As I inserted the key into my apartment, a beam of sunlight came through from the window. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be home but felt someone’s presence lurking in the foyer. As I walked into my kitchen, my hand traced the smooth, rounded edge of the counter as an unfamiliar shadow loomed over me.
His shape came into focus and I felt a tall, muscular man pressing against the full length of my body. Before I could make out more of his features, he moved behind me and bent me over, my arms splayed out in front of me. He slipped my jeans off with ease and slid inside me.
Then, right as I was about to orgasm…I woke up. In a cold sweat, horny as fuck, wondering what the hell just happened in that dream.
Funny thing is, I’ve never been attracted to men. My wife of six years and I married in 2013 after knowing each other for nearly 10 years. The night of the dream, she slept soundlessly beside me—probably riding a bike, folding her laundry, or doing some other completely mundane but monogamous task in her own reverie—as I was about to figuratively orgasm from a penis.
Oh, and did I mention I’m seven months pregnant?
These strange pregnancy sex dreams had become a regular occurrence—which is weird, because I don’t have much of a libido when I’m awake, and the dreams themselves are completely off the charts for what I consider to be my normal range of desire. In one, I banged my ex who I hadn’t thought about in years. In another, I went down on a college beer-pong champion who barely looked 18.
“You may find your partner in your sexual dreams to be random, surprising, or even disturbing. Don’t let this freak you out,” says professional dream analyst Lauri Quinn Loewenberg. Apparently, it’s totally normal. The culprit for these horny illusions? Hormones.
In addition to heightened estrogen, increased progesterone during pregnancy plays a role in your sleep sexcapades. “Progesterone has been shown to lengthen the time spent in REM sleep, which is when we dream,” says Loewenberg. “It’s also known as the feel-good hormone, so that may contribute to the more bizarre and sexual nature of pregnancy dreams. Add that to the increased blood flow to the clitoris, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for quite the kink fest while you sleep.”
The good news is that these dreams are symbolic at most. It doesn’t mean I’m actually going to cheat on my wife with a man who may or may not have been hiding in my apartment (which, in reality, is scary AF and doesn’t at all get my juices flowin’).
“The sexual act in the dream isn’t about something you want physically but more so psychologically,” says Loewenberg. For example, if you dream about a coworker while pregnant, you don’t necessarily want said coworker—you just want something about him. Maybe he’s a health nut and your subconscious is trying to tell you that you want to merge his healthy eating habits into your lifestyle too, she adds.
So, maybe I was just thirsty and looking for a tall glass of water in my kitchen? Unclear. Regardless, my pile of raging pregnancy hormones isn’t trying to make me question my sexuality like I thought. Instead, they’re just communicating to me in new, pleasurable, dirty ways.
Here are five other women who have also experienced these weird pregnancy dreams (see? I’m not cray):
- “I had amazing sex dreams about my exes while pregnant. Then, I would often get woken up by my kid two inches away from my face saying, ‘Mama, can I sleep next to you?’” —Chanelle, 31
- “I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant, and a few nights ago, I had a raunchy dream about Chelsea Clinton. In the last month or so, I’ve had sexy dreams about two exes, a high school friend I never found hot, and a couple of random people in my life who I’m not interested in at all.” —AJ, 33
- “I kept having sex dreams about my ex when I was pregnant. I think my brain was just rehashing old stuff, but I don’t know why. I did not see a reason to tell my partner—it’s not like it was some secret desire or something.” —Val, 31
- “I had dreams about having really raunchy sex with men, including blow jobs. I have never been with a man once in my life. Fucking nuts!” —Emily, 31
- “I dreamt I was having sex with my wife and she was wearing the strap-on. Then, my friend suddenly appeared and started joining in. I had many dreams exactly like this. I also had other dreams where I was having sex with guys I’d seen that day at the shops or in traffic—very random!” —Chynna, 34
So if you are pregnant and find yourself waking up from a saucy slumber with a questionable cast, it’s perfectly normal. Trust, you don’t need a therapist or a divorce—just maybe a vibrator to get you off before bed.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.