Oh c’mon, stop blushing.
We’ve all been there. Waking up in the middle of the night, slightly flushed, and deeply, deeply mortified at the dream you’ve just had. A sex dream. A sexy, sexy, sex dream.
Perhaps the most peculiar part of sex dreams is that they are almost always rather, well, inappropriate. Whether you’re shagging Captain Hook at the helm, or getting groovy whilst stirring a risotto; sex dreams are a weird mishmash of celebrity faces, mundane tasks, body hair, and criminal offences.
But what does it all mean?
Apparently, quite a lot. In research conducted by the University of Montreal, sex dreams make up around 8% of our overall dream quota. As an interpretation of our subconscious, sex dreams rarely reflect any actual sexual desires; rather sex acting as a mere symbol of another thought, person, or challenge in your life.
Um, unless it’s a dream about Liam Hemsworth. In which case it’s a direct correlation to your undulating love for him.
Sex dreams can give you clues about everything from work to your exercise habits, and according to sleep specialists ‘Dream Cloud’, are very insightful.
“In many cases, dreaming of sex isn’t really about sex,” they say. “From a psychological perspective, dreams about having sex may symbolize the merging of contrasting aspects of yourself or a need to incorporate aspects of your dream sex partner into yourself. Consider your dream partner and what it is that you admire or love about them for an idea of what you are trying to merge into yourself.”
Dreaming about sex with an ex, for example, can simply indicate unresolved anger or hurt – or even fear, if you have shacked up with a new partner. Sex with a boss can hint at a need to step up into a more dominant role, or to be noticed. And sex with a stranger? Well, it can actually indicate personal growth or new found confidence.
And then again, sometimes sex dreams are just about sex.
Your mind can create these wild fantasy – or even unsavoury – sexual situations to try and unpack a variety of romantic or sexual thought processes. These include:
- A safe way to release pent up or repressed sexual desire
- Exploring your own needs and desires
- Compensating for a lack of having a physical relationship in waking life
- A need for emotional love or desire to be loved and wanted.
But what happens if your sex dreams are really unpleasant…even violent?
MM Confessions: Our most embarrassing sex moment. (Post continues after video)
Rape, cheating, or gross sex dreams are not literal translations. Many of us wake up feeling most perturbed after a cheating dream, right? It’s hard to look your partner in the eye when you were bumping uglies with his best mate in your dream just a few hours prior…
“I highly urge you not to flip out if you dream of cheating or being cheated on by your partner,” writes The Date Report.
“Chances are this dream is simply about anxieties or insecurities present in your relationship. If you are the one doing the cheating, you’re probably guilty about some residual issues. What kind of injury have you caused to your partner that you need to atone or apologize for?”
And what if you’re the one being cheated ON?
“If you’re the one being cheated on in your dream, don’t go getting all suspicious,” they say. “Look in the mirror, because this act of infidelity is not real, it’s all about your insecurities.”
In a neat side step to avoid divulging any my own personal sex dreams (ahem), let me give you an example from Glamour magazine writer Annie Fox, who bravely put forward hers for interpretation.
Her dream was not that uncommon: she was having a jolly old time sexing her fiance, when his mother walks in. “My fiance and I are getting down in a corner,” she says, “and just as I’m about to climax—BOOM—his mom turns up.”
"What the hell was that?" Image via Universal Studios.
What does it mean?
According to their dream expert, "An abrupt change of scene is your subconscious showing you a connection."
“When dreams suddenly switch scenes like this, it is showing you how one thing has lead to another in real life or how one thing should lead to another," explains their expert.
In the example of Annie's weird sex-and-then-mum-walks-in dream, there isn't actually a direct link between boning my partner and his mother - phew - but rather that there is a connection between feeling closed in and my maternal mindset.
Personally, I think reading into your sex dreams isn't such a great idea.
Best to accept your mind as a bottomless pit of skanky awesomeness, and keep your eye on the flesh-and-blood prize, ya know?
Because no matter how great Liam Hemsworth might have been in your dream, finding a living breathing version is much, much better.