Intimacy dreams (sex dreams) is a very popular topic with my patients and anybody who finds out that I’m a psychiatrist.
Intimacy dreams or sex dreams, and what do they say about us and our relationships?
Well, they say quite a lot. However, what they say is not literal. All studies have shown that you are not so much in control of your environment and what you do as your unconscious is. Your unconscious is playing a more significant role in your life than you know or maybe care to admit. It’s there, and it’s very active, and that’s what comes out in our dreams.
Your dreams are your unconscious talking to you. It’s a wonderful source to get to know yourself better if you can listen in a certain way. That’s why us Shrinks love dreams and not just night dreams but daydreams too, they are also really informative.
Your unconscious is very important; it’s telling you about you, it’s typically a side of you that you don’t want to admit. Usually, it’s stuff that’s been shoved down, and it wants attention or to be recognized. And for some reason, your conscious has either thought it not important or has some problem with it; so it gets relegated. My patients know I call it the basement, it gets shoved in the basement where it causes lots of issues.
Dreams are symbolic, not literal. People come to me worried that they had sex dreams about somebody else and wonder if that means they’re a cheater. No, it’s not that simple, it’s not be taken as real and literally, necessarily. There’s one exception, there’s something we call a residue dream, where you dream about something that happened during your day. That does happen, but typically, dreams are symbolic, and they are wish-fulfillment. So again, if you dream about cheating on somebody, does that mean you wish to cheat? Not necessarily, again, not literally. But we have to realize there’s probably a wish under there that we haven’t recognized or haven’t given attention to.
How do we figure that out? If it’s not literal, how do we figure it out?
Let me give you some examples.
Let’s say you have a dream about being sexually attracted to someone who you consciously have no sexual attraction to whatsoever.
Dreams don’t forecast the future you’re not predicting the future in your dreams. If you have a dream about being attracted to somebody else, does that mean you’re going to cheat or be attracted to that person? Not necessarily. When you dream about someone intimately, there’s a trait about that person you may want to incorporate, or you wish you had. Remember, having sex with somebody is as close as we can get physically with another person.
So sometimes it means it’s a trait that that person has. Such as, maybe they’re resilient to the boss’s criticism and you wish you were or perhaps they’re super kind to strangers and you wish you were. That would be the way the wishes and the symbolism of you wish you had that trait, not necessarily intimacy with that person.
The same thing with the opposite gender, let’s say you’re having a dream about the gender you’re not attracted to in waking life. Does that mean you’re going to change or you’re bi? No, not necessarily. Again, maybe there’s a trait that that gender embodies for you. For example, a lot of people think women are carefree and easygoing, and men are strong. So, if you wish you were more carefree, or you wish you were more strong, then you may start dreaming about having intimate relations with that person.
What about cheating? What if you dream about cheating on your significant other?