LIFE

What Your Sex Dreams Actually Mean

We know you have them.

09/05/2016 11:58 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Your brain can take you to some pretty surprising places when you're asleep.

Hands up who has ever had a sexy dream about someone they are totally not attracted to.

Uh-huh. We thought so.

Whether it's Phil from accounts or your high school P.E. teacher, chances are you've unconsciously spent some time between the sheets with someone completely unexpected (and may have woken up feeling very disturbed as a result).

But before you go and crawl into a ball of shame, there are a couple of things you need to know.

Firstly, you're not alone, and, secondly, it's completely normal.

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Don't worry. You don't *actually* fancy that guy from work.

"Our dreams reflect the last one to two days of our lives," dream analyst Jane Teresa Anderson BSc Hons told The Huffington Post Australia. "Whatever has been going on for you consciously -- or, more importantly, unconsciously -- those things are processed in your dreams.

"So when you look at a dream, it's like a window into how this person's mind is processing their life."

For those reading this thinking, 'but my dreams never reflect what's been going on in my life', never fear, it's not because you have a particularly wacky mindset. It's because the brain doesn't quite work that way.

"It would be really lovely if our dreams made logical sense," Anderson said. "But more often than not they tend to be bizarre and surreal. This is because the more logical areas of our brain and mind are basically turned off while we are sleeping.

"So we're left with the right side of our brain -- the more emotive, holistic side -- processing the last couple of days.

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See ya later, logic.

"If you imagine your brain being given a blank canvas and a paintbrush, and then asked what the last couple of days felt like, you might end up with a painting of a packet of frozen peas and a Buddha sitting in a lake.

"The question is then, 'what does this say about this person's unconscious mindset?'"

Okayyyy -- but what about the crazy dream sex? Because last time we checked, getting down and dirty with your Ned Flanders-esque neighbour had nothing to do with how we're processing our work life.

"Sex, if you think about it, is a close and intimate thing," Anderson said. "One of the reasons we might dream of having sex with somebody is because we are feeling close and intimate to something in our lives.

"Things you might want to ask yourself are, 'who is this totally inappropriate person I am having sex with?' 'What does this represent?' And the best way to approach that is to think of the first three words you would use to describe them.

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Bob from work. AKA dream lover.

"So, it might be something like, 'okay, this is Bob from work. This is totally inappropriate. But, three words I would use to describe his personality are driven, risk taking, and boring.

"Now, if you are enjoying the sex in that dream, at some level in the day or two before the dream you may have been feeling really intimate with one of those qualities.

"It might be a case of, 'I don't usually take risks, but I have had the opportunity to in the last few days.' So the sex dream with Bob is your brain saying 'you have been getting really up close and personal with risk taking.'

"If the dream sex is good, it's your mindset telling you that you're enjoying this new risk-taking aspect of your life.

"If the sex is bad, it's your mindset going, 'oh God. I am taking risks and I do not like it at all'."

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This is probably not a good idea.

Something very important Anderson wants to stress is that dreams do NOT tell you what to do. So even if dream sex with Bob-from-work was off the charts, it does not mean you should act on it.

"A lot of people think dreams are telling them what to do. This is not the case. All the dream shows you is how you are feeling about taking more risks in life," Anderson said.

"It does not mean that person fancies you or that maybe you have had a predictive dream.

"Anybody who features in your dream at all, [are only there] because of what you think about that person. It has nothing to do with the actual person."

There is, however, one exception to this rule, and that's if you actually do have a crush on someone and they have been featuring frequently in your thoughts.

"If you do really fancy someone and you dream about them, it's your mind processing your thoughts about that person," Anderson said.

"Funnily enough, in those cases you're more likely to not have a sex dream. It will probably be something completely different which is dealing with, for instance, why you haven't approached them yet."

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