cover image The Sex of Your Dreams: Erotic Dreams and Their Hidden Meanings

The Sex of Your Dreams: Erotic Dreams and Their Hidden Meanings

Carol L. Cummings. Fair Winds Press (MA), $24.95 (191pp) ISBN 978-1-931412-07-0

The smutty subject of sex dreams gets a wholesome--though not too wholesome--revamp in this breezy primer. Drawing on a medley of psychoanalytic and New Age ideas, the author contends that erotic dreams are messages from the subconscious--or a""higher being,"" our past lives, or the future--that can clue us in to unmet needs and desires,""heal old wounds"" and even alert us to a spouse's cheating. Cummings, a call-in radio dream analyst, allows that dream interpretation is more art than science, and encourages readers to plunge right in. To guide the way, she provides detailed disquisitions on the sexual coding of common dream situations and objects (sometimes a cigar is just a phallic symbol), tips on keeping a dream journal, and visualization and aromatherapy techniques to consciously induce especially arousing or instructive erotic dreams. But the heart of the book is a collection of salacious dreams, culled from patients (mostly women) in her private practice, which she deftly parses in an earnest but chatty therapeutic idiom. Her interpretations are not rigorously consistent--sometimes non-sexual dreams have a sexual subtext, sometimes the most explicit ones aren't about sex at all--and her talk of chakras and out-of-body experiences will not enhance the already dubious reputation of dream interpretation. Skeptics will remain unconvinced, but New Age enthusiasts looking for a titillating new modality of self-investigation will enjoy this book.