Sleeping boyfriend talks about sex with other men

Dear Alice,

My problem is that my boyfriend talks in his sleep about sex with other men. This is very disturbing to me and I wonder what it means. This occurs frequently and sometimes includes body positions and movements.

From Very Concerned


Dear Very Concerned,

It's understandable how your boyfriend's late show might alarm you, but don't lose sleep over his sleep talk just yet. If people truly desired and acted on everything they dreamed and fantasized about, the world would be a pretty crazy place. Dreams contain bits and pieces of actual events, conscious thoughts, and footage from the unconscious, all thrown into a psychic blender known as the brain. Come show time, the final product usually looks more like a Picasso painting than it does reality.

Like you, your boyfriend is probably having sex in his dreams with lots of metaphysical folks about whom you never hear. Come morning, if you ask him to explain what he talked about last night, chances are he won't remember, and may even feel that his privacy has been invaded. Our dreams are our own, aren't they?

Since you didn't specify your gender, it's entirely possible that if you're a gal, your nightgown's in a twist because you fear your guy is gay. The truth is that dreamers, regardless of their sexual preferences in the waking world, may act out a whole host of sexual situations in their dreams — complete with sound effects, conversations, positions, and emissions. During dreamtime, your partner may knowingly or unknowingly ponder sex with others —  men included —  but it may not have any effect on him, you, or anyone else when he's awake. In other words, gay dreams don't necessarily make gay dreamers any more than dreams about flying make their owners' Canadian geese.

It could well be that you are a male and the concern you are having is that these dreams mean that your partner is being unfaithful, or intends or wants to cheat on you. If that's the case, you may want to ask yourself if there are other events or actions in his daily conscious life lately that might make you feel this way. Depending on the situation, you could then calmly bring up the topic and go from there. Trust is an important part of any healthy relationship, whether it's with friends, a boyfriend, or family members, and sometimes difficult conversations are needed in order to maintain it.

Here's the most important part: Is your relationship with your boyfriend a fulfilling one when you're both awake? Are your social, emotional, spiritual, and sexual lives together mutually satisfying? If the answers are "yes," then are your mate's dreams really important? If "no" is your response, talking when you're both awake about the areas in your union that could benefit from some work is probably a faster way to happier times than one-way dream analysis.

Last updated Mar 16, 2015
Originally published Feb 04, 2000

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