Boyfriend says no to role-playing

Dear Alice,

I love my boyfriend, and communication is great, but things have gotten a little... boring.

I have this scenario that involves role-playing that I'm dying to try, but when I asked my boyfriend if he thought role-playing would be too kinky, he responded that he doesn't see the need for it and "why would I want to imagine someone else if I have you?" That was very sweet, but it makes me feel guilty to approach the subject again. I don't want him to think I love him less than he loves me, I just think it would be fun to try...

So, how do I tactfully re-approach this with him... or do I just try to forget about it and accept that we be confined to "business as usual"? Please help, Alice.

— Bored in Bed

Dear Bored in Bed,

Communication is fundamental in a healthy relationship; hopefully, it can help you find a mutually satisfying way to spice up your sex life. If you're still thinking about the subject, it seems like it'd be worth another conversation, especially if what you wrote sums up your discussion with your boyfriend. Did you describe your scenario to him? Explain its appeal? It's not clear what kind of role-play you have in mind. Does it have to involve him imagining himself with someone else? Maybe you could start out with a tamer scene: wearing some outfits or imagining you and your boyfriend in a novel place?

There's no need to feel guilty about wanting to explore or experiment with new things — sexual or otherwise. There's potential for fun, learning about yourself and each other, and deepening your relationship. New experiences you share are what make you a couple. It doesn't mean you love someone less if you want to try something new. After all, you want to try it with him!

Your boyfriend's reluctance may stem from fear or discomfort. It might seem embarrassing or scary to try something he's not sure he'll be good at or that might make him feel silly. Who doesn't sometimes feel insecure when it comes to sex? Maybe telling your boyfriend how hot you'd find him dressed up as a pool boy or police officer could boost his confidence and motivation to try your scenario. And as with anything in a relationship, good sex often involves negotiation and compromise. Even if role-playing isn't at the top of his list, if you're excited about it, he might at least give it a try. Another option would be to encourage him to develop some fantasies of his own and explore those.

As for bringing up the topic, the direct approach is always a favorite: "Baby, I know we've talked about this before, but I can't stop thinking about how hot it would be to…" Business as usual may remain your boyfriend's favorite, but maybe he'll take pleasure in your excitement at dressing up as a nurse. Or, maybe he'll realize he enjoys the nurse's outfit, too!

Last updated Jun 12, 2015
Originally published Feb 09, 2007

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