From a 35-year old Texas woman, an alcohol counselor, on Feb. 16, 2010.
The dreamer said she wondered why her friend was so upset. A very liberal person politically who is registered as an Independent, the dreamer acknowledged the dream has influenced her view of President Obama (“of course”) but without specifying how.
Sexual dreams with a politician or any other celebrity figure can have the obvious literal meaning of actually wanting to have sex with that person. But it’s more likely such dreams are metaphors that express the individual’s feelings toward the person (for example, feeling a special sense of intimacy with them, or wanting to share in a creative process with them, or, more negatively, feeling abused or mistreated by that person).
Many women in the early 1990’s had sexual and romantically-charged dreams about newly-elected President Bill Clinton. Initially it seemed the dreams were metaphors of the kind just described, expressing the dreamer’s strong feeling that “I’m really attracted to his political views.” Later in his Presidency, as the Monica Lewinsky scandal revealed far more than we ever wanted to know about Clinton’s sexual behavior, it became hard not to wonder if there was also a literal dimension to people’s sexual dreams about him.
We don’t know anything more about the present dreamer’s friend, whose behavior seems like a strong clue about the dream’s personal meaning. Was she crying out of jealousy? or disapproval? or shock?
Back in the second century C.E. the Roman writer Artemidorus included a lengthy section on sexual dreams in his Oneirocritica (The Interpretation of Dreams). In remarkably modern-sounding language, he argued that the exact details of a sexual dream are key to understanding its meaning.
Here is what Artemidorus says about the traditional Greek and Roman theme of a son dreaming of sex with his mother:
“The case of one’s mother is both complex and manifold and admits of many different interpretations—a thing not all dream interpreters have realized. The fact is that the mere act of intercourse by itself is not enough to show what is portended. Rather, the manner of the embraces and the various positions of the bodies indicate different outcomes.”