Your Sex Dreams Decoded: What They Really Mean

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Your Sex Dreams Decoded: What They Really Mean
Learn how to decode last night's steamy imagery so you can enjoy sexier (real-life) sex tonight.

Coming Home

"I dreamed I was performing oral sex on Charlton Heston — in my mother's house, no less!" says Marie, 39, a veterinarian whose dreams (sexual and not) are often set in her childhood home. "I was totally grossed out when I woke up because he's so old and I loathe his position on gun control."

The expert analysis
"Houses often represent the body, and because Marie is dreaming of her mother's house, she may be afraid of turning into her mother," Cummings says. "This dream indicates she's not feeling confident about her sexual self." Cummings also notes that guns typically represent penises, hence the appearance of Ben-Hur. But because Marie is performing fellatio and found the dream unpleasant, it can also suggest that she resents having to sweet-talk someone. Oral sex in dreams often represents verbal communication, says Holloway, author of The Complete Dream Book (Sourcebooks). "There may be a part of her job that requires her to talk people into doing something, which she feels conflicted about."

What else it could mean
If you frequently end up in your childhood home, it may be that you yearn to return to an earlier, less complicated time in your life. If you dream of giving oral sex and feel anxious, it may signal a sexually submissive nature or the belief that oral sex is dirty. On the other hand, enjoying the act of fellatio shows that you like sex and are willing to do what it takes to satisfy your lover.

Jailhouse Romp

"I dreamed I was interviewing a convicted armed robber and we had this intense attraction through the Plexiglas in the prison waiting room," says Marcy, a 36-year-old journalist.

"I go home, and we start writing to each other, and the letters get steamy. This guy hasn't had sex for eight years, so he's all pent up and wanting me. We get permission to have a conjugal visit, which happens in a trailer on the grounds. The guards escort him into the trailer, where I'm waiting, and then stand outside, just in case, so there's an element of knowing they can hear us. He's the ultimate bad boy, and we end up having pure primal sex: We're like two animals. But because we've gotten to know each other through writing — baring our deepest thoughts and emotions — it's more than physical; there's a real connection."

The expert analysis
On the surface, "this is a classic 'good girl's' wish-fulfillment dream," Spurr says, "an inner desire to let go and have sex with wild abandon." On another level, this dream — which contains many references to Marcy's profession — may pertain to a long-dormant part of her creativity that's bubbling up through her subconscious. The fact that he's a thief probably represents a personality trait or talent in Marcy that got "taken away" or back-burnered. "As we grow up, we often lock up big chunks of our passion and our heart, so we dream about prisoners and buried bodies and people in exile," says Holloway. "A lot of dreams about rescuing other people are actually about rescuing a repressed part of yourself."

What else it could mean
Prisons may represent a safe environment to play out sexual fantasies that frighten us in real life (ditto bank vaults and other secure or well-guarded locales). Whenever a specific number presents itself in a dream, ask yourself what significance that number holds for you. If it pertains to time (eight years ago in Marcy's case), it's worth looking back to see what was going on in your life at that point.

A Family Affair

"I've had several dreams where I'm having sex with my husband's brother or his best friend," says Liz, 31, an editor who has known all three men for more than 10 years and says they're very similar in looks, personality or both. "The dreams are pretty straightforward. We're in bed, in my house, having regular intercourse. In the dream, I'm really into it but I'm also like, Oh no, what am I doing?! I felt I was doing something wrong, though that did heighten my enjoyment. The dreams seemed so real that when I woke up, I had to convince myself that I hadn't actually cheated on my husband."

The expert analysis
Time to break out the handcuffs. "Liz is basically a happily married woman who has some sexual longings that haven't been met," Spurr says. "Because they are recurring dreams, there may be a part of her marriage that is a bit boring, but not necessarily her sex life." Having erotic dreams about her husband's brother and best friend is a safe way for Liz to play out her fantasies (and her desire for more — or more varied — sex) because both men are known to her and share similar characteristics with her spouse. But at the same time, because Liz doesn't know them intimately, it's more exciting. "Maybe Liz has a flirtatious side that she's kept in check since she got married, or her life has become too emotionally cozy," says Spurr, author of Dreams and Sexuality (Sterling Publishing). "She should try to rekindle the romance with her husband again."

What else it could mean
A third party can represent some aspect of your partner, so you're not "cheating" on your significant other if you dream about doing it with someone else. It is possible, however, that you're longing for emotional — not sexual — intimacy with that third party, or you're focusing on some part of his personality you admire. Keep reading...

This article was originally published at Self. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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