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. Hello I’m 20 year old female. I had a dream where I had a friend, she was white with short hair. I wanted to be a man or I was thinking more and more about being trans gender. I got a sex change and had a penis (this was not in my dream, I just suddenly had an anatomy change but not the surgery). At first it was great. I was wondering around the island hanging out with friends going to the beach. But then the gravity of my decision weighed on me. I started to grow more and more anxious and nervous of my sex change. I went to the bathroom and my friend came with me. I tried to pee with my new penis, leaning heavily over the toilet to point it and staring at it. When I was done I started to cry and anguish over the fact that I don’t have a vagina, that I’ll never have my original one again because I had already done the sex change. I was unsure if I really wanted to be a man. I realized that I had to commit now that I had the sex change. I couldn’t go back. My friend was confused and slightly frustrated but I don’t remember anything she said or did.

    1. What a fascinating dream! Imagining the dream makes me think that for me, this would be about some change I’m considering, maybe taking on a more masculine aspect or traditionally masculine traits or roles in my life. Peeing in dreams is often about authentic self-expression, and the fact that this feels awkward and brings tears makes me think about the challenges of expressing myself, the regrets I might have about that, and the need to live with the results of it.

  2. Hello,
    Im male 24ish at the time of the dream.
    I once had a dream that I was standing in a queue and a senior colleague (not my boss) was segregating the queue into two parts. When my turn came to be assigned I was oddly assigned to the left. I suddenly found my self sitting on a stair case and some black nail polish being applied to my finger nails. This was a scene with high velocity (meaning before I knew what was happening I was in the next scene). Then I found that I was being dressed in a long black gown but I could not see who was dressing me. Suddenly I found myself feeling very awkward and humiliated. A very quick scene took me though the end of make up (dont recall it beginning) and the theme was black. I was then put in fron of a mirror and a horrorfic feeling of emasculation grasped me. I felt so weak, humbled and helpless. Then I was directed to the ladies section to join other women.

    The dream ended in a dark night scene where I was walking of into a congregation of black gown dressed women and we were all disappearing into the night.

    I hind sight this seems to be prophetic as I felt the same feeling when I was layed off , soon my wife abandoned me and yes the feelings were bang on.
    But Im ok now, noting else happened to my gender. Thank God!

    1. Hello, Harry. The part about being assigned to the left makes me wonder if there’s somewhere in waking life that I (imagining myself as the dreamer of the dream) have felt left out? Black nail polish and the black clothing feels like the dream’s invitation to see some shadow part of myself. Some aspect of my psyche is putting these things on my ego-self, and the feeling of being humiliated feels like the ego’s sudden realization that there are shadow aspects to my psyche that have been hard to look at. (True for all humans, in my experience!) I’m welcomed, however, by the other black-robed women, so there is an integration of these parts of my psyche. Night in dreams is often a reference to those parts of myself that remain not fully conscious.

      1. Wow, fantastic analysis. Its going to take a while for me to fully comprehend your analysis.
        Not sure if this matters, when I said assigned to the left , it was the assigners left so my right. Everyone else was getting assigned to my left i.e the assigners right.
        “…feels like the dream’s invitation to see some shadow part of myself.”
        is it possible to elaborate a bit on this? (else im stuck)

  3. I had a dream where I was the man in a dream and I was having sex with a woman. I had a whole relationship with her and got married to her and children. I had it several times most of them I am a humble King who always married a simple insightful women who was loved and respected by the people and the spirits. It’s strange because the towns I ruled everyone was at peace being whoever they felt like being. My wife was always bisexual so we would have orgies with other women and I was the only man in the dream with my wife.

    1. Artemis, this dream has the feel of a fairy tale–very archetypal. Being King over a peaceful and happy realm, married to a simple insightful woman suggests to me that my executive function is working well and that my intuitive powers are helping me make decisions. Sex in dreams is often about connection with the divine, as well as integrating various parts of the psyche.

  4. I’m a woman and the other night I had a dream that I was a man and I was with two other men, we were sort of old timey cons. Anyway while one of the men the youngest one he was blonde went and placed a bet with a bunch of big thug like men me and the other man ran. We were running and stinking and I remembered digging my hands into dirt and gravel as we ran down a dirt road through the woods. Eventually we made it to a pretty deep but clear river and we jumped in and went underwater. Not long after the men that the youngest of my group of three just scammed came running up looking for me and the man I was with. I knew they wanted to hurt us. I also distinctly remember being able yo breath underwater. Just as we thought we were safe because we heard the men talk about how they were going to go look down stream another man with no face but big and round and with a beard showed up. He had a gun and he started shooting into the water at us and the guy that was with me covered me with his body and took all of the bullets. I didn’t want to leave him behind but it was already too late he told me it was his duty to protect me. I ended up swimming down stream and I came to a weird stone structure thing that was built around the banks of the stream. And up on one of the ledges I saw the clothes of all the mean that had been looking for me before but they were nowhere in sight and then that’s when I woke up.

    1. Christine, the “old timey cons” phrase makes me wonder, imagining the dream for myself, what cons I’ve been playing on myself for a long time. My ego self wants to avoid the confrontation with the big, thug-like parts of myself, but those are the very parts that have come to help me change and grow. Being able to breathe underwater is usually a sign of being deeply comfortable with emotions. The fact that they thug is faceless suggests I’m not ready to recognize that aspect of myself, but that part of me definitely has a lot to say (gun fire is often about words spoken or yelled) and death in dreams is always about profound transformation and change. So if it were my dream, I’d be celebrating that part of myself has changed and transformed in an effort to protect my health and wholeness.

  5. I’m a female and the other night I dreamed of being a man. I was with a girl who was appearently my sister and II suddenly turned into a male. I was in the men’s bathroom and had trouble with my new penis. The other boys told me I would get used to being a man and having one. And as I was in my dream, I got comfy as a man and didn’t want to change back. I’ve always had trouble with my sexuality and my gender. I still don’t know what I am. When I am feeling masculine, I am attracted to men. When I am feeling feminine, I’m attracted to woman. But this s fictional men and woman. I’ve only had one crush, which was one a female. Does this dream mean I am comfy with being a man?

    1. Tessa, thanks for sharing this dream. As the dreamer of the dream, only you can say with certainty what it means, but as I imagine it, it feels like an affirming dream. If it were my dream, it would be illustrating that I’m comfortable with those times I feel feminine and those times I feel masculine. It’s a powerful act of the imagination to see myself with different anatomy, and especially to be comfortable with it in the dream. Peeing in dreams is often, at least at one level, about authentic self expression, and so the dream image of having trouble in the men’s bathroom suggests that I’m new at expressing the masculine side of myself, but there are other parts of my psyche (the “other boys”) who encourage me, who tell me I’ll get used to it. For me the dream means the dreamer is comfy with being their authentic self, in all their complexity!

  6. Hi!

    I dreamed I woke up in an apartment. I was dizzy. There was a lady, she was probably fifty something yrs old and a girl who was probably 14. Both of them were red hair and were talking to me as if I was grandson and brother. I didn’t understand and I tried to explain to them than I’m a woman, brunette and that I don’t know them. They started laughing of me and telling me I was crazy and they mentioned something (I don’t remember what) before leaving me alone in the apartment.

    I think I went back to sleep and then I got up again in the same place. The lady and the girl weren’t there anymore. I remember I went to the kitchen and I saw the left food for me and a note.

    I turned around and saw a young Medium-black man coming down the stairs. I started talking to him but he was just directing me to the balcony I followed him while desperately asking him to help me understand my dream, I was yelling at him while following him, “help me understand my dream please, I need to understand this dream” I said to him but he ignored me.

    We got to the balcony and I asked him to stay with me and explain it to me but he just went back inside the apartment, closing the glass window behind. I was confused. I remember I went down the stairs from the balcony (1st floor) and I was already in the sidewalk.

    I was trying to find something in the way, the streets looked like downtown Chicago streets. A car passed by me but I didn’t pay attention to the car because I looked down and there were 3 golden pendants and one had something written on it, another had an eye and I don’t remember much about the third bu I think it had a heart.

    I heard the car stoped Behind me and when I looked back there were about four men getting out from the car ad I knew they came for me. I started running and screaming, asking for help, “help! Ayuda!” Until I got up.

    1. Wow, this is a very full dream! The opening scene draws attention to hair, so that makes me think about these parts of me that have very different thoughts about who I am than my ego self. (You can read more about hair in dreams here: https://firstchurchofmetaphor.com/hair-as-a-metaphor/). The young black man suggests a part of me that is in “shadow,” meaning still not fully conscious, since I (imagining myself as the dreamer) realize he knows more about the dream’s meaning than my conscious mind does. And that moment of lucidity, in which I demand to be told the meaning of my dream as I’m dreaming it, suggests that these answers are very close to bubbling up. The glass door suggests I have some intellectual understanding, but haven’t grasped the situation emotionally yet. (Check out https://firstchurchofmetaphor.com/windows-and-glass/) The three pendants feel really important. Gold often symbolizes the dreamer’s authentic self, the part of myself that never tarnishes, but always has beauty and luster. I’m reaching for those, which stand for wisdom, vision, and love (in my imagined version of the dream), when I’m threatened by the men. The threat implies I might be hurt or killed, which in dream language would suggest a profound transformation will take place when I embrace all of my authentic self, including aspects that feel “not me,” like my wild thoughts and my masculine impulses.

  7. Hie
    I’m 26 single lady but since I was young ,I always had dreams me been with along penis on my private part
    But will have desire to touch woman
    Sometimes will be in bed with woman
    Sometimes will be with men but I will be romancing them
    Help me

  8. I had a dream where I was a man and found out at a chance meeting at some elaborate function (where I was dressed in a suit) that I had had a child by a woman. And though it was a boy, she had had both his ears pierced and I was upset about it. And she asked me ‘ why does it matter, are you going to marry me’ and I said ‘seeing this, probably not’.
    I’d really like to know what it means.

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