By: Cynthia Ramnarace
what does it mean?
Have you ever had a sex dream starring someone other than the guy you’re sharing a bed with? If so, don’t worry–it doesn’t mean you want to cheat. Instead, the person you’re dreaming about usually signifies what’s going on deep in your psyche. “If we pay attention, there may be something we can learn from our dreams,” says marriage therapist Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage. “Maybe there’s something missing in our lives, or maybe there’s a problem in our relationship we haven’t wanted to think about.” Here are some of the most common sex dreams and what they really mean.
sex with the boss: am i really attracted or just watching too much mad men?
Just because you dream about shagging your supervisor in the corner office doesn’t mean you actually want to do it, says dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of Cracking the Dream Code. “The boss dream is about your needing to be more assertive and authoritative in your own life,” she says.
Sex with a coworker is another common dream, Loewenberg says. “And a lot of these dreams have us partnering up with someone we wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole,” she adds. So don’t freak out if your fantasy involves the septuagenarian in accounting. There’s probably something about him that you admire or even envy. “It’s not that you want the coworker. It’s that there’s something about the coworker you want for yourself,” Loewenberg says.
sex with the ex: i said never again, but maybe i’m wrong?
Sex-with-the-ex dreams can be your brain’s way of resolving emotions, especially if you weren’t the one who did the breaking up. But more often, the dream gives insight into your current relationship. “You’ll find that the ex will show up in your dreams when your current relationship has become a bit routine,” says Loewenberg. “The ex shows up to reignite passion.”
stranger sex: i never knew i was so kinky. or am i?
Before you head to a therapist, you should know that the stranger in your dream is actually… you. Did you recently do something that required tremendous strength, courage or brazenness? Then the hunk in your dreams is proof that you’re proud of your accomplishments, Loewenberg says.
If the stranger is a celebrity, well, do you really need to analyze why you had a George Clooney dream? But if your partner is someone unexpected–let’s say Bill O’Reilly–ask yourself what about that celebrity stands out. “We’re very narcissistic when we dream,” Loewenberg says. “So ask yourself, how do you recognize yourself in this character?”
off-limits sex: but he’s my best friend’s husband!
You would never, ever go there. So why are you dreaming about it? Maybe because her husband has some quality you wish yours had. “Maybe the guy in the dream is very attentive–something your husband is not very good at,” says O’Neill. “The dream can help you start a conversation about ways your husband can better pick up on your cues about what you need.”
same-sex sex: am i bi-curious?
Probably not, says Loewenberg. Dreaming about getting it on with someone who has the same equipment as you indicates pride in your womanly attributes. Girl-on-girl dreams are particularly common during pregnancy, when the body is in uber-feminine mode. If you have this dream, think back to what you did the day before. Were there any particularly female-centric accomplishments, such as nursing a sick child back to health? Your dream is more likely a celebration of that achievement than an indication of any latent sexual desires. Don’t stress yourself by taking a dream literally–the person you’re having sex with symbolizes something going on in your life, not a secret crush. “The dreaming mind can show you what you lack in your life, and sex symbolizes your desire to bring that quality into yourself,” says Loewenberg.