Role-playing during sex or foreplay isn’t just dress-up—it’s a mindset. Some people like to wear a special piece of clothing because it’s a turn-on or even a fetish for their partner. Some take it one step further and wear a costume or clothes which can transform them into someone or something else, with characteristics different from their usual routine.
For folks in long-term relationships looking for a thrill to people who have separate dress-up personas, role-play can be a great way to explore a different part of your personality. Not sure exactly where to start when it comes to tapping into your theatrical side during sex?
Here are five hints that can help if you decide to give role-play a go.
It may not be best to surprise your partner by emerging from the bathroom wearing a full fur cat suit complete with a head just because they think your kitty ears are cute. Same goes for dressing up as a Leather Daddy because your partner is curious about BDSM. Sometimes good accessories are all it takes to spice things up—and sometimes you’ll want more—so when you’re a role-play beginner, start gradually.
Tried and true moves (and roles and outfits) can be great, but try unique stuff, too! Some folks have the same core fantasies—teacher, nurse, cheerleader, cop—but you’ll really excite your partner when you’re dressed as that superhero they love or a character in a movie or game. If you know them well, you may already have an idea, but if not, you can always ask! “What are your top three favorite fictional characters?” can be a good place to start.
Do the Opposite of What Feels Normal
Try a shift in social norms or your own personal power dynamic. Take the teacher/student, boss/secretary, jailer/prisoner, Christian/Ana (sorry, had to) roles and flip the switch! Defy gender roles or act differently than your own relationship dynamic. Are you always in control? Try taking the backseat and letting your partner take the wheel.
Dive into whatever scenario you’re acting out, but always have an exit plan. When you’re experimenting with role-play the first few times, you’re exploring and possibly getting outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to push those boundaries by taking on characteristics of who or whatever you’re being, and also have a safe-word both you and your play partner can use when you want to return to reality or are pushing the limits of your comfort zone. Always practice enthusiastic consent (consent being the key word).
Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
Role-play may feel corny at first, and that’s OK. You’re stepping out of your daily routine. You may be wearing something out of a package that feels awkward or cheesy. But laugh it off and try to play. You may be making your lover’s favorite fantasy come true—and that’s definitely worth it.