Yin Yang symbol with male and female represented

Dreaming of being the Opposite Sex

I hear a lot more dreams from women than from men, so my sample is skewed, but I’ve heard many dreams in which the female dreamer dreams she’s a man and not many at all from men who’ve dreamed of being a woman. However, I expect that similar themes are at play in both versions of this dream.

I’ve had many dreams of being a man. Sometimes this is just a knowing I have in the dream, like the one where I was chasing a streetcar. All the focus was outward, but I clearly knew that I was a man in the dream. In other dreams, the focus is on the distinguishing anatomy, which carries further levels of association.

For the first kind of dream, for me the knowledge that I’m a man in the dream suggests that I’m integrating masculine and feminine roles or energies. While it’s a metaphorical construct to define masculine as action oriented and decisive and feminine energy as receptive and nurturing, it can be a useful construct for examining this type of dream. If I dream I’m the opposite sex, perhaps I’m discovering parts of myself that I somehow feel “belong” with the opposite anatomy. One suggestion is to make a list of qualities, faults, and characteristics you associate with “men” and “women” and to see what on that list feels comfortable and familiar and what feels more alien. Which characteristics come into play in the dream?

To dream specifically of genitalia can of course carry all sorts of personal associations, but on a more archetypal level, the penis is associated with the power to impregnate, to provide the spark that brings something to life. It suggests potency and the ability to take action. The vulva is receptive and/or devouring, the gateway of birth and blood. Depending on the context of the dream, of course, this suggests the ability to take something in and nurture until it’s ready to enter the world.

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56 thoughts on “Dreaming of being the Opposite Sex”

  1. I am a woman. I once dreamed of myself being a man. I was confronted by several men. My girl friend was next to me. I fought with one of the guys and stabbed him to death. Then I fled the scene. It was very strange because I didn’t consider myself to be queer in real life.

    1. When I imagine this dream I think about how I assumed a masculine body as the dream ego in order to kill a man. In dreams, death always carries the association (among others) of profound transformation and change in one’s psyche, perhaps in integrating masculine and feminine aspects.

  2. I had a dream I had an illness of some sort and I had to like get a surgery or something to change my body and someone donated their body to me (haha seemed normal at the time) and when I woke up in the dream I was a boy When I looked in the mirror I had a scar under my chest, I think. For some reason I was really happy to be a boy. I used to have gender dysphoria about 3-4 years ago so this was really odd

    1. I am struck by the fact that I as the dreamer receive a donated body and then notice the scar, which suggests top surgery. I wonder if this is about receiving the benefit from trans folx who have paved the way for me to be able to know what others have done in response to gender dysphoria. My joy at being a boy makes me wonder what masculine energies the dreamer would like to express?

  3. Hi ,
    In my dream I was a man hooking up with a woman online whom lived a few towns over. For some reason. I decided to drive a tractor to her (online woman) house and I ended up causing an accident, I was trying to hide what I did so since I had a tractor I picked up the car and took it to a barn off the highway, there I saw was an old lady who was the barn owner’s mother and she was okay. So I decided to leave. As I was climbing a fence to get back to the tractor, a lion escaped, attacked then killed me. The whole time I was a man.

    1. Wow, there is a lot going on in this dream! Imagining it for myself, the desire to hook up would be a metaphor for Divine connection, even in a fleeting way. The tractor might represent the tool I need to get a big job done, or my relationship with the Earth. The car could represent a relationship that I’ve harmed, and I want to hide the evidence, but I am witnessed by this elder woman who I imagine is an elder version of myself, and she’s okay. Lions could represent wild energies that transform this masculine expression of myself.

  4. I am a woman and in every dream I can recall I’ve had since I can remember ive either been male. any ideas on what this means? since im content in my gender and gender identity.

    1. If I dreamed that consistently of being male, I would think that I have a lot of masculine energy that I express in the world, or perhaps I have the potential for more. Is being male the focus of the dreams, or just something I notice along the way?

  5. I’m a woman whenever I’m in a relationship in my dream it seems like I’m always the man in the relationship. I’m always a different kind of man sometimes I’m the dominate one in the relationship, sometimes im the awkard shy one.

    1. This makes me think about the masculine as the energy of making decisions and taking action sometimes on impulse. Perhaps the dreams invite me to embrace that energy and bring it into my waking life relationships.

  6. I have a reoccurring scenario in dreams where I have a womans body but I’ve either got out of the shower or water and need to find some underwear before someone enters the room and finds me naked, I always seem to find the underwear in time but can never get it on before they see me

    1. Adam, when I imagine this dream, I wonder if there’s some emotional part of me (because of the water) that I am trying to cover up but people see it anyway. Does the person who comes in seem shocked, or accepting?

      1. I actually think they are accepting or there is no particular reaction anyway, incidentally I had another version last night, I was wearing a long black ball gown (the kind that trails around your feet) and I was rehearsing the US national anthem (which is odd as I am english) when my brother threw a brick through the window because I had locked him out of the house

        1. In my imagined version, the acceptance or lack of concern by the others in my dream is a good sign that this part of me is a part I’m comfortable with and have accepted, at least at some level. Yet recurring symbols always make me wonder why the dreams are emphasizing those symbols in particular. The US national anthem is an interesting choice for the dream to present. “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a phrase makes me think of the fancy dress–the black ball gown–and makes me wonder if there’s a fancy, elegant part of myself that I have to protect from the part of me that thinks/feels/acts like my brother does. And since you’re English, and the anthem was written in response to the British bombing a fort in the war of 1812, it makes me wonder if I (imagining myself as the dreamer) have some internal parts that are still at war with each other, or feel foreign. Only you can say what the dream means to you, and these are just my own projections. Thank you for sharing the powerful imagery in your dream!

  7. For context I’m a single lesbian woman with no children. I dreamed I was a man who fell in love with a woman and she had a baby. I came to care for the child a lot and took time off of work to spend a whole week with both of them. I slept on the couch to take things slow physically and be respectful but emotionally it was intense and almost as a voyeur looking on I found his bonding with them as a family very romantic. As him though I wanted to care for and protect the child and make them feel loved. The child somehow got left in the rain. It wasnt for long and they were fine but it made that desire to care and protect a driving intense need. It also made me intensely feel I needed to physically hold them so they feel loved and I can protect them.

    1. Thanks, Macala, for sharing this dream. To me, this feels like meeting my own infant self and needing to protect that part of me. The baby could be a symbol of something new in my life (not necessarily a person) that needs to be cared for. Rain is often associated with tears, so did this part get neglected while I dealt with grief or some other emotional fallout? This is such a beautiful dream.

  8. Hi, so I’m a girl who I had a dream where I was a boy with short blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. I was in a classroom enviroment but then my father came in. He didn’t look like my actual father but I knew it was him. He started to tie me up with blue rope and I was stuggling to free myself. I was yelling at him and trying to kick free. I woke up thinking that me as a boy was really beautiful but I couldn’t understand the meaning of anything.

    1. I’m not sure how old you are, but this dream feels like I’m figuring out how to be like my father and also to escape the bind he’s put me in. I struggled as a girl to feel like I had as much voice and power as my father, so that’s part of what I’m seeing in this dream. If it were me, I’d look what emotional bonds my father has me in (blue can stand for depression) and how I might escape them.

  9. I had a dream that I had a large penis and I was having sex with my husband. It was anal sex but I didn’t see his penis. I was penetrating him. It looked like we were in a gym on some exercise equipment. He seemed to enjoy it but stopped me before I could “finish”. Other than having a penis, I felt like myself in the dream.

    1. That’s a powerful dream! I see a lot of union and integration happening in my psyche when I imagine this dream. It could also be commenting on the power dynamics in the marriage.

  10. Christy Melacon

    i’m a female and i only consider myself bisexual, but i had a dream about playing with myself and it was a penis that i was playing with. the rest of me was female, but the penis… i woke up and wondered why? is this a sign of something i’ll become? is this a sign that i will go trans and regret it?

    1. I have had dreams of having a penis too. I always took it to mean that I have energies available to me that are traditionally associated with being male–decisive action, doing things out in the world rather than in the private spaces of home. The dream emphasizing the penis suggests I am becoming more aware of those energies within me, but I wouldn’t take it literally about being trans, necessarily.

  11. I had this dream where I (a man) was getting married to a very Christian woman. I felt pressured into having a big wedding, and felt like her family were pushing me into something I didn’t want. So I left her at the altar, and for some reason had to pay quite a hefty sum of money for doing that. It’s strange because I’m not in a relationship, so I don’t quite understand why I had this dream, or why I was the opposite sex in this dream

    1. Marriage in dreams is often about integrating different parts of my psyche–in this case a masculine part that is feeling pressure to join with a feminine part but not wanting to, maybe because the focus is on the showy wedding rather than true integration. Money in dreams symbolizes energy exchange, so I imagine this dream suggesting that I’m spending a lot of energy to avoid this internal integration.

  12. Hi, I’m a young teen Asian guy, and I’d say that I’m pretty questioning on the whole sexuality and attraction spectrum. I usually have dreams where I’m myself doing the average dream stuff. However, last night I had an extremely vivid dream where I was a 40-something single, probably white(?) woman just being there and going through her normal day-to-day life. I even met my family (sans myself) and talked to them as if I were an outsider talking in. I may have gone home to do some… private things as well too. What does this mean??

    1. Hi Danny, thanks for posting your dream! If it were my dream, it might be an affirmation that I’m able to view life from other perspectives, which is often a marker for growing compassion. I think we all have a mix of energies and impulses that are generally defined as “masculine” or “feminine” but this dream shows me I’m capable of expressing and experiencing both with ease. “Private things,” if I read it right, can be about building passion for creative work in the world.

  13. So, I’m 16, female, and I’ve never had a dream of me being the opposite sex. I also always dream from the third person which is quite an odd experience as it always feels like I’m floating just out of reach from the scene that’s playing out before my eyes. I also rarely dream.

    Last night, for the first time ever, I was a boy, but my parents were not my own, nor was everyone I knew. I had been drugged by someone I think in the school bathroom when I was washing my hands, but I didn’t pass out. I went out of the bathroom and went to go shake my teacher’s hand but then a shockwave happened (this happens I believe when I touch a heat source, including a person) and my teacher ended up being blown back along with this wing of the building. I rushed home, terrified, and then the dream fast forwards a few months where I’m walking with my parents down our neighborhood, then for some reason out of no where they both grab my hands, then at the end some weird high pitched noise saying “you know I’d never leave you alone” then the dream goes dark and I wake up. In the dream I killed my teacher, all the people who were in that wing of the school, who knows what happened in between, and both my parents and blew away tons of model homes.

    I’ve gone insane, haven’t I?

    1. I don’t think you’ve gone insane. In my experience, death in dreams is always about profound transformation and change in psyche and spirit. And intense dreams come because there’s something crucial for my waking mind to pay attention to. Imagining this dream for myself, it feels like I have the power to make those transformations happen. The teacher and parents are aspects of myself–maybe ideas of who I am that teachers and my parents gave me and I’m now blowing away. Being drugged makes me think of the ways I’ve stifled my own creative and intellectual powers, maybe because I think people around me can’t handle all of who I am. Also washing hands and shockwaves from touching make me think of Covid-19 and needing to be extra careful about not spreading any germs.

  14. I’m 22 and I’ve never had a dream where I was the opposite sex. But lastnight I had a dream I was a man with a rather large penis, having sex with a female. I was literally infatuated with pleasing her body. I woke up before my dream could finish bc I was so surprised at what I had just dreamed. I feel like it means something, maybe having something to do with power but I want deeper interpretation

    1. In my experience, such dreams suggest that I do have power, the kind traditionally associated with men, though we all have masculine and feminine aspects. “Masculine” power is often about the ability to make quick decisions and take action (where feminine power would be the weighing of options and seeing different sides of things, for example). Having sex is often about integration of different parts of myself, and also can represent a longing for connection with the divine.

  15. I’m 12 years (which is really young i know) every single night im having dreams about me being the men and in relationship with a women and a grown up, i am bisexual thats a fact, but last time i dreamed that i was a finally my gender (girl) and was in force relationship with another (girl) i was really inlove with her but she wasn’t she hated me and in front of everyone else she acted like she liked me which it hurt me alot, and after days i dreamed about me being a guy and there was a girl she was horny and then i tried giving her alot sign to have sex with me but she didn’t even noticed me instead she was with other 2 guys. and today i dreamed i was a guy i had an 1 child which was really cute and my wife/girlfriend was right next to me the moment i tried touching my son (i hate this) i woke up and was catched of guard. (i know this was cringy but i really want to know what i means i even could feel i have a males private part on my dream)

    1. Thanks for sharing your dreams! In my experience, being 12 was a time of surging hormonal changes in my body, and it doesn’t surprise me that dreams would offer a lot of different ways to safely “experience” different aspects of sexuality. People with vivid imaginations, especially, have reported vivid dreams to me of having the private parts of the opposite sex. My teacher always said that having sex in dreams is a metaphor for a longing with connection with the divine, and also about integrating parts of myself as the dreamer. When I think of that layer and the dreams you shared, I wonder if these dreams are about that, trying to connect with parts of myself (imagining myself as the dreamer) represented by the others in the dreams (the girl who is dishonest about her feelings, the girl who ignores the dreamer, the infant son). Our dreams often show us things that make us cringe, but it’s important to remember that the dreams are speaking in metaphor, and it doesn’t mean I would literally do those things in waking life. Being able to dream of being male or female suggests to me that the dreamer has developed compassion, in the ability to imagine what someone else’s experience might be like.

  16. Hi I’m a Female, a masculine and my girlfriend was telling about how she had a dream of her being a men and having a threesome with two girls!!! I tried to figure out why she had this dream of curiosity but have gotten no solutions I was wondering can u help me out in finding the meaning?

    1. Hi Tichara, It sounds to me like there’s a lot of integration going on, since sex in dreams can indicate that parts of myself are unifying. Also, sex in dreams can indicate a longing for a more direct spiritual connection with God/the Universe/the Creative Source.

  17. Hi!
    I am female and for the last couple weeks (where I remember approximately 1 dream per week very intensely) I have been male or I have literally had a penis. The first time I dreamt that I was a man, a black man actually (I am caucasian/white) and I had a wife and a kid. The next child died and the whole dream seemed like a whole lifetime. Then I dreamt I was arguing loudly on the streets with an old woman about masculinity and femininity being the same or different, she said they are opposites and that I cannot be both, I claimed the opposite. This dream was so intense I had to shake it in the morning as it was a nightmare. Then later I was not human but somehow got saved in water and slowly became human, where I was first myself then turns out I am a guy in sexual relations. Then another dream just yesterday that I was a boy again. What can this mean?

    1. Hi Louise! Thanks for these dreams. The first one suggests that I’m quite compassionate, to be able to dream of myself as a different gender and with different skin. I’ve heard others report dreams of living a whole life in a dream, and it makes me think that I am able to tap in to deep wells of creativity to make time flow so differently. Death in a dream is about transformation and change, so with the death of the child, some new part of me is already changing. Arguing with the old woman feels like what we’re doing as a society–younger generations recognizing the fluidity of gender while older generations generally have a difficult time with that concept. If it were me, I might want to write a letter to these dream characters–me as a guy, as a non-human, and even the old woman–and ask them what they have come to tell me. Then write the answer. It may sound strange, but often really interesting material comes to light.

  18. I am a 24 yr old Male… Idk how this dream started but along the way I find myself on some kind of huge property in a wooded area or country. I feel great almost like its a vacation, It had been days in the dream but I had only one outfit (the one I had worn there.) So the majority of this dream Im completely naked! But when I look down I notice that I have a vagina. My normal mans body but not normal privates. I was walking up to some people and became a little embarrassed but then realized, I didn’t care what they thought. I walked passed them and said ‘hello’ and It was like I passed the test haha weird but Im really into interpretation and couldn’t find anything on this specific scenario.

    Can anyone help or just give me any thoughts?

    Also the first comment is my birthday ‘April 21’ so I felt like I was in the right place lmao

    1. Thanks for sharing your dream! When I imagine this for myself, I think first about being naked in a dream, which for me is all about showing my true self, without the persona that I project by whatever clothes I choose to wear. When I see that I have a vagina, maybe it’s showing me that I can comfortably express qualities that have traditionally been seen as more feminine–nurturing, a full expression of emotions, etc. I love that the dream shows me I don’t need to worry about what others think, and I imagine the people not being upset by my walking by. This usually indicates that I can be more authentic and it will be safe and acceptable.

  19. Hello I am a 23 year old straight married Woman.
    I had a dream last night were I did not know my gender. I have a feeling I might have been a woman but I am not sure.

    Here is the dream:
    I was looking for an engagement ring at Walmart I think, when it got too dangerous to be out alone. Next thing I know I am at a local gas station looking for supplies with my crew/gang of survivors. I think the apocalypse happened and the economy or government crashed? I’m no sure exactly what happened but it is a dangerous world. We are gathering supplies from the store and I am looking for a clan coffee pot but they are all dirty and abandoned I am thinking to myself and trying to figure out what month it is. Is it November or October, it has to be October because it is not as cold as November would be. Sam(from ICarly) comes over to me and I decide this is the time to tell her that I love her and was going to propose but the apocalypse messed it all up. She accepted it and confessed her love for me as well. I told her we should find what we need and she hugged me and said she had everything she needed right here.(I know it was super cheesy) I go to the front of the store behind the counter to look for supplies and she goes to the back part of the store. I hear a commotion and run to her, I find her shot in the abdomen. She dies in my arms.

    What does this mean?

    1. The first thing that occurs to me, imagining this as my dream, is that I think it’s dangerous to engage in something (shopping for the engagement ring). The apocalyptic feel of the dream suggests that there’s something happening in my waking life that feels like the end of the world. The part with Sam feels like I’m integrating projections I have on her (embracing and expressing love) and the final moment where she dies would be the moment where that projection is fully integrated in my pysche and I no longer project it out on someone else. The whole dream feels like profound transformation and change are happening.

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