Episode 38: Sex Dreams And What They Mean

June 11, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

Where do our dreams come from? And what, if anything, do they actually mean? As someone who is a very vivid dreamer every single night, I have always been curious to learn more about the psychology of dreaming (including our sex dreams), so I invited a dream expert onto the podcast to explore what the science actually says.

For this episode, I interviewed Dr. Dylan Selterman, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland. He is a social and personality psychologist who has published several studies on the topic of dreaming.

Some of the topics we explore include:

  • Why do we dream in the first place? Does dreaming serve a purpose?
  • How many times per night do we dream, and what are the most common dream themes?
  • How often do people dream about sex, and why do some people dream about it more than others?
  • Do sexual and romantic dreams reflect our waking experiences?
  • How do dreams influence behavior in waking life, including how we feel about our partners?
  • What do we know about lucid dreams (dreams where you recognize that you’re in a dream)?
  • What do our dreams mean? And is there any value in analyzing them?
  • Is there any truth to Freud’s theories on dreaming?

To learn more about Dylan, follow him on Twitter at @seltermosby and check out his Psychology Today blog titled The Resistance Hypothesis.


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Credits: LEGIT Audio (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.

Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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