"Whenever I dream about sex, I’m always falling at the same time. Sometimes in an elevator or on a ride at a theme park. The feeling of falling while having sex is confusing, as they’re two very conflicting sensations.
To give a recent example of this, my partner and I were lying naked on the floor of a fully
glass elevator. It was really sunny and bright. As we started kissing the lift began to drop, and kept dropping until we hit the floor.
Although it’s hard to tell, it feels like the falling happens for at least a few minutes, if not longer. The dreams always ends when we hit the ground and I always wake up feeling particularly aroused."
For speakers of the English language, many of our enigmatic experiences are described by the term ‘falling’. We fall in love. We fall out of love. We fall asleep. We fall ill. We fall out with each other. We fall apart. The fall is the metamorphosis that takes place when one experiences the euphoria of love, the fever of illness and the unconscious of sleep. The metaphor marks an accidental departure from the known, and a dangerous and sudden entry into an uncontrollable, unknowable state. There are representations of the fall that some of our foundational stories demonstrate as fated and significant occurrences. The Haudenosaunee creation story tells of the Sky Woman who fell to earth and made a home on the back of a turtle, who grew to be what we know as Turtle Island. Lucifer, of biblical notoriety, is a fallen angel, who severed their allegiance to God in favour of free will and individuality. What we learn from Sky Woman and Lucifer, is that falling is the first step towards something new.
Many dreamers experience falling sensations in the liminal space between waking and sleep, and often wake with a startling jolt. This is known as a hypnic jerk and is characterised by involuntary muscle twitches alongside the sensation or visuals of falling. We often wake in this way before ever hitting the ground or ‘dying’ in the dream. In many instances, the adrenaline alone will prompt us to exit the stressful dream. What is interesting about this dream, is that the dreamer hits the ground. This suggests a sense of control and grounding in the dreaming mind, and perhaps a willingness to let go of the environment from which they fell.
Elevators appear frequently in dreams to symbolise moments where the emotional and social security of the dreamer may be threatened. The glass elevator suggests the dreamer has the means to see through the walls of their world. While a falling elevator in many cases will elicit fear and a loss of control, in this context, it may be a feature of a fated departure. Falling signifies the rupture, or severance of the individual from their origins. The departure is a crucial step towards adventure, knowledge and inquiry. For sex to be conflated with falling, in this context, suggests the dreamer is experiencing an invitation from their libido to detach from something. To be rewarded with the feeling of sexual arousal upon waking suggests that the letting go is encouraged in the psyche of the dreamer. But the recurrence of this dream means there is work to be done.
Dreams recur because the unconscious mind is trying to bring attention to a matter that has not been resolved. The dream will keep playing on repeat until the pattern is addressed, usually through action. The dreamer is being called to ask themselves, which aspect of my life would my detachment from elicit feelings of pleasure? It seems as though this detachment is essential to the development of their libido. Libido, also known as life force, is driving the need for the fall. The presence of sexual energy advocates not just a will to live, but a desire to experience pleasure.
It is not unreasonable to ask, why the psyche would represent the detachment as a fall, instead of an elevation. Falling, and the many ways we encounter it in language and life, is a complex phenomena. The fall carries with it a sense of risk, but also, inevitability. The dreamer has mystery of the fall in the story of their life, for reasons only they will come to discover.
When we fall, we are physically removed from what we were once attached to, and only the law of gravity is applicable. However, in dreams, there is no law. So, even the law of gravity need not matter. Lucid dreamers will often say that falling is an invitation to fly. I would advise the dreamer to investigate lucid dreaming practices to explore and resolve the dream. Next time the dream occurs, the dreamer will be able to become conscious within the dream and transmute the falling into flying. Sometimes, by partaking in performance of the metaphor in dreams, we have more clarity on which course of action to take in our waking lives.
Ultimately, the dream is an invitation to accept detachment from an aspect of the dreamer’s current world. The detachment will bring forth freedom and liberation. And alongside this freedom, the dreamer will also have the connection, excitement and intimacy that the sexual union offers. The libido of the dreamer will thrive from the fall. For the symbolism to stop replaying in your dream life, the departure must be actioned. If the action is not clear, the practice of lucid dreaming will help in revealing the course of action. The dreamer’s life force wills it so. Overall, the dreamer’s psyche is steering them towards a positive change – the falling is pleasurable, exciting and arousing.