There’s no telling where a sex dream will go. If you’re lucky, you’ll bang someone you want to bang and wake up with a smile on your face. If you’re unlucky, you’ll have a threesome with your boss and Barney while Steve Bannon peeks through the window. You’ll wake up in a cold sweat, shaken up and scared to fall back asleep. You’ll see Barney’s purple dino-dong whenever you close your eyes, and you’ll panic at the very sight of your boss.
Trust me when I say that sex dreams like these can leave you feeling mortified for days, if not weeks. The good news is that professional dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg says even the strangest ones have an underlying meaning, and if you can recognize it, you should be able to move on with your life relatively quickly.
Step one involves putting some distance between yourself and whatever went down in the dream, because the actual sex acts aren’t what’s important. “The first rule of understanding your sex dream is, do not look at it literally,” Loewenberg explains. “If you do, you’ll not only miss the message, but you’ll also freak yourself out.”
In other words, rather than thinking too hard about Barney’s DSLs, take a deeper look at what you respect about America’s favorite purple dinosaur. “Dreams, in a nutshell, speak in symbols and are metaphors for what’s going on in our real life,” says Loewenberg. “Sex dreams are rarely about a physical union you want, but more likely about a psychological union you need.”
To find out more about that psychological union, you’ll have to do some emotional digging. “Take a good look at your dream partner, and ask yourself what stands out to you about that person,” Loewenberg says. “Are they easygoing? Are they the one that seems to close all the deals? There’s some quality of theirs that your subconscious has identified, and it wants you to unite or merge that quality into your own life or behavior for your own betterment. Sex is the ultimate union between two physical bodies, so the subconscious will use sex to represent a uniting of qualities that we should consider.”
This is why you might have a sex dream about your boss after a day of meetings with them; the dream could be your mind telling you to work together with them for the sake of a big project. Or maybe you’ll have a sex dream involving your ex, and your mind is suggesting that you unite for the sake of your kids. “Union, merger, connection — coming together (cough, cough) are the operative words when figuring out your sex dream,” Loewenberg continues. “Remember, it’s not so much about who your sex partner is in a dream, but more about what they represent. Dreams are messages from you, to you and about you in order to improve you.”
I’ll have to think long and hard about why Bannon was having a gander, then.