Dream Interpretation: What Lies Behind Our Erotic Dreams

Psychologies: Do sexual dreams have a sexual meaning?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: Not necessarily. You should never take your dreams in the first degree. Often, when it comes to sexuality, they don’t talk about it. And when it’s apparently out of the question at all, they can talk about it. Most of the time, sexual dreams depict eros, the life drive. It is an energy, the most powerful energy, much more evolved and broader than the sexual drive, something which concerns the whole of our desires of life and love. Something that speaks to the whole world and is an inner fulfillment. Let’s take the case of a scenario that comes up with many of my patients: they see themselves with one person on the other or of the same sex. There reigns an extraordinary harmony between them, a great sensuality, a climate of love. There is no penetration, but the atmosphere is very erotic. Well, this type of dream, very common, rarely has a sexual meaning. Their meaning is first and foremost personal: they portray the harmony between the feminine and masculine parts of each person, or love for oneself. It’s more about learning to love those parts of ourselves that sometimes we reject or that bother us.

What about scenarios featuring erotic practices?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: cunnilingus practiced in dreams is more often a tribute to femininity, and a blowjob, a tribute to masculinity, more than a secret desire to satisfy. It is first in this sense that it must be taken. The dreams where we see ourselves practicing erotic caresses most often come from understanding, from the encounter between our feminine and masculine parts. Jung name them anima and animus. When they are in place and well developed, human communication with the world, with the exterior, is facilitated, because he no longer suffers from an interior dilemma. He becomes able to go in all directions, to explore new paths. These extremely positive sexual dreams unify us, allow us to access all our complexity, and help us to better deploy ourselves in real life.

In what cases can a sexual dream tell us about our sexuality?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: It all depends on the context in which it is set and what the dreamer says about his dream. But the purely sexual dream can sometimes serve as an outlet for impulses and repressed desires : if a woman dreams of fellatio or a man of cunnilingus when they have never had one, the dream may encourage them to unblock. It can also reveal an attraction. If a person regularly returns to an erotic scenario, the dream may give the green light, indicating that an approach should be attempted. It is common to dream of someone we are in tune with. And, at that moment, the dream makes sense: it confirms the integration by our unconscious of the presence of the other. A sexual dream can also play a compensatory role when sexuality is absent from reality. When it causes nocturnal pleasures, it is the sign of a deficiency. A woman dreaming of an orgasm with penetration, a man ejaculating in his sleep indicate that sexuality is not exploited enough. The dreamer or the dreamer stage their sexual power to move towards enjoyment and obtain the pleasure they lack in everyday life. Then there is the question of why this inability to enjoy in reality, which can be addressed in therapy or by oneself if one is able: grief, loneliness but also prohibitions, blockages, guilt, fear… A large number of psychic restrictions can block the way to pleasure, restrictions that other dreams – a priori non-sexual but which in fact speak to us about our sexuality – can shed light on.

Do you have an example of this mechanism?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: I have just received a patient prisoner of his notions of duty. He is separated from his wife and so anxious to take good care of his children that he forbids himself to maintain romantic relationships. In his last dream, he was being inspected by a phallic-shaped metal detector that ended up between his legs. The sexual potency was represented by this object, which lodged in this precise place, as if it had to reposition its phallus in its place. His dream is the vector of a judicious intimate questioning: “Am I well positioned in terms of masculinity or not?” So I said to my patient, “You have a phallus.” You need to use it. The more you are sexually fulfilled, the more you will be in life. Your relationship with your children will be more positive. Rather than being in a duty of presence vis-à-vis them, take an interest in your development, in order to pass it on to your children. »

How to spot these seemingly insignificant dreams?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: Dreams are always metaphorical, they advance masked like the unconscious to escape the censorship of the superego, our internal vigilance system. The superego would not allow information that is too precise to pass if it upsets the internal order that it wishes to enact. The more a person is inhibited, the more symbols with sexual meaning will arise in their dreams. Taking an interest in it will feed this reality and make it evolve. The dreamlike images are attached to words with double meanings, to symbols… They are parables. A man who, for example, sees himself eating almonds is in phase with the female sex, which he sees as a nourishing product. The almond, a beautiful and rich fruit, is inscribed under the sign of a fullness of life. There are some very positive things there. It is a metaphor around the female sex perceived as fruitful.

Do the symbols always have the same meaning regardless of the dream and the dreamer?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: At 90%, a symbol carries precise meaning, but it is polysemous. When the unconscious has recourse to it, there are always conjoined meanings: a needle can have a phallic meaning, but in a haystack, it can symbolize an element difficult to locate, like the clitoris. There are also puns which the dream uses a lot. This is what Freud calls the witz, the “witness”. Things must be understood by the dreamers when they tell their dream: there are, for example, homophonies, these words which have the same phonetic pronunciation, but several possible meanings (“lapine” for “the pine”); paronymies, words whose pronunciation is similar (“tennis” for “penis”)… All these elements must be related to each other to make the right analysis.

Concretely, how to proceed to clarify your own desires with your dreams?

Tristan-Frederic Moir: Start by writing them down. Putting them down on paper allows you to give them a concrete form and to make us listen to our unconscious, even if self-interpretation is sometimes difficult – indeed we are not always objective with ourselves. We may be tempted to adapt the dream to our conscious wishes. This reserve aside, it is then necessary to take into account the context of the dream, to correlate the images, the words which correspond with each other, to consult the definitions which are made of them, the different possible meanings in a dictionary of dreams or symbols. This is what will make it possible to identify the signifier, the meaning for the dreamer, then to proceed to a tightening of meanings. The dream is there to give us indications to evolve, to change. It can play the role of revealing and guiding us towards a fulfilling sexuality.

A little lexicon of the dreamer

Here are some common symbols decoded by Tristan-Frédéric Moir.


The elevator and its movement symbolize the rise of the libido, the internal circulation of this energy. If the latter is too strong and repressed, it often generates anxiety. As a principle of the libido, the elevator symbolizes the life drive, but often forbidden or misunderstood.


The cat is first and foremost a representation of the female sex. The ambivalence of the symbol remains in some men, for whom this organ simultaneously evokes envy, supreme temptation and disgust, the fear of not being up to it, even the fear of the toothed vagina. It also represents the instinctive and imperious desire, the beginning of all sexuality.


In a traditional psychoanalytical view, shoes have a sexual connotation. It is the hollow that perfectly fits the foot, the sexual organ, but not only male. In general, shoes, like all accessories that go in pairs, relate to the couple.


The enthusiasm for this game is not insignificant; it is the most important and the most primitive act which is symbolized here, the sexual act and fertilization. The ball represents the egg, and the feet, the sperm. Each dream football scene would therefore always be related to the dreamer’s sexual drive.

Washbasin or sink

Most often, the sink represents the female genitalia, the vagina. It is a hollow, a container. It is related to the faucet which represents the opposite, the male sex. The forms and positions – up and down – reinforce the sense of sexual polarities.

Orange (color)

When clearly visualized in dreams, this color is that of sexuality. Often, it symbolizes awareness of energy related to sexuality and desire. Pure, instinctive energy, red, is channeled through consciousness and directed to knowledge, yellow. The fusion of these two colors represents the fusion of two beings uniting to give life.


The serpent is the great representative of the sexual energy. But if this energy that he embodies is not warmed up by the feeling of love, which is too archaic, it can be frightening. Most of those who dream of it have the impression that it can be dangerous. The presence of a snake signals that a sexual energy is put into play. Only, it hides because the dreamer censors certain aspects of it.


Sometimes she can represent the desired body. A partner with whom the dreamer has had sex. It symbolizes the person led or directed on the paths of pleasure. If the ignition key starts the engine well, then the meaning of the dream is obvious. Anyone who has their car stolen feels that their partner has been “stolen” from them. A black car whose headlights dazzle the dreamer can evoke the femme fatale.

For further

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Dream Interpretation: What Lies Behind Our Erotic Dreams

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