Erotic Dreams: What’s Sex Got to Do with It?

Erotic Dreams: What’s Sex Got to Do with It?

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Part One: Destigmatizing Sex in Dreamtime

You are on a crowded beach having sex with an ex. It’s hot, steamy and you don’t want it to ever end. But as you are about to orgasm, you wake-up.

What does sex got to do with it?

In a nutshell: Nothing and everything.

Let us start by keeping in mind your dreams have their own language. It is poetic and it is metaphoric, but it is not linear. When it comes to sexual dreams, please do not take them literally. Because if you do, having a passionate, erotic dream filled with lust and excitement, may make you feel embarrassed. And if this sexual experience involves someone you know, well, it might leave you feeling very confused, or worse yet, ashamed. These kinds of feelings may tempt you to dismiss this very important dream.

So, lesson number one: dreams arise from the unconscious mind, and the unconscious mind expresses itself in creative and meaningful ways that speak to your soul. Remember the “s” word our culture avoids, soul? Heaven forbid we should talk about the very essence of what moves us, inspires us…what gives our lives meaning. The word “soul” stems from the Greek term “psyche.” Carl Jung (1963) declared: “Without the psyche there would be neither knowledge nor insight.” During dream time, while the ego sleeps, psyche comes to life and reveals information unattainable during waking life. Thus, dreams are the language of the soul.

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When You Desire, or Are Having Sex in a Dream

Eros is not the childish cupid image we have been taught but rather creative life energy. Sigmund Freud believed that Eros was a masculine god, with forward-moving energy that pulls us toward others, (in a deep, engaging manner), towards the future, towards the new. Therefore, Eros dreams may have several different meanings and can range from repressed sexual energy, to creatively expressing yourself. If you are having sex with someone you know, notice who it is. This dream may be revealing your wish to “connect” with the essence you with to embrace. So, who is this person, and what does he/she represent to you? If I asked you to describe this person in a few words, what would you say? Your perception of this person holds the key as to why he/she is showing up in your dream.

If you are having sex with someone you do not recognize, is it a man or woman? This dream may be showing your desire to align more closely with your masculine or feminine aspects. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed of any kind of sex dream. Your dreams are amoral; they are not interested in the rightness or wrongness of anything. Dreams of incest and/or having sex with friends, co-workers, bosses, ex-partners and people of the same sex (if we’re straight) or, people of the opposite sex (if we’re gay), are never meant to be taken literally. These dream themes are about our desire to connect and integrate aspects of ourselves which the sexual dream character personifies. Feelings of guilt will only prevent you from clearly seeing the message of the dream. Here is an example of a dream I once had involving my sense of self as a writer:

I am part of a technical and science expo and James Hillman (father of archetypal psychology) calls me into his office. “You can pick anything that I’ve created and develop it.” It is a very favorable offer and I feel excited about delving into his theory on archetypal psychology and dream work.   

Now I am in a huge four poster bed with white sheets and American actor Kelsey Grammer (from the hit comedy Frazier) joins me. He climbs into bed and says, “I want my biography written and I think you might be the person to write it. Do you know much about my character on the show Frazier?” I think, “Oh my god, do you have any idea how well I know your character?” He shows me a large piece of glossy paper decorated with different colorful ink patterns and I realize he’s offering me the position to write Frazier’s biography. I feel very attracted to him and hope he wants have sex, but I can’t tell if he does or just wants me to do this project for him.

This dream has numerous elements involving opportunity, potential and creativity. More specifically, it reveals how Grammar is representing my masculine aspect, the creative part I desire to intimately connect with. When this dream occurred, I was in the middle of writing an important paper in my doctoral program in depth psychology. Interestingly, Frazier’s character is a “doctor of psychology,” a psychiatrist.

Sexual dreams are associated with the second energy center of our bodies. The Sacral Chakra resides in the pelvic region and reflects sexuality, pleasure, “pro-creativity.”  Its affirmation is “I CREATE” and supports us accessing and identifying our feelings and where we desire to channel our energy and attention.

In Part Two of What’s Sex Got to Do with It?  we will expand our conversation on dreams of sexual arousal, orgasms and the creative principle arising through dream time. And to watch the video that accompanies this blog, please click this link:


Laura V Grace, PhD