Roleplaying games (in bed)

Role-playing games are fun, and I’m not talking about Dungeons and Dragons (although I do like D&D). Rather, I’m talking about role-playing with your romantic partners.

Role-play opens up extra possibilities for fun, exuberance and novelty. It’s also an excellent way to indulge your kinky side. Should you feel the urge to be somebody new, there are several tips I can give you to help make your first role-playing experience more fun, less awkward and less stressful.

Because they tend to be more complicated and have a higher risk for discomfort, this article is heavily slanted toward preparation for a kinky role-play. Obviously, they are not always like this. If your role-play fantasies are more along the lines of being ravished by a farmhand behind the silo of your parents’ apple orchard, hopefully this piece encourages you to play those out too.

The first thing to remember is that you are trying something new. Something new that involves a bit of acting, no less. You’ll probably feel intimidated, awkward, silly or out of place. That’s completely fine. Actually, it’s more than fine, it’s expected and normal. Acknowledge this with your partner and everybody will be happier for it.

Like sex in general, you’ll get better and more comfortable as you go. Whatever discomfort or awkwardness you feel when starting out doesn’t have to get in the way, but everything will go much better if you acknowledge and plan around these feelings. With this in mind, don’t expect your partner (or yourself) to be a perfect thespian the first time out.

The acting and scenarios will get better as you both get more comfortable, and that will happen a lot faster if the first experience is a positive one. This is doubly true if you or your partner is playing a dominant role for the first time.

When introducing role-play, it’s all about making everyone feel comfortable. Don’t hesitate to start small and leave the more extreme stuff for when you have some more experience. There is nothing wrong with starting an otherwise “normal” sexual encounter with simply a moment or two of dialogue as average characters. Small steps to help you build things up. Now, onto more complicated stuff.

In any sexual encounters involving kink or role-play, a safe word is a good idea. I think that “red” or simply “safe word” are just fine for this. In all likelihood, if you are with a trustworthy person and you use good communication beforehand, you’ll never actually have to use your safe word.
I cannot emphasize enough that you should remember to talk thoroughly about what you both want first. Even though you may never use it, safe words are important because they make everyone feel secure. Knowing you have an emergency brake will help you relax into your scene. Don’t rush the planning part. Not only is it important for everybody’s mental (and sometimes physical) safety, there is the added bonus that the planning and anticipation phase is a great deal of fun.

You and your partner should also go in with the understanding that anyone can use the safe word, at any time and for any reason, without any negative reaction or disappointment from the other.

Related to the safe word, another really nice option is a “pause feature.” It’s really simple. Someone says “pause” and the scene is suspended for a few seconds to make minor adjustments: “Loosen the handcuffs a bit,” “Do more of that,” “I can’t breath when you’re on my chest like that,” “That was a little too rough,” “You can go a little harder,” etc. This is immensely useful for dialing the scene in or acting as a sort of checkup, especially at the beginning when you are still getting used to each other’s style.

Lastly, there are a couple things I wanted to say about planning role-plays and fantasies. First, be open minded and kind. Suggesting a scene can make people feel as shy or embarrassed as actually trying to act the scene out. As is the case with most things sexual, being open-minded, communicative and understanding is vital to this part. Also, figuring out what scenes tickle your fancy can be a lot of fun. Expand your horizons and try new things!

On that note, sometimes some discretion is recommended, especially when dealing with touchier topics—namely rape fantasies. A lot of people have these, and that’s perfectly fine. You’ll see no judgement from me here. You should also see no judgement from your partner. If you do, that may be something of a red flag. That being said, rape fantasies can be kind of heavy burdens, especially on people new to the relationship or to role-playing. So, if you want to bring that up, I would suggest you wait a bit until you have been with your partner a moderate length of time. Even then, you might want to get a few coercion scenes under your belt before bringing up the justifiably scary r-word.

One of my friends was complaining to me over winter break.He was on a first date with a girl, things were going pretty well and then she casually mentioned she had a rape fantasy where she wanted to be tied up, gagged and slapped around. It freaked him out something fierce, and there was no second date. Again, there is nothing wrong with having that fantasy, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t mention it on a first date. Save that little desire until you are established and comfortable with your partner. Unless you met your date through a kinky dating site. I’d imagine it would be OK then.