Sex Dreams: Getting down, and sometimes very dirty, in our dreams

In Dreams about people by Jesamine Mello9 Comments

sex in dreams | dreams about sex

Miyagawa Isshō’s “Spring Pastimes” | Sex dreams

Let’s talk about sex dreams!  Those are always fun – even when they are weird or uncomfortable.  I say this because sex dreams really say something, in a sort of absolute sense:  either you are psychologically attracted to something, or, you are psychologically merged, blended, intermingled, or fused with something.

sex in dreams | dreams about sexOn a personal level – that is, the level of the dreamer’s psychology – sex dreams are an image of attraction and union of psychological energies.  This means that the attraction can be either conscious or unconscious, as well as totally appealing our abjectly appalling!

Whether that attraction or merging fosters or hinders your psychological development depends on who’s having sex in your dreams.

For example, if you are a man who’s having sex dreams about his mother, or a woman having sex dreams about her father, well then … it should be clear to you that this imagery is problematic (though not necessarily deviant).  I’ll get more into what sex dreams about our parents mean later on in the post.

Maybe you are watching someone else having sex in your dream, which could say something about how far removed your conscious ego may be from the psychological situation imaged in the dream.

As with any dream, your sex dreams have to be taken into consideration with your current life situation and conscious attitude.

Sex Dreams: What does it mean to have sex with someone you don’t like?

sex in dreams | dreams about sex | why am i having sex with a creep?We’ve all had those sex dreams about certain people, whereupon waking, we say:  WTF.   (pardon the pun)

  • In these cases, we have to ask ourselves, what is this bizarre union about? 
  • What does this particular sex dream say about my psychological state?

For instance, I once had a sex dream about a man whom I abjectly despised.  I mean really despised.

I can almost always see something in a person – even if it’s deeply buried beneath layers and layers of shit – but in this guy, I just couldn’t see it in him.

He was, in a word, a total dick.  Okay, that’s two words, but you get my drift here.  What stood out most about him was his extraordinarily violent aggression toward people, both men and women.

Sex Dreams | Creeps and Bruts in our sex dreams

Yes, the guy I’m referring to was this bad

In the dream, however, he was actually quite pleasant, gentle and loving even. When a person appears in your dream as the extreme opposite of himself, take a pause.

This is one of those cases where you have to ask yourself whether or not you are missing something about the actual person.  The question is:  are my judgments about this person off, so to speak.

Try though I might, I simply could not find anything about this particular guy that was gentle, loving, or even mildly pleasant.

So then , I had to ask myself a difficult question, what part of my inner masculine is dick-ish?

That’s a painful blow to anyone!  Was I somehow like this to others without knowing it?  I’m pretty sure that was not the case, though I was seriously on watch after that.

But what was true about my inner masculine at that time?

My inner masculine was extraordinarily aggressive toward me:  brutal, belittling, mocking.  You know,  those deep-seated, dark voices that sometimes catch us off guard, making us feel as though “we could never” … never be successful, never find love, never be happy…

But in the dream this real dickhead of a guy is totally transformed.  For me, that meant this horrible negative masculine in myself could also be transformed through loving attention.

So then … what kind of love has the power to do that?

Sexual Dreams and Bridging Emotional Distances Within Our-selves

sex in dreams | dreams about sex | symbolism of closeness and union

Sex dreams are often an image for self-love.  Even as I say the words self and love together, I cringe because the whole concept of self-love has become this cheesy cliche.  For example, I get most of my images through my Shutterstock account.  Knowing exactly what I was going to see, still I searched for “self-love” anyway. I was not disappointed.

sex in dreams | dreams about sex | symbolism of closeness and unionImage after image of people hugging themselves with contrived expressions on their faces.  Ugh.  That is so not what I mean when I speak of self-love.

Love isn’t the work of the tender and the gentle;  Love is the work of wrestlers. The one who becomes a servant of lovers is really a fortunate sovereign.  Don’t ask anyone about Love; ask Love about Love.  Love is a cloud that scatters pearls.
— Rumi

Love is a dimension from which you experience yourself; it is not a feeling about yourself.  Try to keep that in mind as we go through this next section on dreams about sex.

Dreaming of people we are attracted to in real life

sex in dreams | sexual attraction in dreams

help me attribute this image

If your sex dreams are about someone to whom you have an actual attraction, then you have to look at the person as a symbolic image for an aspect of yourself.  In this case, two positive parts of yourself should come together.

In essence, two separated parts of yourself want to merge in order to fill out and add dimension to your personality.

The idea that we actually dream of ourselves is a difficult concept for people to accept about sex dreams.

By that I mean that so many people, and I do mean so MANY people, have a desperate need for this kind of dream imagery to be an indication that the person imaged in their dream is somehow thinking about them or secretly wants to be with them.

This kind of thinking is borne out of a deep  sense of insecurity and inferiority about yourself.  All I can say is that you should not be disappointed by the idea that the dream is about yourself.  This is your soul showing you something about yourself that you do not realize.

If only you would realize it, then you would not feel incomplete.

Sex Dreams:  Homosexuality in Dreams

sex in dreams | dreams about sex | symbolism of closeness and unionFor some people homoerotic sex dreams are not an issue, but for others, the imagery kind of freaks them out.  I’m pretty sure almost everyone has had these dreams (but I have yet to meet a straight guy who admitted it).

Homosexual sex dreams aren’t saying that you are secretly homosexual or anything like that.  These dreams are about integrating same-gender, psychological energy.  In order to get at that energy, you have to reflect on the lover in your dream.

Dreams about sex | homosexuality in dreams


What are the traits of this person?  Don’t say that you don’t know!  Your conscious ego doesn’t know – because it can be very dumb sometimes.

You have to reflect on the imagery of your sex dreams.  If you “don’t know” anything specifically about your dream lover, then fantasize about what this person might be like.

There’s nothing wrong with engaging in fantasy when it comes to uncovering your dream’s message.  It just has to be product fantasy.

Many women have asked me about their lesbian dreams.  “Does this mean I’m gay?” is the most common question.

If you have had one of these dreams, you need to know that this female lover in your dreams is a part of yourself.  She is a part of your own unrealized femininity.  Sometimes we use the term dark side or shadow side of your femininity, only to indicate something unknown about yourself.

These dreams are about integrating something about this dream woman into your own sense of femininity. She has the potential of becoming a part of you.

As I have already said, she is a shadow figure, something about yourself that you do not yet recognize or accept as part of yourself.

For example, a woman dreamed,

I had to make love to a beautiful woman, and somehow, this act of loving her would produce a child. I was nervous and afraid because I did not think I could through with it.

Here’s a little bit of background, all of which I have permission to share.  This woman had suffered a deep wounding to her own femininity and we were in the process of working through that.  The woman herself had recognized that she had become harsh and bitter about her life – harsh and bitter toward herself, not toward others.

sex dreams | homosexuality in dreams

image by PhoenixNeon’s/Shutterstock

In addition to that harshness and bitterness, she lived with some debilitating regret and remorse about her life choices.  She really wanted to transform that attitude and the dream gives her an image of that other within who wants to come to life as the new child.

The dreamer described this beautiful woman in her dreams as someone sweet, delicate, and feminine.  You can see how this dream lover is almost the exact opposite of the dreamer herself, who felt she was bitter and harsh.  This is what I mean whenever I speak of compensation dreams.

So when you have dreams of having sex with women, you need to reflect on the qualities of this other woman.  Ask yourself what she can add to your personality.  Don’t do this disingenuously.   I am certainly not talking about imitating someone.

I am talking about finding this other woman in yourself.  Ultimately, she is a part of yourself that loves you, exactly as you are right now.

Homosexual Sex in Dreams:  Exploring your feelings in and around the dream

sex in dreams | dreams about sex | how do you feel about sex in your dreams?I would say that resistance is the biggest problem that I run into when people have sex dreams.  I mean, think about what I just said above – that part about a part of yourself that loves you.

Does the idea of a part of yourself actually loving you constellate any self-loathing?

  • If you have had a sex dream about another woman, then you should explore the feelings you had about being with the woman in the dream.
  • Next, see if you notice similar feelings come for you, perhaps around exploring new dimensions of yourself.

So, if you felt uncomfortable about the situation in your dream, then where in your life do you feel that kind of discomfort about yourself?

For example, are these same feelings associated with becoming a new woman or wanting to step into a new phase of life?  These are just examples, but hopefully, you get what I am suggesting that you do here.

If you loved the experience, then what experiences are you just now blissfully stepping into?  You might be ready to embrace a new life.  When the dream situation depicts a loving scene, then it is positive dream imagery.  As I have told others, let this dream woman teach you something about yourself that you never knew was there.

What is the meaning of incest in your dreams?

Alchemical imagery of Sol and Luna

Whenever the image of parental incest appears in dreams, there is a regressive psychological dynamic involved.  By regression I mean a reversion to an earlier psychological situation.  In general, something in your attitude is holding you back from moving forward in life, and therefore, you have slipped back into an infantile state of identification with your parent (or perhaps never left it).

The psychological aim of the individual child is to separate from the parents.

I have only seen three cases where sex dreams about their father left the women disturbingly undisturbed and two cases where sex dreams about their mother left men unabashedly aroused.

It’s fairly safe to say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that sex dreams about your parents depict an unhealthy psychological situation.

As I have said, generally speaking, sex in dreams means union or fusion.  When it’s a psychologically healthy union with another, something new is born.

However, when someone is “in union” with a parent or parental figure, the individual is lost in that merging.

Sex Dreams About Your Mother

Bénigne Gagneraux, The Blind Oedipus Commending his Children to the Gods

Bénigne Gagneraux, The Blind Oedipus Commending his Children to the Gods

Though I have seen it once in a woman with a negative mother complex, sex dreams about your mother generally happen in men.

The most famous of this psychological situation is depicted in the story of Oedipus.

When you have sex dreams about your mother, the imagery is clear: you are too psychologically identified with or attached to the mother.

The dream should absolutely shock you into wakefulness, i.e., shock you into consciousness of your situation.

By that I mean it should make you aware of an unhealthy psychological situation situation with  your mother.

sex dreams about mother | the self-castration of Attis (emasculation of the son by the mother)

image of the self-castration of Attis (emasculation of the son by the mother)

This kind of situation keeps you from stepping into your adult life.

Jung called this psychological stalemate the family romance.  It often manifests in a psychological relationship with a parent which takes on a character that is too much like a marriage or romance.

You can really see this in families where the father dies and an all-too-young son steps in to be the man of the house.  Indeed a noble effort for the little guy, but I have seen the sons of mothers who have let it go too far – way too fear.

I would call a man in the scenario a sort of provisional man.

A son cannot serve as a substitute, psychological husband.  When that boy grows up, a huge part of himself is still trapped in childhood, despite the fact that he had to grow up early.

He grows up to be a sort of man-boy, someone not really a boy, but definitely not really a man either.

Incest Dreams About Your Mother:  Fighting the Mother Dragon


Another way this unhealthy mother-son relationship manifests is the one in which the mother acts like a slow poison in the man’s life.  She is constantly pulling him aside and injecting him with her motherly wisdom regarding what he should and should not do with his life, who he should and should not be with – and all the while offering it as motherly wisdom and love.

I have seen mothers like this destroy their son’s relationships with women.

An unhealthy attachment to the mother keeps a man from being able to authentically relate to women, and moreover, from connecting to the women who really attract him at the soul level.

The key here is to break this hold of the mother, which often means confronting your own mother in one way or another.

Archetypally speaking, this confrontation with the mother is called the battle for deliverance from the Mother (see C.G. Jung, Symbols of Transformation, CW, volume 5).  It’s in every hero-fighting-the-dragon story.

Once you can do confront this dynamic in yourself, then you should start seeing a different kind of woman appearing in your dreams, one which won’t constellate an incest taboo.

Family Incest Dreams:  Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters

Regarding other sex dreams about family members, I am fairly certain that you can extract what you need from the above description.  No matter which family member appears in your dreams, if you are having sex dreams about them, then you need to figure out where you have an unhealthy psychological attachment or unconscious identification.

Sex Dreams | Incest in dreams | Rey Carlos II painting

Charles II of Spain, born mentally and physically disabled due to centuries of inbreeding in the House of Habsburg

Let’s take dreams about women having sex with their fathers as an example.

As I said earlier, I have only come across three women who defended the dream as “pleasurable and feeling very close him”.

Emphatically, I say to this about sex dreams about your father: NO! NO! NO!

If you have any doubts, then take a look at this disturbing image of Charles II.

Clearly, there is something wrong here: he was born mentally and physically disabled.  Translate that disturbing image into a psychological situation and you have an abject psychological disability.

The Father as a Symbol for an Attitude in Consciousness

Archetypally speaking, the Father represents a dominating attitude or a principle of consciousness, one which can become unrelentingly fixed.  As a psychic process the father is the unconscious lens through which you perceive the world.

Personally speaking, how your actual father appears in your dreams says something about his influence over you – both conscious and unconscious.

Even the perfect father can be an unhealthy psychological dynamic in your life, for example an underlying dynamic in a woman’s psyche which causes her to compare every man she meets to her perfect father.

Ever the proverbial “daddy’s girl”, unconsciously she seeks to marry her father.

When you have dreams about your father, reflect how you see him:
  • How has he influenced you psychologically?
  • Do you have potential to make something happen in your life?
  • How did his approach to life affect yours?
  • Are you following his way or forging your own path?
  • Do you have your own ideas about life, based on your life experience?
  • Did anything about the relationship make it difficult for you to make your own way?

Sex Dreams About Your Father

Sex dreams | sex dreams about your father

Zeus (the father) appearing to Persephone (his daughter) in hidden form

The following dream is from a 41 year-old woman who had lived – unconsciously – with a father complex for her entire life.

She too had been that “daddy’s ‘girl” once upon a time, but things changed when she realized what kind of person he really was:  a hopeless, and very cruel, drunkard.

From the age of 22 until 44, she had not spoken with her father.  She had been in analysis for two years when she thought she could handle re-connecting with him.

It did not take long for the old father-daughter romance dynamic to “kick-in”.  In this situation, I mean a psychological dynamic, not an actual incestuous relationship.

One of the things this father-daughter had shared was an interest in music, so one night she found herself excitedly compiling a music mix for him.

Sex Dreams | Sex dreams about the father

Lot and his daughters

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sharing music with your father, but there was something off about her attitude toward doing it.  Something stopped her from sending the email with all of that music on it.  She said that she just felt weird about sending it.  That night she had a sex dream about her father.

In the dream, her dream ego said, “WTF.  How has this happened?!”

She awoke in a sweaty fright and said to the unconscious:  OK.  GOT IT!  

Enough said.

Needless to say her attitude was forever changed.

Other Inappropriate Sexual Situations in Dreams

By inappropriate sexual situations, I mean sex dreams that involve a power or parental dynamic, for example:

  • children
  • stepchildren
  • your students

By in appropriate, I only mean an image that causes conscious revulsion.  We cannot moralistically judge our dream images.

In the first place, it’s important for you to understand that this dream is symbolic and not an image for a literal desire.

I would even go so far as to say that if you did feel that desire, the desire itself is also symbolic of something in yourself that longs to be realized. It is simply projected into the image of the person.

The question is this:
Does the sexual act in the dream mean that you need to integrate something about this figure in your dream, or, is there something psychologically unhealthy about the dynamic between the two of you?

If it’s the latter, then you’d have to become conscious of where the two of are “inappropriately” bonded, meaning bound by an unconscious identity.

I remember a man who identified himself as a “virtuous pedophile” because he had unholy fantasies about little girls.  He despised this in himself, and so, thankfully never acted on it.

This is indeed indicative of a psychological problem, only not necessarily a problem of deviant fantasy.

If he could get at what the “little girls” in his fantasies symbolized, then he could shatter the psychological dynamic that induces these fantasies.  There is a child within himself – an embodiment of his own immature femininity – that needs to be explored symbolically and integrated consciously.

Integrating the Message of Your Inappropriate Sex Dream

Another man shared that he had a sex dream about his stepdaughter.  As I told the man, the dream is symbolic and not an image for literal or latent desire.

And as I already said, even if he had conscious desires for her, I would still say that it is symbolic of an underlying problem with his own femininity.

The question is this:

Does the sexual act in the dream mean that he needs to integrate something about his step daughter or that there is something psychologically unhealthy about the dynamic between the two?

I have already covered what the unhealthy dynamic looks like.

In the other possibility – integration – the idea is that his step daughter has qualities that are in alignment with his inner feminine.   In that case, he needed to explore his inner feminine: for example,  his intuitive and feeling qualities, his capacity for relatedness, and his capability for nurturing something.  As I said in my answer to him:

your step daughter symbolizes something in yourself that wants to be realized and lived out. When you figure out how to bring into life, the energy bound up in the projection will come back to you.

If your step daughter is a child, then your inner feminine is in an immature state. You’d have to explore the ways that you act like a little girl, so to speak. For example, I have seen grown scream or throw tantrums like little girls. It’s hard for some men to admit that about themselves, but not admitting doesn’t make the behavior go away.

Even if that is the case, your step daughter still possesses qualities that are like your inner feminine. Pay attention to the women that attract  your attention.  Each one of them is an aspect of your inner feminine.  Realize her within and you bring those qualities into every relationship in your life. You become a whole man.

Masturbation in Dreams

Atum was creative in that he proceeded to masturbate with himself in Heliopolis; he put his penis in his hand that he might obtain the pleasure of emission thereby and there were born brother and sister – that is Shu and Tefnut.

Pyramid Utterance 527 (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt)

The above masturbatory creation myth was a common motif throughout both the Sumerian and Egyptian cultures.  The general idea of this theme is not as crude as it appears on the surface.  Atum was originally an abstract creative principle.

The whole masturbation scene is a symbolic image for the self-sufficiency of the Creative Force of Life.

Masturbation in dreams can be an image for a lot of things.  One the one hand, it can point to self-love, self-reliance, or the self-arousal of your creative potential.

On the other hand, masturbation in dreams can be an image for or compulsions such as auto-eroticism or autistic, solitary, or addictive tendencies.

The meaning of masturbation in dreams depends on what’s happening in your life.

Sexual Perversions in Dreams

Sometimes our dreams portray acts of sexual violence, again a scenario that can have many meanings.  The dream is an image for the form which the symbolic, sexual attraction takes.

For example, if you are sexually sadistic in your dream,  you can ask yourself whether you need to be more assertive in certain situations.

Let’s say that you are an aggressive person, with a habit of “fucking people over” – well then, sadism in your dreams would mean something entirely different.

Another question to ask is, What is your psychological attitude toward having sex in dreams?

For example, if in your sex dreams you are being raped or brutalized – what is your attitude toward that?

Now, that my seem like a bizarre question, but you might be surprised at how many people report – much to their own chagrin – that they found pleasure in it.  Naturally, they were appalled on waking, but the dream depicts a different attitude – one of taking pleasure in being victimized.

You always have to ask yourself, “what tendency in me is symbolized by this act?”

And remember, all of this information that I have given you about sex dreams is to be used as a general guideline for working through your dreams about sex.  Everything depends on your conscious situation and your associations.

Jesamine Mello
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Hi Jesamine. I dreamt last night that I live with my husband (who is actually my boyfriend in real life), my 4-5 year-old son (an imaginary person; I don’t have children in real life), and my mother-in-law (my boyfriend’s mother in reality). My husband and I want to have sex in bedroom but no one takes care of the son. So we are having sex while the son is watching next to us. It’s weird and ridiculous! After that, the son learns to self-masturbate until ejaculation. We are shocked by such inappropriate behavior of a young child. That absolutely ruins… Read more »


Elizabeth this is strange imagery, but remember it is symbolic. Because you have left no information about your life or conscious situation, I can’t really say much.


Dear Jesamine, Sorry for not leaving useful information just because I didn’t know which part of my life is relevant. In the part of relationship, my boyfriend loves me and takes care of me very well, so we are planning to cohabit and get marry in coming years. But we are currently living in different countries due to work, and thanks to covid, we aren’t able to meet each other and don’t have sexual life for at least few months. So sometimes I feel lonely when I’m alone. For the child in the dream, I guess it might represent my… Read more »


Elizabeth, I think you have the wrong idea about how to work with dreams. No offense. This is common and it is the reason why I am putting this work out there, so let me try to give some general guidance (personal interpretation is reserved for my paying clients, who arrange private sessions with me – which you are welcome to do. ?). For example, dreaming of child doesn’t meant you act childish. That is a literal interpretation, not a symbolic interpretation. “Inner child” is really an expression of pop-psychology and not something I resonate with. People use the term,… Read more »


Hello Jesamine, glad to find jungian dream interpretation of some sort online. I just woke up from a dream where I ended up having sex with a lady that had a crippled leg. In the dream she is also a teacher of some sort and she initially treats me unjustly as she purposely and with ill intent fails me on a test I had been studying for on a technicality. I protest ardently and in the heat of our confrontation thing turn sexual. The dream then becomes a mix of moments where we have sex. She has a femme fatale… Read more »


I’ll just jump right into it. I’m 15, so when I get sex dreams it freaks me out! I had a dream about my father about a year ago and I wasn’t okay with what he was trying to do in the dream. I don’t have a good relationship with him at all. Fast forward to last night and I had a dream about my grandfather. We had to sneak around in the dream because my grandma was home but she almost caught us so I got changed and apologized to my grandfather. I felt so gross when I woke… Read more »


Hi Jesamine. I had a sex dream last night for the first time in a while. I dreamed I was alone in the apartment of a friend of my parents. He is a recluse, and very wealthy. I was looking at porn on my laptop, and realized the friend would be able to see my search history. Then I was in bed making love to the actor Mads Mikkelsen, who I find to be very attractive. The sex was a little rough, but pleasureable, and we lay together afterwards in the big bed. However, at one point during the lovemaking… Read more »