BDSM / Bisexuality / Desire / Fantasy / Fetish / Gender / Long Term Relationships

Role Playing 101

Hey, kids. It’s Throwback Thursday and time for a vintage column. This one originally ran in August, 2010.

Question to the Sexpert:

“My girl said she wants to do role play and I really want to make her happy. Problem is: I have no experience with this and no ideas. I’ve heard of some old standards like “naughty nurse” and “naughty schoolgirl” but I want to be more creative. Besides, I don’t really know what to do. If I see her in some costume, I’ll just be like, “great! Let’s have sex!” and that’s it. What do I do?”

Brilliant question. I actually love you: A)asking it and B)being gung-ho to please your lady. You’ve opened the door to potential awesome. It’s scary at first, thinking about all the ways that you’ll feel weird or she might think you’re weird or you might think she’s really weird or that the entire world will explode. But role playing is a fantastic way to spice up a relationship, explore new levels of honest communication with your partner and stretch your own sexual parameters. It’s like a psychological exercise in sex in which you get rewarded with… actual sex. High-fives all around.


There are so many ways to start thinking about ideas!

  1. Do you or she have any fantasies already? If there’s some storyline that already gets one of ya’ll hot when masturbating, take a shot at playing it out. It takes some guts to imitate a real person, but you could pretend to be a celebrity on whom she has a crush.
  2. Are you turned on by power dynamics, like taking advantage of positions of authority? The list is endless for opportunities here: teacher/student, airline security/traveler, cop/criminal, warden/prisoner, landlord/broke tenant, soldier/civilian, boss/secretary, camp counselor/camper, kidnapper/victim, etc. These situations can free you and your partner up to be submissive or dominant in ways you would never feel comfortable doing otherwise.
  3. Do you want to have a scenario that just lends itself to touching? This is where the game of “playing doctor” comes in. Perhaps you’re an artist and she’s your model (or canvas). Maybe one of you is a prostitute or stripper.  You could be teammates who help each other stretch after practice. Maybe you’re a wardrobe assistant on a movie set whose job is to help the starlet change clothes. Perhaps she comes in for a massage. You get the idea.
  4. Easy formula for success: Take any occupation, add “naughty” in front of it. “Librarian” comes to mind. Flight attendant, salesperson, delivery boy, bartender, website developer, what the hell ever. For some reason you two can pretend to be interacting for professional reasons when…  You can guess what happens next…. He fixes the cable.
  5. Consider otherwise impossible scenarios: historical eras and characters that you find romantic, like a princess in the Middle Ages rescued by a brave knight, a Roman gladiator servicing an Empress, or a desperate person visiting a witch doctor. You can play with age, gender and other identities. Think even further outside the lines by going to fictional people: cartoons, movie characters, even non-humans, like the Na’Vi in Avatar. You can be a god, a demon, or the Easter Bunny. Just own it.
  6. Maybe you want to take it slower and stick to being yourself. Consider creating sexy scenarios instead. You can both go to the same bar, act like you’re strangers and pretend to have a one night stand. Go to a hotel and play like you’re married colleagues at a business conference. Act as though one or both of you is having sex for the first time ever.  Make believe you caught each other cheating and have angry hate sex.  If you don’t feel like playing someone else, you can be you but in an intense situation.


Obviously a lot of role plays stem from naming a job or a character and then filling in the rest.  Having a costume or accessory can inspire the imagination.

  • Even if you don’t have handcuffs, lots of objects can double as restraints: scarves, ties, duct tape, or power cords.
  • Even if you don’t feel like shelling out the cash for a maid uniform, you can find feather dusters. Be creative, look around for objects that might have alternate uses by a character in your head.
  • Got a pro sports jersey? One of you is the athlete, the other is the starfucker, or trainer, or ref, whatever.


OK, so you have your scenario and/or accessories. What now?

  • Start slowly and don’t expect too much of yourself. You have all the time in the world to become skilled at this.  Expect it to feel awkward. That anxiety is part of the appeal, because it makes the situation riskier, escalating your physiological arousal.
  • Take risks. Use this as an opportunity to expand your horizons, be someone you don’t normally allow yourself to be. Say things that might be insulting, upsetting or unusual for you to say. Grab your partner in ways you don’t normally; experiment. Dirty talk is good, describing what you’re going to do is great.
  • Have a safe word, or a whole spectrum of them. If either one of you thinks the scene is going too far or is not fun anymore, have a planned word or word combination to say that safely ends the play. Some people like using “yellow” to indicate that the scene is going someplace undesirable but that they want to keep playing, while “red” means to stop entirely.
  • Commit to it. Stay in character, make the scene as realistic as possible while staying focused on the sex. Don’t make your partner feel bad for being fully into a character either, even if you’re nervous.


Afterwards, talk about what you liked and didn’t like. Ask her for feedback. Cuddle and be especially affectionate to remind each other of your real life connection. Pat yourself on the back for being awesome and trying something new.

Questions? Comments? Violent reactions? Email or tweet @timaree_leigh See more at and

One thought on “Role Playing 101

  1. Pingback: Why Can’t I Stop Fantasizing During Sex? « Sex with Timaree

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