It’s hard enough being yourself during sex, so trying to be someone else can feel quite overwhelming. If you’ve ever contemplated roleplay, you’ve probably had a thousand thoughts run through your head. What if they think your fantasies are too weird? What if you can’t stop laughing or even worse if your partner laughs at you? Where do you even begin? Believe me, the anxiety is normal but it shouldn’t stop you from having sexy adventures. Here are some tips that have helped me get past all the awkwardness and become a roleplaying maestro.
- Figure out what you want to do. The point of roleplay is doing something you think is sexy or finding out what works for you and your partner. You can go to a bar, pretend to be strangers and pick each other up. You can put on costumes and play out scenarios like cop and law-breaking citizen or princess and stable boy. You can pretend you’re in a different setting like on a spaceship or museum. It can be a simple scenario like pretending you’re teenagers trying to get it hot while your parents are downstairs. You can be or do whatever you want with roleplay, so dare to dream.
- Talk about it beforehand. Don’t just grab a whip, put on a leather costume, and demand that your partner lick your feet or be punished. You have to discuss your fantasies ahead of time and make sure that they’re open to the idea. If you’re not sure how to segue into this conversation, tell them you had a dream where you both did the thing from your fantasy. Tell them what you loved about the scenario and why it got you going. Tell them you’d like to try out the scenario for real and see what they think about it.
- Suspend judgment, political correctness, and disbelief. The bedroom should be a judgment-free zone. There’s no reason to feel ashamed about how weird, unusual, or creepy your fantasy is. I’m a feminist, but being dominated, slapped around, or flat-out debased in the bedroom gets my blood going. Does this make me less of a feminist or take away from my dignity? No. It just means I feel safe enough with my partner to explore the darker side of my subconscious. So it doesn’t matter if your roleplaying fantasies are at odds with your ideological beliefs or who you are in your daily life. Let go of the shame or judgment and accept that roleplay is just pretending.
- Try words out first. The easiest way to glide into roleplay is by using your words, so before you buy those costumes or start planning outings to bring your fantasies to life, start small. Pretend to be someone else while in bed with your partner using only words to build out the fantasy. If you’re roleplaying that you’re a massage therapist and your partner is a client, whisper something you’d say in that scenario into their ears. Roleplaying with words will help you get comfortable and build up your confidence for trying out more elaborate fantasies.
- Rely on your imagination, not expensive props. People tend to think that to engage in roleplay, they need to buy all kinds of costumes and gear to properly execute their fantasies. That’s a lie. You don’t need to hunt down a cheerleading costume, pom poms, and redo your hair just to pretend you’re a cheerleader for a few minutes. You can make do with whatever outfit you have and use objects lying around the house as props. The magic of the moment will come from your brain and your ability to create a scene that gets you hot and bothered.
- Make room for laughter. Don’t worry if you feel a little awkward or silly at the beginning. That’s completely normal. You’re going to find yourself laughing at random times during the scene either because you’re feeling nervous or you can’t believe you’re actually doing what you’re doing. Laughter is fine. It can help you feel a little less self-conscious and deepen the intimacy of the moment. So let yourself laugh all you want, as long as you’re not laughing at your partner.
- Stay flexible and go with the flow. Remember that you’re completely in control of the narrative. If something isn’t working for you, you can change it. Roleplaying is like improv, you don’t have to follow a set script or be rigid with the details. Be willing to explore wherever the roleplay takes you. But at the same time, don’t hesitate to stop and turn the car around if the scenario isn’t taking you where you want to go or are comfortable going. Try not to take any of it personally or too seriously.
- Plan for your limits. Just because you consented to act out a fantasy, doesn’t mean you’ve consented to go down any road the fantasy might take. This is why it’s important to plan for such moments. Come up with a safe word ahead of time that you can both use if you feel frightened or overwhelmed, Or if something is just not doing it for you. Choose a safe word that’s removed from the normal language you use and that cannot be misconstrued as part of the roleplay. Don’t forget to keep checking in with your partner and be in tune with what’s happening to them during the roleplay itself.
- Focus on enjoying yourself. You’re not trying to win an Oscar. Nobody is watching you except your partner, so don’t get too caught up in the performance that you lose sight of what roleplaying is really about—having fun. If you start laughing or break character, don’t sweat it. Just keep going. Lean into the ridiculous of the moment. Take your time, be creative, and have loads of fun.