Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

I dream of Gordon - and it's X-rated
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The Independent Online

I'm not particularly interested in politics, so it came as a bit of a shock when I started having very graphic sex dreams about Gordon Brown.

I welcome the idea of dreaming about public figures, but I was expecting my subconscious to conjure up Gabriel Byrne or Clive Owen-- not a jowly Scotsman whose chin seems to have no bounds.

A few days ago I met R, a charming, 6ft 3in consultant. He is absolutely gorgeous, yet the Chancellor remains the predominant figure in my bedroom.

The dream begins on an Orient Express-style train. I am on a book tour, wearing 1920s clothes. Our eyes meet across a dinner table, and soon we are stumbling to my cabin, kissing passionately. By the end of the dream we are cuddling and talking about our future. I wake up, usually in a cold sweat.

I am, very definitely, not attracted to Gordon Brown. It's a different story, perhaps, with Tony Blair. I had the chance to meet Blair a few months ago at a charity event in London, and when I told him that I wrote about sex and relationships, he really turned on the charm. "That sounds a lot more interesting than politics," he laughed, before putting his arm around my waist to pose for a photograph.

Even with his post-Iraq hairline receding almost as quickly as his popularity, Tony is still hot.

Desperate for answers, I called in an expert. Ian Wallace is an Edinburgh-based dream therapist. He begins by reassuring me that having dreams about politicians is very common, and does not mean that I'm destined to do a Lewinsky.

"Many of my clients have vivid sex dreams involving people they feel they are not attracted to in waking life," he says. He points out that, like Brown, I'm ruthlessly ambitious. But why not someone more charismatic, like Blair or Bill Clinton?

"As Gordon Brown is the public official recognised to be in charge of the national economy, your dream suggests that you are beginning to formally recognise your own self worth and the unique value of your journalistic explorations," Ian says. "This dream is a message from your unconscious urging you to be more aware of your inimitable value in waking life and to celebrate your creativity."

Apparently, the train is some sort of "metaphor for an intellectual journey" in the dreamer's profession. I use my new-found information to reassure R, who has taken to signing off his texts with "sweet political sex dreams" . I think he's starting to get jealous. He asks me out for next week, and I pretend to check my diary while dancing around the kitchen.

Then again, Gordon is dark and brooding - qualities I have found irresistible since I read Wuthering Heights at primary school. My friend Victoria agrees. "The Scottish accent is really hot. I'm surprised he's not more of a sex symbol."

Since he's helping me deal with unresolved issues in my psyche, I'm not sure I'm ready to kick Gordon out of bed just yet.