What It Really Means When You Dream About Being Naked

You're sitting at your desk at work, or you're back in school, or maybe you're pushing a grocery cart through store aisles, and suddenly you realize there's something you forgot — clothes! You somehow managed to leave the house without a stitch on, and you've only just noticed! The really weird part is that nobody else seems to have noticed, either. You're just going about your business, naked as a newborn baby, and nobody gives a damn. Have you been suddenly transported to a nudist colony? Nope, you're the only one going clothing-free.

Oh wait. Pinch yourself. Yes, you are dreaming. It's okay — you're still in bed and still in your pajamas. The world at large hasn't seen those parts of you that the sun does not shine upon. Another dream where you're naked in public!

So does this mean you're harboring secret desires to be an exhibitionist? Should you maybe invest in some pole-dancing lessons or see if you can get an audition for Naked and Afraid? Calm down. Aunty Flo's Dream Dictionary A-Z says that dreaming you're naked is one of the most common dreams, and HuffPost shares that most psychologists don't see such a dream as representing any kind of literal desire to run around in the buff.

Nudity in a dream may mean fears and insecurities

Psychologist and dream expert Ian Wallace sees clothing as symbolizing the self that we present to others, and a lack of clothing means that we fear having our true, not-so-confident selves exposed in front of others. Dream Moods expands upon this idea, saying that perhaps dreaming you're naked is your subconscious' way of telling you that maybe you're trying too hard and that you put too much stock into creating a perfect facade to present to other people rather than just being yourself and letting the world take it or leave it.

Dreaming of nudity may also indicate that you are feeling particularly vulnerable and as if all eyes are upon you, watching and judging you as you stand exposed and defenseless against such criticism. A dream of being naked may also be another variation on the common dream of being unprepared — an even more embarrassing alternative to having to take a test you didn't study for or act in a play for which you've never even seen the script.

Dreaming you're naked can also have a positive meaning

If you dream that you're naked in public, and yet, oddly enough, you're not the least bit embarrassed — well, you shouldn't be embarrassed when you wake up, either. Feeling positively about your nudity indicates that you are feeling free to express yourself openly, and don't feel there's anything about your personality (or your body) that you need to camouflage. You are honest, open, and carefree by nature. 

Dream Astro Meanings indicates that dreaming you are naked may also indicate revelations and relief — perhaps something you have been hiding has been exposed, your secret is out, and the world did not end. Or perhaps you have already decided to come out in the open about something you formerly kept under wraps, and this dream is meant to strengthen and encourage you, reaffirming your decision to act as you see fit and create your own rules despite what others may think.

The situation in which you're naked affects the meaning of the dream

If you dream you are naked at work or school, it may mean that this is the area in which you feel most insecure. You're afraid you're not qualified, that you're not going to live up to everyone's expectations, and that you are going to let down or disappoint your coworkers, bosses, or teachers. If you dream you're naked at an event, one to which you've been invited as a guest, it may indicate some subconscious desire to sabotage the event — perhaps it's a wedding and you're really not all that happy for the bride and groom, or perhaps it's an awards ceremony and you're harboring some resentment that you're not among the awardees. If, however, you are naked at an event that is meant to celebrate you... well, it's your party and you can streak if you want to. However, your sleeping brain may be telling you that you fear making some kind of mistake that is likely to draw unwanted attention and embarrass you.

If you are naked in a dream with another person, it indicates that you and that person are or could be close. No, not (necessarily) that kind of close! Despite the unavoidable connotations of nudity, your subconscious isn't always using it to symbolize a romantic or sexual connection. It may just mean that the two of you have the kind of relationship that allows you to be your true selves with one another, no need for keeping secrets.