How seriously should you take your sex dreams?08/08/2019
If Freud is to be believed, every slip of the tongue or night terror is indicative of some sort of psychopathic tendency.
There’s no denying, though, that when our subconscious shows something we didn’t want to see, it can create an uneasy feeling.
Having a sex dream about your boss, for example, is a surefire way to never be able to look them in the eye ever again. You may ask yourself whether you’re actually attracted to the balding, spits-while-he’s-talking loudmouth that calls you ‘young lady’ in meetings. Surely your waking mind couldn’t be that different once your head hits the pillow?
Or, worse still, you might have had a sexual dream about someone in your family, someone that contradicts your sexuality, or involving things you normally don’t like.
This cognitive dissonance between two opposing sides of ‘yourself’ is definitely jarring. However, if you can put into perspective how much it actually reflects your desires, you should be able to get through it.
Much of what is known about sex dreams is anecdotal. Although there have been studies into dreaming (including a recent one that found men have more erotic dreams than women) since it’s impossible to see inside someone’s head when they’re dreaming, researchers will always rely on what people are comfortable reporting.
There is also the fact that some people don’t remember their dreams and some studies wait too long to collect results, meaning much of the content of the dreams has been lost.
Delphi Ellis, a Qualified Therapist, Mental Health and Wellbeing Trainer and Mindfulness Practitioner who regularly deals with sleep-related topics said that the most common dreams she comes into contact through her work tend to focus on sleeping with a boss, having multiple partners, cheating or being cheated on, or take on a more disturbing tone and focus on sexual trauma.
Lauri Loewenberg, who has been a practicing professional dream analyst for over 20 years, says that she thinks that we’re all having a lot more sex dreams than we let on, and that cheating is by far what she sees the most from her clients.
Would dreaming about cheating mean you have a secret desire to do so? Or does it mean you’re worried about your partner straying? Not necessarily, no.
‘Although sometimes dreams can be about a sexual fantasy or desire, sex in dreams is often about control. This is why in dreams you might be having sex with someone you never would in real life,’ Delphi tells Metro.co.uk.
The meanings of sex dreams are different for everyone and they’re not always literal. You might have work-related sex dreams as a manifestation of worries about an upcoming appraisal, or dreams might even intensify during periods of increased hormones.
Lauri tells us: ‘The dreaming mind uses the act of sex – which is two separate individuals joining together as one – to represent the connection or merger you are experiencing in waking life. This is why your dream lover may sometimes be someone you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole!
‘It’s not about a physical union you want but rather a psychological union you need. So having a naughty dream about that creepy coworker doesn’t mean you secretly want him but rather some quality he possesses.’
How you should react to these dreams really depends on how it’s affected you, but figuring out their meaning is usually the first step.
‘Pinpoint that quality your sex dream partner represents then work on incorporating that into your own life or your own behavior,’ says Lauri, whether that’s the sales expertise of the coworker you had a sleeptime tryst with, or the caring nature of your bus driver you dreamed of.
Delphi recommends keeping a dream diary to get a good idea of the patterns and themes that regularly crop up.
She says, ‘Often once people recognise the meaning of why they have the dreams they do, the dreams take a different form or become less disturbing.’
What your different sex dreams mean, according to Lauri
Sex with an unknown man or woman
‘I call these the mystery lover dream. The thing you must keep in mind when figuring out your dreams is that everything and everyone in your dream is symbolic of some part of the self or something that affects the self.
‘That being said, an unknown man in a dream typically represents qualities we associate with that gender: assertiveness, being a go-getter, having “balls” and standing up for oneself.
‘An unknown woman will typically represent qualities we associate with the female gender: compassion, creativity, sensitivity, the ability to nurture, etc.
‘To dream of having sex with an unknown person of either gender suggests you are merging their respective qualities into your behaviour. For example, sex with an unknown man is about taking on a more assertive role or attitude. Sex with an unknown woman may indicate you are becoming more compassionate or creative.’
Sex with a co-worker or boss
‘These dreams can make it very hard to go into work but remember, as embarrassing as these dreams can be, they are good for you because they are showing you – in their weird way – what you can do to improve yourself.
‘The boss dreams are most often about taking on that authoritative, decision making role somewhere in your own life.
‘The co-worker can be a little trickier to figure out. If the co-worker you are dreaming about makes your heart beat a little faster and your palms a little sweatier, well then… sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!
‘But if the thought of being intimate with that co-worker makes you cringe, then there is a simple formula to figure it out, and you can actually apply this formula to any sex dream.
‘Ask yourself what 3 words best describe your co-worker. Not his or her looks but rather his or personality. Now ask yourself if any of those qualifiers would benefit you in your life right now if you incorporated it into your behavior. For example, perhaps the co-worker you are dreaming of is the one that cracks all the jokes in the office. In that case, he may simply represent humour and that is what your subconscious wants you to merge into your own behavior or attitude. Lighten up, have a sense of humor about things.’
Cheating on your partner or your partner cheating on you
‘If there is infidelity in your past, then these dreams reflect the distrust or guilt that is still there and are nudging you to continue to work on it rather than be complacent about it. But if there is no infidelity in your past and these dreams seem to be coming from left field, then you need to figure out what it is that feels like a third wheel in the relationship.
‘Usually it is work that is taking up too much of your or your partner’s time. But it could be anything such as golf, fantasy football or even a new baby that is causing you or your partner to feel “cheated” out of out of the time and attention they feel they should be getting. These dreams are shining a spotlight on the issue so you and your partner can figure out how to get more quality time together.’
Sex with a celebrity
‘When it’s one of your favorite celebrities… well, duh! But if it is a seemingly random celebrity, such as one you are not a fan of or one you haven’t seen or thought of in years, rest assured there is good reason your subconscious chose him or her to cameo in your dream.
‘Celebrities in our dreams often represent some part of ourselves we want recognition and applause for.
‘To figure out what that is, use the same formula: what comes to mind when you think of that celebrity? Is it a song? The meaning for you may be in the title or the lyrics. Is it a movie or TV show? Then you may identify with that character or with the story line.
‘For example, I had a client who was having sex dreams about Lenny Kravitz. She wasn’t necessarily a fan so she couldn’t figure it out. I asked her what first comes to mind when someone mentions him to her and she said, The Hunger Games movies. Turns out, she was desperately trying to lose weight. Her dream was using Lenny to show her that, if she wanted to get down to the weight she was aiming for, she would have to incorporate hunger into her life… and that is not a healthy game to play.’
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