Sex dreams involving friends happen. But if you've recently woken up from a wonderful night's sleep, only to realize what you've been up to with your bestie in your dreams, don't panic. The meaning of sex dreams about a friend probably isn't what you think, and this type of dream actually isn't that uncommon.
The truth is that "we tend to dream about things we're familiar with, including people," Karen Frazier, author of The Dream Interpretation Handbook, tells Elite Daily. Most dreams also shouldn't be taken literally. "Instead, think of dreams as your brain's way of working out in code the things that are happening in your life," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, nationally recognized psychotherapist and author of Training Your Love Intuition, tells Elite Daily. "Your brain can express your issues in symbols, stories, images, and feelings. Think of children's stories and fairy tales about scary monsters or people. Those tales aren't really about children thinking about monsters, but rather about things that scared them," says Dr. Wish. Dreams function similarly for adults, helping you address and work through issues via metaphor and symbolism. It can still be confusing to wake up from a dream of getting busy with a buddy, though, so here's what the experts say those dreams often really mean.
You’re attracted to them.
Let's go ahead and get the most literal interpretation out of the way. According to Dr. Wish, intimate dreams can sometimes be a sign that the feelings you have for a friend are deeper than your platonic connection. “The most common situation that prompts this kind of dream is that, as you have come to know this person over time, you're suddenly aware that they could be a wise choice of intimate partner,” she explains. If you suspect that’s the case, take a moment to assess how you're feeling in your waking hours about that friend. Does your intuition tell you that there might be more feelings there than you initially thought? If so, your dream was meant to give you a heads up about your subconscious feelings.
Your friend's attracted to you.
Speaking of your subconscious, along with recognizing things that your conscious mind hasn't picked up on, it's very skilled at sensing how others are feeling or behaving, too. Clinical psychologist Dr. John Mayer tells Elite Daily that a sex dream about a friend can sometimes mean you’ve been subconsciously picking up that their feelings for you extend beyond the friendly. He explains that it's possible your friend has been flirting or sending out signals of attraction you've missed or ignored consciously, but your subconscious isn’t letting them slip by. “Our perceptual system picks up everything we encounter in reality and that’s why it can show up in dreams,” he explains.
It’s a reflection of the intimacy of your platonic relationship.
While sex dreams can be literal, Frazier says they're more typically a metaphor. “Sex dreams are more about intimacy and vulnerability,” rather than sex itself, she explains.
In that case, it makes sense that people you're emotionally intimate with in your life would show up in a sex dream. “Good friends are people with whom you feel comfortable sharing information about your childhood, your love life, and, often, embarrassing things that you would not tell others,” says Dr. Wish. “Trust leads to closeness, which can often lead to feelings of comfort, which is one of the benefits of sex with the right person! So, dreaming of having sex with a best friend can be your brain's way of reassuring you that you can and should be open emotionally to this person.”
How can you tell the difference? Dr. Mayer says it isn't that difficult. His advice is to just take some time to reflect on it. “Review the possible reasons… consider each one and through that process, the unconscious desires will become conscious. You'll have an 'aha' moment,” he says.
While it can certainly be shocking to have a sex dream about a friend, Frazier again reiterates that it’s nothing to freak out about. “Most likely, however, sex dreams have a symbolic meaning indicating feelings of trust or vulnerability. How you feel during the sex dream (safe, scared, etc.) can indicate how you feel about that friendship or about aspects of your life that friend represents,” she concludes. If anything, the odds are that the dream just means you have a beautiful and loving friendship, and that kind of connection is a real-life dream come true.
clinical psychologist Dr. John Mayer