Are You Having Sex Dreams?
You wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling of “Well that was weird” or “Whoa, that was incredible”, or maybe even “That was definitely not me!”
Can you relate?
Both men and women reported that about eight percent of their dreams are sex dreams. Unfortunately, this data only represents cis women, however, we know that trans and non-binary folks are also having sex dreams. Hopefully, the data will become more inclusive in the future!
Sex dreams can excite us, freak us out, or some combination of the two!
If you’re curious about what your sex dreams might mean, and what to do about them, stay tuned!
What’s The Deal with Sex Dreams?
Simply put, sex dreams are dreams in which you engage with someone or something in a sexual act. You might not even be able to see the act itself, but you can feel the sexual energy in the dream.
The most common sex dreams are:
- With an ex: You might be trying to block them from your memory – but your subconscious is saying otherwise!
- A stranger or acquaintance: Where did that person come from?
- BDSM dreams: Does some part of you want to explore a kinkier side of sex?
- With a friend: This could just be indicative of the level of trust you have with this person.
- Queer sex: It may mean there’s a new part of you that wants to explore, whether or not that has to do with your sexuality.
- Your boss: Are there some power dynamics in your life you’d like to investigate?
- A family member: These are always a little spooky. One study found that people who experienced paternal abuse at a young age were more likely to have frequent sexual dreams.
Then of course there’s always the topic of wet dreams!
Female Nocturnal Emissions
Wet dreams are dreams where you have an orgasm in your sleep, or wake up orgasming.
Although they’re usually associated with pubescent teen boys, people of all genders and ages have them.
One study found that orgasm is experienced in four percent of all sexual dreams.
While they’re not too common, they certainly do happen!
In fact, your genitals are extra sensitive while you’re sleeping thanks to extra blood flow. This contributes to your chance of having an orgasm during your sleep.
Wet dreams are nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s also totally normal if you’ve never had one.
Now let’s get back to what your sex dreams mean – or don’t mean.
Don’t Take it At Face Value
Here’s our take on sex dreams – they only mean something if you want them to.
Dreams can make us feel all out of sorts. Especially when they’re sex dreams. This is even more true if they’re with someone that we don’t want to associate with sex…like family.
Don’t take it at face value.
Despite all the research, humans only understand such a small amount of how the human brain works, let alone the land of the subconscious and dreams.
Sex dreams, and all kinds of dreams for that matter, only have to mean something if you want them to. You create your own meaning.
Just because you have a sex dream about certain people, genders, or sexual acts, it doesn’t mean they reflect your sexuality and sexual preferences.
What’s more important than the content of the dreams is how they make you feel.
How Did The Dream Make You Feel?
How you feel during or after a dream is more important than what the dream was actually about.
When you have a sex dream, ask yourself:
- Do I feel turned on?
- Do I feel stressed?
- Do I feel angry?
- Do I feel neutral?
Exploring your emotions after a dream can help you get to the bottom of what your dream might be telling you, and how you integrate that with your waking life.
If your sex dreams are making you feel distressed, you may want to try decreasing your overall stress levels. It could just be a way of your subconscious processing your life when things feel like too much.
Here are some ways you can help yourself have more pleasant dreams by supporting your stress levels:
- Take a bath before bed
- Minimize screen time before bed: Try to put down the electronics at least a half-hour before going to sleep
- Try a calming ritual like greening a cup of herbal tea, giving yourself a massage, and journaling
If your dreams are continuing to cause you to stress, or if you’re having other issues in your sex life, you may want to consider seeing a therapist, or even a sex therapist.
Try Tracking Your Dreams
If you want to dive further into what your sex dreams might mean, you might want to try keeping a dream log.
A dream log is a journal that you keep by your bed where you immediately write down your dreams when you wake up in the middle of the night, or in the morning.
Doing this can help you track your dreams and compare them to what’s going on in your life currently. You might be able to find some correlations and get some answers!
We said it before and we’ll say it again – try not to get too caught up in what your sex dreams mean. They only have to mean something if you want them to!
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.