Role-Play the Right Way

Breaking out of old roles isn't always easy.

Role-play: a simple and fun way to reboot a bedroom that's become predictable.

Role-play: a simple and fun way to reboot a bedroom that's become predictable.

Role-playing (pretending you and/or your partner are different people, in a different place/time) is a commonly overlooked way of adding a new dimension to sex. This could be because many people find the idea of playing pretend more awkward than sexy. Role-playing doesn’t have to be complicated or require any acting skills, but getting into a role certainly doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Adriana Velez from the Stir consulted with three experts on how best to get started with role-playing. Not all of the advice is fit for everyone (for example it focuses solely on male/female partners) but here are a few points we think are worth noting:

It’s okay to laugh 
Many of those hesitant to try it think role-playing sounds too silly to pull off with a straight face. But you don’t have to take role-playing seriously to be aroused by it; in fact, lightening up and having a little fun is part of the point!

From Sexologist Dr. Kat Van Kirk:

"A little chuckle here and there is normal," says Kirk. "After all, you are both seeing one another like you never have." Burton agrees. You want to lead with passion, but “work laughter and humor into it." Likewise, don't worry about getting it just right. "Just try to connect with one another," Kirk advises. "Trust that the dialogue will just come to you if you can get over the first couple of opening lines. It’s okay to be nervous. A little bit of nerves just adds to the overall excitement and spontaneity."

It doesn’t have to be complicated
Role-playing a fantasy can be as elaborate or as simple as you and your partner would like. If the thought of pretending to be a totally different person seems too much of a stretch, try something a bit more basic — like a new look. It’s amazing what a wig and a new piece of lingerie can do to make you look (and feel) different. When you feel different, it’s easier to start acting different.

Set a new scene
A change of scenery can spur the imagination — and we’re not talking about going to Paris. Surprise your partner by getting a hotel room, then surprise them again with a new outfit or toy. Arrange to meet after work at a bar or restaurant neither of you has been to — and pretend you don't know each other. Flirt for awhile across the room. New places can help bring out new sides of you and your partner.

Communication is sexy
You might be surprised at the kind of fantasies your parter has. That idea you’re too embarrassed to bring up might be something they think about too. Why not ask?

Beneteau recommends starting by spending some private time fantasizing. "Give yourself permission to look at what turns you on," she says. It could be anything. "Don't get hung up on the 'how' at this point," she says. “Focus on the ‘what.'"

Give it a chance
Anything you’ve never done before is going to feel a little awkward at first. But trying new things with your partner is one of the best ways to rekindle excitement. Remember the nerves you had on your first date? Embarrassment and arousal share a lot of the same wiring — and being embarrassed together can be remarkably good foreplay.

Give it 15 minutes. Kirk recommends sticking to an idea for at least this long. “If by the end it just doesn’t feel right for either of you, perhaps try doing something else, but if it does work, the action will probably go on a lot longer to the desired conclusion — if you know what I mean.”

You can read the full piece “14 Tips for Role-Playing With Your Husband Without Feeling Awkward” by Adriana Velez at