Bonus: How they can take you from sleepy-time to sexy-times in a flash!
Do you have difficulty talking to your partner about sex? Many people do.
In fact, research from E. Sandra Byers, Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick shows that talking about sexual desires is challenging to people across all ages. As much as we think of younger people engaging in behaviors their parents would shake their heads at, the truth is that it’s still hard for everyone to talk about sex.
The question is, WHY is it so hard to share what we like with our sexual partners?
Self-consciousness and discomfort top the list of explanations for this phenomenon. It’s just plain awkward. We feel vulnerable. Then add in the fact that we aren't taught how to do it, and for many people, these discussions become even more challenging.
We have very little language at our disposal with which to talk about sex in a way that isn't either medical, euphemistic or crude.
Unfortunately, this inability to speak openly about sex remains one of the greatest barriers to having sexually satisfying relationships. When you aren't able to share your desires with the person you are experiencing sex with, the chances of getting what you want in bed go from slim to virtually none.
This is one of those things in life that you can truly get past ONLY by finding a way to address your fears.
You simply must find the courage to tell your partner what you want.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to start doing this that comes to you every single night ... in your dreams!
Whether you remember in the morning or not, you do dream every night, and people often dream about sex. Dream interpretation of these unconscious thoughts provides a fun, exciting and novel way to discuss even the most awkward issues with your partner.
Sometimes dreams are metaphorical and filled with symbolism. Other times they are quite literal and you see yourself doing things you enjoy in your daily life — or that you are already aware you would like to enjoy if you could just find a way to share that with your partner. These are the things you've never done before that in the quiet of your mind, you really wish you could.
Below are 4 types of sexual dreams, what each one reveals, and how they can be shared with a partner.
1. Sexual dreams with other people that excite you.
Peggy* had the following dream: "I am listening to a man who is not my husband give a lecture. I feel very attracted to him and go over and kiss him. He is surprised but pleased. I then go to find my husband in order to get a ride back to my office because my own car has broken down. I can’t find him, and I feel upset with him about it."
What it means: Peggy’s back-story is that she has been married for many years. As she reflected on the dream, she realized she was more sexually assertive with her husband before they got married. Today, she relies on him to take care of her sexual needs. In this dream, her car symbolizes her dysfunctional sexual energy. This is a dream of insight, revealing to Peggy that a breakdown has occurred in her sex life with her husband.
Sharing a dream like this with your partner: Many people are afraid to share such dreams for fear of making their partner jealous. This fear can be overcome by seeing the dream as helpful information rather than as a threat. You and your partner can then learn a lot about each other and your relationship by paying attention to the sensations in the dream rather than to the people depicted. When you share in this way, the dream can be a stimulating and fun kick-start for both of you.
2. Sexual dreams with other people that scare you.
Maureen had the following dream: "I had a dream that Joe met someone else and was sexually attracted to her, so I confronted him. He made light of it, saying it was my problem. Then he said, 'This is over!'"
What it means: Sometimes you may be afraid to share a sexual dream for fear of it uncovering real problems or differences between you and your partner. This dream was a recurring one the dreamer had for years, and it wasn’t until her marriage was actually in trouble that she finally shared it with her husband.
Sharing it with your partner: Sometimes it takes a crisis to break through your fears of sharing a dream. Over time, the terror becomes so great that it takes on a life of its own. By finding the courage to share a dream that, like this one, points out to you your subconscious concerns about the status of your relationship, the truth can come out. Once it does, a couple otherwise moving towards a divorce or breakup may find a way to talk through their issues and rekindle their passion for each other.
3. Sexual dreams with an intensity or passion so great it frightens you.
Darlene had the following dream: "I am making passionate love with Mike, and I'm afraid that if we make love in this way, I will become a demon. I think Mike is a demon — smiling and inviting me in with his dark eyes and hair. He wants me to do things I would never do, and I believe he wants me to be a demon with him. I scream in the dream, and then I wake up and find myself actually crying out."
What it means: In this dream, the symbol of a demon speaks about the mixed/dual messages the dreamer has about pleasure. Is pleasure bad? Is it hurtful? Is it forbidden? Or is the demon telling her about another part of herself that desires to lose control and make love in a more passionate way than usual? In this dream, the symbolism is about working through this duality and bringing them together to honestly address what the dreamer wants to experience in bed.
Sharing this with your partner: By facing these two seemingly conflicting feelings, Darlene can work towards finding the courage to speak with her partner about what really excites her. This will enhance the understanding and trust between them, not to mention the joy they experience in the bedroom.
4. Sexual dreams about trying something kinky or new.
Sharon had the following dream: "A middle-aged woman ushers me into her store. She leads me to a couch that looks similar to an examining table and she tells me to prepare to make love with a young man who is just arriving. At first, I am put off, but then I get into it and enjoy it."
What it means: Sexual dreams can be helpful in revitalizing a sex life that may have become routine, less frequent or boring — all of which can happen to long-term couples. This dream also reveals that the dreamer is fighting against the belief that your sex life diminishes in middle age. In the dream, her sex life is thriving, and that is likely what the dreamer wants in her daily life as well.
Sharing it with your partner: Psychologist Carl Jung and others have pointed out that everything in our dreams represents some real part of ourselves. Knowing this allows you to pull messages from the various aspects of each dream you can use in your waking life, as Sharon did. The man in her dream looked like her husband did when they first met and fell in love — a very exciting part of herself and her life. She shared the dream with her husband and they began to talk more about their sex life. They even incorporated the dream into their lovemaking, which increased both of their enjoyment.
Acting out your dreams and role-playing them can bring new possibilities into your love life on an on-going basis.
There is no end to the kind of sexual dreams you may have.
You just need to learn to pay attention to them and get comfortable sharing them. It’s a matter of educating yourself, paying attention to your dreams and then using them in your daily life.
And now that you see the value of sexual dreams, you can begin to explore how to use them to enhance your sexuality and your relationship.
Dream on, and pleasant dreams!
*All names changed for privacy.
Phyllis Koch-Sheras and Peter Sheras are sex therapists, couples therapists and dream workers. If you have trouble remembering your dreams (everyone has them every night!) or feel blocked in understanding or sharing them with your partner, visit their website to find out more about how their book —including their latest, "Lifelong Love" — and consultations on this subject can help.