What Your Sex Dreams Say About You

And the weird people who play prominent roles

It’s happened to all of us. You’re riding your boss while he cradles a ukulele on his chest and sings you a song he says he wrote the day he hired you. And then he’s plowing you against the Eiffel Tower where he flew you during your lunch break. You never really thought of him in that way, but now that it’s happening, you’re pledging to him like a national anthem; under those fluorescent office lights, he could never shine the way he now does under the twinkle of the tower.

And then you wake up and decide you can’t ever show your face at the office again. We’ve all had a sex dream about someone we’re not attracted to. Somehow they sneak into our sleeping thoughts and wind up haunting our waking thoughts for weeks to come. All of a sudden, you’re sexually attracted to someone, and you don’t know why. You ask yourself if you perhaps had suppressed feelings for this person? If you were in denial? The truth is, you don’t know the answer, but you want the power of the dream to wane, and it won’t.

Now that you’ve slept with your friend’s married older brother in the bathroom of a cruise ship on the way to Alaska, you can’t stop thinking about him. Sex dreams can be potent — toxic, even. But why do we have them and why are they so consuming? I talked to Myisha Battle, sex coach, to get the answers.

If we have sexual thoughts about someone who we're not consciously attracted to, does it mean we're subconsciously attracted to them, or could it be something else?
Sexual dreams about people who we are not attracted to typically signify a closeness, physical or emotional, with that person. If the person is someone you work with, it could mean nothing more than you see that person so much that they have infiltrated your dream world.

How do we deal with the residual effects of a sex dream? How do you show up to work after you just had an amazing romp with your boss in your dreams and now feel obsessed with him?
The best part about sex dreams and their residual effects is that they happen in your mind. Your boss doesn't have to know that you had the best sex of your life with him or her in your mind, so just roll with it. Usually, the effects of a sex dream subside within a couple days. However, if the fantasy persists, and you now see this person differently, you have two options: 1). Check yourself and recognize that you have no idea what sex would actually be like with this person and that this creation is of your own mind's doing or 2). Tell the person about it. Depending on your relationship with the person, telling them that you had a weird, saucy dream about them in vague terms could help you to have a laugh together and diffuse the crush. Just remember to spare them the details.

If you're dreaming or thinking a lot about sex, more than usual, what can that mean?
We all go through libido cycles, so thinking and dreaming about sex more than you normally would, could be due to natural changes in hormones that we all experience throughout life. It is normal to go through periods of time when you are more sex-focused regardless of whether you are single, dating, married, or in a polyamorous relationship. Sometimes our bodies just want more sex than we are currently having, and our brains respond to that by providing us with fantasies.

What if you're in a relationship and often think about sex with others, unintentionally?
If you are in a relationship and you think, dream, and fantasize about sex with others unintentionally, you are human.

Why are sex dreams so taboo and embarrassing? Should they be?
I believe that sex dreams are a fun way to explore our sexuality without any real-life consequences. It does feel weird to see the person, who was featured in a dream or fantasy, afterward, but knowing that we all have those moments is a great unifier. Certain types of sex dreams can be reflective of emotions you may be experiencing in real life like jealousy, possessiveness, loneliness, longing, and so much more. Sex dreams are sometimes ways of putting emotions into action.

So basically, Battle says to relax. Chances are, it’s not actually about the person. Because dreams tend to be mental manifestations of physical desire, you don’t have to be lusting after your old guidance counselor to have a dream about him, you just have to be lusting.