I awakened from a terrible dream this morning. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those moments like in real life when your co-worker corners you wanting to discuss the “weirdest dream” ever and you have to nod politely like you give a shit about his or her semi-nightmare of a po luck at Bon Jovi’s house in which he/she brought a collapsed casserole and was subsequently humiliated. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that dreams–like your small dog’s personality traits—are only interesting to you, the dreamer.

This isn’t a story about a dream, but rather the terrible aftermath of the worst kind of dream: the Uncomfortable Sex Dream. You see, this morning I woke up feeling incredibly gross and vulnerable but I couldn’t understand why. Then the horrible truth set in: for the past few hours, my subconscious had battered me with unflinchingly graphic depictions of sex… with Leonardo “Noodle Body” DiCaprio. Now, in my waking life, I am not thirteen and it is not 1997, so I’m confident that Leonardo DiCaprio has the sex appeal of gently microwaved Velveeta but—peculiarly—my imagination was convinced of the very sweaty and naked contrary.

I then realized this dream was not the first of its kind and I had, in fact, been occasionally plagued by explicit dreams of the sexually awkward or unfit since puberty. Not only have I had many awful sex dreams in my day, I’ve had a variety of them: some have caused me to dry heave myself awake (Johnny Knoxville), some led to doubt of principles I believed myself to hold (Apolo Ohno), and some were jarring at first but then I kind of just went with it (Prince).

Obviously, the Uncomfortable Sex Dream isn’t half as bad as, you know, the Uncomfortable Sex. However, the Uncomfortable Sex Dream (henceforth USD) can be a uniquely violating experience, in that it brutally challenges our perceptions of what we believe to be sexually appealing. Although what we find attractive does evolve over the course of our lifetime—I no longer yearn for the broad, masculine features and supple baldness of Donatello from the Ninja Turtles—there’s something almost crushing about waking up and being forced to contend with your psyhe’s darker impulses… especially when they seem to be telling us that we’re a nation of repressed Leonardo DiCaprio fuckers.

Then it occurred to me that there’s no way I’m the phenomena’s sole victim. I’m betting women everywhere wake up some mornings and are shaken to the very core by the thought that they might actually be aroused by Wilmer Valderrama’s curious dampness. Luckily, The Gloss is here to help, and to let you know you’re not alone, so I’ve prepared a handy Mental Checklist for the Inevitable Morning After (an Uncomfortable Sex Dream).

What Does It all Mean?

First off, it’s imperative to remind yourself that a USD is still just a dream, i.e. no more than a mostly incoherent assemblage of visual ideas. Although it may make twisted sense while it’s happening in dream time, chances are that the awakened version of yourself would never, ever agree to a steamy ferris wheel encounter with Quinton Tarantino.

Who Am I?

It’s not you. Perhaps the most important aspect of coping with USD is recognizing that it’s absolutely not an indication you are secretly attracted to this person. A USD is inherently random and nonsensical; it has nothing to do with you as a moral or sexual being. Moreover, a USD certainly doesn’t mean you have suppressed your desires so deeply that this is your subconscious’ way of punishing you for wanting Kevin Federline to come through your window dressed as Disney’s Aladdin.

Why Am I Here?

You’re here because you have impulses and sometimes they misfire.

It’s as simple as that. In dreamland, you could be sitting astride a magnificent horse with legitimate babe Ryan Gosling and then in the blink of an eye he could become monochromatic booger demon Spencer Pratt… because dreamland is irrational. Repeat it to yourself: irrational.

Is There a God?

No, darling. No. It’s important we clear this up now. If there was a God, would he make you endure nightmares of sensual bubble baths with Mel Gibson?

USD happens to the best of us. You don’t have to feel dirty, guilty, or like you’ve comprised yourself. The adult thing to do is get up, have a shower, and tell yourself that dreams aren’t a reflection of you, only your brain’s meaningless discharge. If all else fails, just do what I did upon waking from my potentially scarring USD this
morning: after rocking back and forth in quiet shame for a few hours, I suddenly recalled that DiCaprio exclusively dates ESL lingerie models… so Dream Me must be, like, super thin and hot. Keep it up!