Erotic Lucid Dreaming: Exploring Sex & Spirit

This is a topic that never goes out of style. Exploring sexuality safely within the confines of the dream world is one of the prime motivations for learning how to lucid dream. The promise of “exciting dream sex” is a marketing hotspot, so to speak, for beginning lucid dreaming guides, books, and dozens of dubious meditation CDs.

What these guides don’t tell you, of course, is how difficult it is to perfect the art of exploring erotic energy in dreams, and what the pitfalls are along the way.

Let’s start with a little question and answer about the basics and then move on to the possibilities of exploring sex and sensuality in dreams.

Q: Is it true that you can learn how to lucid dream and have sex with your ultimate fantasy?
A:Yes, it’s true. In fact, the experience can feel like the real thing. All sensations in a lucid dream, after all, feel as real as the waking world, provided you have felt the sensations before (or similar sensations) and have working memories to draw from.

Q: Are dream orgasms real?
A: Yes, it’s been scientifically documented that orgasms in lucid dreams can be real orgasms, accompanied by muscular responses, a quickened heart-rate, and vascular tissue change too. This is true for men and women. However, not every lucid dream orgasm is necessarily a physical one; some seems to just trip the pleasure center in the mind, particularly if the arousal happens quickly or instantaneously. We also don’t know about the electrochemical angle yet, such as endorphin release, oxytocin levels, etc.

Q: What about wet dreams?
A: There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that lucid dreams that end in orgasm for young men can result in real-life ejaculation. I don’t know about any scientific studies that have proven this is a lab… that would be a tough sell for finding volunteers.

Q: Why are my lucid dreams so erotically charged?
A: REM sleep is simply exciting from a biological standpoint. Erections and the female equivalent (engorgement) come and go all the time in normal dreams. Becoming consciously aware in a dream often means becoming aware of our bodies’ physiological arousal as we dream. There is also a connection between flying dreams and this physiological arousal — which may explain why the top two lucid activities are flying and sex!

Q: I had a sexual lucid dream about someone unexpected… what does it mean?
A: Dreams tend to reflect our waking thought patterns, but having a sex dream about your boss or your pilates instructor doesn’t necessarily mean you want to bed them. But, at the end of the night, things happen in lucid dreams that we often don’t intend, and I would never suggest that someone feel guilty about a dream they had because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Even St Augustine, the medieval Christian priest who essentially coined “original sin,” forgave himself for his wilder dreams.

Q: Can you get addicted to lucid dream sex?
A: I have never heard of such a case, because of the self-limiting factors in lucid sex dreams. In other words, lucid dreaming can fulfill fantasies, but unhealthy or dishonest fantasies result in inabilities to “follow through” with the dream scene, as I discuss below.

The Carrot on the String

carrot_and_stickNow that I’ve covered the basics of lucid dream sex, I’ll move on to the real trouble with using lucid dreaming to explore sexuality: the Carrot on the String.

How many times have you realized you are dreaming and then wasted no time finding a romantic partner to couple with, only to find that the would-be-lover walks away, transforms into someone who is not attractive, or becomes angry and menacing?

Maybe you disengage to find another partner, only for the process to repeat again, either by meeting resistance, disinterest, or bizarre character transformations that you couldn’t even tell your best friends about out of sheer embarrassment.

This is the “carrot on the string,” one of the greatest self-limiting constructs in lucid dreamwork. Just when what you want is in reach, something yanks the string and you are left grasping at air.

The reason this happens is because most of the time we do not really crave lucid dream sex, but sexual connection. Nor do we really want to “have” that attractive person. Long story short, once we stop treating our fantasy dream loves like objects (specifically: carrots) to have or possess, entire new worlds of possibility open up.

It takes two

holding-handsOur dream sex fantasy is not a famous movie star, or an Amazonian god or goddess. Rather, the fantasy is to have a relationship with this person (however fleetingly). This is basic human psychology; we’re wired for connection.

It’s an easy thing to understand on an intellectual level, but may be more difficult to deprogram in a dream, especially in Western culture, which famously markets sexual objects and holds sexual intimacy with ill regard.

I remember a friend of mine telling me how in his sexual lucid dreams he finds the woman of his dreams, begins to make love to her, and then notices, to his horror, that she has meanwhile transformed into a lifeless rag doll.

His fantasy became a disturbing parody, and left him with an unsettled feeling that lingered for months. This is an anecdote I have heard in many forms, and for each dreamer the transforming figure is unique but the process is similar.

So what do we really want with dream sex?
We really want connection, relationship, and a shared experience, even in our dreams! Erotic pleasure is naturally the fruit of this basic truth. For many beginner lucid dreamers who are used to “abracadabra I can get whatever I want” this often means a difficult shift in perspective from grasping for gratification to connecting to our inner passions.

I don’t mean to suggest that you can’t be gratified.

The opposite is true; remember that piece about how orgasms can be real? By focusing on relationships first and sensations second, many lucid opportunities will come your way.

And once you make the shift, you will probably find that your waking life sexual relationships will become more fulfilling too.

Sacred Sexuality and Lucidity

lascaux-shaman-erection

Note the erection on the bird-headed man in this ten thousand year old painting as well as his prone position. Very likely he’s dreaming or in a similar REM-based trance state.

The erotic energies are very strong, and very old. Lucid dreaming is an altered state of consciousness, and the sexual energies in dream, trance, and visions have been explored for millennia by mystics, magis, and saints as a path to know the Divine.

In fact, some of the earliest known paintings in the world, including the famous cave art of Lascaux, France, depict sexual ecstasy.

In Christianity, the medieval mystics, such as Teresa of Avile and St. Catherine of Siena, explored sexual themes in their ecstatic trances.

Taoism, Sufism, and Buddhism all have developed mental practices for sacred sexuality as well. Many of these ancient practices focus on cultivating sexual energy and then using it to purify the mind and the body.

All of this is to say that sexual energy is well known by consciousness explorers as having more value than scratching the pleasure centers of the brain.

While getting closer to these “transpersonal” abilities may not be your intention, it is helpful to know in advance that delving into lucid dreaming sexuality may have some unforeseen results due to the power of the erotic energies.

Tips for Exploring Erotic Lucid Dreams

So how can you explore Eros safely in lucid dreams? Without going into too much juicy detail, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Eye Contact
Make eye contact in the dream. Dream figures can communicate consent this way.

I’m serious: whether you believe dream figures are unreal mental models, or parts of our unconscious personality, or autonomous beings with their own intentions, you can pretty much gauge the authenticity of the encounter just by making eye contact and receiving consent. In fact, this can lead to some ecstatic moments in and of itself.

Surprise Arrivals and Shape-Shifting Dream Figures

Sometimes we have a fantasy in mind but someone else “shows up” in the lucid dream. This is a delicate situation and only you can know what to do.

lucid-whisper-dream-sexI will say, however, that wholesale rejection of those whom show up is a quick way to the Carrot on the String mess, in dreams and in waking life.

Further, the dream brings insight when an unexpected dream character arrives. This person may have something to share that is not of a sexual nature.

So pay attention to whispering dream figures.

Dream figures in lucid dreams do have the habit of transforming, and this is a well known phenomenon that happens right in the middle of the act flagrante lucido.

When this happens, follow Douglas Adams’ advice and Don’t Panic. Try showering your dream partner with love and acceptance.

And mean it.

Our minds have deep connections between bliss and repulsion, so it’s important to stay grounded and remember that this is a dream.

Fear can transform passion into terror in a second, but if you work through this fear, you may be surprised with an unexpected gift from the dream.

And possibly one of the most intensely erotic dreams in your life.

Stay Flexible
Overall, I recommend being flexible when exploring the sensual side of lucid dreaming. If you have a strange new fantasy that comes out of nowhere, remember that you are dreaming and in a safe place to explore new ideas.

On a related note, if you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be the opposite gender (or be part of a truly safe sex orgy), now is your chance.

And who says you need to have a dream body to experience ecstasy?

Bottom-line, as with all forms of intimacy: love yourself. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.

Play Safe
Dream eroticism is just about the safest sex around. However, there are some legitimate concerns to consider because of the intense emotionality that is often accessed during lucid dreams. Often intimacy can cloak powerful psychological dynamics that require the utmost caution.

This is especially true for lucid dreamers who have a personal history of sexual abuse. Remember that if you feel uncomfortable or at risk, you can always wake up.

While lucid dream sexuality is often talked about by beginners, few master the psychological dynamics of Eros within the conscious dream.

book-boss-2-new-stickerI hope this primer helps you on your path to self-discovery. With respect, gratitude, and a sincere wish to learn, erotic lucid dreaming can be fun, and fulfilling.

Further reading

This article is an excerpt from my newest ebook Big Dreams (Book 2 of Dream Like a Boss).