5 Most Common Sex Dreams And What They Really Mean

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What Do Your Sex Dreams REALLY Mean?

Sex dreams. We've all had them.

There are the hot, exciting sex dreams where Tom Hardy requests to pour molten chocolate over your body (just me?). 

Then there are the not-so-hot sex dreams. You know, the ones that are just weird enough they leave you with a sinking feeling in your guts. 

I've been a huge fan of dream analysis for a really long time, and obviously am a huge fan of sex. I know that teeth falling out in my dreams is about anxiety, I know that seeing a door can mean I'm avoiding making a decision.

But for whatever reason, I've never really bought into the interpretations behind sex dreams. 

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Sure, a tooth falling out representing anxiety? That tracks. But me having sex with my best friend's husband? How can that mean anything other than that I secretly want to have sex with the guy?

Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that it's time to shelve the guilt. Your sex dreams might be weird, but the messages they are really sending you aren't what you'd expect. 

According to psychotherapist Dr. Harold Jones, very often your sex dreams are NOT expressing some dark, secret desire.

Who knew? 

Instead, it's your brain having grabbed on to something — even something dumb and fleeting — and holding on to that stimulus as you drift off to REM sleep. 

"Did you pass a movie poster of your favorite actor? Did a co-worker's hand brush yours reaching for a report, did something act as a trigger? Couple that with real-life events, such as feeling stressed out by your spouse, not being valued at work or any real-world daytime trigger, and you’re apt to start having physical, psychological, and even chemical reasons for having sexual dreams which you may feel are with inappropriate people," said Jones.

It doesn't stop there. 

Sometimes sex dreams are caused by more than the sexy eye contact you made with a stranger on a train. In fact, sometimes your sex dreams have very little to do with how you feel about anyone else and everything to do with how you feel about yourself! 

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According to some researchers, sex dreams happen more when we're feeling confident. "Interestingly, we are more likely to have positive sexual dreams when we are feeling good about ourselves or when we are in a generally good mood," she explains.

Dr. A.J. Marsden, assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College, said, "dreaming, in general, reflects the person's waking states, concerns, worries, desires, etc. Our dreams reflect how we are feeling. Our brain also has a way of using our dreams to act out scenarios that are unlikely or unrealistic in our day-to-day lives. An individual who desires someone who is 'off limits' may experience sexual dreams about that person because it’s the brain’s way of experimenting with the idea without actually following through with it."

Now let's get the real meat of this: What about the people you dream you're having sex with? Here's a look at common sex dream meanings.

1. When you dream about having sex with your boss.

I've had those dreams and hated myself for them. I've had them and been ... intrigued. But it turns out that this wasn't my brain revealing my secret desire for my bosses. 

If you dream about having sex with your boss, it doesn't mean you're dying to have sex with him or her. In fact, it more likely means that you envy their position of power. Kinky! 

"Before you go thinking that you may subconsciously be secretly sexually attracted to your boss, realize that a sex dream about your boss has more to do with how you view yourself. It’s a dream about your own emerging power, professional abilities, and leadership skills. You may be feeling ready to take charge and move your job to the next level compared to where you are now professionally," said Jones. 

So there's that out of the way. Now please go back to your weekly meeting and avoid all eye contact with your boss until the weird memories fade and maybe think about your next step on the career ladder, m'kay?

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2. When you dream about having sex with your best friend's husband

"Often people symbolize other people in a dream, and it is really more about the emotions that you are experiencing in the dream. So a dream about having sex with your best friend's husband may have more to do with a general sense of guilt that you are experiencing about another situation, boundary violations or competition," said Jones. 

So while dreaming about sex with your bestie's man doesn't mean you want to actually have sex with him, it does mean that you've got boundaries (and violating them) on the brain. 

3. When you have a sex dream about your ex

It's totally normal to have a sex dream about your ex! 

First off, sex dreams with someone you have already had sex with are common. Your mind is running over something it knows brought pleasure. Here's why it feels so wrong: when you have a sex dream about an ex, it doesn't mean you want to get back with them but it can mean that they have traits that you are missing either in your daily life or in your latest romantic relationship. You don't want that drip or his sexual prowess back, but you miss certain things he brought to your life, and that's totally normal. 

4. When you have a sex dream about a friend

First off, don't worry. I promise that you are not about to fall in love with your bestie (necessarily). If you are having sex dreams about a friend it doesn't mean you're harboring dirty thoughts about them.

Instead, it probably means two things. One, that you feel an intense amount of closeness to them, and two, that they have a personality trait you admire so much that you want to make it a part of yourself. That would be pretty hard to communicate in a dream, so your brain goes for a metaphor, and that metaphor is sex. 

5. When you have a sex dream about a same-sex friend.

Guess what, you're not suddenly gay because you had a sex dream about your dear friend Carol. No, you aren't gay for her, but she DOES happen to embody everything that femininity means to you. Again, this is your brain's best way of expressing the admiration you feel for her as a woman. 

Both men and women can have sex dreams about a same-sex friend for the same reasons: they seem to embody something essential about your own gender that you wish to attain. 

While dreams can't predict the future, they can alert your waking mind to conflicts you might be experiencing unconsciously. Paying attention to those clues and analyzing them correctly can not only help you solve your own quandaries, but they can help you enjoy your harmless sex dreams in peace! 

RELATED: The Top 10 Most Common Dreams — And What They Mean

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show, Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.