Friday, October 22, 2010

Role-Playing 102

Yesterday, we talked about why and how you should add role-playing to your sexual repertoire.

But it can be hard, at first, to come up with scenarios that don’t include the phrase, “I’m here to fix the cable.”

It’s really only a matter of advanced planning. If you decide you want to role-play, come up with a few scenarios ahead of time (e.g., doctor’s office, student-on-professor) in case your first pick isn’t doing it for your partner.

In general, different things work for different people. If you want to reenact the Battle of Gettysburg, try it. If it’s not working, you can always just start having plain-vanilla sex.

But we would like to talk about two scenarios that seem to be very popular among women: virginity and rape.

Rape is serious. It’s a crime, and it’s wrong, and it’s a traumatizing, soul-shattering experience.

But human sexuality isn’t always as black and white as morality, and that gray zone leaves room for a lot of sexual fantasies people wouldn’t want to explore in real life.

A surprisingly large number of women have some combination of curiosity and fantasy when it comes to rape, and if you’re one of them, don’t beat yourself up about it. A rape fantasy is just that—fantasy, and when it’s in your mind it can still feel safe enough to romanticize.

If this is something you want to act out, you don’t have to feel guilty about it, but you definitely need to plan.

Simply put: if your role-play involves rape, you have to talk to your partner about it ahead of time. You need to have a safety word that has nothing to do with sex, because with this kind of role-play, stop doesn’t really mean no.

Make sure that you trust your partner and trust yourself—if it starts feeling wrong or upsetting, don’t be afraid to call it off. Above all, make sure you feel safe.

Don’t feel pressured to try this one out if you’re not comfortable—if your partner brings it up and you’re not having it, don’t be afraid to say so (and if your partner brings up a rape fantasy without realizing that it might make you uncomfortable, you might want to reevaluate your relationship).

The second scenario is decidedly less controversial, but it’s equally as prevalent and feels almost as taboo. Virgin and rape fantasies probably both stem from a desire to feel dominated, but, again, if you want to pretend that someone’s loosing his/her virginity, you should definitely talk about it ahead of time. Come up with a safety word and make sure he knows it’s coming—this definitely has the potential to get strange if one party isn’t prepared.

The virgin fantasy can also be a great set of training wheels for a couple just starting to experiment with role-playing. It allows the women to assume an innocent, submissive persona that might feel much more natural to someone who’s not used to trying new things in the bedroom. It’s also somewhat familiar territory—if you’re having sex, you had to have lost your virginity at some point along the way.

The key to role-playing is to step outside of yourself. You might feel embarrassed telling your boyfriend that he’s been a naughty boy, but the camp counselor/nun/whatever doesn’t. And that’s the thing about role-playing: it’s not you saying or doing these things.

That gives you the freedom to go a little crazy, and that inhibition usually pays off. 

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