I’m almost 40 years old, and I’ve almost never had a sex dream that actually had any real sex in it. I don’t know whether this is unusual, but it sure is annoying.
I realized this after a dream that I had a couple of nights ago. I was back in my senior year in college, walking through campus, when Jason Paradis comes up to me and starts flirting with me. Through body language and some sort of dialogue that I don’t remember, he suggests that I should follow him back to his place so that we can hook up.
“But I’m on my way to a final exam,” I say, “Is there any way I can come over afterwards?” He says no: it’s now or never. In the dream, I’m aware of the fact that if I do not take this final exam, I will not get my college degree. So I am faced with a dilemma: do I have sex with Jason Paradis, or graduate from college?
Wow. Talk about your tough choices.
In the end, I decide that it’s more important to have sex with Jason Paradis than to get a college diploma, so I start walking with him back to his place. I notice that the architecture in the neighborhood that he lives in looks very Eastern European. Nice detail, Subconscious Mind. Nicely done.
We get back to his place, he sits me down on a couch, and says, “Hang on a moment, I’ll be right back,” and he leaves me waiting alone in his room.
AND THAT’S WHEN THE DREAM ENDS.
It’s like some kind of sick Jungian joke.
This recent dream got me thinking back, however, and I realized that it happens like this almost every single time, and has for my entire life.
I remember a dream in which I was with some guy in a car and we were driving through a field. We pass by some people, and I want to stop for help, but the guy (who is sitting in the passenger seat) looks all scared and said, “I don’t trust them, let’s keep going.” So we drive further, until we get to a place where the plants are as tall as the car. He says, “OK, let’s stop here!”. I stop the car, take off my seat belt, lean over to kiss him, put my hand on his thigh…. and that’s when I wake up.
I could go on and on; it’s the same every time.
You want to know what’s even more interesting? Even in those dreams where I’m controlling the dream, I can’t have a proper sex dream in which I actually get laid!
You may or may not be familiar with the concept of “lucid dreams”. A lucid dream is a dream in which you know that you are dreaming, and can make decisions and exercise some kind of control. They are a fascinating phenomenon and have been studied by psychologists for a long time, and viewed as a form of “astral projection” by mystics for even longer.
When I was a child, my lucid dreams usually involved me trying to fly. These were exhilarating and fun dreams, full of playful attempts to hurl myself off of ladders and see if I could glide like a bird. Since I knew I was dreaming, I knew I wouldn’t get hurt.
Somewhere around when puberty hit, of course, my priorities changed.
I remember my first teenaged lucid dream vividly. I was in 7th grade, sitting in “Earth Science” in the back row. My mind was wandering, and I realized that I didn’t remember actually arriving at school that morning. Nor did I remember anything before sitting in that class. “Maybe I’m dreaming,” I thought to myself. So I tried the standard thing that people are told to try: I pinched myself. Sure enough, I didn’t feel a thing.
Soon, I worked up the nerve to stand up, walk to the front of the class, and tap the teacher on the shoulder.
“Yes?” he said.
“Am I dreaming?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied casually, “Now go sit down.”
Going back to my seat, however, was the last thing on my mind. I immediately walked out the door, and started to explore the hallways of the school building, looking for Kyle.
Now, at this point I was 13 years old. I didn’t think of myself as gay. I didn’t have conscious thoughts in my head about what it was that I liked about Kyle. I knew that I admired him and wanted to be around him a lot. Even as I searched around the school for him in my dream, I didn’t have any explicit thoughts about what I wanted to do when I found him.
All I knew was this: if I could do anything that I wanted without any consequences or fear of being found out, well… Kyle was the guy I wanted to be around.
So I explored. I wandered down hallways, looking in classroom doors. The dream had the layout of the building a little muddled, so I would turn corners and end up in weird places. But no matter: I kept on looking.
Eventually, I did find Kyle. He was coming out of a classroom doorway. I walked right up to him, reached out toward him…
He pushed me away, and then I woke up.
Bugger it all.
One can imagine a perfectly reasonable explanation for why a young, repressed, in-the-closet teen may have a dream like this. Perhaps it was symbolic of my subconscious mind’s refusal to acknowledge my desires. Perhaps it was an acting out of my own conflict and internalized confusion or homophobia. As a 13 year old, still a good 4 years shy of even thinking of “coming out”, it all makes sense.
But what on earth does my subconscious have against me having a good, proper sex dream now?
I’ve been “out of the closet” most of my life now. I feel very comfortable with my self and my sexuality. I have a fantastic healthy sex life. So, what’s your problem, Subconscious Mind?
There is probably a perfectly good explanation: maybe I don’t watch enough porn, or I watch too many Disney animated movies. Both of those seem like fairly plausible explanations.
But I guess I will really never know for sure.