Dreaming of Sex with Another Woman

I recently had a sexual dream about a female. This has never happened to me before. Although I am afraid of sex with men (I was molested as a child and almost raped when I was 13), the idea of being with a woman doesn't appeal to me at all. All of my fantasies involve guys, except for that one time. What does my dream mean? What could possibly be wrong? --iVillager ''G''


Dear G:

I am touched and fascinated by your question. Let's start with your dreams. Most people dream to discharge their day -- dreams are the result of what happened that day or what happened just before sleep (so no scary movies right before bed!). Dreams also represent feelings and thoughts that we harbor inside; dreams allow the release of unconscious material that cannot come out other ways.

Because our culture is so heterosexually oriented, it's no surprise that your dreams usually involve guys. But the fact that you had an erotic dream about a woman is also not a surprise. According to some dream analysts, all parts of the dream are about the dreamer. So, if that were true, imagine that in your recent dream you embraced and found a sensation of ''love'' for a part of yourself that perhaps was lying dormant or unloved.

Your sexual past was somewhat tragic. I sense that the dream about a woman may also speak to the trauma that was done to you by men in the past. The fantasy of having sex with a woman is much safer, in the fabric of your history, than proceeding with men again sexually. It's logical that your erotic energy goes somewhere with a female to avoid repeating the sexual harms of your past. It's also possible that your erotic attention that night for a woman signaled your need for intimacy and romantic closeness with another person. If so, maybe it's time to explore relationship opportunities and open the gates for real love in your life.

I always advocate self-help along with able counseling. If you find this persists as a troubling dream or creates sexual confusion, I urge you to seek counseling through www.aasect.org (use the directory and call them for local therapists and counselors) or www.sexologist.org. Both organizations offer competent referral networks online. Whatever you do, know that you are not alone. I send you all of my hope for healing from your rocky past.