After a particularly creepy dream I once had about having sex with my boss – whom I disliked — while his mother — whom I’d never met — watched, that left me feeling that I secretly wanted to have sex with him or that I have a thing for moms, I decided to consult a dream expert about the meaning of sex in dreams.
According to Stacy Michaels, a dream expert I found online, because sex is the way that we get closer to another person, sex in dreams is often about issues of closeness or intimacy that are not necessarily sexually related.
She invited me to look at how I felt in the dream: How was the sex? How did I feel about his mom watching? Yup, all good I’m afraid. In that case, says Michaels, his mother was an approval figure, and her watching he and I have a pleasant sexual encounter was a way of saying it was okay to try and get along with him.
And that creepy feeling when I walked into the office the next day and found myself mildly attracted to him was just what the dream was trying to accomplish, says Michaels. “It tried to make you feel more positive about this person, more attracted to him.” It did not mean I had latent desires to jump his bones. Well, goodie for that!
That’s not to say that sometimes sex dreams aren’t about sex. Erotic dreams can be a very powerful healing tool when it comes to sexual issues, admits Michaels. Like one woman she talks about in the book who couldn’t bring herself to have sex for over a year after a double mastectomy. She had a dream she was in the forest feeling all great about herself and having fantastic sex with a series of men. Then a flame appeared in the dream and out of the flame flew a Phoenix bird, a classic symbol of metamorphosis. The woman woke up feeling absolutely yee-ha about herself and she and her husband got back to business and it was better than ever.
Now that’s what dreams should be made of.
Other sexual symbols in dreams Michaels describes are classic Freudian stuff. Guns, knives and other pointy, sharp objects often represent the penis while bowls, wells and other containers, girlie bits. So what if you’re a straight boy who finds himself playing with another man’s gun in a dream, or a straight woman dipping into another woman’s bowl? Again, context is everything. If you’re a supposedly straight guy who dreams of boinking boys every night for five years, you might want to reevaluate your sexual preferences. But the occasional same-sex dream when you’re say, a straight boy, could just mean there’s a guy at the office you need to get to know better.
“If the dream is pleasant,” says Michaels, “it could mean someone is trying to establish a friendship or a business interaction, that he may be suspicious of, but the dream is encouraging him to go forward with because something good may come of it. On the other hand, if he’s having sex with a man in his dream and is horrified by it, then he has to ask himself if there is a man in his life who is pushing his limits, and not necessarily his sexual limits, but maybe asking for too much of his time, for example.”
Another classic sexual dream is finding yourself naked on the bus or in other inappropriate situations. If you’re feeling good about being in the buff in your dream, explains Michaels, it could mean you can open yourself up in a situation when maybe you’ve been afraid to. If you’re embarrassed about it, you could be feeling vulnerable in a situation. Like a friend who dreamed he was tied to a ladder with a rubber hose and hung from a tree, while a woman he worked with hosed him down causing him to sprout a monster erection. (Probably the only thing more creepy than our own sexual dreams is hearing other people’s.)
“One of the first steps to analyzing your dreams is to find the narrative,” says Michaels. “Here is someone who finds himself immobile, which could be a scary situation, but it turns out to be great. And since it was a rubber hose, he could get away if he wanted to. Whether this is related to a work situation, a relationship or something else in his life, is up to him to look at.”
And finally, who hasn’t dreamt of sex with their fave celebrities? According to Michaels, dreaming of sex with celebrities can mean that you have a desire to develop traits in yourself that you admire in this person. I wonder if a male friend’s teenage dream of having sex with Pamela Anderson means he has a secret desire to have big tits and big blonde hair.
Hmm…. like I said, sometimes sex dreams are just about sex.