There is a wide range of opinions among psychologists about the meaning and function of dreams. Some psychologists think that dreams are nothing more than the result of random brain activity that occurs while we are sleeping, while others accept the perspective of people such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung that dreams can reveal a person’s deepest unconscious wishes and desires.
Psychoanalysts Freud and Jung believe we mask distressing impulses by using more acceptable symbolic objects as a substitute for the latent content in our dreams.
Freudian Dream Symbols
Freud’s dream interpretations were published in several places. Freud says that symbols are not very useful in dream interpretation. They can represent the human body, parents and children, siblings, birth, mortality, nakedness, and other things.
Houses are often used to represent the whole person. Houses with smooth walls represent men, while houses with projections or balconies to which one might cling can be considered women. Dreams depict parents as kings, sages, or other highly respected people; siblings and children are symbolised as small animals or vermin.
Nearly every birth symbol is a reference to water. One can either jump into or climb out of water, rescue someone or get rescued from it (indicating a mother-like connection to the person). The dream of death is replaced with a journey. Uniforms and clothing are symbolic of nakedness.
However, the sphere of sexuality has the richest collection. Freud states that dreams contain the most number of sex symbols. The symbol of the male genitalia in the number 3 is a substitute, while the penis itself is represented by long, straight objects such as poles, umbrellas or trees. It can also be symbolized by objects that can penetrate the body and cause injury—think of knives, daggers, lances, swords, and firearms (especially revolvers). Some objects can also be substituted for male sexual organs such as fountains and faucets that allow water to flow, and objects that are elongated such as telescopes or collapsible pencils.
A erection, in which the penis rises against the gravity, is an extraordinary phenomenon that results in symbolic representation through balloons. If the person imagines himself flying, it can make the whole person a representation for the sex organ. Some other male symbols are reptiles, particularly snakes, and hats and coats.
Psychoanalysts Freud and Jung believe we mask disturbing impulses by using more acceptable symbolic objects as substitutes for the latent content in our dreams.
And after all, as Freud himself once supposedly said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
With 16 years in the adult industry, including many years at LELO, it’s fair to say Stu has been around the sex toy block a few times. As LELO’s resident sex geek, he’s been featured in the Independent, the Guardian, HuffPost, Vice, Cosmopolitan, and anywhere people talk about sex. In a regular op ed, he shines his light on the key events that are affecting sex today. His views are his.