Lucid dream sex is often the #1 reason that motivates people to learn to control their dreams. Surprised? No, me neither.
Lucid dream control means being able to fulfil your ultimate fantasies, often just as tangibly and vividly as waking life. Between sex and flying, we've covered the two most desirable features of dream control.
The question is, are these erotic dreams really all they're cracked up to be? And are beginners even capable of them? Because as all lucid dreamers know, a different set of rules operate inside the dreaming mind...
You betcha. But it's not all that easy to initiate sex in a lucid dream, and that's because our unconscious dreaming mind often has a different agenda.
For instance, it's quite common to become self aware in a dream and go in search of a sexual partner - only to find your Brad Pitt or Scarlett Johansson has transformed into an ugly, withered being. It's a real turn off.
Other times, you can lock-on to your ideal sexual partner, or use your skills to morph them into someone more attractive, but then find they are completely disinterested in you. They may look straight through you, or walk away entirely. And there isn't anything you can do about that.
Remember that many dream figures are unconscious projections of your own psyche and, naturally, their mission may not be to find intimacy with you. Other dream figures seem to be mere autonomous characters who have no soul (if you like) and so no particular agenda.
But ultimately, you can have a lot more lucid dreaming sex if you identify what motivates the dream figure. Rather than treating them as a sexual object, open up to them and offer a shared intimate experience.
In fact, it's a good idea to cultivate healthy interactions with lucid dream figures in general. More often than not, they are meaningful representations of your inner self and they deserve to be treated with respect.
If you go around abusing dream figures, be prepared to be sorely disappointed when, at any moment, they have the ability to turn your sexy dream into a lucid nightmare.
Let's assume you've made a connection with another dream figure and are having full blown lucid dream sex. What's gonna happen? Believe it or not, there have been scientific studies into orgasms during lucid dreams.
Scientists have found that lucid orgasms can sometimes be accompanied by a real physical response, including increased heart rate, changes in vascular tissue and other muscular reactions.
Sometimes, however, it's purely in the mind - although this doesn't make it any less real to the dreamer in their super-sensory lucid dream environment. There is also heaps of anecdotal evidence to show that men who experience a lucid dream orgasm also ejaculate in real life.
The problem many beginners will find is that it's difficult to hold onto conscious lucidity until the critical moment. A sexual lucid dream is highly arousing and beginners will most likely wake up before the experience has even got going.
In this way, lucid dreaming sex isn't ideal for beginners. You'd do far better to learn the ropes of dream control and understand how to ground yourself better so that when exciting things do happen, you don't wake up.
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How do you feel about having realistic sex in a lucid dream with someone who is not your real-life partner? Are you actually cheating or is it all just a dream?
This is a personal issue, so take it into discussion with your partner and make your own minds up. Generally, I feel that it's ok to explore your sexuality in this alternate dream dimension. I don't see why we should create such restrictions for our partners either - after all, a lucid dream, no matter how vivid, is still just a dream. The arousal and the emotion of lucid dream sex is not defined by another human being, it's all created in your own mind.
There is only one caveat to this argument, and again, it's a debatable issue but I'll raise it anyway. Let's say you're attracted to someone you know in real life who is not your romantic partner. Should you release those sexual frustrations with them inside the safety of a lucid dream?
It depends on the circumstances, but having erotic dream sex with someone you know in real life may serve to heighten your attraction to them, which wouldn't exactly be fair on your partner. It's akin to fantasizing over someone with the underlying desire to hook up in real life. What does that say about your commitment to your current relationship?
At the end of the day, however, sometimes things happen during lucid dreams which we never expected - nor controlled. Just like regular dreams, our unconscious can dish up some bizarre scenarios.
So don't beat yourself up about sexual dreams that go awry - indeed, Freud would say you are a perfectly normal human being.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, many people take up lucid dreaming in order to have lucid dream sex. Yet that's only a tiny fraction of what they ultimately get out of it.
Since I began lucid dreaming in my teens I've discovered many surprising applications for lucidity that were far more rewarding than any erotic dream. So while I totally understand the need to seek out sexual gratification in dreams, just remember to push the boundaries a little further every now and then - and explore the real value of lucid dreaming.
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Does this face look familiar? It should. This is the result of image averaging - a technique in which multiple headshots are averaged out into a single face. In this case, our composite guy was generated by psychology student and photography enthusiast, Bill Lytton. Lytton averaged out 32 attractive male celebrity faces. To avoid personal bias, he referred to Maxim's Hot 100 and other opinion polls. He also averaged out a bunch of unattractive male faces for comparison.
It's a myth that you could exhaust yourself having a great big run in a lucid dream. After all, your real muscles are paralyzed during sleep. Your body isn't really running or burning up energy. So why would you feel depleted? So, in terms of physical energy depletion, there's really no logic to this argument. But what about dreams being mentally or emotionally tiring? The best way to test this is to survey lucid dreamers themselves. Go ahead, take our poll. My intuitive response is no - and that's based on my 17 years of personal experience. Lucid dreams aren't tiring for me at all.
When Dom Cobb spins his spinning top in Inception, he does it to determine whether he's awake or dreaming. In reality, the top eventually runs out of energy and falls over. In a dream, it has the potential to spin on forever, which tells him he's dreaming. This idea of using a totem has really caught on with some lucid dreamers. Ryan Hurd of Dream Studies has recently produced a totem specifically for lucid dreaming, called the Lucid Talisman.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?