07/13/2011 01:57 pm ET | Updated Sep 12, 2011

Dreams About Sex: Dream Meanings Explained

Dreams about sex are a fairly common theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one have 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 Richard Nicoletti, J.D., a psychotherapist trained at the Jung Institute in Boston, to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s dreams about sex. 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 mean?
You may think it's just a spicy or lustful dream about sex, but Nicoletti would look deeper. "In Jungian theory, the joining of opposites -- the male/female, king/queen -- is the successful joining of the conscious and the unconscious," explains Nicoletti. He adds, "It's like a Holy Grail to be sought. Bringing together the masculine and feminine within creates a wholeness of the psyche."

What can I learn about myself from dreaming about sex?
When dreaming about sex, you could be trying to find a sense of wholeness within. But, Nicoletti cautions, "It depends on the partner in the dream. Some partners could be problematic and could indicate abuse."

Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about sex?
Sex dreams may reveal your desires and anxieties, including feelings of emptiness and other emotions you may not be confronting in your waking life. Rather than avoiding sex dreams, Nicoletti advises cultivating "good relationships -- and many of them."

Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about sex?
"Sex is symbolic of the survival of the species," says Nicoletti. "It can also symbolize creativity, in terms of survival, in everyday terms, or expanding your horizon -- writing that novel, composing music."

Who tends to have dreams about sex most frequently?
"People who are very introverted without many good relationships, so sex dreams might be compensatory," Nicoletti says. It's not just introverts, however. "Extroverts whose relationships are simply on the surface" also tend to dream about sex.

What about same-sex dreams?
The joining of opposites doesn't have to mean opposite genders. "For a homosexual, the dream partner might be a person who has something the dreamer lacks -- the two shards of a complete person," says Nicoletti. "The meaning might be the same for a heterosexual who has a sexual dream about the opposite sex."

Richard Nicoletti, J.D., was a lawyer (Cornell and Boston University law schools) for 37 years before retiring in 2000 and going on to study at the Jung Institute of Boston. He currently lives in Keene, N.H., where he has taught continuing education classes at Keene State College. In addition to his own private practice, he also practices Jungian psychotherapy at a family services center.