5 Common Sex Dreams and Why You Have Them

July 2nd 2016

Taylor Bell

Have you ever woken up to feelings of confusion and arousal after having a sex dream with an unusual partner? While this may come as surprise, it's actually pretty common. In fact, researchers have found that both men and women experience sexual activity in 8 percent of their dreams, and that both genders orgasm in 4 percent of sex dreams.

While sex dreams may seem to relate to sexual desire, most aren't tied to it at all.

Instead, they represent "a psychological union you need or a psychological union you have recently had," according to certified dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg, author of "Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life" and member of the International Association for the Study for Dreams.

"The dreaming mind will see active sex to convey a union of some sort that is going on in your life," Loewenberg told ATTN:. "Sex is the ultimate union between two individual bodies that are becoming one for pleasure and for the greater good of humanity, so that’s the way your subconscious sees some kind of union in your own life, in your own personality. You united, you’ve merged some kind of energy into yourself."

ATTN: asked Loewnberg about some of the most common sex dreams and what they mean.

1. Same-sex

For some, it can be quite surprising to dream about having sex with someone of the same gender. But according to Loewenberg, having same-sex dreams is not usually indicative of your sexual orientation. Instead it is a sign that you are reinforcing different qualities of your gender.

"A lot of the message, a lot of the meaning that your dream is trying to convey to you lies in who your partner is," Loewenberg said. "So if a woman were to dream of an unknown woman that she doesn’t actually know, just some woman she’s having sex with, it’s more about what the gender represents. For example, typically, the female gender is known to be nurturing, sensitive and creative, so these could be at play here in the message. It’s really common for pregnant women to have lesbian dreams, because there’s nothing more feminine than being pregnant. So it’s all about embracing her femininity, her womanhood, everything that makes her female."

The same is true for heterosexual men who have same-sex dreams.

"If a heterosexual man were to dream of having sex with another man, it’s about the gender and what the gender represents," Loewenberg said. "The male gender, the male energy is typically known for being assertive, rational, not so emotional, taking action. So, a man can get this dream when he’s feeling particularly manly — when he got a promotion, when he put his foot down and handled his business, when he really was assertive and took care of something, when he lands a hot date, something that makes him feel really empowered by his gender."

2. Sex with a family member

Having a sex dream about a family member may seem disturbing, but it doesn't mean you're a weirdo. Far from it. According to Loewenberg, you have to think about what kind of relationship you have with this member in your family in order to figure out what this dream means.

"Let's use your father, for example," Loewenberg said. "Typically, the father is the one who brings home the bacon. The father is the one who manages the bacon. The father is typically the decision maker so he will often symbolize that part of ourselves that can make money, that can manage our money, that can be on top of our finances and that can make tough decisions."

"So to dream of having sex with your father, look at your money first. Do you need to unite with that kind of energy, that kind of knowledge, that kind of know-how? Do you need that right now in your life? Do you need to get on top of your finances? If so, your dream is telling you, yeah, you need to take on that quality, unite that ability into yourself right now."

3. Sex with your boss

A boss is someone with power and authority, so your subconscious wants to develop that part of yourself, according to Loewenberg.

"It could simply be about becoming more of a boss in your own life, becoming more authoritative, making better decisions, managing your life better. So, your dream is telling you to merge those qualities into yourself, and to put your foot down. You know we use the term, 'You handled it like a boss?' So, your dream is using your boss to represent that part of you." Loewenberg said.

4. Dysfunctional sex

Not all sex dreams are smooth-sailing and pleasurable. If something goes haywire in your nocturnal rendezvous, it usually reflects a direct struggle in your own life.

"Any kind of struggle you’re dealing with in a dream is going to be directly connected with real-life struggle that you’re having at the time," Loewenberg said. "So how can you relate that struggle to your current life right now? You can’t orgasm or you’re having a hard time connecting, ask yourself ‘how does that seem familiar to me right now?’ ‘Am i having a really hard time being satisfied with something that’s going on or with someone?’ ‘Am I having a hard time connecting on some level with somebody?’ ‘Am I having a hard time completing something?’ Because ultimately sex is about reaching that completion."

5. Sex with the ex

Although this may seem like a sign that you are not over your ex, this is not always true. According to Loewenberg, dreaming about sex with an ex-partner represents your desire to marry parts of that old relationship with your current life.

"The ex we tend to dream about the most is our first love," Loewenberg said. "It can be 10 to 20 years since you’ve been with this person, but every now and then, you have that kind of dream about them and it’s not necessarily that you’re still pining for them. It’s more about first love and what that represents — feeling desired, always wanting to be together, the excitement, the bubbles, just the way first love feels; it makes you feel alive and life is so spicy. First love will show up in our dreams when our current relationship or current life is kind of routine and hum-drum. It’s the way our subconscious is reminding us, ‘Hey, we’re still desirable. We still need these feelings. Let’s spice things up right now.'"