Surprised and Confused but Not Turned on: When a Sex Dream Isn’t About Sex

Surprised face

Selina’s sexual dream brought with it a series of questions, surprises, and confusion. As it turned out though, the issue behind the dream had nothing to do with sex! If you have a sexual dream, try finding the waking-life event your dream is mirroring before you jump to any conclusions.

The Dream

I had this very odd dream that a girl was having sex with me (I think not wanted) and using a strap on and other people were watching. I remember feeling so confused.

Surprised face

The Discussion

I opened by asking, “Besides feeling confused, were you also turned on?”

Selina answered, “No. Since I am heterosexual, I would say I was both surprised and confused.”

I responded, “What do you think surprised or confused you recently? Maybe something you didn’t expect? And more importantly, something you didn’t ask for or want.”

Selina guessed, “My roommate is leaving for the summer and wants someone to take her spot.  She told me she’s going to sublet it. Maybe my dream is about someone ‘penetrating’ my space in my apartment?”

Struck by Selina’s sharpness of metaphor, I pointed out, “Yes, and it’s a woman who is doing the penetrating!”

I continued, “Using play on words or puns as a point of entry for interpreting your dream, I can’t help but notice the well-known expression people use when they feel they have been taken advantage of. Your dream is a direct and blatant snapshot of that expression. So, I have to ask if you feel like she’s ‘screwing’ you by leaving like this?”

“Yes!” exclaimed Selina, “and she basically told me I had no option.”

Selina admitted, “I’m honestly hoping she won’t find anyone to replace her.  I’d love to go to Europe myself for four months, but I’m not because I have an apartment. I’m so bad at sharing how I feel!”

Surprised, I asked, “So, you haven’t expressed yourself to your roommate?”

Selina added, “I need to man up and say something, but I think I’m just going to wait and hope it doesn’t work out for her. It’s so hard for me. My biggest weakness is telling people that something bothers me.”

I considered, “In the dream you’re experiencing unwanted sex. If that was happening in your waking life, would you be silent or would you be protesting?”

Selina conceded, “Yes. Of course, I would be protesting!”

I concluded, “That’s why your healthy unconscious mind created this scenario. It helps you get the message to protest! You could say something like, ‘If you want to travel, I say go and have fun, but it can’t include a stranger coming into my space.’”

Selina agreed. “Yes, that’s a good approach. If it’s someone I know, I would consider it. I have trouble expressing even the simplest things like, ‘Hey! Can you do your dishes?’”

Realizing Selina had caught a solution for her difficulty, I exclaimed, “Dishes are a terrific option for you to practice with! They are a small and manageable way to begin creating your boundaries.”

What We Can Learn

The process of change isn’t easy, but it is definitely possible. First the person needs to feel motivated to seek change; then they can start with baby steps and as times goes on, rehearse behaviours they are more unfamiliar with. Selina’s dream provoked her to consider a new response to her roommate by voicing her objection. She herself said, “I need to man up and say something . . .” That’s such a striking phrase! In her dream, Selina was being “screwed” by a woman taking the “male” position in an unwanted sexual act. By saying “man up,” she was literally telling herself to take the assertive position in the relationship with her roommate. Then she cleverly realized that the most effective way to begin asserting herself might lie in choosing a smaller, more manageable first effort. Selina had built a space around herself where she tried to keep uncomfortable feelings and actions out. Her dream of sexual intrusion prodded her to leave her “safe space” in order to defend her actual boundaries, the apartment where she lives. The goal for us all is to respond according to the situation at hand, rather than letting the situation control us. In fact, only a few days after this dream, I received the following postscript from Selina, saying how she “left the dishes” and went right to the heart of the dilemma. “We were on a walk and my roommate asked if I was okay with her looking to sublet her room. And I said to myself, ‘All right, this is my moment to man up.’ “I answered, ‘I’m okay with a friend that we trust and love, but I’m not okay with a stranger.’ I reminded her that when she moved in, this wasn’t part of the agreement. She understood and we agreed I would post it on social media to only my close friends. I did and in a matter of seconds, one of my best friends committed!”

Interpreting Your Own Dreams

Have you had a dream that you wish you could understand? Do you want to get to the root of your problems? Hire Layne for a private dream interpretation session, join a group dream discussion or if you are on a budget you can try and interpret your own dreams using the Have a Great Dream book series.

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