Our Daily Bleg: Naked Dreams in Other Cultures?

From a reader named Josh Slavin comes an interesting request for help:

My friend was just telling me about a recent dream in which she was naked at a party and it reminded me of my similar dreams of being naked at school.? It’s such a common trope in American culture that it made me wonder if people in other cultures have it too.? Do more open/less prudish cultures like maybe Brazil have it as a common dream?? What about much more conservative cultures, like in the Middle East — do they have a much more reserved version of it?

I love this question, and I’m hoping some of you can chime in with wisdom. FWIW, here’s a relevant excerpt from Gustavus Hindman Miller‘s Dictionary of Dreams (which does not enjoy good reviews — “pure archaic drivel” — from contemporary readers):

To dream that you are naked, foretells scandal and unwise engagements.

To see others naked, foretells that you will be tempted by designing persons to leave the path of duty. Sickness will be no small factor against your success.

To dream that you suddenly discover your nudity, and are trying to conceal it, denotes that you have sought illicit pleasure contrary to your noblest instincts and are desirous of abandoning those desires.

On the Middle East portion of Josh’s question, I’d suggest everyone read Maureen Dowd‘s recent Vanity Fair article “A Girls’ Guide to Saudi Arabia.” It doesn’t concern dreams, but some of the waking moments might make you think you’re dreaming …


Grounds for unease.

I dreamt I was naked at a Tea Party rally with nothing but my teabag to hide behind.

Liza Harrington

I am from Brazil and yes, did have the recurring naked dream growing up...Particurlaly being in school naked. I am 37 and still have it every now and then.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

We come into this world naked and alone. And we leave the same way.

We are all naked under our clothes.

Clothes penetrating Infra Red will be used by Homeland Security. They are marketing lead flying pasties for the ultramodest.

http://flyingpasties.com/

Some people are so fixated with their nakedness, they take a shower partially dressed.

My dog is a free naturalist...he will rip off any clothes he is dressed in about a minute and run around naked in circles.

matt.

i know next to nothing about dreams and the psychology behind them.

that aside, i'd answer 'no' to the question. for the same reasons that other cultures don't see god as a 'white male', etc.

maybe i'm way off, though.

great question, by the way.

Yosef

I used to have several of these naked dreams in nights. I discovered myself in nudity in publicity without alarm from other people. Some are in formal occasions and some are not, but they all embarrassing a lot.

Chinese reply.

Eric M. Jones

My cat told me that she had these naked dreams too...oh, wait that was just a dream I had.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

At the last Christmas Bombing Attempt by the Underwear bomber from Al Queda, security experts were speculating where the next threat could arise.....Possibly a a bomb placed in an unmentionable body cavity.

In that case, part of security clearance would involve having ALL PASSENGERS fly Nude. IT would also discourage Ferverent Fundamentalist Religion Practioners from flying, result in a self restricted "Do Not Fly" List, and safen the skies.

Plus it could be lead to a vast expansion of the membership of the Mile High Club. And it would weaken the distracted and divided attention from our personal electonic gadgets. ( We will distracted by other things.)

Steve

I hear that Lady GaGa has a recurring dream in which she suddenly finds herself in a roomful of people, all looking at her, and she's wearing clothes.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

ATTENTION FREAKONOMICS MANAGEMENT:

I would like to propose a topic that has perplexed me for years. More than half of young people under age 30 have a tattoo. They have a low threshold when it comes to permanently altering their skin for what will be a lifetime.

However an Automobile Bumper Sticker is NOT pernament. But very few of these same young people have a bumper sticker on their car. In asking them why, they would say a bumper sticker attracts attention, depreciates the value of a vehicle, they are hard to remove, or will scar a bumper.

It seems young people value the skin on their arm or neck LESS than the rear bumper of their 10 year old Nissan Sentra.

From an economics standpoint, I would like to ask to value the advertising cost for let's say Apple Computer LOGO :

1. HOW MUCH WOULD YOU CHARGE FOR Apple Computer TO PUT ITS LOGO ON A REAR BUMPER STICKER ON YOUR VEHICLE?

2. HOW MUCH WOULD YOU CHARGE FOR Apple Computer TO PUT ITS LOGO ON YOUR BICEPS? (3 inch High)

The results would be very insightful for how people feel about tattoos and value their bodies and likewise their automobiles.

Read more...

Sam

@Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team: As an added bonus, we won't have any more terrorists, since they wouldn't want to be around naked people.

Jacson Querubin

Well,

Here in Brazil, we all live naked and dream naked.

And we work naked, we eat naked, we talk naked, we go see "soccer" (Cleese has some comments on that) naked.

The unique moment that we wear clothes is when we have sex. But it's only that moment.

all others, naked.

People on Middle East, do you ever get naked?

lol

PM

Here in France, of course public nudity, or at least partial nudity, is far more common. I feel these type of dreams are anxiety dreams, and can't help but believe the French do not have these dreams as much as Americans do since the anxiety about nudity is not as severe (although Liza from Brazil certainly contradicts this notion).

Nina

Ok Brazilians, no need to get hostile!
I'm from Brazil too, and yes, we have those dreams here. I have also dreamt that I was naked, and at school - and I have been out of school for at least 10 years.
That being said, not everybody's threshold for nudity is as low as those women in Rio's Carnaval.
We're as "normal" (abnormal) as you americans.

Brian

@ drill baby drill's tattoo post

As someone under 30 I think there are a few reasons why they are so popular.

1) Tattoos are more accepted now then they were 30 years ago.

2) A tattoo is a unique form of expression...that all the other sheep have

3) You cannot sell your skin where they will eventually sell their car.

pedro a m s david

Although Brazilians are, in general, less prudish than Americans, I think that doesn't mean we (I am Brazilian) are shameless, on the contrary, my experience is that privacy (shame is a reaction to privacy violation) of personal relations is highly valued in Brazil.

Bruno

@Drill .. i think you make an assumption that is not correct. The assumption you seem to make is that people with tattoo's think the value of their skin decreases when you get a tattoo..just like with a car. However, it's the other way, they think it increases the value (not talking about market value here)

your #2 is: how much would you charge apple to get the tattoo of their logo.. the answer is probably: nothing.. if you really want that logo you are willing to pay a tattoo artist to put it on.

let me guess: you never got inked?

AaronS

The theory seems to be that "the naked dream" is about insecurity of some sort. You'd think that cultures that are less fastidious about clothing wouldn't think of nakedness as an insecurity, yet it seems some of our Brazilian friends dream this anyway.

Of course, that's not nearly enough to be a proper sample. But let me propose something really far out....

The Story of Adam and Eve. We all remember how they hid themselves when they found out they were naked. WHAT IF...what if that story touches a deeper place in our humanity than we imagine. That is, what if the nakedness factor is not just part of a creation story/myth...but links up with the deeper places in the human psyche.

Their nakedness (when they realized it) became a source of insecurity to them also. Maybe that's the archetype of our feelings.

Not making an issue of it. But I did think it was interesting.

MW

I managed to overcome my shyness to become an occasional nudist (clothing optional beaches) at age about 35. Since then, I've had the 'naked' dreams more often rather than less. A common post-nudism form of the dream is that I'm naked in an appropriate circumstance, but then the circumstance changes. (E.g. on a beach with other naked people, then the others leave and a bunch of guys in suits turn up to give me a job interview.)

Except for possibly a few primative tropical societies, there are always circumstances where nudity is socially inappropriate. I expect that people still have these dreams even if they live next to a French Mediterrainian nudist beach and spend half the summer naked in public.

ka kei

It's funny, back when I was in school in Venezuela, a teacher once asked if anyone ever had naked dreams, most people said yes, me included...

Dieter

The next question would be: Do people in more conservative societies dream more often about sex than those coming from societies were sex is abundant. My a-priori assumption would be yes. Wet dreams are usually more common at times when people are in need of sex, right?