Fantasies keep our erotic minds stimulated and they can inspire us to discover new ways to get turned on. Erotic roleplay takes this one step further by giving us an opportunity to act out some of our fantasies in real life. Bedroom roleplay can add excitement, intimacy, and playfulness to your sex life. Whether you’re looking to spice things up, deepen an existing flavor or explore a different side of your erotic self, roleplay can offer an important component of our sex lives - play!
Like with all sexual experiences, roleplay is something that all parties need to be on board with and confirm their interest in participating with enthusiastic consent. We can feel very vulnerable roleplaying and can even explore some fantasies that feel dark or dangerous, so discussing boundaries ahead of time is an absolute must. Sexual roleplay is all about borrowing attributes (and behaviors, costumes, and props) of characters, like a doctor, teacher, kitten, and sexualizing the behaviors of these roles for pleasure. You don’t have to find your actual doctor sexy in order to roleplay a sexy doctor. Roleplay can feel taboo or uncomfortable for some people because outside of an erotic context, who you are may be vastly different from the role you’re eroticizing. For example, someone who is confident and assertive might feel confused by being turned on by a submissive kitten in the bedroom. Or your fantasies may be related to things that scare you in real life. This contrast is part of what makes it hot and makes us feel naughty, but feeling conflicted about your roleplay can also be a barrier to having fun without judging yourself.
For some people, roleplay and its theatrics comes easily and for others, it takes practice and time to build confidence. Getting started can feel intimidating and overwhelming, so go slow, be gentle with yourself - it’s not a performance - and don’t give up right away. Here are four strategies for dealing with common struggles of getting started with roleplay:
Explore feeling silly vs feeling sexy
Silly is sexy. Being silly loosens you up and returns your childlike sense of play. We’ve been told that ‘sexy’ is limited to the versions of sexy we see in porn, movies, and media. In reality, most of us have a wide range of things we are attracted to and aroused by, including the chance to just feel accepted and attractive in all our self-expression. Roleplay isn’t about putting on a perfect performance, it’s about creating another vessel for your sexiness to shine through. Embrace silly - smile, laugh and encourage your partner to lighten up too.
Get creative with sexy roleplay
What do you do to make the role come to life? How do you keep it from falling flat? Planning, props, and passion are my go-to for creativity. Plan out your ideas in a non-sexy time, you can even test them out by sexting your partner, testing costumes or props when you're alone or getting inspiration from erotic stories. Keep props like sensation toys or bondage tape (it can be used for gags, blindfolds or restraints) handy - costumes or accessories that make sense for your character. Remember, roleplay doesn’t have to be completely foreign to the sexy activities you already like. You don’t have to carry out a big performance, you can put on an outfit that makes you feel different than you normally do and simply give or receive oral, or whatever you're both in the mood for.
Tell your partner a sexy story about your role
Bedroom roleplay can help some people overcome inhibition, be more mindful and present during sex, and offer an outlet for self-development. You can start by telling your partner about the roleplay you’re curious about and tell a sexy tale about the naughty fun your character might get into. Sharing your roleplay idea might seem like you’re putting yourself up for judgment and ridicule, but approaching it as giving your partner more information about your pleasure and an opportunity to have a conversation about spicing things up, can shift the dynamic a bit. Let go of seeking validation for your fantasy or feeling awkward if they aren’t into it and instead embrace the confidence it takes to put your desires out there.
Think beyond the role
What is it about this role that makes you feel sexy? Is it power? Is it fear? Is it sensual? Is it an activity that the role gets to do that you don’t? Tell yourself a story about the role, what does the character smell, look, feel, sound and taste like? What do they want to feel? What does your roleplay inspire your partner to feel?
Roleplay can feel awkward at first because it’s outside of your comfort zone and familiar roles. Allow yourself the space to absorb the benefits of stretching your erotic capacity. Affirm your partner’s efforts to roleplay with encouraging words, non-verbal signs of pleasure and engaging in your side of the roleplay. By combining play, dirty talk, props and a sense of horny curiosity, you might just find even more ways to get turned on!
Luna Matatas is a Sex, Pleasure and Body Confidence Educator with over 10 years experience teaching sexual health and wellness workshops. She celebrates body confidence, self-adoration and building shame-free pleasure in our lives. Luna is a self-identified craft slut; she created Peg the Patriarchy as part of her line of sex-positive and feminist merch. You can easily find Luna making nipple pasties, talking about butt stuff or helping couples and singles through Pleasure Coaching.