Famed neurologist and father of psychoanalysis, Dr. Sigmund Freud, asserted that wish fulfillment was the driving force of a dream. He claimed a dream would not develop if it were not for the strength of an unconscious desire. He declared:
My supposition is that a conscious wish can only become a dream-instigator if it succeeds in awakening an unconscious wish with the same tenor and in obtaining reinforcement from it.
This may be the case with some of our dream content, but I strongly disagree with much of Freud’s statements regarding wish fulfillment. We must take into account the nature of the homosexual experience within the individual’s dream before concluding that the dreamer must be repressing their true sexual preference, and living out this forbidden desire in the proverbial dream-closet. This would seem like a rather reductionist view on both dreams and sexuality in my opinion – both of which are extremely complex subject matters.
For example, I had incubated a dream August 26, 2011 with Tzivia Gover’s 350 Dreamers group to “weaken” hurricane Irene, that night I dreamed:
…my name is “Mary” and I didn’t look like myself at times. There was a king size bed in a living room with the gay couple in it, and I am observing them from an out of body perspective / overview; and the one guy can’t get it up. He was completely flaccid and having an impotency issue due to thinking about having sex with his ex-wife – and the thought of sex with women was turning him off. The impotent male calls me up to come back over – I am apparently his ex-wife – he wants me / “Mary” to help him with this problem. I wasn’t sure how I could help since the reason he couldn’t get it up was because of a memory of sex with “me” / women was the problem; but I went and got into bed with them. […] I am in the middle of these two homosexual men, and they are under the covers with me…
If I had taken this dream as mere wish fulfillment then I would have completely missed the real meaning and marvel contained within this dream. One of the homosexual males, “my ex-husband,” was impotent, which means lacking in power, vigor or strength; and the following morning I read storm reports that said hurricane Irene weakened overnight, i.e. became impotent / flaccid.
Often sex dreams with our own gender are symbolic of integrating some aspect of our disowned masculine or feminine characteristics; alternately, these types of dreams may express a need for more intimacy with our own gender, a desire for camaraderie. In my own same-sex dream titled, Intimacy Laboratory; Back from the Dead, I assume the masculine role and aggressively copulate with a female colleague:
There was a young, female experimenter who had a thing for me; she was withholding collected data from me because she was mad that I wasn’t interested in her. She was threatening to shred a disc with information. I say, “You’re a nerd, I know you would have made like 27 backups [copies] you’re not scaring me.” I had to pretend to be into her and have sex with her so she would give me the data she had collected / the research. Recall aggressively, like a man, throwing her down and tearing her clothes off. I was on her back with my pelvis thrusting against her naked buttocks whispering in her ear…
While it cannot be argued that the sexual exchange with my dream-lover was pleasurable, there was a greater message depicted in this scene then simply repressing a licentious libido. There is information / data / research this dream-lover withholds from me unless I have sex with her, i.e. integrate this part of myself for which I had showed no interest. There is a waking life project, which I have not shown enough “interest” in a while, but I have been contemplating resuming. It involves the very research collected by the “female experimenter” / dream-lover, which she had threatened to destroy if I did not give in to her desire. I interpret this as a part of myself that still has a passion for this neglected project; and just as in the dream, where I behave like a “man,” I am to take a more assertive role in its production lest “she” withhold her resources.
A thirty-four year old, heterosexual male told me about a homosexual dream he had, it was about 5 or 6 years ago, and he still recalls it vividly to this day. With his permission I am including it in this blog; I titled his dream, Homosexual Vampire Orgy:
Invited to a party of couples where the women were vampires and the men they were with were gay rapists that would sodomize the husbands of the wives that came to the party and then the vampire women would bring them into their circle of vampire females and the males that were brought to the party were the food for the vampire females.
The dreamer described the homosexual orgy as an extremely violent gang rape. He observed the orgy from an out of body perspective. This dream greatly disturbed him. He was perplexed as to why he, a heterosexual male, would dream about men raping other men, and with himself as an intended victim. This period of the dreamer’s life was very turbulent with respect to his female relationships. He had been complaining about dealing with dominating women around the time he had this dream, from his mother to his ex-wife to his then sister-in-law, while paradoxically and simultaneously, being a self-proclaimed “alpha male.” I propose these domineering, waking life women are reflected in the female vampires being rulers, directing the homosexuals to rape the husbands; subsequently, these female vamps devour the husbands, and transform their wives into vampires too. Vampires essentially drain their victims’ vitality, and anal sex often represents submission; add rape to this act and you have a depiction of someone who, perhaps, feels all at once weakened, subjugated and violated on some level.
Several years following this dream the young man discovered he had low testosterone and was prescribed topical hormones. This surprised him because he was able to have and maintain erections; however he was having very low physical energy and was given to fits of rage and these were the symptoms for which he was seeking medical treatment. His dream seemed to illustrate this physical imbalance in the scene where the men were being anally raped, for the location of the prostate gland, which produces testosterone, is situated in front of the rectum between the bladder and the penis.
Freud’s contemporary, Dr. Carl Jung, realized one does not interpret others’ dreams; the dreamer is the only one who can properly interpret their own dreams.
…we must stay as close as possible to the actual dream images and consider them not as imaginary wish fulfillments, but as something that actually happened to the dreamer. (Our Dreaming Mind; Robert L. Van de Castle Ph.D. on Carl Jung)
In my view homosexual dream content expresses much more than Freud’s wish fulfillment, and to interpret it solely in this way would deprive the dreamer of its real significance.