The Truth about Your Sexiest Dreams
Layne Dalfen, dream analyst and author of Have a Great Dream: Decoding Your Dreams to Discover Your Full Potential, explains that dreams are connected to your life and can be a useful problem-solving tool. Dreams can highlight a problem, alert you to a desire, make you aware of a strength and urge you to face fears or conflicts. “This is especially useful in relationships, where there is so much fear and hope connected,” says California-based psychotherapist and dream interpreter Michael Lennox, M.A.
Do I Literally Want to Sleep with Eminem?
It’s true that some romantic dreams are literal. Carolyn, who recently separated from her husband, has been dreaming of a “kind, considerate and intelligent man, who willingly takes on chores.” She believes that through her dreams she’s working out what type of guy she wants to be with next.
And, indeed, Dalfen says women do sometimes practice new behaviors or establish goals through dreams. “A woman who dreams of being on top may actually want to try this out. Maybe she’s working out an experience in early life where she was taught women weren’t supposed to be assertive with men.” However, not all dreams are literal. If you dream of sleeping with Eminem, don’t panic. Case in point: it’s probably symbolic rather than literal.
Most dreams, in fact, are symbolic. So sleeping with Eminem, who speaks his mind, might symbolize a need for you to speak up and might indicate that you have this ability within you. Even literal dreams usually have a symbolic meaning.
Back to the woman-on-top example. “The metaphoric meaning of this dream might be an expression of having the upper hand at work,” explains Dalfen. Fact is sexual dreams are often not related to sexual issues. It’s just that your unconscious is using dramatic imagery to get your attention.
Rebecca’s vampire dream doesn’t mean that she wants to hook up with a blood-sucking creature. “Vampires are very sexy in our lore. They seduce their prey, but once they have it, the prey dies. Symbolically the dream could represent ambivalence about relationships. There’s a longing for seduction but the longing is draining,” explains Lennox.
Now if there are relationship issues, especially issues you’ve been avoiding, they will likely be highlighted in your dreams. For example, say you’ve been dating this guy. You have reservations about him, but brush them aside because he’s really cute. Then you dream that he’s a selfish lover. “I would pay attention to that. Your unconscious is trying to tell you what you already know,” says Dalfen. Or if you dream of making love with a stranger, it might signal that you desire a little more sizzle in your present relationship.
“When you have a long-term partner, you often have stimulating dreams to compensate if the passion fades,” explains Lennox. On the flip side, both Carolyn and Rebecca reported having more romantic dreams when they were single, a signal that they wished for more romance in their lives at these times. The good news is that you can use the information once you’re aware of it.
Dalfen tells the story of a woman who dreamed of having a piglet stuck to her nipple. After a little digging, Dalfen discovered the woman had run into her ex-boyfriend, who had asked her to cook for his upcoming dinner party. She confessed she didn’t want to cook for him but hadn’t told him so. “He’s such a dependent little pig,” the woman exclaimed. Boom! The dream was unlocked. It was about her need to tell her ex she didn’t want him to cling to her anymore.
Decoding Your Dreams
The first step to decoding your dreams is remembering them. Keep a pen and paper by your bedside and write down your dream as soon as you wake up. “Write anything, even if it’s ‘I don’t remember.’ Your unconscious will connect writing with the intention to remember your dreams and you’ll soon start to recall them,” says Lennox, who produced a CD called Remembering Your Dreams.
Next, try to attach meaning to your dreams. Interpreting dreams requires a bit of detective work. One size doesn’t fit all. Dalfen says you have to take your particular views, attitudes and history into account. If one woman thinks Tom Cruise is hot and another equates him with a failed marriage, their dreams will have entirely different meanings. You also need to consider what’s going on in your life at the time of your dream.
To help you decode your dreams, Dalfen recommends the following:
1. Ask yourself how you felt during the dream.
2. Ask yourself what happened to you yesterday that made you feel the same way. Look for a specific issue or incident.
3. Say the dream out loud. Very often you’ll find the answer in the language you use.
4. Isolate the dream symbols (people, places and things).
Fact or Fiction?
In a fantasy, you might fool yourself, but not in a dream. Rebecca admits she has fantasized about a cute guy only to have the illusion shattered “once he opens his mouth.”
It’s possible your dream may simply be about sexual release. “Women can have an orgasm in their dream,” Lennox points out.
And simple “wish” dreams occur, too.
However, symbolic dreams direct you to the truth. “The unconscious never lies,” asserts Dalfen. If the dream reveals a problem you need to solve, then you can take action. The woman who dreamed about the piglet sucking on her nipple confronted her ex-boyfriend and told him she wasn’t going to cook for him. She wanted to do this all along. The dream just helped get her there.
eharlequin.com, April, 2003, by Deena Waisberg