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Interpret Your Sexual Dreams By Kelly Jones (Lavalife columnist)

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If you've ever woken from a vivid sexual dream wondering why you'd envisioned dirty deeds with that quirky guy from accounting and a pink tutu-clad circus midget, you're not alone. Sexual dreams are quite common and can leave dreamers confused, upset and downright worried. So, how literally should you take your erotic nighttime fantasies? Read on, stardust warrior, and find out.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Dreaming happens a number of times each night as we enter our Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, characterized by twitching peepers beneath eyelids. It is commonly believed that dreams are a way for mortals to deal with issues from our daily life and restore emotional equilibrium. "Dreams are messages from the unconscious mind [that] can reveal our deep feelings and our true motivations," says Craig Hamilton-Parker in Fantasy Dreaming. "In particular they can bring to light many repressed sexual desires, our guilty feelings or our unexpressed fears about sex."

Explicitly Sexual Dreams
Dreams that involve acts of sexual experimentation or erotic emotions usually involve people known to you and may reveal something about your feelings for that person. If they involve your existing flame, the meaning is generally clear. Having sex with someone you know but who you aren't intimately involved with, however, may mean that you are harboring a secret attraction. That's great if you're both available but if you're already involved in a relationship, you may want to steer clear of situations that would lead you to act on these feelings. If the horizontal dance partner in your dream is a total stranger, it could be your subconscious telling you something about the relationship you have with yourself.

I Like to Watch
If you dream about your lover doing the nasty with another person, you could have deep-rooted concerns about your sexual performance or interaction with that person. Ditto for dreams about lovers' sexual organs. Visions of others' genitalia dancing through your head may also suggest you may be worried about their sexuality or other personal issues.

I Can't Believe What You Did Last Night
Have you ever woken up from a dream about a lover's infidelity and accused your hapless partner of cheating? These dreams generally reveal hidden concerns and insecurities you have with your current relationship. If you yourself are the straying seductor, it's likely your inner psyche feels that something is lacking in your partnership. Try to zero in on the problem by taking a tally of what the seductee fulfilled for you in the dream and determining whether that aspect is missing from your current relationship.

That Was Disturbing
If you have a high degree of sexual repression, your fears and anxieties may be expressed through erotic dreams filled with sexual situations that are shocking or embarrassing. If you dream of bumping uglies with a totally inappropriate person or a member of your family, it could be a symbolic message about problems in your relationship with that person. In either case, don't panic. These dreams are relatively common and don't mean that you are a sexual deviant.

Common Dream Imagery
Psychologists claim to have found clear meanings for common themes in sexual dreams. Dreams involving bisexual or hermaphrodite roles could indicate issues with feelings about your masculinity or femininity. Men dreaming of making love with an active or successful woman may indicate a wish that his partner play a less passive role during lovemaking and in their relationship. Interrupted intercourse indicates inhibition, and the cause of the disruption may indicate something about these hang-ups; dreaming of making love with your clothes on is a sign of guilt.

A Last Thought Before Drifting Off
Interpreting dreams is tricky. Even psychologists have competing theories and interpretations. You can refer to one of the many books about dream analysis, but be curiously careful. Ask yourself: 'Does the book's explanations sound plausible and strike a personal chord?' If not, skip it. Psychologists would be the first to admit that they're just scratching the surface of the human psyche.

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