Sexy Dreams: Understanding And Benefiting From Them

Oh, those sexy dreams. We all have them and wish we could have more that tickle us awake with an orgasm or leave us feeling aroused for the rest of the day. They can be puzzling and weird or humorous and delightful. Sometimes they end with a satisfying climax, but all too often we wake up too soon. Either way, our dreams are layered with meaning and it’s up to us to figure out what they’re trying to say so we can obtain optimum sexual satisfaction while asleep or awake.

On one level, we have erotic dreams to satisfy our need for sexual release or sex that we may be missing. This is the literal layer of meaning to a dream expressing a conscious frustration or some other emotion of which we are already aware. We dream about what is on our minds during the day, or what we try not to think about while conscious. During times of sexualdrought, for instance, we might dream of sex because we need a little – or a lot more! At this literal layer, sexual dreams allow us to mentally practice behavior we might like to execute in waking life. Additionally, erotic dreaming allows us to indulge fantasies we would never really perform.

We contemplate new sexual behaviors that may be regarded as too kinky while conscious, then give them a whirl in our dreams. Generally, most people less moral responsibility while in a dream state, extinguishing any guilt one might feel if engaging in activities that would normally get them arrested, fired, divorced, or shunned by friends. We can luxuriate in our wildest fantasies and take them to the max with a delicious orgasm.

Erotic dreams may also indicate that you’re ready for a particular kind of sexual experimentation. Whenever we prepare ourselves for something new, we continue our preparation at a deeper level of consciousness. Sometimes, our dreams come to tell us we can do something we fear. At other times, our dreams may caution us about being reckless and flirting with danger. The dreamer is the final authority on what the dream is saying. By attending to the feelings or emotions in the dream, she will know whether this dream is encouraging or discouraging the actual behavior.

Use Your Erotic Dreams To Analyze Your Sex Life
1. Do i want to do this in waking life?
2. What new information does this dream offer about my sexuality?
3. What does this dream tell me about my sexual needs?
4. Where is the greatest passion in my dream?
5. What action does this erotic dream call for?
6. How might I discuss this dream with my lovers so that our relationships can improve and grow?

The flip side of this is when we do something in a dream that we believe we would never really do because it is in sharp contrast to our waking sexual identity and orientation. Upon waking from such a dream, we can then ask ourselves if we are open to the possibility of say, a bisexual interlude or a homosexual encounter. In fact, heterosexuals often have homosexual dreams just as homosexuals have heterosexual dreams with similar reactions of anything from surprise and pleasure to horror and disgust. If this type of dream should occur, my first question to the dreamer is: Are you aroused during the dream? If yes, this may be an expression of desire to make the particular fantasy a reality. Next I ask: What would you like to do with this desire? Keep it as a fantasy or try it out?

These experiences do not mean that you have the wrong orientation, but perhaps express a literal desire for more sexual variety. The experiences may even be a metaphorical expression of homosexual imagery.

One woman dreamt that she was at a party where everyone was coupling off to have sex when she realized only she and another female were left. The dreamer went along with the stranger feeling more compliant and passive than excited. When asked why she did this, she said she went along because everyone else was doing it and she didn’t want to object. I asked her what was happening in her life at the time of her dream. What was she going along with because everyone else was doing it? She knew immediately. She said she was living with a man because she felt like she had to satisfy his needs, even though she didn’t want him living in her home. Everyone else was doing it, after all. This didn’t fit her preferences or orientation just as being sexual with a woman didn’t appeal to her. More often than not, in these types of dreams, the dreamer reports no sexual excitement at all.

It’s important to remember that dreams usually have more meaning than the literal layer reveals. All dreams can tell us things about ourselves that we have yet to acknowledge. They can offer solutions to problems, highlight our shortcomings or tell us when our relationships feel threatened – points we may try to deny when we are awake. One such example is the ever-popular public nudity dream. When this occurs we generally try to cover ourselves or hide but no one seems to notice or care about our nakedness. Unless the dreamer is comfortable being a nudist, this dream might be about a fear of public exposure or anxiety as a result of revealing a secret or personal information.

In other dream scenarios, we choose partners we would never pick in waking life. Does that mean we really want to have sex with these people? If we dislike the dream partner, we might be saying, “Screw you!” – literally! Our emotions during the dream point to various meanings and only the dreamer knows for sure which possible interpretation fits. If you’re convinced that the sexual partner in the dream has no appeal, then it’s time to look for other meanings.

But what if the dream involves your lover with someone else? Women are often distressed by dreams of infidelity in which a husband or lover is making love to another. They wake up simultaneously furious and fearful. Could this be true? What could this dream mean? Will it come true in the future? As with all dreams, look at the literal interpretation first. Before the dream, did you have concerns about your mate’s loyalty? Do you have any evidence of your mate’s affair? Do you have reason to suspect your partner is breaking an agreement? Or is this more about your own desire for variety?

To talk about fidelity, you must first know what the terms of your relationship are. What is your agreement about monogamy and faithfulness? If you haven’t made an agreement, your dream might be reminding you that your lover is free (as you are) to have multiple partners. Maybe you’re being urged to discuss a monogamous relationship or to explore non-monogamy.

Because it’s so hard to step outside of your own dream and unearth its many meanings – both metaphorical and literal – it’s helpful to have a dream partner. Ideally, this would be your lover with whom you can be fully intimate on all levels. In fact, dreamwork can be a path to intimacy, offering the inner workings of your minds to each other with humor and intriguing plays on words. Dreamwork can encourage trust and sharing that is frequently difficult in ordinary conversation. We can use the dream as a springboard to talk about our most personal concerns, sharing our deepest desires as our unconscious speaks to our lover’s unconscious.

Consider sharing sexy dreams with your lover when you wake up as this can be a type of foreplay. Let your dreams spice up your love life and deepen your relationship for greater passion and pleasure.

Joan Mazza is a therapist and the author of “Dreaming Your Real Self: A Personal Approach To Dream Interpretation” (Perigee/Putnam, 1998) and “Dream Back Your Life: Taking Dream Messages Into Life Action” (Perigee, Summer 2000).

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With political activists as parents, Stephanie learned gender politics at an early age and embraced stiletto feminism in high school. As a marketing professional, she’s written for a variety of publications. She founded to be a voice for the sex-positive alpha female.


  1. Fascinating topic. I can recall having semi-erotic dreams when I was in middle school. At the time I wasn’t living in a very enlightened environment (strict church upbringing) so I didn’t quite understand what was going on – especially at THIS level.