So, you’ve woken up all flustered, perhaps a little sweaty and well, aroused! Or it could have been the complete opposite—freaked out, overwhelmed, and possibly even disgusted. Sexy dreams happen to the best of us, and we don’t always get to choose who we have these lustful dreams about (cue lucid dreaming).
But whether you’re dreaming about getting up close and personal with the object of your desire, someone with whom you’ve never seen in a sexual light before, or someone you actively dislike, there is actually a reason behind your sexy dream.
What is the Meaning of Your Sexy Dream?
Dreams are often rich in metaphors, helping us realise or decode situations or emotions in our lives. So, while a sexy dream may shed light on how we really feel about someone, it may also merely be a way in which to illuminate other issues.
Here are a few examples:
If you’re unable to climax in a sexy dream, it could be a direct correlation to your actual performance in bed, or it could simply signify how you feel about a project, activity, or something else that you feel as though you cannot complete.
If you’re having sexy dreams with someone who isn’t your current partner, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d like to cheat—it could merely be an indication that you desire something new in your life.
If you’re being violated in a dream, it could be a reflection of past (unresolved) trauma, or it could be a sign that you’re feeling mistreated by someone or others in life, for example at work.
If your sexy dream focuses more on foreplay, romance, and intimacy, this could be that you’re actively seeking this kind of experience from your partner, or you’re simply wanting to feel more kindness and consideration from others in your life.
If your sexy dream involves an ex, it could be that you’re still grieving the old relationship or simply grieving a loss in general.
Alternatively, a sex dream could just happen simply because one is actually aroused! In more literal terms, a sex dream is… just a sex dream.
In more metaphorical terms, the contents of your sexy dream could be giving you greater insight into non-sexual things, actions, or behaviours you seek in life. It could also be guiding you on hidden sexual desires and needs. “Sex dreams allow your curiosity to cathartically express itself, but in a way that hurts nobody,” says Theresa Cheung, a dream expert.
Who Are You Having Sexy Dreams About?
Well, first off, just know that you’re not alone in your erotically-charged dreaming. There’s various research that shows that these kinds of sleeping visuals are common.
One specific bit of research, a 2021 study by Vaillancourt-Morel and colleagues, found that of 1045 participants, 96% of them had had at least one erotic dream, more than three-quarters had experienced a number of erotic dreams, and 17% had said that they’d had sexy dreams “often” or “very often”.
So now that you know you’re not alone, why are you having these sex dreams and who you’re having them about? Well, to answer that, you may just have to take a look at what’s happening during your waking thoughts and concerns.
For those in a relationship, for example, it’s been found that those who are highly satisfied with said-relationship are more likely to dream about their current partner and less likely to dream about an ex or a stranger. And those who are currently having extradyadic experiences have been reported to dream less about their current partner and more so about their ex or a stranger.
Still, however, it was only 14% who admitted to only dreaming about having sex with their current partner and no one else, which is congruent with the fact that humans continue to feel sexual attraction to others, even when they’re in a committed and satisfied relationship.
How to Decode Your Sexy Dreams
If you feel that there’s something behind those rompy sleep thoughts and you’d like to try and decode it, Dr Janet Brito, a sex therapist, says:
“When sex shows up in your dreams, break it down into a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and focus on experiencing the feelings in your dream and being curious about where the energy of the dream leads you, specifically of how the dream ends. This will reveal to you the emotional need that your sex dream is trying to have you fulfill in waking life.”
On the other hand, you could choose to not look too much into it, and chalk your sexy dream up to an experience that happens to basically all of us. Just like non-sexual dreams, sometimes there’s simply no rhyme or reason, and trying to decipher it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack! It’s your call!