What Does It Mean When We Dream About Sex?
At some point, we’ve all had a sexual dream. Whether your dream was exotic and wild, strange and unsettling or gentle and romantic, there’s a reason why you had this particular dream at this particular time.
“Sexual dreams reveal your desires and anxieties,” says Gillian Holloway, PhD, author of Erotic Dreams. “Your subconscious uses these raw, lustful situations to sort out emotions you may not be confronting in waking life.” Sure, maybe you already know dreams serve as a portal to your psyche, but you might not realize how obscure their implications can be.
Often sexual dreams are just a medium to understand one’s inner self, desire or even passion, which is absent from the conscious level of the mind due to external factors such as suppression. In our society the skewed outlook on matters of sex makes it a taboo topic for discussion.
Sexual dreams may be a means to compensate for what is lacking in real life. To take an example, there was a saint who had renounced everything, followed austerity and shunned women.
He started having recurring erotic dreams and was confused at his response. A closer look by a counsellor revealed that this was his way of balancing his inner and outer self. The dreams in question were his way to fulfil his sexual needs and yet manage to follow celibacy in real life.
Applying morality to dreams would be, of course, unfair.
These types of dreams can also provide the dreamer with a neutral space where she can go beyond her inhibitions and overcome her fears regarding sex or certain behaviors.
Certain behavioral change that a person is skeptical about adopting in waking life will sometimes manifest in dreams, and in most cases is a precursor to, or sign for, changes to follow.
Are Sex Dreams Accurate?
Sexual dreams are rarely literal. Though you might hope that last night’s dream of you and – name your favorite sex symbol – was a precognitive dream, a view of future events, it probably isn’t. Sex dreams, and most dreams for that matter, are metaphors, or perhaps similes, and highly symbolic.
They give you a picture, an image, of what a situation is like or can be compared to. If, in your dream, you are feeling pressured to have sex, take a look at your waking life and see where you are feeling pressured or by whom.
You need to remember that dreams should be understood in their context. If a person dreams of having sex in a car, it might imply that he wants to own the car-sex becomes a symbol for ownership.
If a dreamer dreams of making love to a stranger in an unfamiliar place, this may be suggesting that she is looking for something new to be introduced into her relationship, or that she is estranged from her own sexuality.
The way the dream made you feel and its correlation with some incident in your recent past will aid in understanding it and its message.
Sex dreams are as common and natural as the physical sexual act. Such dreams shouldn’t disturb us, but rather they should be seen as a call for introspection and a deeper look at what’s being re-presented.
Dreams always come in service of our greater good, at a time when the subject of the dream needs to be addressed. Dreams are our very own, private therapists. And they don’t cost us a dime.
Most people have dreams about sex occasionally. Many individuals feel guilty, disturbed or uncomfortable when they have sexual dreams.
Think of how disconcerting it might be for a happily married person to dream of making love to an ex-mate, or to a total stranger. Imagine how frightening it would be to dream that your mate is having an affair. How would you feel if you dreamt that someone made sexual advances against your wishes?
Being able to get an accurate interpretation of dreams with obvious sexual content has provided enlightenment and relief for people who have dreamt such things, because many sexual dreams are not about sex.
In numerous cases, the sexual content has been merely metaphoric — in other words, symbolic imagery or story substitutions that have had little or nothing to do with sex or sexuality.
The question is often asked, “If the actual meaning of the dream is not about sex, why does a dream have to use sexual metaphor to get its point across?”
Freud’s influence on Sex Dreams
When one discusses the reasons for sexual dreams, Freud’s name usually comes up in the conversation.
To quote from just one paragraph of Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud states that most dream symbols represent something sexual.
He had a long list of objects that he considered sexually based, such as: “boxes, candles, nail files, neckties, stoves, stairs, umbrellas, knives, closets, tables, stairs, bridges, mountains,” (and on and on,)
After observing the Deciphering of thousands of dreams, I have not found evidence to support Freud’s statements that there is hidden sexual meaning in those kinds of benign objects.
Such items always have a personal meaning, and as dream symbols they usually have nothing to do with sex at all.
For example, the most common meanings for “a mountain” are peace, tranquility, or being closer to a Higher Power.
A dream candle often means: bringing light into the darkness, or is a symbol for meditation. Seeing a candle in a dream can also mean a celebration, and so on.
Freud’s insistence “that most dreams are disguised sexual fantasies, or address sexual neurosis” simply do not fit with what I have found in my research.
Even though most people no longer hold with Freud’s sexually-based belief system, there is a bit of dream hangover, however, from his teachings.
His strong statement that “most dreams are about hidden sexual repression” makes people nervous to this day.
When a person has a dream in which the content is obviously sexual, many fear that some dark, secret, or immoral part of the subconscious is coming out or taking over.
The facts about sexual dreams
I have been keeping track of the type of dreams that average people have. By average, I mean those people who are not currently in professional therapy. In my studies of peoples’ dreams I have found that, overall, only a small percentage of them are actually about sex.
Sexual dreams that actually are about having sex happen of course, but not in the proportion that we were led to believe by Freud. One can indulge in sexual dream fantasy on occasion.
Dreams about sex are in balance with all the things that concern the average individual.
Dreams metaphorically reflect worries about money, hopes and fears about relationships, family problems, pain or illness, job or career, emotional stress, and other day-to-day challenges and struggles, triumphs and joys.
Dream content is proportionate to the dreamer’s interests, activities, and situations of waking-life.
How does one know what dreams actually do mean? The reader needs to understand that most dreams are steeped in symbolism and metaphor.
The subconscious is very clever in the way it presents this symbolism to the dreamer. Dreams are infamous for the use of substitution metaphors. The subconscious can provide information by using sexual puns.
The following dream is just such an example::
Sex Dream Title: My Affair With Nick, The Appliance Repairman
I am cheating on my husband. I am having an affair with Nick, the appliance repairman. This affair has been going on for a long time. I feel really guilty about it.
Upon awakening, Linda felt very upset about this sexual dream. In her waking life she does know Nick.
He is an appliance repairman who fixed her refrigerator. Nick is married, elderly, and his repair visit to her home was only that and nothing more. Linda has been married for twenty years and has no sexual interest in Nick whatsoever–or in any other man for that matter.
With my facilitation, Linda Deciphered her dream. It turned out to be about why she cannot lose weight; (this is the dream’s Main Theme). Linda is seventy pounds overweight. She has not been able to stay on a diet.
Nick, the appliance man is a symbolic stand-in for her refrigerator, a place for food. Linda loves to eat. Therefore, the focus of this dream is about Linda’s love affair with food.
Nick is a repairman. So the dream uses Nick for the concept of repair. Why? Linda needs repair about her overweight problem.
Linda also feels guilty because she binges on food in secret. This is the reason there is so much guilt felt in the dream.
After doing a further in-depth Deciphering, we discovered the deeper reasons why Linda overeats.
With my facilitation, she investigated the underlying reason for her love affair with food. Her intuition advised that she perceives food as a way to give herself love.
Her grandmother and mother showed love through providing abundant, delicious meals. They encouraged the belief: “Food is love.” The lovemaking in the dream reflects this belief.
Linda’s husband is a good man, but he is not the nurturing sort.. A deeper layer of this dream tells Linda that she turned to food because her husband does not show love in the way she needs.
This short, disturbing, sexual dream gave Linda a gift. It led her to making many discoveries about her weight issues.
In my dream groups, at times a member would bring in a dream that seemed to be obviously about sex, but turned out not to be the case.
After interpreting a dream with blatant sexual content, one of the ladies said, “Ah yes. Here is yet another dream about sex–that is not about sex at all.”
Most dreams cannot be taken at face value. They need to be put through a valid interpretation process, talk to a Dream Decipher to get an accurate, valid meaning.