(Originally published in Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk)
As a psychologist, I hear about all kinds of sex dreams. Many of my patients like to start their sessions with them, and I try to be receptive. "What's the latest sex dream?" I'll ask, and then I'll feign enthusiasm as they ramble on. "That sounds great!" But many of them feature poor story logic, and are unappealing in their texture or emotional syntax. There's no "wow" factor. Still, I have to be polite.
For hundreds of years people didn't dream about sex, they dreamed about bears and fish. Then along came a fellow named Sigmund Freud. He pointed out that a lot of these bears and fish were behaving in sexually provocative ways. In Freud's view the human head is like a house, with an attic that we don't go in called the subconscious, where tiny people called subconscii live. They come down out of the attic when we're asleep, Freud claimed, and they mess around, enacting weird little scenarios that are really about sex in disguise. Freud became the "daddy" of sex dream theorization, and I'll bet he made a bundle.
"That pickle sandwich that's winking at you in your dreams, that represents something," claimed Freud. Everything represented something sexual. If you dreamed about sex with a moth, that meant you wanted to have sex with your mother. Freud believed that anything in dreams that was in the form of a container, such as an igloo or a paper bag, could hold a penis, and vice versa. Some of his talk has been dismissed as crazy, but Subconsciii have been discovered to be real.
Later, or possibly at the same time, another man named Karl Jung had some other theories. To him dreams represented "Archie Types." All of us dream of being either Archie, Reggie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Big Ethel, Moose, Principal Weatherbee, or "Pop" Swenson the janitor, argued Jung. Sexual dreams represent our desires to have sex with other characters, he believed.
100 years later, and sexy dream research is big business. Fully most of us dream about a sex "a lot of the time!" That's according to experts at the New Jersey Institute For Parasexic Research. And woman dream about sex as much as the same as men, but with a difference: men are more likely to dream about sex with TV characters or cereal mascots, while women dream about imaginary and impossible sexual positions such as the Flying Wooba or the Jester's Tadpole. That information comes to us from the Academy of Doing It In Your Head Studies in Amsterdam.
As a psychologist specializing in sex dream disorders, it's my job to know about these studies. But a comprehensive knowledge of modern technology is also essential. Today's dream landscape is littered with foreign material: some accidental, some not. We're all used to having the occasional dream about a taxi dispatcher or ham radio enthusiast. But every night thousands of people dream of the Fonz saying "Sit on it!" This is a test transmission that NASA made in 1979 that got bounced off the moon and ended up trapped in toilet tanks. If you sleep less than twelve feet from a toilet tank, you're gonna experience this in your lifetime. This is distinct from deliberate transmissions perpetrated by spoiled Hollywood actors. Many celebrities have satellites in orbit, beaming sexually suggestive scenarios featuring themselves into thousands of sleeping heads. If you dream of sex with a famous person, let them know you don't appreciate it. Find out where they live, and go there with your lawyer. A smart celebrity will pay big to have their dream intrusion go unreported. Robert Foxworth once paid me a million dollars to keep quiet about his spanking a patient of mine, in her dreams, with a shoe that was also her father. And a toilet eel. I signed an agreement that said I was never to mention it in print. Oh dammit.
In positive developments, interactive dream software is in constant development. Pretty soon you should be able to close your eyes and access a drop-down menu with control options for content and visual quality. Software control will require installation of an official OS with yourself logged in as a user account. Problems may result from unauthorized attempts to gain outside access, or the accidental installation of duplicate user accounts. Once all system conflicts have been resolved, fantastic dream sex- at the required level of explicitness, with anyone you choose- will be yours for nightly enjoyment, in the strange, as yet unencountered smoky vapor-covered lands of the future.