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Sex Dreams: Why You Have Them and What They Mean

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Up to date
Update: April 27, 2023
4 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
What Do Sexual Dreams Mean

Dreams are reflections of one’s waking states, concerns, and psychological variables. And sexual dreams are a kind of typical dreams described in humans. 

According to a Canadian study, sexual dreams were the second most-frequent theme in the dream after being chased or pursued. Sexual dreams mainly include sexual intercourse, flirting, kissing, or sexual fantasies. 

While sexual dreams are indeed dreams, what do they mean? Do they portray your genuine feelings or something else? Keep reading to find out what do sexual dreams mean.

Why Do I Have Sex Dreams

Sexuality is an instinct that carries the force of attraction, connectedness, and love. And according to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, sources of dreams include stimuli from the external world, the dreamer’s experiences, organic stimuli within the body, and mental activities during sleep. In simple words, dreams are a byproduct of the dreamer’s physical and mental state during sleep and waking hours.

Another study supports the idea that waking life can influence dream content, and sexual dreams are a window for eliciting the person’s preoccupation with this topic. With that being known, what do sexual dreams mean?

What Do Your Sex Dreams Mean

Dreams are not simply the reflections of one’s waking states and concerns and psychological variables but also the elaborated elements formed during waking life. Therefore, to interpret the sexual dream meaning, the dreamer’s sexuality during waking time, in general, should be considered.

According to a Canadian university student, sexual dreams are correlated with sexual fantasy, sexual daydreaming, and orgasmic experience during waking time. Furthermore, Freud explains that the purpose of dreams is to allow the dreamer a disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish. However, the Freudian analyst argues over the apparent sexual dreams because there is less repression of sexuality in modern society than in Freud’s day. 

Furthermore, contrary to Freud, Jung did not approach dreams as the result of distortion or disguise but rather as natural products that seek to communicate, not conceal. Jung’s notion of psychic energy is broader, and according to him, libido oscillates between instinct and archetype, body and spirit, two sides of the same coin. 

And as mentioned before, sexuality is an instinct that carries the force of attraction, connectedness, and love. So, according to Jung, sex in a dream could represent the basic instinct of sexual desire or, at the other end of the spectrum, the ultimate image of connectedness and union.

Common Sex Dreams

Ian Wallace, the author of Decode Your Dreams, says people get excited and confused about sexual dreams. He explains that a sexual dream reflects what the dreamer is most excited about and how they commit to challenging their energies into that passion. Following are some insights on common sexual dreams.

Your Boss

According to Ian Wallace, bosses symbolise power and the ability to use that power. And an intimate dream meaning about your boss is your subconscious way of hinting at your ability to make decisions and act as a leader. 

Or it may indicate that the dreamer needs to do some self-promotion in waking life. Rather than constantly feeling that they need permission from other people to work on their passions, it might be telling the dreamer that they need to promote their needs and ambitions.

Your Friend

Sexual dreams about someone with a completely platonic relationship, someone you’ve known forever or whom you’ve just met, can make things awkward. Wallace advises quitting worrying about dreams like these.

The dreamer might be attracted to a quality or skill of the person, and an intimate dream about the person can reflect the level of closeness they feel with that friend. The dream can also mean that the person or friend has a trait you’d like to make a part of yourself.

Your Crush

As mentioned before, dreams are the reflections of one’s waking states, concerns, and psychological variables, along with the elaborated elements of waking life. So, it’s not surprising that the person you’re infatuated with will star in your sexual dreams. However, an intimate dream about the crush can easily be interpreted as a desire and attraction towards the person. However, according to Wallace, the dreamer might be drawn to the person’s emotional or spiritual qualities.

A Celebrity 

According to Freudian theory, this dream is all about desire, and dreams about celebrities are linked to celebrity admiration. 

Your Ex 

Dreams reflect on essential aspects of romantic partnerships, such as break-ups. And dreams about the ex-partner might be related to feelings of longing for the ex-partner, possibly wishing for a reunion. However, it may also highlight the conflicts that underlie the break-up. According to Wallace, if you dream about your ex, you might unknowingly repeat bad habits from your failed relationship.  

Your Partner Cheating 

Watching your beloved and trusting partner “strayed” is not pleasing. However, it might not be the actual case. This nightmare probably has more to do with your insecurities than your partner cheating. Wallace says when you dream of your partner’s infidelity, it may mean that you’re losing faith in your abilities or attractiveness.

A Stranger

According to Wallace, sexual dreams about strangers often consist of the unknown person wearing a mask or having no face. Such sexual dreams about strangers don’t indicate anything carnal. Rather, your subconscious might hint to unmask a talent you’ve been hiding.

A Family Member

Having sexual dreams about family members sounds creepy and just plain wrong. However, Ian Wallace insists it’s completely normal, and it indicates your kin’s character. Just like with your friends and acquaintances, you might be attracted to a quality or skill of the person reflected in your dreams. 

Final Words

Dreams reflect one’s waking states and concerns, and psychological variables and sexual dreams are typical dreams. And as mentioned before, waking life can influence dream content, and sexual dreams are a window for eliciting the person’s preoccupation with this topic.

While some sexual dreams may hint at unravelling your true potential, some may indicate your admiration towards the person in your dreams. And some dreams may indicate your insecurities. Whatever the case, these dreams are a regular part of your life and help you understand and learn more about yourself.


What causes dreams to be sexual?

Sexual dreams are a common occurrence in life. These dreams are typically the result of your subconscious processing the previous few days. Consider consulting a mental health expert if the dreams are upsetting and seem to be frequently occurring so they can help you process what’s happening.

What do sexual dreams mean spiritually?

Having a sexual dream is usually a sign of unity. A strategy for incorporating anything different from you or outside the scope of your experience and knowledge into who you are. Sex dreams may also represent deep love and acceptance of oneself.


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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