Your Guide to Sexy Role Play (How to do it Without Feeling Silly)

This time of year has dressing up on everyone’s mind. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Halloween is the perfect opportunity to ditch the constraints of your identity and assume someone else’s. But why limit it to Halloween? Why not add that playfulness into your sex life? This is where sexy role play comes in. Read on for everything you need to know to try it—without feeling (too) silly.

Figure out what you want to role play

Is there a fantasy you’ve always had or a type of romance/erotica/fanfic/porn you find yourself drawn to? Start with that!

If not, brainstorm ideas. One good question to get you started is, “what did I always have my dolls/barbies/GI Joes do when I was a kid?”

Brainstorm solo or with your beau, make a list of ideas that sound fun and pleasurable, and that you’re willing to do. Remember: these don’t always go together. A scene may sound great in theory but you don’t actually want to try it.

Here are some popular scenes to get you started:

  • Teacher/student
  • Boss/worker
  • Doctor/patient
  • Athlete/cheerleader
  • Personal trainer/client
  • Delivery person/homeowner
  • Doctor/patient
  • Strangers

Know that you have to go all the way

What do you notice about most of the fantasies above?

They involve playing with power dynamics, with one person in charge. This is a great place to start exploring sexy role play without the pressure of acting or spending time and money on costumes, props, etc. Choose who’s in charge and who has to follow instructions. Stop there or take it one step further and choose a role for each of you.

Acting as strangers is another easy place to start as you can just be yourselves.

Tell your partner what you want (what you really, really want)

If up ‘til now you’ve been planning on your own, that’s OK! It’s time to tell your beau. Use a scenario (Sunday football, anyone?), dreams (real or daydream), or even this article to start the conversation. Here’s how.

Once you share, ask them what they think and if there are any scenarios they’ve ever thought about. Remember to respond with the same gentleness you want after sharing your fantasies.

Plan out the details

Once you and your partner decide on a scene, figure out your next steps. Do you need costumes or props? When do you want it to happen? Where?

Remember: you decide how simple or complex your scene is. Maybe you just use words—good dirty talk can go a long way to creating the feel of a sexy role play. Maybe you go all out with costumes and props.

Set your limits

You should always discuss your boundaries, likes, and dislikes with your partner. This is especially true with newer partners and when trying something for the first (few) time(s).

Are you OK being called demeaning names? Which ones are cool and which aren’t? Are there certain sex acts you particularly want to include? Ones you definitely don’t want to do? Do you want to have a safe word and, if so, what is it? There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions, but it’s important to make your own answers clear to your partner.

Instead of thinking of this as a chore or awkward, focus on having fun. Talking about your desires can actually turn you on just as much as the sexy role play itself.

Enjoy your sexy role play!

Once you’ve sorted the details, it’s time to get your role play on! Here are some tips for making it a success:

  • Be a tease, instead of going straight into the sex. Pretend not to notice the doctor flirting or the *ahem* package that the delivery person brought for you. Draw out the anticipation of what’s to come.
  • Laugh it off. If something goes wrong or comes out silly, laugh about it and move on, either back into the sexy role play or let that be the end of it.
  • Incorporate your nerves and awkwardness. Name your feelings instead of trying to push them away—and then use that as part of your scene. Let the teacher reassure you that your punishment will be enjoyable or the cheerleader rub the tension out of your back.
  • It’s OK to break character, for any reason, and definitely if something hurts or triggers one of you. This is supposed to be fun!
  • Try, try again. When you try something for the first time, you deal with both first time jitters and the learning curve of figuring out how to do it. Once you try something a few times though, that “omg, wtf am i doing?” wears off. So if the first time—or three!—are really hard, remember that practice makes perfect.
  • Have fun! Most importantly, enjoy yourselves. Laugh at the silly moments. Reminisce about the parts that went wrong. Know that you’re creating a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life simply by being open to trying new things.


Talking about the sex you just had can be an incredibly intimate and sexy experience. It’s especially important when you try something new. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut where one of you keeps doing a thing that the other doesn’t like because you both just assumed the other would say something or just know.

You can ask questions like:

  • What was your favorite part of that role play?
  • What’s one thing you would change about the role play?
  • Is there anything you want more of from that role play?
  • What’s something that you are OK leaving out of our next role play?

Trying new things is one key to finding freedom in pleasure

Trying new things teaches you so much about yourself, your sexuality, and your desires—and your partner’s! Whether you make sexy role play a regular part of your sex life or never do it again, you’ll have learned something that you didn’t know before. Staying curious and being open to experiences are the bedrock of an intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life that lasts.

Featured image by Emily Goodhart

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