Get outta my dream!
March 21, 2011 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Married white female seeks a good night's rest without dreams of having intimate relations with a close male friend. Can you help?

I've always had pretty intense dreams, and I remember at least one dream every night. It's not uncommon for me to dream about the people around me, however these dreams have been bothering me! I've been having dreams almost nightly for a few weeks now that involve me having sex, going on dates, or just having other various intimate times with a male friend of ours. He isn't someone I see more often than any other friends. I am very happy in love and have no desire to be unfaithful to my husband, but these dreams are making me feel a little... strange toward this friend! He is one of our single friends, fairly attractive and the type I would normally "go for", which is not surprising considering he is our friend. I don't have "feelings" for him.

I am not the type to read a lot into dreams, either. However, I just don't know that much about the brain and how/why we dream to get a grasp on why my brain is doing this.

So, any suggestions? Anecdotes? Anecdata? Are you a dream specialist or a psychologist? I occasionally see a therapist for stress, but I am otherwise mentally and physically healthy and happy as far as I know. How do I stop having sex dreams about this particular friend?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know this may not appeal to you, but I've always found it helpful to mention these sorts of things to my SO. Then I'm not stuck wondering if one of the reasons I'm having these dreams is that I'm harboring a crush that's so secret it's even a secret from me! Usually just being out in the open about this (and I have a partner who is refreshingly non-jealous about these sorts of things so conversations along the lines of "I had a weird dream about this person and it sort of freaked me out" are fair territory) tends to remove whatever tension may have been lingering there, so even if there was some sort of a secret crush, the non-secretness of it and me not feeling squirelly about things sets thing right again.
posted by jessamyn at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2011 [10 favorites]

find a new male crush - celebrity, fictional, old boyfriend from high school, whatever. have a super steamy solo session right before bed and think about new crush. if you're like me, you'll dream about new crush instead of friend.

you don't want to cheat on your husband. your brain is just having stressful/hot sexy times and putting someone's face into it - someone where you're emotionally charged (as in, your brain knows you're gonna be like "NOT HIM!" which is why your brain isn't using your husband for this) - just try to change the person so you don't feel weird with the friend.
posted by nadawi at 6:23 PM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had this exact thing happen...and it went away on its own. I had the same sorts of dreams about someone I didn't find at all attractive in real life, and it sort of drove me nuts, but within a couple of months they were gone. I wouldn't worry; enjoy them, add them to your mental library of fantasies, if you like, and don't fret. If they're not gone within 6 months, maybe talk to a therapist (but I'll bet they will leave on their own).
posted by TochterAusElysium at 6:24 PM on March 21, 2011

A few female friends have had this sort of thing happen on and off for awhile, and it just seemed random. But I read an article online that tied sleep patterns and sexual ideation with stressful environments or similar sublimated life happenings, and realized that there was very heavy correlation between these episodes and heavy stressors in their lives. For instance, one friend had this start up a month or two before leaving the country for an extended stay. She didn't think she was hugely stressed about it, but it definitely showed. Happened to the second friend a little while before a big local athletics event (her first in years). In retrospect it seems obvious, but at the time we weren't looking at the big picture.
posted by Phyltre at 6:44 PM on March 21, 2011

Speaking as a man: don't tell your husband. Your recurring dreams about a make friend are not something your husband is going to be comfortable hearing about, I'm pretty sure.
posted by jayder at 6:49 PM on March 21, 2011 [14 favorites]

Oh God, this has happened to me so many times -- most recently with a male friend whom I dated ten years ago, and who is so much like a brother to me that it actually triggers my incest taboo. (Seriously, I woke up from a dream about making out with him and did a full-on shuddery "eeeyyuchhh" kind of thing. Dating him was lovely, mind you, but it was also TEN YEARS ago, and we know each other WAY too well now.) I didn't read anything into it other than "huh, that was weird." Then the next night I had a dream about the same guy getting liposuction, and that was that.

My hunch is that the initial dream was just a random spontaneous thing, but your fretting about it is just making it stick because it's keeping him in the forefront of your brain.

Dreams are your brain just going wacky for a while. I wouldn't read anything into it -- but I also wouldn't try to make it stop either. Just kind of let it happen and whatever impish part of your brain that's just trying to mess with you will get bored and stop on its own.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:52 PM on March 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Whenever I've had dreams I don't want to be dreaming, I go deliberately sleep-deprived for a few days and it breaks the cycle. I don't know if that would work for you, but it's an idea.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 PM on March 21, 2011

Speaking from personal experience, I have these sorts of dreams when I fall asleep... unsatisfied. Have you tried masturbating before falling asleep?
posted by rhapsodie at 9:25 PM on March 21, 2011

I can usually kill weird serial dreams by talking about them, which you've now done here. If this doesn't do it, have a long imaginary conversation about it with a friend in your head - really hash it out in detail, and express your "ew" feelings too, until you feel like you've really thoroughly talked through it. When you've poured good cold light of day on it, your brain will probably move on to something more mysterious.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:07 PM on March 21, 2011

jayder: Speaking as a man: don't tell your husband. Your recurring dreams about a make friend are not something your husband is going to be comfortable hearing about, I'm pretty sure

I don't think you're in any position to say that. You cannot speak for your gender, or for any particular subset of that gender except for yourself. That includes the poster's spouse.

My husband is male and has not even batted an eyelash when I've mentioned this happening.

Anon, you should make your own call on this. If telling your spouse would not be disruptive, I would encourage you to do so because it may stop the dreams that you find troubling. If it would be an issue, you can look at what that person represents and try to figure out why you're having the dreams.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:28 AM on March 22, 2011 [4 favorites]

My subconscious desire for male friends has increased at times when my conscious love-life with my partner has not met needs (romantic, sexual, whatever). Do you think there is anything there that needs addressing? If life has just got in the way, could you arrange a sexy weekend with your SO to reinvigorate your whatever?
posted by b33j at 2:39 AM on March 22, 2011

I don't think you're in any position to say that. You cannot speak for your gender, or for any particular subset of that gender except for yourself. That includes the poster's spouse.

Whoa, calm down. I can give my perspective as a male -- I know what I damn sure wouldn't want to hear -- and the poster is free to heed that or dismiss it as she sees fit.
posted by jayder at 9:11 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's a reason jayder got 12 favorites on his comment. It is not necessary to share certain things. The idea that sharing relieves one's burden is a poor one when all it does is to shovel that burden onto someone else.

I could share my personal experience, but this isn't the place for it. "Discretion is the better part of valor" goes the saying. And "not batting an eyelash" does not equal "is totally ok with it".

There is no need to share certain things with one's SO. I never invited my ex-wife into the bathroom to witness an exceptionally magnificent bowel movement. Just. Not. Necessary.
posted by Xoebe at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, and the OP's dreams. Try enjoying them. There is a South Pacific culture that encourages embracing dreams. For example, having a falling dream? Instead of being scared, enjoy the sensation. This culture was regarded as being exceptionally well adjusted. YMMV.

There is a reason these make you uncomfortable, and that's a good healthy sign.
posted by Xoebe at 10:19 AM on March 22, 2011

Speaking as a man: don't tell your husband. Your recurring dreams about a make friend are not something your husband is going to be comfortable hearing about, I'm pretty sure.

Eh. I think so long as the relationship is secure, this is not always the case. So long as you skip any lurid details and preface and post(?)face it with a "isn't that weird?!?!" I think it'll be fairly light and won't freak your husband too much. Just be sure to scrunch up your face and make a "how gross would that be" expression.

Definitely don't mention this is a recurring dream though.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:10 PM on March 22, 2011

Jayder's position is valid but not universal.
I would be totally comfortable telling my own husband such a dream, and he would likewise be comfortable sharing with me as well.

You know your own partner way better than we do. You can trust your own judgement on whether or not sharing is a good idea.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:22 PM on March 22, 2011

Yeah, my partner tells me her sexy dreams sometimes, if they involve people I know/friends of mine, I always find them amusing and I never got jealous or bothered by it.

I'm sure your dream casting department will hire someone new for the role soon, enjoy them while you can.
posted by the bricabrac man at 8:56 AM on March 23, 2011

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