Let’s face facts…
Sometimes in a long-term relationship, the sex can fall into a routine, following the same old pattern and become boring. Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to try something new, but not knowing where to start. Role-playing is one of the easiest ways to add a little bit of pizzazz and spice into the bedroom. It brings the fun back into the sex life.
You and your partner will have fantasies—whether you’ve revealed them to one another or not—about pretending to be someone else, in a different place, becoming different people, and by incorporating these ideas into your sex life, you will take the fire up to a sizzling ten. Think Phil and Claire from Modern Family—they pretend to be Clive and Juliana, to spice up their sex life. They pretend to cheat on each other, with each other.
It’s kinda cute, methinks.
Understandably, role-playing with your spouse can be super scary at first, and feel really awkward and even uncomfy at times, especially when you’re new to the whole thing. But like everything, practice and communication will make it so, so much better—and lead to many toe-curling, screaming orgasms. So let’s start with role-play 101, a lesson on how to increase the intimacy in your relationship, spice up the sexy times, and get comfortable:
Reassurance is romantic
It’s scary to talk about sex, even when you’ve been with your person for a long time. There’s just something about it that’s so intimate, so deeply personal, that can make us feel really nervous. There’s a fear of speaking about our wants or desires or feeling inadequate or a fear of making our partner feel like they weren’t able to satisfy us.
Being sexual, even in a long-term and committed relationship, does not take away any insecurities or vulnerabilities. So this is why it’s important to first and foremost reassure your partner, telling them you love what you already have, that you enjoy your sex life. It’s important to ask if they’re ok with talking about sexual desires/fantasies, ease into it with both feet instead of jumping off the cliff.
Some examples of conversation starters:
“You know what, we’ve never talked about this and I’m really nervous…”
“I’ve been doing this course, please don’t make fun of me – I would love to talk to you about it.”
“Are you open to talking about what turns you on?”
“I’m really curious about what you like…”
But if talking face to face scares the crap out of you, you can also write it down on paper/talk on the phone/text each other. It’s important to just be able to talk.
Understand each other’s boundaries and safe words
Okay, so before you and your partner turn into different people, discuss what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. You need to be able to understand and respect what each of you needs and wants from the experience. For example, it could be one night of fun, once a year, for you, but your spouse might want to turn it into a monthly thing. Some people like using role-play as a way to act out their sexual fantasies. Whatever it is, you have to make sure it works for both of you.
“Communicating with your partner about sex is necessary here.”
IMPORTANT: Please also have a safe word—if either you or your partner uses it, everything should stop. Straight away.
How to decide what to role-play
You can totally come up with a character on the spot or you can take some time to figure it out. Though yeah, the easiest thing is to be a different person. Maybe it’s your alter-ego (think Clive and Juliana). You don’t need to change your appearance, but use a different name and act a little differently. Pretend it’s your first date all over again.
You can also decide who to role-play based on your fantasies. What turns you on? Is it a student/teacher scenario? A plumber and the owner of a gorgeous penthouse? A famous singer and a groupie? A nurse/patient? Two roommates? Two strangers meeting at a café? Base your role-play on what turns you on.
You can add costumes, wigs included.
To be fair, yes, you might feel a little awkward and weird and giggly at first but that’s natural. Even if you start laughing, it’s fine—it’s a cute memory you both share. Just start with something small.
Don’t freak out if you feel silly
It can feel intimidating AF if you’re not used to it and you might feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Neither of you is a professional actor, I’m assuming. But it’s fine. It’s different and new and exciting, it’ll take some time to get used to it and it’ll be a fun game to play with your partner. It takes practice.
You can change the location from your usual place. Clive and Juliana usually meet at bars, restaurants, or hotels. You can take a walk at the park and catch each other’s eyes while feeding the ducks, or see each other across the room at the local café—finishing it all off in the bedroom. (Whether that’s a hotel or your home, it’s up to you). You can even change locations in your home. Pull out all the cards and turn your kitchen into a little bar, with drinks and glasses laid out. Let your imagination go wild. Get creative and have fun. The possibilities are endless.
Examples of scenarios you can try out
- Nurse or doctor/patient
- Fitness instructor/student
- Best friends
- Long-distance—try Skype/FaceTime sex even if you’re not in an LDR
- Massage therapist
- Food delivery
- Non-monogamy—one person remains themselves and the other is a stranger
- Photographer and mode
Don’t be scared to really act
It’s totally fine to get super into it, after all, it’s your fantasy and it’s something fun. Role-playing is about becoming someone else and bringing your desires to life with your partner. It’s an adventurous way to try all the things you dream about. If you try one thing and don’t like it, then try something else. Like with most things, it’s trying and realizing whether you enjoy it or don’t. Sex is all about knowing what you do and don’t like, so this is just another thing to bring you closer as a couple, all the while having fun trying something new.Sumaiya Ahmed is a lifestyle journalist and writer, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture and bring marginalized topics to light.