Wondering what having sex in a dream with someone you know means? 7 common scenarios, explained

Ever dreamt you had sex with your ex, co-worker, or boss? You're not alone..

Most common sex dreams
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wondering what having sex with someone you know in a dream means? Don't worry - we've all been there.

A bit like talking to your partner about a sexual fantasy or figuring out how to be intimate after a prolonged period apart, starting a conversation with your S/O about a steamy dream with his best friend can feel - well, confusing, to say the least. 

You know what they say, after all - dreams are meant to be windows into our subconscious and hold a deeper meaning.  

If you've slept with your ex or had an encounter with a someone of the same sex in a dream, you'll likely start wracking your brains for reasons as to why. Found yourself in a rendez vous with your employer? You might fear that - without even realising it - you're subconsciously in love with your boss. On the other hand, if you've hooked up with his best mate, question marks might be flying about whether you subconsciously have feelings for him.

Don’t panic - our experts reckon that a lot of the time, sex dreams don't actually have anything to do with how you feel romantically. Quite the opposite. 

Keep scrolling as dreams expert and best-selling author Anna-Karin Bjorkland decodes what having sex with someone you know in a dream means, plus the seven most common sex dreams mean, once and for all. Don't miss our guides to the best lube, best condoms, and best sex toys, while you're here.

Wondering what having sex with someone you know in a dream means? Your guide

1. What having sex with a friend means

Most of us dream about having sex with a friend at some point in our lives, so try not to fret too much if you wake confused about why you'd have done that to your partner or questioning whether you have subconscious feelings for them, shares the expert.

What does it mean? "It doesn't necessarily mean that you're sexually attracted to them," shares Bjorkland. "Our friends are very close to us emotionally, and these types of dreams often help you see personality traits your friend has that you unconsciously wish you had as well."

Try this: think about what it is you most admire in your friend, and how you could bring out this quality in yourself.

Not so sure about this one? Then ask yourself if you've recently fallen out or disagreed with a friend. "A romantic liaison with a mate could also suggest it is time to make up if you have recently argued," she continues.

Most common sex dreams: a man and woman kiss

2. What having sex with an ex means

So you've had sex with an ex. Worse still - found it, well, hot? We've all been there, and Bjorkland reassures us that it doesn't necessarily mean you’re still attracted to them. "These types of love dreams could happen because you've recently been reminded about a part of yourself you thought you lost when the relationship ended," she explains.

Think of it this way: Maybe there’s a new side of you developing that reminds you of your ex-partner, or you're missing characteristics you felt you had when you were together.

What does it mean? "If you have children together, the dream could be telling you that you might benefit from getting along for the benefit of the children," she shares. "Similarly, if you once had unresolved issues with your ex which you've now healed, it could be a symbol of forgiveness."

Or, if not, you may also be going through a bit of a valley in your current relationship, with the dream coming in to add some spark and remind you how much you love your current partner.

3. What having sex with someone of the same sex means

As our guide to sleeping with a woman in a dream meaning explains, having sex with someone of the same sex, if you identify as straight, can mean a whole host of things.

What does it mean? "Some psychologists reckon that it's an indication that you're balancing the feminine and masculine aspects within yourself," shares the expert. How so? "Connecting with the feminine or masculine aspect of yourself in a dream can be very powerful, balancing, and healing."

Similarly, if you identify as a woman and have sex with another woman in a dream (or identify as a man and have sex with a man in a dream), your subconscious might be subtly telling you that it's time to embrace that side of yourself more.

Most common sex dreams: two men kissing

4. What having sex with your boss means

Ever ended up having a sex dream that involved your... boss? Don't worry, it's actually one of the most common sex dreams out there.

What does it mean? "Sex dreams are rarely about sex at all," explains Bjorkland. "They're more about the psychological union between you and a particular person that your unconscious has united you with."

In the case of your boss, ask yourself: what it is about them that might appeal to you? "You may see aspects of yourself in your boss, hence the dream, or do well from working more closely with them on an upcoming project. You could simply be projecting your ambition for leadership qualities."

Maybe it’s time for you to become more in charge of your life. Why not give it a go?

Most common sex dreams: A couple at work

5. What having sex with a co-worker means

Similarly, if you dreamt that you slept with a co-worker, know that it's not necessarily a big red flag that you fancy them.

"Sex dreams are great for bringing attention to our inner qualities and personalities," explains Bjorkland. By that, she means that they can help us see who we really are and even reach our full potential.

What does it mean? Before you can answer this question, ask yourself this: What kind of co-worker is it that you are making love to? What stands out about them? And what qualities do they represent that may also be present within you? "Once you've answered all of those questions truthfully, work out whether it's perhaps time to collaborate on a project or reconcile on some level," she advises. 

The expert reckons that in terms of your own personal growth, these dreams could be golden guidance in helping you to identify who you want to be.

Most common sex dreams: Co-workers sleeping together

6. What having an intense orgasm means

Bjorkland reckons that our sex drive is the creative force of the universe, so experiencing an intense orgasm - IRL or in a dream - is the reward for cultivating your power. "It's sometimes seen as reaching the ultimate destination," she explains.

"An intense orgasm in a dream often comes about when you're feeling on top, healthy, and know you have the power to get where you want. You feel free, full of energy, and best of all, you are sensually balanced and in tune. You are one with the creative force of the universe.'"

Don't miss our guides to why orgasms feel so good, sex positions, and how to masturbate, while you're here.

Most common sex dreams: A woman in bed

7. What being unable to orgasm means

And finally, yes, another of the most common sex dreams is a sex dream where - sadly - you're unable to climax.

What does it mean? "The inability to reach an orgasm could symbolise a frustration you are currently experiencing in your life," explains the expert. "Perhaps you are lacking the energy or the power to get somewhere or achieve a goal, or there's recently been a situation where you were unable to perform in some way."

This dream could help you see that you may have conflicting emotions, and you may need to drill down more into what it is you really want and how to get there, as our guide to goal setting shows.

Most common sex dreams: A couple in love

So there you have it - your complete guide to the many different sex dreams and what each can mean.

Do note - this is only intended to act as a rough guideline, and if your dreams start troubling you or recurring frequently, it's always worth talking to a professional to get to the root cause of the issue.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.