Naked Dreams

Naked dreams are a common theme among dreamers. 

Imagine this scenario:  I had just graduated from college and landed my first job teaching English in Japan!  Everything was fresh, new, and exciting.  But at the same time, I didn't speak or read a word of Japanese and had never taught anybody anything before.  Within a week of starting my new job I had the following reoccurring dream:

I am at work teaching my lessons.  Everything is going fine, until I look down at myself and realize I am naked.  In the dream, I feel uncomfortable and exposed.  I know that this is out of the ordinary and that I should be wearing clothes.  My students don’t say anything and don’t even seem to notice or care that I am naked.  There are no clothes around me to put on, and I am not allowed to leave the room during a lesson.  There is nothing I can do, so I continue to teach naked.

Talking with my colleagues, I learned that this was a common dream for them as well.   Several other teachers had similar dreams when they first started teaching: walking into their lessons naked!

My dream reflected my feelings of inadequacy in the situation and my fears of being exposed as someone who doesn't know how to teach.  After I’d been there for a while and got comfortable with the position, the dreams stopped.

Naked Dreams: Common Elements

In naked dreams, you find yourself either completely naked or partially naked in a public situation where you would normally be clothed.  Generally, the feelings associated with the dream are shame, embarrassment, or vulnerability.  Interestingly, as was the case in my dream, oftentimes the other people in the dream don’t seem to notice that you are naked.  And if they do notice, they don’t seem to care. 

Naked Dreams: Symbolic Meaning

Dreaming of being naked symbolizes your feelings of vulnerability.  Literally being naked and exposed in front of others.  If you are in a new situation, such as a new job, new school, or new relationship, your anxiety about the situation might be coming through.  Being naked in your dream could signal your feelings of not being prepared, or your vulnerability about showing others your true self.

If the situation the dream is referring to isn’t immediately obvious to you, look for areas in your life where you feel vulnerable or exposed.  Maybe you are embarking on a new endeavor or starting a new project that is deeply personal to you and you don’t know how others will react.  Draw parallels from your dream to your waking life.

Clothing represents a covering – something we wear to literally protect ourselves from outside elements.  Symbolically, clothing represents the shields we put up around ourselves as a form of protection, to mask who we are inside, or to fit in with a group.  

For example, many people wear a business suit during the day.   This is a form of mask – putting on the clothing to fit in with those around us.  It projects a certain image that goes along with a businessperson.  Whether or not this image accurately represents this particular person doesn’t matter.  He can hide behind his clothing. 

The dreamer who feels uncomfortable or inadequate in this situation may dream of going to work naked.  The dream reflects his feelings of exposure.  Without the socially acceptable clothing, who is he?

Look for areas in your life where you are afraid to show your true self.  Ask yourself why you feel that way and what you are afraid of.  Also look at how you feel in your dream in relation to being naked.  Are you ashamed?  Or are you happy?  Your feelings regarding the nudity point to your feelings about being vulnerable around others.

Naked Dreams: Bystanders

It’s interesting to note that in many naked dreams, the bystanders don’t seem to care that you are naked.  This could be an indication that your anxieties about being exposed are exaggerated or even unfounded. 

Notice how the other people react to you in your dreams.  Do they care that you are naked, or do they reprimand you?  How do you feel about their reactions?  Use this as an indication about how exaggerated your anxieties are. 

Naked Dreams: Final Thoughts

In short, naked dreams represent feelings of vulnerability and exposure. Clothes offer protection, and without our coverings we feel anxious.  Look for areas in your life where you feel vulnerable.  Also notice the reaction of the other people in your dream.  Are your fears exaggerated or do you have good reason to feel exposed?

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