Awkward sex dreams and how to manage them

Jenny reminds us that sex dreams are totally natural and that they’re nothing to be ashamed about.


Hello again! It’s me, Jenny S. Hopkins, your resident anonymous advice columnist. I hope you all are taking care of yourselves as the perpetual midterm season descends upon us.

For me personally, it’s been difficult to make time for things other than studying. This weekend, I went on a road trip down south. Getting off campus really helped me clear my mind and gave me a nice break from the daily grind here at Hopkins.

If October is making you feel overwhelmed or you are in need of advice, don’t forget that you can always submit your questions to me at

Anyway, let’s move onto this week’s question. In my previous column, I heard from a reader who was struggling to make Baltimore feel more like home.

This week we’re switching gears completely to a topic of a more intimate nature. That’s right, today we’re talking about S-E-X, baby.

Dear Jenny S. Hopkins,

I had a sex dream about someone who’s not my boyfriend, and it’s made me feel really uncomfortable. I know that you can’t control what you dream about at night, and I know that it doesn’t mean that I am not in love with my boyfriend (I love him very much and my attraction for him hasn’t decreased at all).

But what do I do about this awkwardness I feel around the person? It makes me feel embarrassed whenever I see him.


Confused and Embarrassed

Dear Confused,

I’ve decided to simply address you as “Confused” because in my opinion you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Sexual desires are normal; Sex dreams are, too.

Your question, though, is a good one. Many people have experienced the old “I had a sex dream about my friend” dilemma.

What does it all mean? Should you psychoanalyze your dream? Should you try to pretend the dream never happened?

Well, Confused, you definitely do not need to freak out or put so much weight on the situation at hand. While dreams can give you insight into your subconscious thoughts and desires, they can’t tell you everything.

There are many reasons for which you might have dreamt about your friend. Maybe you are craving a closer relationship with this person or you want to get to know them better. Alternatively, there may be qualities that you admire about your friend that you subconsciously want to take on.

Or maybe you are simply attracted to your friend. There’s nothing wrong with that. Does this mean you’re being unfaithful? Certainly not. You can’t help who you find attractive.

I will say that if the sex dreams become a common occurrence, it may be worth examining your current relationship and determining if there is anything lacking, namely intimacy. Physical and emotional intimacy are both important parts of a healthy relationship, so just check in with yourself to make sure your needs are being met.

We could talk all day about the psychological motives behind your sex dreams, Confused, but that’s a rabbit hole I feel is not worth going down. So let’s move on to the heart of the matter: the fact that your dream is impacting your real life.

I can understand that you may feel uncomfortable around this person now that you have seen them in a different way. In terms of what to do about the awkwardness, you just have to tough this one out, especially if you see your friend often.

Don’t avoid them. Talk about things you normally talk about. Sit next to them. Say hi. It might sound crazy for me to be making these recommendations because all of this seems so intuitive, but sometimes you have to go through the motions until you feel a little less awkward.

In time, the awkwardness will pass. Until then, sweet dreams. May they be restful and unsexy.


Jenny S. Hopkins

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