Role Playing for Grown-Ups
A Positive Way to Explore Your Fantasies
As children, most of us played with ease, fun and spontaneity. Role playing has always been a natural way to explore fantasies such as being a super hero, Olympic athlete, or pop star. When children play together they can take on new roles and use their imagination to create scenes. As adults, our curiosity and sense of play never totally disappears, but we often get a little more shy and self-conscious about role playing. The fear of doing it wrong, not appearing sexy, sounding cheesy, and rusty acting skills all get in the way of adding fun and spice to our sex lives.
Take advantage of the Halloween season to add a little flavour to your sex play. With stores filled with ideas and costumes and with conversations buzzing about dressing up, this is the easiest time to seize the moment. Here are some pointers to help ease the anxiety and improve your odds of actually having fun.
Start with the familiar
Think of movies, or plays that contain sexy scenes that turn you on. Read some short erotic stories for additional inspiration. Choose characters that sound fun to play and roles that feed your desires. Some of the classic options are: doctor/ nurse/patient; teacher/student; hitchhiker/driver; firefighter/ police officer/ victim/ “bad guy”; stripper/ client or strangers meeting in a bar.
Talk to Your Partner
The more details you share, the more confidence and intimacy you gain. Discuss the fantasy, how it might unravel, your boundaries, words that turn you on and words that turn you off, the kinds of sexual play that might ensue, toys and props that would fit your scenes. If you desire to play roles and create scenes that are kinkier such as those in “50 Shades of Grey” or play the game “No Does Not Mean No”, then you need to create a stage where you both feel safe. Develop a safe word that you can use that really means no. Choose something that you would not normally say to end the scene in the moment, such as “red” (as in a stoplight) or “bingo” or “waffles”.
Transform Your Self and Your Environment
Some like to physically go to a different location that suits the role play (e.g. a bar if you want to pretend to be strangers) but just as when we were kids, our imaginations can take us to other places with simple symbolic changes. Often clothing or props related to our roles such as a dress, suit, costume, tie, scarf, pair of shoes or a pair of handcuffs are enough to make the role play come alive. Create a signal that the play has begun, such as a song, a phrase (“You can’t have me”) or even a scent that spontaneously begins your play. Whichever signal you choose, it is the trigger for the transformational process into character.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to role play as long as everyone consents to the scene. Putting pressure on yourself or your partner to fill the role perfectly or to perform in exact ways takes away the fun. We are not all professional actors, so don’t get judgmental and self-conscious if you say something awkward, you are not sure what to do next or if you and your partner do not follow the script exactly as envisioned. There is always another time to “work on” the scene. And keep the role play simple- especially at first. Many a role play has been abandoned mid-stream because it was too convoluted or too complicated to follow through.
There are no rules beyond your own
Sometimes the role play does not work so well- you get tired part way through or you end up laughing so hard you can’t get back into role. You can always end it differently than envisioned (as long as it does not cross your mutually-established boundaries), or continue playing but as yourselves. This does not mean that it was a failure. It just means that you need to revise your play if you want to do it again. And you still have the intimacy you built through discussion and a new intimate shared experience.
Some like to talk right after the scene; others like to enjoy the afterglow and talk the next day. Say what worked for you, what would have made it hotter for you and what you might like your next adventure to be. This step is often overlooked but will help you better understand each other and create more exciting role plays in the future. Communication is usually the key to success!
However you like to role play, remember that the key is to have fun and build intimacy, trust and connection with your partner. As in all aspects of sex, sometimes it takes a while to discern exactly what you like. You may need to try out a few roles and scenes before you find the one(s) that really gets you going. You may want to repeat the same role over and over again. Sometimes you may need to compromise or take turns as to whose fantasy gets enacted. Over time, becoming comfortable with role playing will enhance your intimacy and sexual relationship in a fun and creative way, which is a great goal any time of the year!