Have you ever felt intrigued by living out a fantasy or experiencing a shift in dynamics with your partner? While some may feel these interests are taboo, the desire to roleplay in the bedroom is a very common and healthy one. It taps into instincts through the experience of “safe danger”: the exciting physiological reaction to fear (adrenaline rush, increased heart rate, intense focus) with no real danger present. Think of it like a rollercoaster or horror movie thrill! (I talk about this as a lot in my video on Mindfulness in my Sex Hacker Pro Course!)
Using roleplay to experience this safe danger encourages you to explore outside of your comfort zone, boost relational intimacy, and create a more diverse sex life– all of which can lead to a more pleasurable experience all around!
And, with the ultimate celebration of roleplaying approaching on October 31st 🎃, it’s a great time to learn why so many people love to dress up in sexy ways. Here are some of the most common roleplaying fantasies, and the science behind why we like them.
Many people in long-term relationships often feel their love lives have become too predictable and redundant. For couples who feel bogged down by a monotonous day-to-day, roleplaying as strangers can be very erotic. It gives the chance to experience the excitement and passion of a first-time all over again.
But why is it intriguing to have sex with someone new? Researchers believe it offers a unique way to give over control and experiment boldly. There’s less fear of judgment or self-guilt when you’re having sex with a stranger, so you’re more likely to try new things and feel confident while doing it.
Teacher / student
This tried-and-true classic works as a power move that upsets normal power dynamics between partners. It allows for unequal control in a safe and fun environment which can be freeing and downright exciting. Plus, most people want to learn a thing or two from their partners. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 84% of men and 96% of women prefer partners with the same or more experience as them.
But researchers believe that the real excitement here is flipping power dynamics when the woman plays teacher. Historically, men and women have fallen into stereotypical gender roles in relationships: the man as leader and provider, and the woman as supporter and caretaker. So, when those roles reverse as the woman becomes in charge, it creates a sense of danger and excitement that makes the subversion of power so exciting to both men and women.
Pirate / hostage
A swashbuckling captain with sword, tight pants, and rugged demeanor holding prisoner a beautiful maiden who tried to steal some gold– what’s not fun about that? The attraction to punishment and authority has been longstanding; in fact, over half of all adults report having a dominant/submissive kink to some extent. This doesn’t always mean whips and dominatrixes, however.
Often, just having a partner in a more authoritative, dominant position can be a turn-on, especially for women. Some experts believe this is because it follows natural instinct for men to act more dominant, others believe its the cultural norms and gender roles around masculinity that make it feel sexy. Either way, studies reveal that over 64% of women fantasize about being dominated in the bedroom, while men more often get excited about being the dominator, which makes this fantasy scenario an exciting way for both partners to lean into their hidden fantasies as a couple.
Nurse / patient
Playing doctor isn’t just a fun way to study each other’s chemistry; it’s also a great opportunity to explore new roleplaying opportunities with a caring character. People, especially men, are instinctively more attracted to people who are naturally kind and caregiving. This makes the role of nurse an especially attractive one, showcasing partners as the optimal mate.
Plus, cultural indicators ranging from a Blink-182 album cover to Betty Boop episodes have portrayed medical professionals in a sexual light. In fact, research has shown that 26% of recent films that feature nurse characters portrayed them in an overtly sexual light. These cultural symbols can affect everyone's perceptions of the character’s sexiness and make this scenario an erotic one.
How to Begin Roleplaying
Before you begin experimenting, there are a few things that should be in your toolkit, no matter what situation you’re playing out-- especially if it’s your first time.
- Personal items: These are those items that you’d like to have in your back pocket when trying out something new in the bedroom… just in case. Whether it’s something that will help you perform, like a personal lubricant or a Viagra pill, or something that will help you climax, like a sex massager, bring along a little support that you know will work even if you’re in a new situation. Then, top it off with a condom to ensure you’re being safe in every regard.
- Safe words: It’s critical that you and your partner establish mutually-understood safe words and boundaries before beginning to roleplay. These safe words, when to use them, and what each partner is comfortable with, should be negotiated between partners, especially for higher-risk activities, like trying new roles that involve power dynamics. The riskier the situation, the more discussion should happen before, during, and after to ensure everyone is having fun. If you want more information on how to create safe words and negotiate, check out the Kink module in our Sex Hacker Pro course which offers insight into how to be kinky, safely.
- Costumes/accessories: If you and your partner both decide to roleplay, the more commitment you put into it, the more fun it will be. Consider buying a sexy roleplaying costume; there are plenty for any scene you can imagine that will make it easier to escape into a fun new world.
Roleplaying and Halloween
Never tried roleplaying, but interested? Consider using Halloween as a starting point! 👻 It’s a natural fit if you and your boo take the costume party back home and lean into it a bit.
If you’re looking for costume inspiration, men’s wellness company hims has compiled a list of some of the sexiest costumes (according to Pornhub searches) and the reasons we’re attracted to them. Use the guide above for your next roleplaying night or a sexy couple’s costume, and see where the night goes.
If you’re interested in the other research hims’ has put together, check out their Twitter or Hims ED page. Or, if you want to learn other ways to be an ultimate (or more experienced, or kinkier) lover, visit my brand new Sex Hacker Pro Course! I have a whole module, featuring 15+ videos, focused on kink, plus modules on oral, anal, penetration, and more.
With these roleplaying insights, tips, and tricks, you'll begin enjoying a more diverse, exciting sex life. Happy Halloween! 🎃