Part Two: Sex and the Creative Principle
Since we are covering the second part of erotic dreams, it’s important to keep in mind that our sexuality is a significant part of our humanness. No matter how old we are, we naturally have sexual desires. If you are a woman who’s going through, or has been through, menopause, you may not believe that statement. And perhaps, your sexual desire has waned. Likewise, if you are a man who has experienced some sexual issues while aging, say, like prostate problems, or even prostate cancer, you may be feeling less stimulated than you once did. But our sexual energy never entirely goes away. Even my father, who underwent surgery for prostate cancer in his 70’s, remained sexually active into his late 80’s, right up until he died.
Secondly, as I mentioned in part one of “erotic dreams,” it is extremely important that we do not literalize our sex dreams. Dreams arise from the unconscious and are “symbolic stories”. Each narrative is communicating something meaningful in a non-linear fashion. It is up to the dreamer to learn the language of his/her dreams and make sense of their hidden message. For example, let’s look at a dream a client once shared about having sex with an ex:
I’m having sex with an ex; someone I haven’t seen in many years. We’re in the house I used to live in from the ages of sixteen to eighteen. He is lying on top of me and before he enters me, I feel excited and nervous. Once we’re having intercourse, I feel extreme pleasure, but then I begin to push him off me because I realize I’m married and shouldn’t be having sex with someone else. I awake feeling aroused, guilty and confused.
Let’s first view this dream through lens of the dreamer’s emotions. Her feelings about the dream are especially important. She shares feelings of arousal, pleasure, anxiety, and guilt. The environment is equally as important. The dream occurs in a house she used to live when she was a teenager. So, what does this time represent to her? For this dreamer, it was an age in which she felt highly creative. She would channel her emotional energy into drawings and poems. Her artwork and poetry allowed her to process the challenges she was going through at school, with her boyfriend and her family.
Next, what does her ex-boyfriend symbolize? This man is someone she used to be in relationship with, but no longer sees or communicates with in any way. Since she is not having contact with him, what qualities come to mind when she thinks of him? How would she describe him? She answered that he was very affectionate, creative and a good lover, but “checked out” emotionally. She had a hard time expressing herself to this man and they rarely resolved conflicts when they arose, so she eventually ended the relationship.
Finally, when we discussed her current waking life situation, the dreamer admitted she had been working long hours every day and was being very productive yet felt unfulfilled.
So, what does sex have to do with her dream and how does it pertain to her current waking life? Sexual symbols and feelings of arousal often portray our Inner Creative. In fact, sexual energy in dreams symbolize the creative principle because our sexuality and creativity are intertwined. Often when we are feeling sexually awakened, our creative “juices” are also alive. (Note: Interestingly, “flying dreams” often reveal strong libidinal energy.) However, if we took a literal approach to this dream, we may be tempted to think the dreamer was not fulfilled sexually by her husband and was thinking about having sex with another man, hence her feelings of guilt.
The dreamer reflected about how she had been wanting to take some oil painting classes but did not think she had enough spare time. After processing this dream together, she realized her creative aspect was calling out for attention and she could not deny it any longer. This dream occurred over a year ago. Today, the dreamer sets aside time every Sunday afternoon to paint in a small studio she set up for her “inner creative.” She not only paints, she now sketches and takes photos on a regular basis. Needless to say, she is fulfilling her soul in ways as never before.
If you wish to watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link: https://youtu.be/RD0iAyMiYHc
Laura V. Grace, PhD