'Sexual dreams can be demonic or have meaning'
A psychologist, pastor and sangoma give their differing views...
SEX has always been a big part of dream content for both men and women.
Everyone has these dreams, according to psychologist Asiphe Ndlela. But few people talk about them.
Ndlela said a 2007 study by the University of Montreal found that about 8% of both men's and women's dreams contained sexual activity.
She said sexual dreams revealed desires and anxieties and could be a means to compensate for what was lacking in real life.
"Research into dreams shows they often contain important clues about what makes us happy or stressed, and how we can navigate between the two.
"The nature of the sex may reveal your hidden hopes and fears.
"For example, if you dream of having sex with someone other than your partner, this may highlight dissatisfaction with the physical side of your relationship."
She said women's dreams tended to be about real-life sexual partners, past or present, and women were more likely than men to dream about celebrities.
She said sexual dreams could be good and also help uncover people's deepest secrets about a person and life issues.
But Christian theologians and traditional healers often attribute dreams with sexual content to the influence of Satan and his demonic minions.
Luzuko Thabetha, a pastor, said sexual dreams should not be entertained because they were demonic.
He alleged that they may be caused by sexual sins, impure thinking, witchcraft, spells, curses of lust, sexual addiction, immorality, sexual tension, self-soothing, poor self-esteem and a history of sexual abuse, among others.
"Your dream life is partially affected by what you feed your spirit and mind.
"For example, if you are reading or watching things that are sexually oriented, you are likely to attract such dreams.
"The approach would be anything from avoiding romance novels and sexually explicit movies, fantasising about sex, among other things."
Makhosi Mbonambi, a sangoma based in Johannesburg, also believes sexual dreams are demonic and are caused by witchcraft.
"These dreams can cause a woman or a man to be unattractive and can make a man or woman not to be exciting sexually.
"Some men or women remain without a partner for the rest of their lives because of this problem."
What about a dream about forced intimacy?
Ndlela says if sexual dreams were violent or perverse, the person may need to be more "relaxed" about their sexuality.
"You may have sexual phobias or compulsions that need to be recognised and brought under control."
She added that occasional dreams of rape did not always mean a person had aggressive desires.
"For men, forced sex in a dream may signify a desire to achieve power and be in control.
"More seriously, it may be a sadistic expression of sexual desire. For women, dreams of rape may represent insecurity with sexuality, phobias or aggressive fantasies."
WHAT YOUR SEX DREAMS ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU
Theme: Old flame re-runs
You are back in a former relationship in your dreams.
This implies your current relationship is causing emotional flashbacks to a previous connection.
This is like a love memory that is ignited as we begin to care and get close again.
If the memory is a bad one, consider if there are similar patterns afoot.
If the memory is a good one, take heart, and let things unfold.
Theme: Coworker/friend is your lover
In this dream, you are intimate with someone you know well and would never give a thought to as a possible partner in passion.
Don't freak out.
Dreams with unlikely partners are usually about working together or enjoying the chemistry of doing something well together. These dreams are an indication of sparks all right, but probably professional rather than sexual.
Theme: Stalked by an assailant
These nightmares reflect anxiety about some stressor, or person, who is making you feel hounded.
These dreams often arise early in a new flirtation, and should be monitored.
It may be jitters, or it may be a signal to keep your eyes open and stay wary for a little while, until you get better acquainted.
Theme: Celebrity encounter
You are the favoured lover of a famous person who is revered for some talent or profession.
This is more than a treat! It suggests you have a special ability or unique interest that you feel more passion for than you let on.
Get organised and let yourself do what you love, if not professionally, then as a refreshing hobby.
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