How to have sex dreams: a guide to erotic and lucid dreaming

Toni Sicola|2021.08.26

Have you ever woken up feeling super happy and flushed after having a sex dream? Maybe you literally woke up orgasming. Maybe the dreamy encounter was with your current partner, an ex-partner, your mail deliverer, your boss, or Ashton Kutcher (whatever floats your boat).

While sleep orgasms (wet dreams or nocturnal emissions) happen most often as humans hit puberty, teenage boys and girls aren't the only ones experiencing them. They can continue into adulthood and are perfectly healthy and normal—especially as people age and become less sexually active.

In most cases, the nocturnal orgasms that happen in your teens slow down as you enter adulthood. And sometimes—if you're lucky—you get sex dreams instead. But what if you could control what happens in your dream state and help yourself have more sex dreams where you're able to dictate the outcome?

There's no guaranteed tactic to make you have a certain type of dream, but there are plenty of strategies for nudging your subconscious in the right direction. Lucid dreaming is a dream state in which you realize you're dreaming and can therefore begin to control what happens in dreamland. Think “Inception,” “Waking Life,” or “Vanilla Sky.” (Speaking of people to dream about...)

First let's explore how to have sex dreams, then let's dig into getting lucid so you can make your sexual dreams exactly what you want them to be.

8 tips for how to have sex dreams

You might wake up from a sex dream involving your fourth grade PE teacher and wonder, "What was that all about?"

Before you start worrying that a dream about someone means you want to jump their bones IRL, we want to assure you that sex dreams aren't always to be taken literally. In fact, most of the time, what you're dreaming about has a lot more to do with what your subconscious is working on than a conscious physical attraction to the other people in your sex dream.

Dream research is an ever-evolving science that has yet to draw a whole lot of conclusions regarding why we dream what we dream. But experts agree that what goes on in your day-to-day life can often show up (be it in scrambled and sometimes in super weird ways) in your dreams. So when it comes to figuring out how to have sex dreams more often, it stands to reason that thinking about sex during your waking life could help make it happen.

1. Have real-life sex

If you have the chance to get busy in your waking life, chances are high that your dreams will repeat a few sex scenes from time to time. If your current relationship is super hot, talk to your partner throughout the day about sex you've had, sex you want to have, your favorite sex position and why, or a sexual fantasy you'd like to fulfill with them. By bringing your partners into the mix and making sex front and center in your thoughts, you’ll be planting the seeds in your mind for sexy dreams that night.

2. Dress for success

To get yourself primed and prepped for a sex dream, prepare for it like you would for sex IRL. Change the sheets, take a shower, and slip into something sexy (and comfy—after all, your goal is to fall asleep). If it's hotter for you to get naked between clean sheets, then do that. The idea is that you're going to bed with your body and mind focused on sexual arousal.

3. Do some sexercise

Sexercise is a type of exercise that works muscle groups you'll likely use during sex. A lot of the moves in a sexercise routine are just like the ones you'd do in another group fitness class, but by shifting your focus to what you might be doing with those muscle groups in your dreams later, you'll again be priming your mind for sexy dreams. Plus, sexercise is a fun way to exercise, no matter how active your sex life is at any given time. Get your heart rate up. Have fun with it!

4. Have sexy storytime

Sexy audio stories or an erotic novel will go a long way to prime the pump for sexual activity in your dreams. Search Dipsea's bedtime stories for a gentle guide into erotic dreaming. This section of the app is geared specifically toward lulling you to sleep with stories more sensual than your average bedtime story, so they’re perfect for what you’re going for here. Listen alone or with your partner to get your sexual desires flowing as you doze off to sleep. Try Night Ride or Sail to get started.

5. Masturbate

This one might seem obvious, but busting out that vibrator before bed may be just what you need to get yourself into the state of mind for a sex dream. It may be true that not having an orgasm can sometimes cause you to think more about having an orgasm later. But it's also true that masturbation before sleep is relaxing, de-stressing, and may help you drift off into the best sex dream ever.

Try it both ways—masturbate to orgasm and see how it goes, then on another night, stop short of coming and see if that changes your dreams at all. Try playing with your nipples or grazing your clitoris to engage your sensory cortex and stop before you experience orgasm.

Two nights isn't a very good sample size, so play around as much as you like and see if one strategy works better than another.

6. Get high or try a cannabis lube

Cannabis can be a super effective aphrodisiac. It creates increased vulvar pleasure and blood flow in erectile tissue, and it can even increase the chance of multiple female orgasms in one session. So it stands to reason that combining sexy thoughts, cannabis, and physical stimulation would be an effective way to kick off a night of sex dreams.

7. Sleep on your stomach

New research shows that those who sleep on their stomachs are significantly more likely to have sex dreams than those sleeping in other positions. The reason for this is still unknown, but it might be a function of physical contact with the bed, whether clitoral or just pelvic in general. Participants also reported having dreams like being kidnapped, so take this tip with a grain of salt.

8. Try lucid dreaming

This is much easier said than done, but it’s totally worth a shot. Lucid dreams are dreams in which you know you're dreaming, and this knowledge helps you control your dreams from the inside while you're still asleep.

The practice of lucid dreaming isn't something you can learn once and then implement forever. It's a practice much like meditation or any other life skill, meaning you’ll have to work it at over and over and over again, but the payoff is definitely worth it.

Lucid erotic dreams

Common sex dreams involve unexpected sexual partners, so if you want to know how to have sex dreams but want to control who you're with, where you are, and what you do in these steamy dreamies, lucid dreaming could certainly be the key to unlocking and controlling your dream content.

Step 1: Train your brain to notice reality

Reality testing while awake increases metacognition (just like meditation) and trains your brain to think about your surroundings from a different perspective. You're basically looking at different objects in your surroundings and noticing whether or not they look normal.

Doing this consistently in your waking life helps your ability to do the same thing in your dreams. Ever noticed that your hands look weird in your dreams? Your cell phone doesn't work? Clocks are wonky? These abnormalities are dreamsigns that will alert you that you’re dreaming if you check in with the waking versions of them often enough.

Set an alarm to go off every few hours during your waking life to remind you to do a reality test—look at your hands, check the time, look in a mirror. You'll know you're awake in a "meta" sense, and when you do that in your dreams, you might know you're asleep.

Step 2: Keep a dream journal

It's easy to forget your dreams. Sometimes they've left your memory before you can even sit up in bed. But if you keep a dream journal on your nightstand, you might be able to capture some of the craziness that happens to you during REM sleep (rapid eye movement).

And (just like in other parts of life) by tracking, noticing, and logging what's happening, you might be able to perceive patterns, notice dreamsigns, and possibly influence your dreams. Go back and read through your dream journal every few days to review what happens and which weird dreamsigns may repeat themselves. This will help you be more aware of them as they're happening in dreamland.

Step 3: Interrupt your sleep with WBTB

WBTB stands for Wake Back To Bed. (If you tend toward insomnia, maybe skip this one.) The idea is that you interrupt your sleep in order to practice REM sleep while you're awake.

Sounds crazy, right? Set your alarm for five hours of sleep. When you wake up, set another alarm for 30 minutes and find an activity that engages your brain in a sexy way, like listening to a super hot sex story, watching a sex scene from your favorite movie, or writing a love letter you don't intend to send. After 30 minutes of engaging in that activity, go back to sleep. The research says you're a lot more likely to have lucid dreams after this activity.

Bottom line: Your mind is a powerful thing

Understanding what your sex dreams mean in your daily life—and that they likely have nothing to do with sex—can help you tackle some personal and interpersonal challenges. But the sex dreams themselves can be a source of great pleasure and satisfaction for you personally. If you're looking to have more lucid sex dreams, give some of our tips a try. Start with one (or both) of these extra steamy stories, they're the perfect way to pregame your dreams.

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