What does it mean when you dream about sex?

If you’ve ever had a restful night of sleep interrupted by a dream about sex, you know how it can seriously throw off your mojo. Whether or not it was graphic, dreaming about doing the deed can leave you with lingering questions. Did that dream about sex mean anything? And if so, what?  

First, you should know that dreaming about sex is totally normal. A 2007 study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that roughly 8 percent of our dreams are about sex. Dreaming about sex might be normal, but that still doesn’t answer the question about what sex dreams actually mean. 

Dreaming about sex can mean many different things, and may depend on who you’re dreaming about. Sex dreams aren’t necessarily about sex, either. “Sex dreams are a way for your subconscious to unpack everything that’s affecting your life, and often, dreams about sex aren’t literal,” Susan Block, PhD, told Prevention. “Instead, they could symbolize problems, desires, and hopes in all facets of your life.”

Dr. Block, a sexologist, said that dreaming of having sex with an acquaintance, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to hop into bed with them. The dream could simply mean that you admire them. Dreaming of your boss, on the other hand, could mean that you want to connect with them on a deeper level — professionally, that is. If you’re dreaming about sleeping with a celebrity, it’s possible that you’re looking for a chance to be in the spotlight. Dreaming about having sex in public might be your brain’s way of telling you that you’re dwelling too much on how others view your life and your relationships.

Dreaming about sex with someone you know more intimately, like an ex, can speak volumes about your current relationship. If you have an occasional sex dream about an ex, it could just mean that the person happened to cross your mind. If you’re constantly dreaming about sex with your ex, though, it could indicate that you don’t feel fulfilled in your new relationship.

Interpreting dreams can be tricky, especially because a lot of the time they don’t mean anything at all. Sometimes dreams are just dreams. While it’s worth examining your feelings — sexual or otherwise — after you have a sex dream, don’t overanalyze it. Sex dreams are incredibly common and nothing to lose sleep over. 

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