Oxytocin and gender define men and women in our sexual dreams

February 13, 2015

Sexual dreams are not always about sex. They are about union, the coming together of different, conflicting parts of us. They are seemingly crazy illustrations of how our unconscious integrates and merges the different aspects of our being. They reconstruct how we perceive and are perceived by others. We now understand that men and women dream differently. A recent study has demonstrated that women typically engage in sexual dreams in which their partners are familiar to them. Their unconscious casts them with either a current partner, or a past partner. Inversely, men tend to bring in new players and experience dreams cast with people, or bodies, that don’t even exist in their lives. At least not yet. 

Irrespective of gender, dreams often press the boundaries of sexual taboos—including both sexes consider inappropriate in waking moments. For example, some women experience rape only to awake feeling as though their innocence, perhaps fidelity has been violated and stripped away. Some men dream about looking for secret places to have sex. Though not necessarily a taboo, secret places could indicate an unconscious search for intimacy and closeness. Women could feel that the search for secret places is an indication that others are talking about them, their private relationship. It is very common for men with pregnant wives to have homosexual dreams, not that homosexual dreams are taboo, but they could be confusing to expectant fathers. On the other hand they could also indicate repressed sexual desires. Whether male or female, occasional homosexual dreams can represent an expression of self-love and acceptance, not necessarily homo-erotic desire. 

Some wild sex dreams indicate our ambivalence about the aforementioned anathemas. After all, forbidden sex is rather exciting, is it not? Some dream interpreters would have us think that such taboo dreams are an expression of a frustrated life of insipid sex. 

Are your dreams romantic? Boy meets girl and they fall in lust. She is beautiful; he handsome, the location is lovely. In the girls case it would be an acquaintance she knew. In the guy’s case, probably someone he didn’t know, and had never even seen or heard of before. This is usually a harmless fantasy and means that men are less inhibited sexually and want to bring some adventure to their lives. It can also symbolize uncertainty about the future and what is to come. Such dreams also allow the dreamer to experiment freely without any hang-ups or emotional baggage. For women, sex with people from the past or present suggests they are not willing to expose themselves. 

Male or female, dreams of sex with multiple partners can indicate a sense of detachment in personal relationships and can indicate that sex is just an act devoid of emotion or passion. 

Do your dreams indicate that you are nervous about exposing yourself? Or, that you are in a sexual rut? Perhaps you need to elevate your oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone of understanding, bondage, love, sex and nurturing. Because it releases in the pituitary, the skin, the eyes, the nipples, the gonads it has the power to integrate and merge all of the scary components of our unconscious desires, fears and wants. It is also the hormone that physically enhances orgasms in men and women as it lets down emotional barriers by tweaking the fear threshold that separates us from others. This is why it is so useful for cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, post-traumatic sex disorder, autism and Asperger’s syndromes.