Dream Gates

Dream Gates


Sex in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Khajuraho couple.jpgYou’re in bed with someone you’d never consider having sex with in regular life.

You have the biggest orgasm you’ve ever experienced while peeing in church.

You broke off a relationship seven years ago, but again and again you find yourself in bed with your ex in a resort among the clouds.

Your sexual partner is a god or a goddess who fulfills you on every level – and you are stunned to find, in the daylight, that this is the homely Jack or Jill you’re married to.

You are assaulted or violated and wake feeling unclean and disgusted.

You’re a pole dancer in a shady nightclub where you’ve never been before, and you’ll go with anyone who pays.

You are the well-kept gigolo of a duchess, under the ancien regime in France.

Your lover may be demonic – but you’d love to arrange another date.

You’ve never managed full orgasm, but now you have a full-body orgasm and when you wake up, gasping for pleasure, you know it’s for real.

These are all one-sentence summaries of actual dream reports. They just begin to hint at the fuller range of sexual dreams. 

Some sexual dreams are profound experiences of healing. One of the most beautiful accounts I have ever received comes from a dear friend who had the following dream experience soon after major surgery that left her uncomfortable with her body and uncertain whether she would ever be attractive again:

Mark of dream healing

I walk out on the porch of a beautiful secluded little beach cottage. The day is perfect. There is a large hammock on the porch and my lover, a well-built young man with reddish-blonde hair, comes behind me through the same door and wraps his arms around me. We climb into the hammock, which is more comfy than a normal hammock. It becomes a swinging bed with wonderful pillows and a deep mattress. Sex is as perfect as the day. The experience is electrifying and the realness of it is still with me when I awake.

The significance of this dream is that it came just after my surgery for breast cancer.  I had been sobbing alone at my self perception of who I was in an ordinary world that viewed sexuality in terms of a whole body. This dream was a welcome reminder of who I still was, despite a missing body part! And the young man was not totally unfamiliar. He had been off and on in my dreams for as long as I could remember. I had given him a name – Mark – and he seemed to appear as a guide in my dreams up until and through this big one. After this dream he vanished from my dreaming. He had given me the healing I needed.

While Freud spoke as if everything that goes in dreams is a metaphor for sex, quite often sex in dreams is a metaphor for something else. That something else can range from closeness or intimacy in a non-sexual sense to issues of “who’s on top”. It may involve union with the anima or animus (to go Jungian for a moment). It may extend to hieros gamos – sacred marriage – with the Beloved of the soul, the form of the greater Self.

Sexual dreams may be experiences of transpersonal sexual encounters (invited or uninvited) on the astral plane. Ethical questions arise here, and so do issues of psychic wellness and protection. Unlike St Augustine (who was edgy about his sex dreams after abandoning his lover and vowing celibacy) I think we are responsible for what our dream selves do, in and out of the sack.

For an adequate psychology of dream sex, we need to move beyond the norms of Western psychology to ancient and indigenous approaches that ask not merely what part of me is so-and-so in the dream, but what part of me is doing the dreaming?. 

One night you are in the embrace of a divine being and wake charged with radiant joy; another night you’re fooling around with a bunch of horny strangers and wake feeing bruised and soiled. Clearly your dream self was operating on different levels in each of these dreams. It’s possible that a different part of you was in charge from one dream to the next. 

Such highly sensory dreams may involve transpersonal encounters in the dense energy body that India calls the kama-rupa or “body of desire”, and there is terrific energy and sensation in both. But while both types of dreams release sexual energy, one dream self raises it to something beyond sex, while the other lets it sink to the level of mere appetency.

We are having a lively discussion of such matters in my interactive dreamwork course over at Spirituality & Health; if you’ve been missing out on the fun, sign on for the next course that will start on February 7th. In the meantime, don’t be shy about posting brief accounts of your own experiences in the Comments below. 

Lovers in a temple sculpture at Khajuraho in India. When Jung visited this site, he was shocked by the explicit depictions of varied modes of love-making. When he asked his guide what these images were doing on holy ground, the guide said, “But don’t you see how interested people are?”



  • http://dreamersight.wordpress.com/ Nancy

    OK, I’ll take one for the Dream Team for everyone’s entertainment. Here’s one of my favorite sex dreams from about 6 years ago:
    I’m in a sex ed class, about junior high age. All the students are girls. The male teacher passes around an erect disembodied penis for us to examine. It gets to me and I feel its warmth and life pulsing in my hand, fascinated. I consider putting my tongue on the end of it to explore further, when it ejaculates suddenly. I wonder if it read my mind. The teacher is quite annoyed with me. Did I break it?
    I woke up amused and flattered: I am so full of sexual energy a prop can feel it! I thought about all the people who are uncomfortable about sex, when that’s how they got here! It’s just another joyous part of being in the body.
    Robert, thanks for opening up this taboo topic.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Hey Nancy – You have me, and I’ll bet many others, laughing out loud. Bravo for your healthy, happy “That’s LIFE!” attitude. At the same time, whenever I dream of being in class, I ask myself what lesson is life setting me now. Maybe your dream self settled that one in the classroom…

  • Sal

    Robert, regarding your previous dream posting on a duel with a demon(s): If it were my dream, I would see that, both, rats–or mice–and mosquitoes (as well as humans!) are vectors of pathogens. If fact, to the Hopi of the southwest rats/mice are not to be seen during daylight hours because it’s against their normal nocturnal customs to run around during the day. And humans are not to share space with rats because of how they carry disease and bring illness. So, I would take it that I was being advised to stay clear of conversing to any lengthy degree with any possible “psychic” invaders of my space while on workshop time–especially in NYC. As a lot of psychic vampires in metropolitan areas stock the periodical and posting circulars in search of some fresh, naive meat that know about universal laws as it pertains to harnessing magic.
    Lastly, with respect to sex and dreams. Because of how sex is the one powerful grabber of attention to anyone young and old (as Nancy above so vividly conveyed & can attest to) dream work has to be sexy and sensually motivating to people living doggedly hurried, scheduled lives (but I think you’ve known that for some time already).
    And yes, Nancy, thank you for taking one for the Dream Team (in your dream recounting, no pun intended)!

  • Kate

    I rarely have sex dreams but I had two last week about my friend and grappled with whether it meant i had some attraction to him I refused to recognise,or was simply resisting the merger of a quality he had/I had because in the last dream because I was really resistant.This entry sheds some timely light.
    I had an interesting related one last night where the guy was hitting on me and I said : “I know fidelity is a medieval concept to you, but there is nothing better than caring about anothers heart more than your own” then I woke,I was amazed I was able to recall all I said,and of the profundity that comes out of dreams.

  • Nina

    I think when we discuss dreams about sexuality and making love, we could also learn something from animals. I recall two similar episodes from the world of nature mediated one by my friend and second by my former enthusiastic nature-lover student. In the first, my friend, whose marvelously wild garden became a sanctuary for all possible species in a city, was awarded by the opportunity to watch the snails during mating period in a sort of loving cosmic ecstasy. The second was my student´s description of some bird species who mate in the air. Male and female join and together they do an acrobatic dance ritual in the airspace. I should also say that both men have a strong sense of beauty and can perceive this transcendent dimension of sexual behaviour. Other people might have seen nothing sacred in it.
    Actually, from my dream experience I believe that sensuality and spirituality are closely connected. I remember dreaming three dreams about three various facets of breasts during a fortnight. First had a divine, second wildly sensual and last maternal content. The feeling and energy from the first picture was spiritual and uplifting, from the second image very embarrassing (I saw an appealing woman with huge breasts wearing very tight-fitting silvery black sweater)and third caring and nurturing. If I am honest with my feelings I must confess that the second picture charged me with the most lively and gleeful energy. However, without the first dream I would have a serious ethical problem to accept my vital female part which is a wonderful source of energy but clearly calls for cultivation and integration.
    Thank you very much for the inspirative and highly transformative post and also thanks to everybody for sharing great intimate dreams.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Nina – thank you for these ripe and sensual word-pictures, from the garden of life and the garden of dreams.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Kate – sounds like your dream self was able to speak her truth with clarity and set boundaries and conditions. Qualities I would want to borrow in my waking life, if this were my dream. Your report prompts me to note that we check out all sorts of options in our dreams, from possible sexual or romantic partners, to jobs or vacation destinations or dinner plans. We can learn by how things worked out in the dream whether we want to go in a certain direction – say, with a particular guy – or go a different way.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/dreamgates/ Robert Moss

    Sal – thanks for your reflections on my “NYC” dream. To clarify: my dream antagonist did not become a mouse or a mosquito, he merely shrunk , in rounds 4 and 5, to their size. I think your cautionary notes are still appropriate and I am generally cautious in big cities where psychic energies are often mixed up and confused. However, I must say again that I found my dream duel quite exhilarating!

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