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Here’s What 12 Common Sex Dreams Mean, According to a Dream Analyst

Let’s talk about sex dreams, friends. We’ve all had ‘em, and as far as dreams go they’re not half bad. After all, if you had to choose between a dream about showing up to school in your underwear vs. Ryan Gosling slipping them off, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Still, we’ve often been curious about what the specifics of our spicy dreams may mean. For this reason, we tapped celebrity psychic and dreams expert Inbaal Hongiman to learn more about sex dream meanings. Buckle up and get ready to take a deep dive into your dirty subconscious.

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1. The Dream: Random Sex with a Stranger

So your promiscuous side came out to play with a total stranger while you were sound asleep and you’re wondering what this risky business was all about. Per Hongiman, “A dream about any risk-taking behavior, especially within the sexual realm, can suggest you are bored with your life as it is…[and] random sex in a dream is a safe way to explore.” As such, this type of dream might indicate that it’s time to start “looking for new directions and experimenting,” she tells us. Chances are the next chapter of your waking life won’t start with shagging some random, but the gist of it is that your subconscious wants you to be bold.

2. The Dream: Sex with a Platonic Friend

There’s the fun kind of scandalous, and then there’s dreaming about doing the dirty with someone from the friend zone. Indeed, Hongiman confirms that it can be quite jarring to wake up realizing that you've just been naked and sweaty with a friend in your dream. Good news: You can wipe that cringe off your face and take comfort in knowing that our dream analyst says this is nothing to worry about, regardless of whether or not you’re actually attracted to the person in question. Instead, Hongiman recommends you give it a little thought: “Explore your emotions—are you actually drawn to this person? Would you like to start a relationship with them?” If the answer is no, the explanation for the dream might simply be that “you’re very in awe of this person and your subconscious mind is misinterpreting a bit.” (Yep, your subconscious can make mistakes.) And if the answer is yes—well, you know what to do.

3. The Dream: Sex with a Co-Worker

“Not just bizarre, but sometimes outright ick, dreaming of sex with a colleague can make you want to shower twice in the morning,” Hongiman explains. Amen. Of course, if you’ve got a crush on a coworker, it doesn’t take a dream analyst to tell you what your subconscious is angling for. According to Hongiman, “If you don’t fancy the person, then this could be a dream that shows you’re hoping to change your position at work—maybe a promotion or job change—and that you need to be seen differently by work contacts.”

4. The Dream: Sex with Your Current Partner

Now back to familiar territory: You had a dream about having sex with your better half. Still, Hongiman points out that this can be a tad confusing, too. After all, you’re side-by-side all night long, so if your subconscious wants it so badly, can’t you just roll over and do the deed? If only it were so simple. Hongiman tells us that this dream indicates “that there is some kind of mismatch, and perhaps one of you would like to be having more (or less) sex.” As such, she recommends having a chat with your partner about your sex lives, even if you think everything is A-OK. (And that’s just good relationship advice across the board, no?)

5. The Dream: Cheating Dreams

If you’ve ever had a dream about your partner cheating, you know just how distressing it can be. Still, Hongiman says these dreams are a very common and normal occurrence, and can indicate one of two things: “If you have a history of infidelity in your relationship, then the dream is telling you that some trust issues are still in place [that might require] professional help to resolve; if you don't have a history of cheating, then you must be feeling side-lined in the relationship…[or] feeling like there's some kind of emotional cheating going on.” The takeaway? Common though they may be, cheating dreams typically warrant further exploration.

6. The Dream: Multiple-Participant Sex

If group sex is your thing IRL (no judgment), there’s no mystery here. For those who would never consider multiple-participant sex, this type of dream can be quite, er, surprising. That said, a dream about group sex isn’t very different than any other sexual fantasy you keep confined to the realm of the imagination (i.e., where it feels safe and acceptable). The key distinction is that when the fantasy is happening while you’re asleep, it could indicate “that your standard love life has become a little too routine,” says Hongiman, adding that the solution might be to “engage, alone or with your partner, in some safe kinks to allow for a change of pace.” Challenge accepted.

7. The Dream: Bondage Dreams

If you’re getting down with BDSM in your sleep, your subconscious might be sending you a message that extends beyond the sexual realm. Per Hongiman, “Kinky sex isn't about cuffs and feathers. It's about control and submission…and dreaming about it is a way for your mind to explore the possibilities.” However, this type of dream doesn’t necessarily mean your mind is telling you that you need to be hogtied. In fact, Hongiman tells us that bondage dreams are most likely a way of “exploring your need to have more control in your life. (Or less control, if your partner leaves all the mental heavy lifting to you.)”

8. The Dream: Outdoor Sex

PDA just reached new heights in your dream life and you woke up with a flush. Our expert’s take? “Dreaming of sex out in public is a way for our brains to communicate a desire for living a more public life…[and] if you were raised in a very conservative household, it might even be an expression of your desire to be sexual in front of others,” Hongiman tells us. She also points out that it’s important to consider how you felt when you woke up, because “the way you respond to the dream is key to understanding its specific meaning to you.” In this case, the question to ask yourself is whether you felt turned on or ashamed when the dream was done. (Psst: Hongiman tells us that if you felt shame, your subconscious might be flipping the script and trying to tell you there are too many people involved in your life.)

9. The Dream: Sex with Your Boss

This dream is either a “simple case of attraction,” which is a fairly common occurrence in the workplace, or possibly something deeper. Specifically, Hongiman notes that, “It could be that your mind somehow equates the sexual union with getting to the position of the boss…and your subconscious is calling you to climb up the corporate ladder.” Obviously, you don’t actually need to sleep your way to the top—but by all means, go for that promotion the ethical way.

10. The Dream: Sex with a Famous Person

According to Hongiman, “Interpreting celeb-sex dreams totally depends on whether this is someone you fancy, or someone random from the celeb space.” The first scenario is fairly straightforward—your subconscious is simply fantasizing about something you wish could happen in real life. If it’s not such a clear cut case of sexual attraction, Hongiman suggests exploring whether the celebrity in question represents anything special for you (i.e., activism, fitness, lifestyle) and taking your cues from that.

11. The Dream: Sex with Your Ex

Um…oops! Sex dreams that involve a past partner can be awkward, to say the least, but you needn’t read too much into it. (Hint: Your subconscious isn’t telling you to resume an unhappy relationship.) Hongiman tells us that this type of dream is there “to let you know that your regular life now needs a change.” As for determining what that change might be, she suggests looking at the good times with your ex for clues—because “you might not miss the person, but you miss [an aspect] of the connection you once shared.”

12. The Dream: Powerful Dream Orgasm

Let’s finish (pun intended) with wet dreams. No, this type of dream is not exclusive to pubescent boys—although they do have something of a monopoly on this particular kind of nighttime pleasure. Indeed, Hongiman says that men and women of all ages can experience spontaneous orgasms in their sleep. If you’re lucky enough to have a full-blown orgasm wake you from your slumber, we’ve got even more good news for you—namely that “your sleeping mind is aligning with the powerful positive emotions of your subconscious mind. You're doing great."