Sex dreams, especially ones involving “doing it” with a person you would never, ever want to see naked in real life, can be quite disturbing. I once had a dream about a boss who I was absolutely repulsed by. Not only was he extremely unattractive to me, but his arrogance and condescending attitude made him extra, extra unsexy. Also, he walked like Bigfoot. And when he ate, the food always ended up all over his face. Yet still, there he was in my dream, naked and on top of me in his office. And I was into it. YUCK!!
When I went into work the next day, I couldn’t even look him in the eye, worried that I was somehow secretly attracted to him. (I wasn’t.) Hell, even thinking about the dream right now makes me want to go brush my teeth. But I’m of the school of thought that every vivid dream, whether it involves your gross boss naked or not, deserves some examination. I had to get past being disgusted by my dream and try to understand the deeper message.
Let me give you a hint: sex dreams are rarely ever about actual sex. Sex dreams are about union, the coming together of different, conflicting parts of yourself. Because I believe that everyone in your dream represents some aspect of yourself, I’ve come to understand that sex with my gross boss represented the part of me that wanted to be more successful. It was around that time that I was thinking about making a big career change, and this dream was urging me to work up the courage and confidence to take charge of my career. Imagine how much better I felt when I got it and could stop worrying that I had an unconscious crush on my boss. This dream, albeit gross, helped me get my butt in gear make those career changes happen. Within a few months of that dream, I quit that job and started writing. Imagine that. It was the best/worst sex dream I ever had.
Sex With An Ex
No, it doesn’t mean you want to get back together. If you have a racy dream about your ex, don’t pick up the phone. It most likely means that you’re still processing some unfinished feelings about him or her. If you are with someone new, the ex sex dream might signify fears you are having about your new relationship and/or the resurgence of the types of feelings you felt with your ex. Pay close attention to the nature of the sexual experience and how you felt during the dream, as it will give you insight into what type of unfinished feelings you have about your ex.
For years and years, I had a variation on a sex dream with an ex where I would be in bed with him and find girls hiding in his bedroom or under his bed and I would feel betrayed. Although he never cheated on me, I came to understand that these dreams represented me always feeling like he was hiding something from me and I never really understood why things ended between us.
Incestuous sex dreams are by far the most disturbing and hardest to shake off when you wake up.
Before I go any further here, I should note that if you had a real-life experience with incest and are having dreams about it, you should seek professional help.
If you’ve never been a victim of incest, dreaming of sex with a family member can mean a few different things — none of them insidious. Sex with a parent may have to do with transitioning into adulthood or becoming a parent yourself. Sex with any family member can be about acceptance, deep forgiveness, a longing to be closer or heal a rift.
If you are not homosexual in your waking life, but dream of having sex with someone of the same sex, it’s about your self-esteem. Depending on how the dream plays out, this same sex dream is about loving parts of yourself that you’ve been less than accepting of. Homosexual sex with a friend may be a commentary about some rift between you, insecurities about the friendship, or some quality or talent they have that you emulate. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you secretly want to sleep with your best friend.
Although you might really want to have sex with Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum in real life (ahem, Amelia), there may be more to your wild sex dreams about them. Dreaming about getting it on with a celebrity is all about your desire to attain more fame, fortune, recognition or bolster your social status.
Sex With A Stranger
Carl Jung had a theory that every man and woman has an animus or anima. An animus is the male energy of a female and the anima is female energy of a male. Sex with a stranger of the opposite sex has to do with the state of your animus/anima. It’s about balance, about merger of the male and female aspects of yourself. And actually, sex with a stranger in a dream, given that it is not scary or traumatic, can be quite a fortuitous sign of personal growth.
I had this dream once where I had sex with a man who was “my angel” (that’s how he referred to himself in my dream). When I asked his name, he told me it was “Anger.” When I thought about it, it was a really cool dream. It was about me accepting my anger as a necessary part of myself.
It’s also interesting to take note of what kinds of strangers you are having sex with in your dreams. I’ve noticed that over the years my strange men have evolved from being gimpy, brutish or crippled to being strong, sweet and wonderful. These strange men will let you know what state your animus is in. For example, if your animus man is always under-evolved in some way, it means you need to work on strengthening your masculine aspects. If your animus is a big, strong, overpowering type, you may need to work on nurturing your femininity.
Again, if you have been raped in real life, rape dreams will have a completely different meaning for you and you should seek help.
If you’ve not been the victim of rape, it’s still quite common to have rape dreams.
Back in college, I had a reoccurring dream about this character called the Dragonfly Man. He morphed from this guy I was dating into his big beast who had glowing eyes and wings. The he would wrap in up in a bloody saran wrap cocoon and try to rape me. It was really horrifying. Being as that I had never been raped, I had to look further into these dreams to find out what was going on.
Rape is about violation, about being forced upon, about your well-being and self-esteem being threatened. Although I never actually got “raped” by the Dragonfly Man, these dreams were an unguent call to action that this guy would destroy my self-esteem. That he would seriously violate my self-worth if I kept seeing him.
I highly urge you not to flip out if you dream of cheating or being cheated on by your partner. Chances are this dream is simply about anxieties or insecurities present in your relationship. If you are the one doing the cheating, you’re probably guilty about some residual issues. What kind of injury have you caused to your partner that you need to atone or apologize for? If you’re the one being cheated on in your dream, don’t go getting all suspicious. Look in the mirror, because this act of infidelity is not real, it’s all about your insecurities.
Sex With A Friend’s Mate
Oh, the shame you feel when you wake up from this one. Ack. I once dreamed of having sex with a good friend’s husband and felt like an asshole for the rest of the day. Not that he’s not attractive, he is, but I would never, ever go there in real life. Don’t beat yourself up over this one. You are probably smitten over some quality your friend’s mate has and just want to adopt it as your own or look for it in your mate or potential mates.
Four breasts. Two penises. A penis/vagina combo. A tail growing out of your ass. What the hell? If there is something weird going on with genitals in a sex dream, it either has to do with your sexuality, creativity or personality. Depending on the specific deformity, you may be questioning your sexuality or sexual desire. Is there guilt, shame, or anxiety surrounding your sex life or lack thereof? Maybe you are having a surge of creativity that needs to be “released,” if you will. Or maybe you are maturing, growing, or changing as a person. If you are a woman who dreams of having male genitalia or a man who dreams of having female genitalia, you may be in the process of developing your animus or anima. If you dream of having a peen/vajay combo, it may be a symbol of harmony between your masculine and feminine side, not a revelation that you were secretly born a hermaphrodite.
This post originally appeared on The Frisky.