Sexy role-plays

Dear Alice,

My girlfriend and I want to experiment more with our love making. We want to try more role playing, but we need some good ideas to try out. Could you please give some suggestions?

— Wanting to be an Actor

Dear Wanting to be an Actor, 

Sometimes experimenting with role-play may feel more difficult in practice than in thought. While everyone can use some inspiration at different points, you may begin by considering what type of inspiration you’re looking for: Have you taken time to share sexual fantasies you’ve had as individuals with each other? What are some of your sexual fantasies in general, thinking back to before you were with your current partner? Why do those fantasies turn you on? What’s erotic about them for you? Are there any themes you notice? Thinking through some of these questions can help you figure out what ideas you’d like to try. 

After some intentional self-reflection and potentially even discovery, you and your partner will be set up to have a more fruitful conversation. You may even inspire each other to build fantasies together that may guide your role play. One tool for conversations like this is to consider list-making. Many people find it helpful to make “will, want, won’t” lists. As you might guess, that means creating a list of fantasies, roles, and sexual acts or behaviors that you will engage in (perhaps, if a partner is interested in doing them), a list of those that you want to do (think: your desires and some of those themes from your individual fantasies), and a list of what you won’t engage in, even if your partner is interested (these might be your hard boundaries). Once you finish your lists, sharing them with each other in honest, open, and nonjudgmental conversation may help make your next steps and fantasy role-playing bucket lists overflow! 

With that, here are some suggestions for sexy role-plays to get the ideas flowing, complete with verbal cues: 

  • Flight attendant and passenger: "Coffee, tea,... or me?" 
  • Sexy librarian and book lover: “Let me check you out.” 
  • Firefighter and frightened citizen: "Let me get my hose and put your fire out." 
  • Photographer and subject: "Why don't we try some with your clothes off..." 
  • Star Trekee to Star Trekee: "Beam me up Scotty, a Klingon's invading Uranus!" 
  • Madonna and adoring fan: "Get into the groove, you've got to prove your love to me." 

You could also role-play situations from your past: the first time you met, adventures of your favorite storybook characters, or that special anniversary years ago. Reversing roles might be fun as well. If one of you is usually dominant and the other passive, you could switch. And don't forget about the stage — the clothes closet, kitchen, laundry room, garage, and backyard — they're all full of possibility for the debut of your fantasies! 

Any time you try a new activity in your sexual relationship, it’s good to keep in mind that not every new idea or scenario will feel feel safe or enjoyable to one or both of you. It’s critical to discuss the options together and make a mutual decision. It's also good to remember that folx can rescind consent to a given activity at any time if they change their minds. After you try it, it’s wise have a conversation about how it went. What did you like the most about it? What might you modify next time (if you’re open to a next time!)? Communication is key to maintaining a healthy and satisfying sex life. As always, begin with consent and it’ll be more enjoyable all around. 

Break a leg, 

Last updated Apr 09, 2021
Originally published Apr 26, 1996

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