Cathy Snider/FreeImages
Source: Cathy Snider/FreeImages

When it comes to dreams — the kind you have while asleep — one woman's sex dream is another's nightmare.   

The most amazing thing about sexy dreams, though, is that they reflect aspects of your real life in surprising ways.

What has always nagged at me is that many women have dreams in which they don't stop at arousal. I have wondered if those who have satisfying dreams with men other than their mates (unlike me) might be extroverts, wildly uninhibited, or amoral.

Not at all to imply there's anything wrong with any dream or fantasy. Quite the contrary. Yet even in my dreams, I have always had a super-conscience that reminds me, "Nuh-uh, you can't do that — you're married." Here's a typical scenario: I'm alone with a soft-eyed, dark-haired stranger. Worry about being discovered heightens the arousal, just as it would in real life. His attention is all on me. We kiss and sometimes a bit more, and I don't ever have to do anything to feel that lovely heightened bodily sense.

But it's too great to be true. Kids turn up in the dream, and we have to stop. Or what happens most often is I suddenly remember I'm married, happily married and with every intention of remaining faithful, and I pull back, and the dream dissolves. I'd prefer if my subconscious understood that "It's only a dream, for gosh sakes! Get it on!" But no. 

I think these inevitably frustrating dreams are a large part of the stuff my subconscious brain has to work with. After all, throughout my teens and college years, back before hideous diseases and my first marriage, I had lots of great experiences kissing. Hours and hours of kissing, but always stopping short. Maybe those years of delicious non-dangerous foreplay simply nestled into my sleeping brain.

To learn more, I contacted Joan Mazza, a dream therapist and author of Dreaming Your Real Self: A Personal Approach to Dream Interpretation, which includes a chapter on sexy dreams. Here's what she told me:

Remember that all dreams have both literal and metaphorical meanings. A sexy dream about stopping short of having a full erotic experience might reveal to the dreamer a reluctance to "get it on" in life sexually and non-sexually. Since feelings are the key to meaning, desire in a dream without action might mean a flattening of passions and action in waking life.

Or, if a dreamer describes sexual dreams as frightening or threatening, I would ask what feels that way in waking life. Sexual dreams of being overwhelmed or dominated might refer to work or other situations that are not sexual at all. We say we've been screwed over or violated when it's not about sex, too.

I know for a fact that many women have a lot of fun in their dreams. I asked a close friend of mine, one who had years of sexual experience to draw on before she got married, to share a current dream. Here it is:

I'm naked, wearing a diamond necklace, heels, and a blindfold. Men with large muscles use me. I get off in many ways, and so do they. Usually, I'm on a stage.  

She also told me that she's had sex with old lovers in dreams, and recalls the sensation of waking up feeling satisfied and a little confused as to why she's "thinking" about these guys now, whether it means something about her feelings for her husband.

I'd venture, though, based on what therapist Mazza has written, as well as what I know about my friend, that she isn't so much dissatisfied with her current relational life as with her career life. She's been frustrated with how it's fizzled since she had a kid. The old boyfriends could be a symbol of her former "everything-is-still-ahead-of-me" self. 

The fact is that dreams mean what you interpret them to mean, based on what's happening in your life. Look at your most memorable dreams as metaphor in order to gain insight. With some effort, you can learn to be the best authority on your own mind.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Susan K. Perry

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