Plus, why oral and anal sex have different meanings in dreams.
If you’re in any kind of romantic relationship, odds are you’ve probably had a sex dream about your partner at some point. And while you might be inclined to wave it off as mere attraction toward them, it turns out that a sex dream with your boyfriend or girlfriend can mean something larger than wanting to get it on with your significant other.
“Everything in a dream is connected to something in real life,” explains Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst. “Nothing is ever random. It seems random because you're looking at it literally.” Basically, your subconscious is piecing together a message to you through your dream based on thoughts you’ve had throughout the day. What appears in the dream is up for you to interpret.
“Your sleep state is an uninhibited zone,” explains Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., director of The Intimacy Institute. “If you don't process something in the waking day, our dream state is a place to explore these areas that haven't had a chance during waking hours.” This means that oftentimes dreams are a place where your wants and needs that aren’t being expressed come to the surface.
It’s also why you should “never shrug something off as just a dream, because it's much more. Dreams are messages from you, to you, about you, in order to improve you,” Loewenberg says. But how does one interpret a sex dream with a boyfriend or girlfriend, anyway? What if you don’t know what you’re trying to express? And what do you do after you determine what it means?
The following is everything you need to know about interpreting a sex dream with your partner (plus how to talk to them about it), per a dream analyst and relationship expert.
What A Sex Dream About Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend Could Mean
You’re Just Plain Attracted To Them
First, there's the obvious answer: If you have a sex dream about your partner, odds are you’re just very attracted to them, Loewenberg explains. It’s your brain telling you that you’re ready to get it on.
The thing about dreams, though, is that they're “very rarely literal. They're more symbolic, and that includes sex,” Loewenberg says. So while you might be having a sex dream about your partner because you’re horny, it’s likely that there’s something else at play here, too.
You’re Craving Psychological Union
“Sex, to the dreaming mind, is not so much about a physical union but a psychological union you need or have recently had,” Loewenberg says. Because sex is the ultimate union between two separate bodies working as one, the dreaming mind will use the act of sex when you need to (or already have) come together to connect with someone.
“In that regard, having a sex dream with your partner can mean that you have recently connected on some level intellectually, spiritually, psychologically, [or] emotionally,” Lowenberg says. On the flip side, this dream can also mean that you need to reconnect in some way, “particularly if you have that dream when you're either going through a dry spell or rocky period,” she explains.
You’ve Recently Had An Intimate Conversation (Or Need To)
In case you didn’t know, the type of sex you had in your dream will lead to a different dream interpretation. For example, “oral sex is often about intimate conversation because the mouth is involved,” Loewenberg says. “Whomever initiates the oral sex in the dream is likely reflective of who has initiated (or needs to initiate) the intimate conversation in real life, because you've got a giver and a receiver in conversation as well,” she explains.
Wondering what “intimate conversation” means, exactly? It’s like if “you are having a conversation that gets deep, like where childhood issues are brought up, and you come to satisfying connections through that conversation,” Loewenberg says.
You’re Putting Something Behind You
A dream about anal sex, on the other hand, would often be about “putting something behind you, like an argument,” Loewenberg says. Think about it: There’s lots of wordplay involved in the interpretation of dreams. In the context of a dream about anal sex, you want to “come together and put something behind you.” Get it?
There’s Unfinished Business
Picture it: You’re having the steamiest sex dream, but right as you’re on the edge of orgasm, you wake up, or something in your dream stops you from finishing. “If there isn’t orgasm in a dream, that is usually connected to some sort of dissatisfaction in real life,” Loewenberg says.
It’s as if something is not “coming to completion,” she explains. For example, maybe you got into an argument and still haven’t made up, or maybe it’s as simple as you haven’t reached a compromise on where to make a dinner reservation. Whatever it is, an unfinished orgasm indicates you need to find closure or reach a solution in your IRL partnership.
There’s A Third Wheel In Your Relationship
“If there’s a threesome, that would indicate that some kind of third wheel or new element has come into the relationship,” Loewenberg says. Your response to the threesome in the dream will reflect how you’re feeling about this new element — such as whether you’re enjoying the threesome or find it problematic.
“Maybe one of you has picked up a side hustle and that's affecting the relationship, or maybe you've brought in a new dog or baby and that's affecting your dynamic,” Loewenberg says. Whatever it is, the person who is in the dream threesome with you and your partner might not be reflective of who (or what) is actually intruding on your relationship, but more generally, that there’s an intrusion in the first place.
Think Of Your Dream As A Conversation Starter
If you’ve found a way to interpret your dream, you’re probably wondering what you should actually do with this information. The experts’ advice? Talk to your partner about it.
“I think that a dream is always a great conversation starter, because a dream isn't just a dream. It's an issue being brought to light that your subconscious wants to address or that your subconscious feels good about,” Loewenberg says. And remember, you don’t need to take this super seriously: “It can be funny,” Loewenberg notes.
If you’re wondering how to approach the conversation, Skyler suggests telling your partner about your dream, then asking them questions, like: “How was it to hear my dream? Can we try this kind of sex that was in my dream? Does hearing my dream get you excited? Does it make you scared?”
The bottom line: It’s NBD to tell your SO about your sex dream with them. “A relationship has to have the safety to be transparent about these things. Otherwise, we're withholding information for the sake of perception and of not hurting someone's feelings,” Skyler says.
Above all, “a dream is a very honest portrayal of how you're really feeling and thinking about things going on in the relationship,” Loewenberg says. “It's a great way to connect, open up, and have honesty.” All things you can never have enough of in a great relationship, right?
Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., licensed therapist, AASECT-certified sex therapist, and Director of The Intimacy Institute
Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, professional dream analyst