HEALTHY LIVING
07/13/2011 02:41 pm ET | Updated Sep 12, 2011

Dreams About Sex In A Public Place: Dream Meanings Explained

Dreams about sex in a public place are not an uncommon theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one has been covering this ground at night, you may have questions about what it all might mean. As part of a Huffington Post series on dreams and their meanings, we spoke to August J. Cwik, Psy.D., associated with the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s dreams about sex in a public place. Note: While dream analysis is highly subjective, this post might provide some insight into why this dream occurred or is recurring.

What do dreams about sex in a public place mean?
From a Jungian perspective, Cwik cautions that dreams are an individual process and have to do with the conscious attitude of the dreamer. “In Freudian theory," he says, "dreams allow the disguised fulfillment of a repressed wish, often sexual, which must not be gratified directly." On the other hand, Cwik explains, "Jung saw dreams as natural products that seek to communicate with us, not disguise. If the meaning seems strange and incomprehensible, it is because they speak the old, forgotten language of metaphor and symbol."

What can I learn about myself from dreaming about sex in public?
Cwik explains that the dream message can range on different levels from "the concreteness of sexuality to metaphor and the union of opposites coming together in a pubilc environment." He suggests, "The dream may be compensatory, about someone who is very inhibited or shy of public speaking, of coming forward or suffering from a social phobia."

Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about sex in a public place?
Cwik cautions that one should avoid manipulating dreams, particularly around sexuality. “We cannot make sexual dreams happen any more than we can make them disappear," he says. "And we really do not want to, because these dreams may be the ‘royal road’ to observing the vicissitudes of this sometimes wily instinct.”

Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about sex in public?
According to Cwik, “The metaphorical symbolism is that of union, about connection and integration, integration of hitherto unrealized parts of our psyche. And sex in a public place may refer to being out in the open, more forthright in a very embodied kind of way. Sexual dreams may be just that -- referencing the instinctual nature of the dreamer -- but we should not forget that sex is also the grand metaphor for intimate connectedness with other parts of our own psyche.”

Who tends to have dreams about this subject most frequently?
There are possibly two personality types most involved here: those who are publicly reserved and those who are very out in the open. “With a compensatory dream," says Cwik, "it may be about people who are introverted and shy, but could also be a complimentary dream that shows a person that they are being out in the open, extroverted. That is why it is so important to take into consideration the conscious attitude of the dreamer.”

What else is important for us to understand about dreams of sex in a public place?
The particular nature of the sexual partner, the nature of the sex, the feelings and context should be considered. Cwik notes that dreams about sex in a public place “may be trying to express the genuine emotional response of what it is like to integrate aspects of one’s own shadowy side. The good news is that sexual dreams more than any other type of dream always intrigue us, and they ‘seduce’ us into taking notice of our inner world.”

August J. Cwik, Psy.D., is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle, and holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. He received his diploma from the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is a member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts and the Interregional Society of Jungian Analysts. He was co-director of training at the Analyst Training Program and co-director of the Clinical Training Program in Analytical Psychotherapy at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. He is in private practice in Chicago and Park Ridge, Ill. He has published articles on the structure of analysis, alchemy, supervision, dreams, active imagination and numerous reviews and additionally provides supervision and analytic psychotherapy in person and by videoconferencing.

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