I’ve mentioned before that something I like about the sleep dreams I have is that they often show an entirely different reality than the one I am used to in physical life. This is especially true in sex dreams. Flat out some of my best times in bed have happened when I’ve been sound asleep!
The problem is that sex has been driven into the gutters in our society. It’s not a topic easily discussed, even at times among mates. Shame, ridicule, belittling, or hostility can easily erupt when discussing sexual desires or hoping to work through a challenge that somehow involves sex. I often find myself having to talk in code using all the editing techniques polite society requires.
Yet it’s occurred to me that we often hear erotic dreams and fantasies as wishes for a literal experience. We focus on the activity they represent as the meat of the fantasy. Yet the psychological forces driving the content may be expressing something else entirely. Sex may just be the medium — the cover story — that expresses something deeper, more profound, and possibly not as related to “just sex” as it looks.
Let’s take the process of creative writing. The author may have a symbolic point he wants to make. He will invent a character to help him make his point. He will have that character do things or encounter situations that will help drive that point home to the audience.
So rather than looking at your sexual fantasies (or those of a loved one) as a literal representation of an erotic wish, look for the symbolic message just beneath the surface.
For example, let’s look at that great film American Beauty where the middle-aged Kevin Spacey character was having a multitude of sexual fantasies about his teen-age daughter’s friend, the young cheerleader. At a superficial level, one could say that this was an older man’s sexual fantasy about yearning to seduce a young girl. We could load it up with clichés about men and their preoccupation with youth and beauty. Men are dogs. End of story.
But is that it? His fantasies could be the cover story that expresses a fear of aging, a desire for lost youth, a hunger for doing something different in a lifestyle featuring too much mediocrity. In the context of the movie plot of what was to eventually happen to the Kevin Spacey character, the fantasies could also have even been an unconscious life review with a focus on the dreams and aspirations held in his lost youth.
SEEKING HIDDEN MESSAGES
It’s fun and sometimes hit-the-jackpot profound for me to look at my own dreams, fantasies, and idle thoughts and to wonder what the hidden messages are. It’s a bit like reverse engineering of some creative writing to see what the author intended. Why does a certain person attract or repel me? What do certain activities or situations mean to me? Why does some fantasy pull me emotionally in some direction, either positive or negative?
It is often said that the outside world and how we see it is a mirror image of our interior world. Our fantasies are a reflection of that world. If I find myself focusing on a lot of negative fantasies — where I lose, get injured, get rejected, suffer — I acknowledge the message and then welcome more positive visions and thoughts. The more I channel positive thoughts, the better I feel.
People who are involved in relationships often go ballistic if their partners admit to having sexual fantasies or cravings about someone else or some erotic activity they find troublesome. Some people are conditioned to be hair-trigger in their jealous, angry, or fearful reactions. Yet beneath the literal fantasy that involves a specific person or activity could be a non-sexual hunger for change, a yearning for more meaning in life, a cry for diversion, a desire for intimacy that’s been abandoned.
It is also worth noting that sexual fantasies happen within a world where we’re continuously bombarded with mass entertainment. We innocently watch movies where people bump into interesting characters who offer great new experiences, new insights, fresh air — and sometimes fatal-attraction suffering. We think we have not been affected by the hypnotic impact of all the media we absorb. Think again.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
I like to embrace my fantasies — erotic and otherwise — as messages from Deep Within. They often arrive coded and encrypted, cloaked in the language of the unconscious. I befriend them and look beyond the surface for the yummy truffles.