Sex Dreams: Interpret the Meaning Dreams about Sex

Meaning and Interpretation of Dreams about Sexsex dreams

Let’s talk about sex—sex in dreams.

Sex is commonly used by dreams to create symbolism. Even virgins and chaste priests and nuns dream about sex—very intensely and realistically, too.

Interpreting a dream featuring sex or arousal does not have to go very deep. It simply means that sex is on your mind, or you are aroused during sleep. People can experience periods of arousal while asleep. Dreams turn physical input into dream imagery, so arousal while dreaming is likely to be turned into sexual imagery or symbolism. However, the ‘chicken or egg’ question has not been answered: Does arousal cause sexually related dream imagery, or does sexual dream imagery cause arousal?

Sex dreams – are you aroused?

Author J.M. DeBord

It is common to dream about someone who arouses you. If you have been having thoughts or fantasies about the person and dream about having sex, it might simply reflect your thoughts or fantasies. Even if you’re married or in a committed relationship you can be aroused by someone else. While it might not be wise to pop awake and tell your significant other, having such a dream is not something to feel guilty about. Which is a typical reaction.

If you already know that a person in your dreams turns you on, you are not learning anything new. Instead, it might be giving you a safe forum to work through the situation—a simulation—or a safe outlet for your feelings and desires. At least you get a taste of that fruit, perhaps enough to satisfy you. The same idea applies to people who are celibate or chaste. Sometimes they have intensely sexual dreams that provide an outlet for that energy, and at heart it is a healthy process, not something to be ashamed of or repressed.

Your physician would probably agree that sexual arousal in dreams is healthy for you, especially if you’re not having much sex in your waking life. A wet dream helps the prostate (and the female equivalent, the Skene’s gland). Arousal and orgasm get the blood pumping and dilate blood vessels. It releases stress and anxiety. And it’s pleasurable. Enjoy it! With some dreams, what you see is what you get. No need to dig deeper.

Sexual arousal in a dream can mean you are really excited about something: a creative project, a new relationship, a subject for study or exploration. Dreams are known for making comparisons to create symbolism and sex in a dream can simply mean “aroused” in the general sense. It means “excited,” “stimulated,” “ready for action.”

In 2012, the journal Dreaming published a study that caused quite a stir. It found a correlation between sleep position and dream content. Specifically, sleeping on your stomach produces erotic dreams. The results were somewhat controversial, but physical stimuli can influence dream content, and sleeping on your stomach causes more stimulation of the genitalia.

sexual arousal while dreaming

 

Sex as dream symbolism

sex in a dream - just a fantasyNow that we have covered the personal and physiological aspects of sex dreams, let’s talk about the symbolic aspects.

Sex in a dream can symbolize intimacy of any kind. You can be intimate with a person without having sex with them. You can be intimate with a subject or idea, and with your creations.

Here is an example of sex being used to symbolize intimacy with another person. A female in a committed relationship dreams about having sex with mutual friends of her boyfriend. She wonders if she has a repressed desire to cheat, but the dreams reflect the intimate conversations she has been having with those mutual friends. It feels like cheating because she is sharing thoughts and feelings with them that she isn’t sharing with her boyfriend.

Another example that expresses a similar idea: A teenage girl dreams she is told by her mother that she has to have sex with her father. She reluctantly follows him into the bedroom, where he casually disrobes and the dream ends just before they do the deed. She’s disgusted that her dreams would create such a scenario and she wonders if something’s seriously wrong with her.

But she misunderstands what the dream is really saying. In her waking life, her parents are divorced and the father is distant from the family. Her mother uses her to maintain a connection between him and the family. She pushes them closer, telling her daughter to have a relationship with him, but the dreamer doesn’t want to be close with him. Sex in this dream symbolizes forced closeness or intimacy.

More examples: interpreting dreams about sex

dream interpretation dictionary

Sex and many related subjects are covered in my all-in-one reference source for dreams.

Now for an example of sex symbolizing intimacy with a subject. A student dreams about having sex with her professor. She’s not at all physically attracted to him in waking life, but in the dream he is a real Casanova. The dream helps the student realize that her professor intellectually stimulates her. His lectures are dynamic and through his teaching she’s turned on by the subject of the class. What she’s really attracted to is the subject and the professor’s teaching ability.

Are you noticing a trend here? Dreams use sex to connect symbolically with related ideas such as “turned on” and “intimate.”

Sex in a dream can express intimacy with what you create. A writer dreams about a sexually charged situation with a character he invented for a book he’s writing. The dream reflects the closeness and intimacy he feels with the character. Our creations are often expressions of our inner lives. Story characters, in particular, reflect the writers that create them, so the leap from a story character to a dream character is a short one.

Sex in a dream can be used to express thoughts and feelings that are intimate or private, or as symbolism for jealousy.

For example, a man dreams that his wife is having sex with her co-workers. He does not suspect her of cheating in waking life, but does feel a bit jealous of the lengthy amount of time she spends at work. He keeps those thoughts and feelings to himself, knowing that her time away is part of the job. He can’t help but feel some jealousy and miss his wife. The dream amplifies his feelings so he will consciously deal with them rather than ignore them. In this case, sex is symbolism for feeling jealous.

A young man came to Reddit Dreams, where I’m a moderator, and shared a dream about watching his best friend pick up girls and take them to a bedroom to have sex. And they are all girls from school that the dreamer likes! It’s too easy to think “hmph, some friend.” In reality, his best friend is a real ladies’ man, good at playing the hookup game. What the dream really says is, “Hey, young man, you want to get better at picking up girls. Your best friend is a pro at it so why don’t you learn from him? Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

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Dreams about incest: sex with relatives

The dream about the girl having sex with her father brings up a type of dream: sex with relatives. The typical reaction is to wonder if the dreamer has a secret desire to commit incest, but very rarely is that the case. Sometimes these dreams can reflect physical attraction, but not necessarily desire to have sex with that person.

dreaming about incest and sexual taboosA typical example is a college male dreams about his young female cousin having sex in the next room. She then invites him to join in. He feels dirty about the dream because in waking life he’s been trying to avoid noticing that the innocent little girl he grew up with has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. He can’t help but notice, and the more he tries to ignore it the more he feels conflicted.

Anything repressed or ignored is fodder for your dreams.

The dream is simply reflecting his thoughts and feelings. It’s not saying he wants to have sex with her. Instead, the dream amplifies his feelings of attraction so he will stop repressing them and come to terms with himself that allow him to notice that his cousin is attractive and not feel guilty about it.

A young woman dreams about dry-humping her cousin as all their other cousins stand around and watch. The dream disturbs her until she realizes what it really means. She’s from a big family and has lots of cousins, and they are all up in each other’s business.  Every rumor is amplified on social media. The dreamer’s life is on display for her family and she feels like she can’t have any privacy. She feels violated.

All the emphasized words in the last paragraph are part of the dream, either directly or through implication, or are related to the subject of sex in general. The key detail from the dream that helps unlock the meaning is ALL her cousins are present to watch her dry-hump her cousin. Step back from the action of the story and what you see is someone who feels watched by her cousins at all times and can’t get a moment of privacy.

Another possibility to consider is incestuous sex simply reflects closeness and platonic intimacy with a relative. For example, a female has dreams about having sex with her brother. During the dreams the sex feels perfectly natural, but after waking up, she is repulsed by the implications. However, sex with her brother is a way of saying that part of him has become part of her. It is inside her. They are very close. Get the idea?

Sex dreams: integration into your personality

sex dreams: integration of something new into your personality

Sex in a dream can visualize the process of integrating something new into your personality.

Now we get to what might be the most common reason behind sex dreams. Begin by stepping back and thinking about sex as integration of two bodies. It can also be integration of two hearts, two lives. (In the case of an orgy, multiple bodies, heart and lives!) Now consider that a basic function of dreaming is to integrate new information, knowledge, and experience into the existing structure of who you are. Do you see the potential for metaphor?

Sex in a dream can be a story about what you are integrating into your personality. Every day you have new experiences, and every night you figure out how it fits into the existing structure of your personality and psyche. Sex involves physical fit, but also personal fit, compatibility. That idea extends to other definitions of the word “fit” and related terms such as “take in.”

For example, a woman dreams about getting ready to have sex with a man and out flops his massive penis. She thinks, “There’s no way I can take all that at once.” It’s a metaphor for her job training. The day before the dream she was overloaded with new information. In other words, it was too much to take in at once.

If something is an awkward fit, it can be symbolized as awkward sex.  Start there and think about all the side subjects related to sex and you see the many ways that dreams can use it as symbolism.

Choosing a sex partner in a dream can symbolize a decision about what you want to accept into your personality. Alternately, rejecting a sex partner can symbolize a decision to reject something from your personality. For example, a woman dreams that a priest wants to have sex with her and her immediate reaction is no way! But it’s not for moral reasons that she says no. It’s because subconsciously she knows that the priest represents religion and she wants no part of ANY religion.

partner shrinks during sex

Don’t worry Barbie, your dream about sex with a girl is symbolism.

Dreams about sex with someone who is your gender can symbolize integrating traits of your gender into your personality. This fact comes as a great relief to people who think that such a dream means they are secretly gay! For example, a young man dreams about having sex with a big alpha male, the uber athletic type. The dreamer is the opposite of the uber male, but lately he’s been taking steps to become more assertive and forceful. In the dream, he feels comfortable having sex with another man, though in reality he’s not gay. Gay or not has nothing to do with it. The dream symbolizes the integration of new traits into his personality and changes in his self-image.

Alternately, sex with the opposite gender can symbolize integrating something about that gender into  your personality. Sex with either gender can even show you the process of bonding with parts of your psyche! It’s a way of promoting inner unity and harmony.

See also:

Anima

Animus

Dreams about sex with friends

dream about sex with friendTalk about a new twist on the idea of friends with benefits! Before I begin, you might already be getting ideas about the possible meaning of such a dream based on what you’ve learned already. Sex with a friend in a dream can mean you’re learning from the person. Something about them is “penetrating” or “receiving” deeper into you. It’s “rubbing off.”

Or go another direction with the idea and think in terms of closeness and intimacy. In an example I gave earlier, a young woman dreams about having sex with her friends and it simply means she’s been having close and intimate conversation with them.

I highly recommend the following article by Jordi Borràs García, titled:

I Had Sex With You The Other Night

It’s an exploration of the symbolism of sex in dreams with a delightful twist at the end. Thank you Jordi for teaching this old dog some new tricks!

Dream: sex and pregnancy

Sex in dreams: making babies

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that sex is for making babies. Women trying to conceive — and their partners — can dream about sex in connection with the goal of getting pregnant. Sex in a dream can be about pregnancy or issues related to it.

For example, a female dreams about having hot sex. Her partner pauses to put on a condom, and while doing so a drink spills on the mattress, infuriating the dreamer. She kicks out her lover. It symbolizes her fear of getting pregnant. The drink spilling while putting on the condom symbolizes her fear she could accidentally get pregnant if semen spills from a condom or some other sort of accident happens.

More possibilities for meaning of sex in dreams

Sex in a dream can symbolize dominance and submission, giving and receiving. The symbolism derives from the roles played and positions assumed during sex. For example, dreaming about being on top during sex might symbolize being in a dominant position in a business deal or relationship, or taking control, being assertive. Also consider the idea of getting what you want.

Sexual dream imagery that’s absurd or outrageous can be a sign of something out of kilter in a person’s sexual attitudes and perceptions. For example, dreaming about sex with an animal can symbolize something that’s inappropriate or deviant that has nothing to do with sex, or it can simply be a way of saying the dreamer can’t control his or her sexual impulses.

A man dreams about his adult sister and her breasts are huuuuge. He’s fascinated by them and plays with them like a child would play with balloons or toys. The dream is a way of saying the man is a still a child when it comes to his sexuality.

Interrupted sex or sex in public in a dream can symbolize lacking privacy or opportunity for sex or masturbation — and if that’s the case, the dream will put you into embarrassing or compromising situations. Otherwise, such dreams can have other meanings, such as something that stops (interrupts) you from getting what you want, or the desire for public recognition or to perform in public.

 

Root and sacral chakra activation

chakra systemThe root chakra is an energy center at the bottom of the hips. It’s where psychic energy enters the system. The next chakra in the system is the sacral chakra and it’s centered around the genitals. When energy enters or travels through these energy centers it can stimulate feelings of sexual pleasure. Those feelings experienced while dreaming can translate into sexual imagery.

For example, a woman dreams that a former lover comes into her bedroom while she’s sleeping, awakens her, and they converse next to the bed. He says he wants to do something for her. His arm glows blue and appears to be like an alien appendage. He sticks his arm into her vagina and she feels a rush of sexual pleasure. For the next few days she feels intensely stimulated and unusually energetic.

While the imagery is sexual, her feelings about the experience go deeper. She thinks of it in terms of energy activating in her root chakra. She is “awakening” (in the dream she also awakens) to a “deeper” energy within her, known as “Kundalini.” Kundalini’s origins are known to trace back at least 3,000 years to a Vedic science of energy and spiritual philosophy.

paging dr. freud - phallic symbols

Be careful about jumping to conclusions after a sex-related dream. It’s often not what it appears to be.

Phallic symbols

Phallic symbols … oh god, do we want to go there? In my experience, dreams are more to likely to directly refer to sex and genitalia rather than use phallic symbols. Western society is not sexually repressed as it was back in Sigmund Freud’s day. However, phallic symbols and symbols for female genitalia can be used in dreams. One of the cleverest I’ve run across is a dream about entering an underground parking garage. The entryway symbolizes the vaginal canal, and the parking garage symbolizes the uterus.

Dreams make oblique references when they need to, and phallic symbols are from another era when sex was taboo. That’s not to say that dreams don’t use symbolism to represent sex. Dreams have hundreds of euphemisms for sex to draw on to create symbolism: plowing a field, climbing a flagpole, eating a hot dog, stuffing a taco, hitting a home run. Just keep in mind that your dreams don’t bring up sex just for the fun of it. Or do they? With dreams, anything is possible.

See also:

Meaning of dreams about oral sex, fellatio, blow jobs

Penis Dreams: Interpret the Meaning of Penis in Dreams

Cheating Dreams Explained | What It Means to Cheat in a Dream

 

RadOwl

I'm the author of "Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams," and "The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Sign and Meanings." At reddit.com I'm known as RadOwl. I began studying dreams in the early 1990s and delved into all major schools of thought, especially the writings of Carl Jung.

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