can you climax?

I’ve been wondering why I don’t reach climax in dreaming. Another way to word it is failing to come to the end, the conclusion of sorts; I feel like it’s a common experience…

  • You try to sprint, but you can only jog – sluggishly. {Surely by now you should have been caught by the knife-wielding lunatic chasing you…}
  • You try to pedal as fast as you can, but it’s like churning butter…
  • You try to swim back up to the surface, but the water all around you is so heavy and you can’t swim any faster.
  • You engage in sexual innuendo, but fail to reach home base.
  • You fall from a building, but wake before landing. {I should be bloody squash right now, shouldn’t I…?}
  • Can you think of any others?

Why can’t we reach climax? Granted – one huge obstacle is the fact that if we try to do high-performance activities, our mind thinks that it can manipulate our poor, poor sleeping muscles into joining in on the ride. But the deep, deep REM sleep (that I love) simply won’t allow for it. When I sleep, my body turns into dead weight: a beached whale, a log cast adrift. I know many people who will wake at the sound of a pen falling on the floor (how I loathe you..); do they sleep as heavily, dream as heavily? If not, can they somehow reach the climax that I cannot, in the dream state?


And that’s nothing to say of the aftermath of a dream. Upon waking, I am so completely absorbed in my dreams that reality can warp for a couple hours, the whole day, or even a week sometimes. Warp, in the sense that my thoughts and emotions are competely tied up in that dream experience. I see things differently, I communicate differently, I procrastinate differently. One unfortunate day last year, I came into work late because I could not shake the previous night’s disturbing dream from my head. I told my co-worker/superior, who later told the boss, and it was much to my embarrassment when he confronted me about it. “Of course, it sounds ridiculous,” I said, thinking ‘if you only knew, if you only knew’. But he didn’t and no one does.

That’s the problem with dreams – few people actually care to hear about them, no matter how engaging they were for you. Let alone the explicitness of detail I deem necessary to include for the listener to reach an out-of-body empathetic experience. Ha! Rarely, if ever, has this happened. Perhaps I’ve grown to misinterpret (intentionally?) the listener’s glazed eyes as true understanding of my emotional dissonance, when really they’re thinking about how they need to go fill up the parking meter or they’ll get yet another ticket.

I was talking to my roommate about this the other day, and she is of the belief that we cannot ‘finish’ the dream act for fear of what lies beyond – in the deep, at the highest peak, at the climax point; panic at what we cannot perceive, what seems not to be within our grasp. Perhaps this idea is a reflection of why we do not ‘finish’ things in our waking lives, and this bad habit simply extends into our sleeping realities.

Or could it be subtle rationalism creeping into our sacred time for exploration of the irrational?

I reach high into the heavens in the tallest elevator known to man, in a building inconceivably high. The skies are boundless and we are so many thousands of feet high, in the needle of the building, the building cannot be seen! We reach the top, hesitate for a moment, and the elevator suddenly begins to plunge downwards, at full speed. I feel myself break out in a sweat – the panic of impending doom – but then suddenly, the elevator’s emergency brake system activates, and we plunge then brake in succession, all the way down, until we safely arrive at the plush lobby and walk out unscathed.

– dream, Sep 21, 2012

In this dream, my consciousness could not bear the idea of a death so brutal as that. My natural instinct to fight for my life kicked in and my rational side simply disbelieved that such a free-fall was at all possible nor realistic.

One might say that the emotions and habits we have as a waking human transcend into the dream state, even those that are particular to us as individuals. These can be of the more hypnotic variety – imaginations of grand scale, like the elevator above; visual metaphors of what we desire or fear most. But while dreaming our mind can also show itself as a disbelieving pragmatist that simply won’t allow this descent (or ascent) into madness, or bliss.

These two selves seem to mix together in the dream stew of fears and aspirations, their respective ends frequently limited by a tut-tuting rationalism that says “no, that’s impossible” or “no, I simply can’t go there…”. The extent to which we are aware of what comes from conscious thought or from unsourced imaginings depends on the extent to which we think in the first place, but most importantly, how self-aware we are while dreaming. I have limited knowledge on the subject but it sounds like this could be linked to “lucid dreaming” [to be continued…].

But what about the extent to which we can push past these limitations and reach our goals – both in dreaming and in waking life? There are a great many people who achieve great things: bungee jump, reach multiple orgasm, found successful businesses.

What stops us?

something to say about that? don't hesitate.

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