Decode your Sexual Dreams to Improve your Relationship
Article by Clare R Johnson, PhD, for Creations Magazine, 2017

tree in lattice planterSexual dreams can teach us a lot about our current relationship – and help us to change it for the better.

Dream interpretation in the sense of “one dream image has one meaning for everyone” is a misleading way of looking at dreams. In fact, the only person who can really know for sure what his/her dream means is the dreamer.

This is because dream imagery reflects deeply personal associations.

In this article, I’ll share my best dreamwork techniques to help you unwrap the meaning of your own sexual dreams. If you’re new to dreamwork, it’s useful to know something about the symbolic language of dreams in order to understand how they communicate with us.

Dreams of sex with someone else

The first thing to know about sexual dreams is that they are not always about sex! Dreams are often not literal. This can be a big relief, especially if

This can be a big relief, especially if we just dreamed of having rampant sex with a work colleague whom we dislike. Such a dream doesn’t necessarily mean we are secretly attracted to them. It could mean they possess a quality that we need in our life – whether this quality is bullish determination or the ability to appear unaffected by criticism.

What if we dream of sleeping with an incredibly attractive partner? This may not mean that we are secretly tempted to be unfaithful to our partner. This type of dream may reflect our attraction to something new in any area of our life – the desire for a career change, or an urge to begin a new creative project. The only way to know for sure is to work with the dream to tease out its meaning.

Problems in the bedroom

These often have a psychological root. By working with our dreams, we can understand the reasons behind a dysfunctional sex life and take steps to improve matters. Jealousy and boredom can make sex uninspiring or difficult, and these emotions may come up in sexual dreams. Disturbing sexual dreams can be viewed as “red flags” pointing out a problem or difficulty. For example, a dream of being raped may signify a power struggle in any area of life; at work, or in a relationship.

Power struggles are common in relationships, with one partner feeling bossed around by the other, or with one partner controlling the other through volatile behaviour, critical remarks, or violent outbursts. Our dreams raise to consciousness issues that we need to deal with in order to become happier and healthier. Dreams truly want the best for us – we just need to learn how to understand them! Here are my top techniques for doing just that.

Dreamwork – Top 5 Techniques for Unwrapping the Meaning of Sexual Dreams

1 Re-enter the dream. Close your eyes, vividly re-imagine your dream, and see how the imagery develops and transforms when you engage with it imaginatively. Ask your dream lover why he is behaving this way, or see what happens when you react to events in the dream kindly and calmly. This can be a healing and integrative way of responding to disturbing sexual dreams.

2 Try my Lucid Writing technique. Mentally re-enter your sexual dream as above, then take a pen and write without stopping for five minutes, with the dream as a starting point. Allow the writing to go wherever it wants, without judgement. Prepare to be surprised! This transformative technique can result in insights into your feelings towards the sexual imagery and events. Writing it all out can reveal hidden sexual hang-ups, desires, or erotic blocks, and be the vital first step to freeing yourself (or your partner) from them.

3 Make a bridge to your waking life. Hone in on the strongest emotion in your dream and ask yourself, “When did I last feel this way in my waking life?” Or: “What was happening in my life when I last saw the person who appears in this dream?” This can instantly connect your sexual dream to a current life situation. Once you know what the dream is referring to, re-examine it to see if it also suggests a possible solution to a problem.

4 Explore the dream as part of yourself. One psychological view is that every aspect of the dream represents a part of ourselves. Try taking any object or person in your dream that has an impact on you, and imagine you are that object/person. Speak with their voice: how do they feel? What do they want? Why are they in your dream? This approach can generate insights galore.

5 Become lucid in the dream. In a lucid dream, we are aware that we are dreaming while we are dreaming. When we become lucid in a sexual dream, we can work directly with the imagery to guide it into something powerfully erotic – some lucid dreamers magic up their personal idea of a sex god! Lucid dreamers can ask the dream questions to find out what the imagery means, or consciously send love and light to the dream. Lucid dreaming is itself a highly creative and potentially healing state of consciousness.

Sexual dreams can reveal insights into our lives, shed light on our closest relationships – and provide us with a great deal of fun and pleasure.

Clare R. Johnson, PhD has researched lucid dreaming for over 20 years and is the Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She is the author of two new books: Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming, and Dream Therapy (Mindful Dreaming in the US/Canada). Clare is the creator of

Article first published in Creations Magazine, 2017.

Want to find out more about this subject? You can read my latest Psychology Today article here: “Dreaming About Sex: How to Bring Mindfulness to Erotic Dreams.” There’s also a whole chapter in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming on sexual lucid dreams.

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