Sexual Dreams: What’s Your Mind Revealing To You?

You have sex with your best friend.  Or, you have sex with a hot stranger, perhaps while lying in bed right next to your partner!  How does this dream make you feel when you wake up?  Aroused?  Uncomfortable?  Guilty? All of the above?

It’s not surprising that of all the dream topics I analyze with clients, sex dreams top the titillation–and confusion–charts.  The way we dream about sex can uncover our deepest secrets about ourselves helping us problem-solve and offering critical guidance on important life issues.

You just need to know how to deconstruct them.  Discovering why you had a particular dream is an investigation.  You’ll want to ask yourself questions to solve the puzzle.  Remember that in our dreams we are decision-making, testing out different solutions to our problems.  We are practicing different behaviors.

And, all of the possible ways of behaving in every situation we face are there for us in our dreams.  Why feel stuck with the same reactions to situations over and over again when our dreams offer us the potential to change our behavior and our lives?

Sexual dreams can indicate our body needs sexual release.  But, they can mean so much more.  They can give us a chance to understand conflicts or opportunities in our sexual lives.  They can wake in us our need for love or nurturing in our relationship.

Even more importantly, they can serve as metaphors for nonsexual issues and situations in our personal and professional lives.  Sexual dreams can reveal a union between different aspects of our own selves.

Dreams reflect a current need or situation.

Before I look for other possible meanings in a dream, I always like to look at first things first.  The first level of your dream always reflects a very specific current issue in your life you are attempting to problem-solve.  We are adept at hiding our feelings from ourselves, and we do so easily keeping busy daily.  We may not always be in touch with our needs.  Well, your subconscious never lies to you.  Dreaming is a form of thinking without the filter.

To attach your sexual dream to the need or situation it is reflecting, the first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is if you need some release.  Sometimes a sexual dream is there to inspire you to ask your partner for some loving.  Maybe your dream is just there to make you feel good!

Dreams offer a safe place to practice.

Sarah, whom was brought up in an extremely conservative home, had the idea it was a woman’s place to always lie under the man when having sexual intercourse.  Recently, she had recurring sexual dreams in which she was always on top.  Sometimes it wasn’t her husband either!

After eighteen years of marriage, she was bored with their routine sexual life.  Sarah had to admit her dreams were exciting.  At forty-five years old, her dreams provided Sarah with a safe place to let go of her teenage conditioning and practice how it feels being in the top position.  When she felt comfortable enough, Sarah took her new idea out into her waking life and surprised her husband!

Dreams can be a metaphors for nonsexual situations.

Sexual dreams are often directly related to problem-solving situations in our personal or professional lives.  So when literal explanations for your dream don’t seem to ring true, search out a metaphoric meaning.  I use the term “metaphoric meaning,” because we often use sexual situations in dreams simply as a way of saying something to ourselves.  Maybe it is to get a feeling across.

Allan, a client of mine, kept dreaming his wife was cheating on him.  When looking first for a literal explanation, I asked him, “Is it true? Do you really think she is cheating on you?”  His answer was no.  So, we began to investigate other possibilities as to the dream’s meaning.  The act of doing this is exactly like trying to solve a puzzle.  You try one piece, and if that doesn’t fit, you try another.  I like to call these puzzle pieces different points of entry into the dream.

In Allan’s case, I tried a “feelings” point of entry by asking, “How do the dreams make you feel?”  His response was immediate.  “Betrayed.  Surprised.  Saddened.  Angry.”  I asked, “What situation do you think went on in your life this week that has made you feel the same emotions?”  It was in answering that question Allan clicked on the dream’s meaning.

A client whom he had been doing business with for so many years who Allan really felt close to and whom he thought he could depend (much like his wife), took some of their business to a competitor.  Allan was not expressing outwardly the tremendous feeling of sadness and betrayal he was experiencing.  His subconscious, using a picture of his wife cheating on him, accomplished its task.

Alfred Adler would have said the dream gives rise to an emotion that helps you move closer towards the goal.  In this case, the goal or lesson of the dream was to get the dreamer in touch with the sadness he was experiencing and to express it.

In many situations, it is most beneficial if we can express our feelings directly to the person it concerns.  But even when that is not possible, the simple act of expressing out instead of holding in can be a great release.  You let some air out of the balloon.  The dream has served its purpose.  Happily, it was Allan’s wife who was there to lean on.

Once you have correctly decoded a dream’s meaning (and by that I mean you have succeeded in discovering what specific problem the dream is addressing), you will be astounded by how precisely it mirrors that situation!

Lisa dreamed she had a piglet stuck to her breast.  Yes.  You read this correctly.  A piglet stuck to her breast!  My first question was totally “feeling” related.  “You must have been running around frightened trying to get the piglet off you!”  “No,” she admitted, “Actually, I was just standing there looking down at the piglet!”  When you’ve tried the “feelings” as a puzzle piece and they don’t fit, try the symbols.  You might catch the meaning that way.

Before I sought to investigate the symbols, I wanted first to have a sense of what happened the day before the dream.  You will want to try that too since we know the dream is always about something you thought about, or something that happened to you yesterday.  I asked Lisa, “What did you do yesterday? Who did you see?”

In the course of the conversation, Lisa mentioned she had run into her ex-boyfriend.  He wanted her to help him put together a party he wanted to throw for himself.  She didn’t even want to go, let alone help.



Layne Dalfen
Layne Dalfen
Layne Dalfen has been teaching dream analysis to the Counseling students at Concordia University in Montreal since 2004. She has a monthly column in Oprah Daily titled Dream Catcher, in Psychology Today titled Understanding Dreams, and in Hampton Sheet titled Dream On. Layne founded The Dream Interpretation Center in 1997. Her interest in dreams stems from her early experience in Freudian analysis where dream work was the primary tool. She later studied at The Gestalt Counselling and Training Center in Montreal, and Adlerian principles of dream analysis at The Alfred Adler Institute. She has been a member of The International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) since 1997. Layne’s core message is how the solutions to our current problems appear to us first, through our intelligent, unconscious mind. If you understand the conversation that is the dream, you can propel your problem-solving skills. In her books titled Have A Great Dream, Book 1; The Overview, and Have A Great Dream, Book 2; A Deeper Discussion, Layne teaches a 6 Points of Entry system she developed that anyone can use to uncover meaning in their dreams. Layne’s goal is to introduce the general public to the value of understanding the language of our sophisticated unconscious mind. Her Internet site goes by either the same name as her books, have a great dream, or the more recent, the dream analyst.

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