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What Do Incest Dreams Mean?

Incest dreams are surprisingly common, but incest isn’t. Do most people secretly have incestual desires, or do these dreams mean something else?

Once on an anonymous forum, someone asked, “Have you ever had an incest dream?”  Almost everyone said yes, and everyone was very distressed by these dreams.  One girl said she had a dream that she had an orgy with her mother and all her coworkers–needless to say, disturbing!  But why would she have had this dream?  Surely she wasn’t lusting after her entire office and her mom.

Most dreams are really symbolic of other things.  Dreams are not fortune-telling or psychic, but they usually unveil hidden desires or anxieties.  A dream about sex with your cousin doesn’t mean that you are in love with your cousin, but it could represent something about him or her that’s been bothering you, or perhaps it represents a conflict that the two of you are having.

According to, “The subject was so taboo that ancient dream books made no comment about these dreams.”  Incest has always been a taboo subject, which is why it’s so difficult to find any information about what an incest dream could mean.  However, goes on to explain that there are many other possible explanations for incestuous dreams other than real desire: “If the dream relates to real-life events then you may consider seeking professional advice or counselling. For a man, to dream of incest with a daughter symbolically expresses a fear of secret erotic desires. Incest with a sister or brother can represent the union of masculine and feminine sides of the dreamer. For a man, to dream of incest with his mother represents the desire he may have had for her as a small boy (see Mother) and likewise a woman’s dreams of incest with her father represent her infantile desires. (see Father)”

It’s true that growing up, many little boys want to marry their mothers and little girls want to marry their fathers. This isn’t “sick”, it’s totally normal, because kids usually grow out of this very early on, before they even know what sex is.  A sex dream about a parent can represent something about the relationship with that parent, but it doesn’t mean you secretly want to sleep with them.

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