being held down by my current job. I might acknowledge how much anxiety my boss creates in my life. This information could give me the courage to make a change.

Look at your Settings

Settings can also provide lots of great information. Is your sex dream happening in a meadow, a king sized bed, a dirty basement, or a in another galaxy? Settings are also symbolic. Look to see if the setting, symbols, and emotions are congruent. People are great at overlooking the obvious. Often dreams spotlight what your conscious mind is not seeing, so see if you can figure out what is not congruent, you can often easily decipher the message.

What’s All the Action?

Dreams have action. Is there a football game raging around you? Is someone being chased? Are you falling? Maybe balloons are being shot out of guns while robbers are chasing a train. Whatever the action is, it’s symbolic too. Look at the dream in its totality to see what’s happening. And whatever you do, don’t consult a dream dictionary! Your symbols are relevant to you. A dream dictionary will not be able to look into your heart and soul to see what your brain is trying to tell you or work out.

So, let’s take a look at a sex dream to see if we can make sense of it, shall we?

“Linda” and her friends meet for their annual get together. Linda has arranged a surprise trip to cooking class and wine tasting. A driver is supposed to pick them up and take them all on their day long adventure. The morning of the surprise, she wakes up and is all alone. She runs out trying to find everyone. Linda runs into a male friend who tries to have sex with her in the tall grass. She pushes him away, but he’s insistent. She gives in, and decides it wasn’t so bad. Out of the corner of her eyes, she sees a car with the name of the limo company on it. She jumps up and runs after it. She doesn’t catch it, but as she’s running, she stumbles upon the location of the cooking class. Some of her friends are already there. She feels very frustrated and goes to find the rest.

Is this a sex dream? Technically yes, but if you look at all the people, the setting, and the action, you can see that there is a lot more going on than that. If you get hung up on, “Yikes! I had sex with my friend” or even “My friend tried to rape me in my dream!”, you’re probably missing the point.

What jumps out at me is that there is a lot of running in this dream. The emotion is frustration. The tall grass obscures things from view. There is also a theme of not being able to connect, perhaps loneliness, or at least being alone. There is also an element of trying to control things. Linda is trying to control the trip, the driver, her friends, and sex with the friend. She doesn’t seem to be having a lot of fun. Since she’s searching for connection, perhaps the dream is about Linda trying to force connection and not appreciating it when, how, or where it is offered.

There could be many other interpretations too. It really just depends on the symbols of the dreamer. And sometimes a tree is just a tree. Sometimes sex dreams aren’t trying to tell us anything at all.

The Healthy Libido

The mind, body, and spirit are connected. If your hormones are raging, you watched a steamy tv show before bed, or you had oysters for dinner, your body might respond physically as you sleep. Even though your body is asleep, there is lots going on in your brain. Your mind may join your body by creating sex dreams. It’s normal. It’s natural. These types of dreams are usually just an indication of a healthy libido. If you’re worried that you had dream sex with the “wrong” person or did it in a way that is not in alignment with who you are, look at the whole dream for more information.

If you’re interested in getting to know yourself through your dreams, contact me. It can be hard to be objective when looking at yourself. I’d love to work with you.

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