When it comes to dreaming about sex, the research says that we primarily dream about the sex we’re thinking about rather than the sex that we’re actually having (or have had). King et al. (2009) found that, among Canadian university students, there were correlations between sex in dreams and sexual fantasizing/daydreaming in waking life, but not between sex in dreams and actual sexual experience. Likewise, Schredl et al. (2009) found that, among German university students, there were correlations between sex in dreams and sexual fantasizing/daydreaming in waking life, but not between sex in dreams and sexual intercourse or masturbation in waking life. From these studies it’s clear that it’s how much we think about sex, not how much we have sex, that relates to how much we dream about it – although of course we must be cautious about extrapolating from university students in ‘Western’ countries to all of humanity. To know whether these findings would apply to other demographics, more research of this kind is needed with participants from different backgrounds.
King, D. B., & DeCicco, T. L., & Humphreys, T. P. (2009). Investigating sexual dream imagery in relation to daytime sexual behaviours and fantasies among Canadian university students. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 18 (3), 135-146.
Schredl, M., Desch, S., Röming, F., & Spachmann, A. (2009). Erotic dreams and their relationship to waking-life sexuality. Sexologies, 18, 38-43.