The August 2010 edition of Marie Claire magazine features an article by Catherine Townsend entitled ‘What Do Your Sex Dreams Really Mean’. Although Catherine very kindly invited me to provide most of the material for her piece, the realities of journalistic style and word count mean that much of the information that I supplied could not be used in the final article.

As sex dreams are some of the most exciting and intriguing dreams (and one of the most popular searches on this site!) I will reveal some more of their mysteries by sharing the material I sent to Catherine with you. Here it is…

Intense Experiences
Dreams involving sexual content are among the most intense experiences a dreamer can have. Sex in a dream usually reflects a situation that is arousing and exciting the dreamer in their waking life. The cause of this arousal is usually non sexual in nature but the dreamer’s unconscious uses the experience of sex as a way to represent this excitement.

Certain Qualities
In the dreaming process, the dreamer uses particular people to symbolise certain qualities that they would like to discover and develop in their own inner life. Usually the dreamer is not sexually attracted to this particular person in waking life but they are unconsciously connecting with some qualities that the person appears to embody.

Romantic Betrayal
As a result of this, dreamers can often find themselves dreaming about situations involving inappropriate intimacy and romantic betrayal. It can be easy for the dreamer to assume that they are suffering from sexual confusion or that their partner is having deep and intimate connection with someone else. However, the dreams are usually trying to tell the dreamer how to achieve a deeper inner connection with their own self.

Most Common Sex Dreams
The most common sex dreams include sex with a boss, an ex, a platonic friend or colleague, same sex partner (or different sex partner depending on orientation), celebrity, a crush or beloved, a stranger. A partner having an affair is also a very common dream. Here are their real meanings.

Sex with a boss
A boss often represents the power to make decisions and put plans into practice. Sex with a boss shows that you are becoming more intimately aware of your own power and ability to choose what you want in life. Sex with an authority figure such as a policeman or military officer often indicates that you are seeking permission to be yourself and want to have your talents formally recognised by other people. Intimately connecting with a president or world leader shows that you are realising that you, and you only, are the ultimate authority in deciding what you want to do in your life.

Sex with an ex
An ex usually symbolises the quality that you most powerfully associate with them. If your ex was unreliable and untruthful, then you are letting yourself down in waking life by not facing up to the truth about something. A warm and generous ex shows that you are discovering your own warmth and generosity and are being encouraged to express it. An ex often appears in a dream to warn you not to repeat past relationship patterns with a current romantic partner and this is an encouragement to let go of old behaviours that no longer serve you.

Sex with a platonic friend or colleague
A friend or colleague tends to reflect a talent that you admire and would like to possess yourself. If your friend has an easy social charm, then you are realising that you are becoming more at ease and charming in social situations. A colleague with a particular skill indicates that you are becoming aware that you also have the innate talent to develop that skill. A work colleague often suggests that you realise that you will need to work at developing this talent and it may involve some dedication and discipline for you to do this.

Sex with a same sex partner (or different sex partner depending on orientation)
A same sex or different orientation partner shows that you are becoming more tolerant of different behaviours and beliefs. An intimate encounter with someone of a different orientation indicates that you are becoming more curious about the needs and drives of others and also becoming aware of your own unspoken needs. A same sex partner often suggests that you are becoming more comfortable and connected with your own body image.

Sex with a celebrity
Celebrities represent the ultimate awareness of your own special talents and qualities. The celebrity that you dream of being intimate with reflects a unique talent that you have and are beginning to recognise. This may not be the obvious talent associated with that person but is one that you are unconsciously identifying with. It indicates that you are keen to have your talents publically recognised and accepted by a wider audience. As you do this, you start to recognise your own talents and begin to accept them too rather than rejecting yourself as a nobody.

Sex with a crush or beloved
Someone who you have a crush on or who is your beloved embodies a quality that you are inexorably drawn to. This may not be a physical or emotional quality and may be something quite subtle and imperceptible instead. Although this can be easy to dismiss as mere wish fulfilment, the object of your affections is reflecting a fundamentally attractive quality that you want to embody yourself. The qualities that you unconsciously identify in another person are as varied as all the reasons why people fall in love.

Sex with a stranger
A stranger usually represents some part of your own character that seems strange and unexplored to you. The stranger is often beautiful and alluring and this dream is urging you to find out more about your own hidden beauty and allure. Sometimes the stranger has no face or is wearing a mask and this indicates that you are concealing a natural talent that you feel shy about expressing. If the stranger is foreign or an alien, then you are connecting and resolving parts of your character that perhaps seem strange and alien to each other.

Partner having an affair
Dreaming that your partner is being unfaithful is usually triggered when you begin to lose faith in your own sexiness and attractiveness. It can be tempting to think that your partner is being unfaithful but this dream reflects that you are feeling unattractive to yourself for some reason. This can often happen when a situation in your waking life is frustrating you and making you feel less confident than usual. Rather than sharing your frustrations with your partner, you may start hoping that some other potential partner will find you attractive and you might even end up daydreaming about having an affair yourself. The more confident that you are in waking life, the more confidently you can step into your new future and become the person that you always dream of being.

Intimate Partner
As these dreams illuminate the fundamental identity and needs of the dreamer, they will also reveal their deeper sexual and romantic truths of what the dreamer really needs within an intimate relationship. By being more aware of what qualities they are attracted to in a lover, the dreamer can make conscious decisions about how to attract the intimate partner of their dreams.

True Intimacy
Sexual dreams can also be experienced when the dreamer is becoming particularly excited about a new creative idea or project. Dreaming of the procreative act reflects the fact that the dreamer possesses the spark to create something new and unique and then bring it to life. The dreaming process is also non judgemental. It releases the dreamer from guilt and criticism and enables them to explore and enjoy the true intimacy of their own inner being.

Excited and Aroused
The body also becomes sexually excited and aroused when dreaming, whether these dreams involve sexual content or not. In women, vaginal lubrication increases dramatically and the clitoris engorges and enlarges. Dreaming men experience unconscious and sustained erections. These physiological functions make the dreaming experience even more intense.