The prevalence and meaning of same-sex dreams

Try finding some published stats on same-sex dreams on the internet, and you’ll likely see your efforts produce scant results of questionable accuracy. The problem is two-fold: even though studies on same-sex dreams do comprise part of the archive of research into human sexuality, their results are not widely known and seldom referenced, presumably because the implications of same-sex dreams are troubling to many. The subject matter is particularly unsettling because science does not have a satisfactory explanation for why almost half of people who define themselves as heterosexual acknowledge having same-sex dreams, albeit with varying frequency. The published statistics for same-sex dreams likely underrepresents the actual number by a considerable margin, because understandably, in a world still rife with homophobia fewer participants are bound to be truthful as to whether they have experienced same-sex dreams.

What is the significance of same-sex dreams? Individually speaking, each one of us has the right to decide for ourselves what our dreams signify. No one can rightfully claim to know what someone else’s same-sex dreams intimate. Whether we have a single same-sex dream, or hundreds of them in the course of our lives, if we interpret them as meaningless and inconsequential we are correct in doing so. If they make us question our sexual orientation, that is also legitimate. An individual’s happiness is found in striving for harmony between the inner and outer self, and relies on a nurturing environment, not one that usurps the right to define oneself.

Whatever their interpretation may be at the individual level however, the almost universal nature of same-sex dreams says something profound about human sexuality as a whole. As Freud noted, dreams are not vacuous entities disconnected from our inner selves. Dreams reflect, without a doubt, some aspect of our subconscious states, our veiled desires, our fears, our aspirations, and our preoccupations. In the case of homo-erotic dreams, they don’t necessarily inform us of what we wish to be, or truly are, but they do perhaps tell us what we might have been if the transformative vectors and environments that shaped us had been different. They are always a product of attrition between 2 realms – the outer self that is constrained by worldly imperatives and which is accountable to society, and the inner freed self that finds silent expression in dreams when it transiently subjugates the sensibilities that characterize our wakefulness.

So what do our same-sex dreams connote? Perhaps we’re all inherently bisexual by nature? It’s a logical conclusion, but the history of human sexuality invalidates this hypothesis. There is another possibility, ostensibly an unbelievable one, that human beings lost their sexual instinct in the course of evolution, and that they would naturally tend to develop a homosexual orientation – if not for societal repression / discouragement against it. This view is supported by scientific evidence, and a comprehensive theory of human sexuality found at www.humansexualevolution.com.

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