Thursday, July 23, 2009


SexSexDreams of sex and looking for sexual meaning in dreams is something of a pastime for dream interpreters. Often, you don't have to look very far. Sexual content, feelings of love, flirtation, attraction, and nocturnal rendezvous are often very explicit in dreams.

Sexual meaning has long been a first path of inquiry in dream interpretation. This is due, in part, to the significant contributions of Sigmund Freud to the area of dream interpretation. However, interpreting the sexual content of dreams can be difficult. University studies reveal significant differences in how men and women dream about sex. However, when all is said and done, almost everyone is "doing it" in dreamland. How Much? Sex during dreaming is reported as a topic of at least 12% of male dreams and 4% of female dreams. This discrepancy is generally consistent with our waking sex drives, with men doing much more thinking about the topic than women. (It is said that men think about sex far more than 12% of their waking lives, though.) In his book Finding the Meaning in Dreams, G. William Dumhoff reveals some interesting data about the manifestation of sex in dreams:

Gender Men Women
Participating 93% 68%
Watching 7% 32%

This table indicates that women often separate themselves from what is going on in the dream sexually, whereas men see themselves as participants. This can be significant to understanding why it is more common for men-particularly boys-to have orgasms in the dream state than it is for women. It also reveals the conflict that many women feel about the good-girl/bad-girl taboo.

Aside from overt sexual activities in dreams, the question of sexual images and symbols as they occur in dreams is important. Because sexuality is often cloaked in a heavy shroud of secrecy, either through childhood or throughout life, the subconscious is prone to visually represent sex in a variety of ways. Freud, in his theory of the sexually driven personality, contributed much to this line of thought.

Freud did for sexual content in dreams what Henry Ford did for internal combustion. Suddenly everyone, everywhere had dreams of sexual content. Ultimately, this led to Freud's demise in some segments of the intellectual community. Many scholars wonder if Freud was really as pre-occupied with sexual symbolism as he is purported to have been. The following is a partial list of the phallic symbols you may find indexed in a Freudian dream interpretation book:

Aerosol Cans, Antenna, Balloons, Bats, Birds, Boilers, Bottles, Can Openers, Cannons, Cigars, Cars, Chalk, Church Spires, Cords, Cucumbers, Drills, Fishing Poles, Fountains, French Bread, Golf Clubs, Gophers, Guns, Hammers, Hats, Keys, Kites, Knives, Lances, Laser Beams, Moles, Nail Files, Neckties, Needles, Pencils, Pens, Pipes, Pistols, Planes, Plows, Revolvers, Rockets, Ropes, Scalpels, Screwdrivers, Snakes, Spears, Sticks, Swords, Syringes, Tall Buildings, Telescopes, Tractors, Trains, Trees, Tubes, Umbrellas, Water Taps, Woodchucks, Wrenches and Zippers

Not to be left out, women's sexuality was likewise a source of attention and interest for Freud. The following list is far less extensive than the list for male phallic symbols, but almost as diverse:

Bowls, Children, Churches, Closed Rooms, Earth, Fruit, Flowers, Gardens, Houses, Moon, Mounds, Oceans, Ponds, Suitcases, Tunnels, Urns, Vases and Water

Interpreting Sexual Dreams

1 comment:

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