I’m A Lesbian Who Had A Sex Dream About A Guy

Had I really just had a dream about a GUY? 

I’m one of those queer creatures who came flying out of my mother’s womb gay AF. The only boy I ever lusted after during the throes of girlhood was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and that’s because I thought his black eyeliner and black nail polish were lit. When other girls in my class hung up posters of Jonathan Taylor Thomas on to their bedroom walls, I hung up posters of Angelina Jolie in the movie Gia. My first memorable sex dream was even about a woman! In the eighth grade, I dreamt Gina Gershon was my camp counselor, and we hooked up outside the horse stables during a thunderstorm. I don’t think I’d ever really had a sex dream about a guy.

Until recently.

A few weeks ago, my fiancée and I broke the cardinal relationship rule of “never go to sleep mad” and both went to sleep so angry that we lay on opposite sides of the bed—as if Moses had parted the Red Sea between us.

“You don’t look at me the way you used to look at me!” I cried, with black mascara tears streaming down my face on to the crisp white sheets.

“I give you compliments and affirmations all the time! You just don’t hear them!” Meghan shouted back, exasperated and exhausted by my incessant neediness.

I felt mindf*cked. I didn’t know if she was right or if I was right. Was the distance I had been feeling from her real or was it something I had made up inside my head? Were we drifting apart or did I just have gaping holes within myself, empty voids only I could fill, yet was putting the unfair pressure on her to fill those vast empty spaces? When did it all get so complicated? Why did it feel like, in all of my lesbian relationships, there was never a definitive answer? There are always two sides to the equation, an inherent wrongness, and rightness to every angle.

My throat was sore from so much talking, and my brain was in dire pain from lugging all this heavy relationship baggage around all the time. So instead of pondering and crying and fighting and then inevitably f*cking until we reached some kind of resolution, we fell asleep. I surrendered as I clutched my pillow like a lover and fell into the deepest slumber I’d experienced in ages.

I normally wake up at least four times during the night: to go to the bathroom, to feed my crying kitten, to satiate my Sahara desert thirst with water from the kitchen. This night, I didn’t wake up at all. I didn’t wake up until my alarm blasted into my eardrums at 6am. I blinked my eyes a few times and a feeling of strangeness crashed up against my body, like the freezing cold Atlantic ocean crashing against the rocks during high tide. I wasn’t able to process my dream right away. I had to retrace its steps, travel back in time and string together what had happened moment by moment.

In my dream, I was living in a time when, for whatever reason and with Meghan’s blessing, I was going to sleep with a male coworker. (I don’t even have a male coworker.) I’m not sure why I was going to do it, but it felt cold and removed like it was for business purposes. The man was faceless, and the dream was in black and white. I wasn’t appalled as we began to hook up, nor was I turned on. The scene felt perfectly choreographed like a sex scene in a movie. And then, I felt the man’s… erection. And this fuzzy wash of comfort draped over me like a cozy cashmere blanket. I felt relieved. I felt relieved because it was so… easy. I knew he was turned on by me. I didn’t have to wonder. I didn’t have to work for it. My simple existence aroused his simple manhood.

And that’s all I remember. I was astounded as I got in the shower and scrubbed the dream off my lesbian limbs. Had I really just had a dream about a guy? After not touching a boy-creature in over a decade, after having endless girl dreams my entire life, out of (seemingly) nowhere, how did this dream invade my sapphic head?

What did it mean?

Because I can’t seem to process anything that happens to me without sharing it with the outer world, the first thing I did was break it down with two of my friends a couple of hours later. I bounded into the coffee shop shouting, “I had a sex dream about a guy!” almost triumphantly. I was sort of proud that my brain had traveled to such a wildly unexpected place and was eager to figure out why it had ventured there. 

“Um, well, how was it?” my friend asked gently because she’s super open-minded and always encouraging everyone to embrace their sexual desires no matter how shocking they are.

“I wasn’t turned on. At all. But—” I paused dramatically. “I was comforted. By the erection! By the fact that I was certain I was turning him on. By how easy it was to get validation.”

“Huh. Does that mean you feel insecure sometimes in your relationship? Like maybe deep down you fear you don’t turn your partner on?”

I sat with that for a minute. It was heavy. A hard pill to swallow. I mulled over it slowly, like it was an expensive glass of red wine, for the next hour. As I peeled back the layers of my bizarre dream, I began to fully understand what it meant.

My physical and mental attraction toward women is primal. The sex I have with women isn’t as simple as garnering validation that “I’m pretty” or “sexy” from her. Sex with women renders me vulnerable. I give a piece of myself. I share something pretty f*cking sacred with a woman when we’re having sex. And sometimes that feels scary. It’s scary because sex and love are all intertwined for me when it comes to women.

If you have the ability to give me an orgasm, you also have the ability to break my heart.  If we connect physically, we connect emotionally, and when that emotional chord is snapped by your bolt cutters, I fall hard to the ground. Women torture me, truthfully. They’re so smart and complicated and nuanced. Like my fight I had the other night with Meghan, more often than not, it’s hard to figure out the right answer. Sometimes there isn’t an answer at all, just questions that force you to dig deep into yourself and unearth a gem of wisdom you didn’t know you had.

My experiences with men were the opposite. Hooking up with boys while in the bloom of my insecure youth was nothing more than desperately searching for affirmations. That I was pretty. That I was sexy. That I was enough to be seen by the male gaze (which was the gaze I felt determined my future in this patriarchal world). I never had to wonder what men were really thinking. Their bodies revealed it. I never had to navigate the complexities of feelings because there were none. Being with men gave me a surefire answer to the problem, instead of a slew of rapid-fire questions.

I told my fiancée about my sex dream because I’m queer and therefore hardwired to unpack everything with my partner.

“I totally get it,” she said.

In that moment, I felt so grateful to be a lesbian. To be attracted to women, women who are interested in everything (even your sex dreams about someone else), women who challenge you to your core and constantly surprise you and leave you so turned on on so many levels you can’t even begin to try and turn those wild switches off.

I would so much rather be kept on my toes. I would so much rather be left vulnerable and searching for answers than to be merely validated. The older I get, the more I learn that validation from another person—regardless of their gender expression—is cheap, anyway. It’s a bump of cocaine that leaves you confident for fifteen minutes. Then it sends you spiraling into a deep depression, teeming with shame for being so weak and relying on an outside source for a feeling of wholeness. My dream was bestowed upon me by the great dream goddesses to remind me to keep working on myself. That while something simple like an extra social media follower or the sexual approval of another person can temporarily stave off the insecurity I’m grappling with, they’re not long-term answers that fulfill and nourish my spirit.

In fact, the only thing that can nourish this wayward spirit, is me.