September | In Your Dreams
A DREAM COLUMN
We hope everyone enjoyed an Italian girl summer. As fall rolls in, we’re ready to be done with Instagram vacation envy, but we aren’t quite prepared to move on from dying embers of the season. So we’ve got a spicy one this month. Read with one last prosecco on the beach.
I had a dream that I had sex with a close friend of mine. I’ve never thought about her as more than a friend, but I’m still thinking about the dream and I’m confused. We’re both single so it’s not impossible. How am I supposed to take this? Do I have a crush on my friend? The sex was really good, if it matters.
It matters. Imagine if it was bad. :(
Well, many mazels to you. A good spicy dream is rare, and we are jealous. Whatever you feel for this person while you’re awake, you two had a new year’s rockin’ eve in your mind. At this moment, you have the option to simply proceed with your life, with those images available for fond recollection now and again. That’s all the meaning one might choose to seek here, and that’s fine. But you sound like you want to talk it out.
It’s tempting to interpret sex dreams literally. They can be so visceral and lifelike, even to the point of actual physical arousal. You wake up turned on and thinking about your friend (we’ll call her Lola), maybe in a way you’ve never considered before. That’s a jolting start to a day filled with mild-to-moderate confusion and horniness. Enjoy ruminating on whether or not it means something, sweetie!
The good(?) news is in reality it’s entirely possible that your dream has nothing to do with physical intimacy at all. Like most things that show up in our dreams, sex is — say it with us now — a metaphor. 1800s humorist and flamboyant Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” Thus, the dynamic between you and Lola is important. We can take stock of your relationship for the area that needs attention.
If you’ve grown closer lately, sex could be a physical manifestation of that new emotional closeness. And you don’t have to have cried together on mushrooms under a full moon for your brain to dramatize it into full-blown pornography.
If you’ve grown closer lately, sex could be a physical manifestation of that new emotional closeness. And you don’t have to have cried together on mushrooms under a full moon for your brain to dramatize it into full-blown pornography. Friendships deepen from small simple acts of vulnerability. You might have just had a nice chat over coffee at your kitchen island, which to be fair is the opening scene in many pornos.
On the other hand, if you’ve been feeling disconnected from this person, your romp in the hay might inspire you to spark some platonic intimacy with your pal. If you’ve been meaning to reach out but haven’t, wtf are you waiting for? Text her now! Do it, we’ll wait.
Other theorists take a more transactional view. It could be that you admire something about your friend — her kindness, her humor, her excellent French braiding, whatever — and the dream sex is a way of trying to absorb the trait for yourself. (We’re taking it as an encounter of fondness and respect, but there’s an unsettling Single White Female shade here.) But if there’s a quality that you respect in Lola, why not try it on as an experiment, see how it suits you? As adults we forget how rewarding it feels to expand our sense of self, and you never know, you might totally nail that inside-out fishtail braid (kinky).
But if we’re being honest, we hope reading this far that you’re still a little dissatisfied. We hope you’ve thought through your friendship with Lola, appreciated her for all the ways she’s special to you, and agreed that, sure, it’s important to have a growth mindset, blah blah blah. But there’s still something else. You can’t put your finger on it. And if that little nagging feeling sticks with you and grows, until one morning you wake up with the sudden clarity that Lola is the one for you, you can’t live without her, you must go to her now and confess? We wouldn’t be mad at it.