Many couples come to see us because their sex life has become very routine and they desperately want to find ways to spice things up in the bedroom. In addition to recommending sex toys and pleasure products, we also suggest they discuss and explore sexual fantasies and role playing. Unfortunately, this suggestion usually triggers the “deer in the headlight” type of stares or uncomfortable laughter. Often this response is due to the negative assumptions they have about sexual fantasies and role playing. And sometimes it’s due to a lack of information and not knowing where to start. We understand that for many people just the idea of sharing their sexual fantasies with their partner can evoke lots of fears and insecurities.
However, sexual fantasies and role playing can add more fun and playfulness in the bedroom as well as help you break out of your sexual rut. We know that talking about sex, let alone sexual fantasies, is not the easiest thing to do, but remember you can change things, if you’re willing to make the extra effort. So to help you begin this process, we address some of the myths we’ve heard over the years about sexual fantasies and provide some steps to help you talk openly with your partner about sexual fantasies and role playing. We have also included some common sexual fantasies and role plays as well as offer some role playing safety tips.
Sexual Fantasy Myths:
• If you fantasize about something, you will want to make it happen in real life.
Research shows people fantasize about all kinds of things they would never do in real life. For example, some people fantasize about being forced to have sex or having a homosexual encounter, but would never actually want these scenarios to actually take place, even if the situations presented themselves. Sexual fantasies allow people to mentally experiment with out-of-character sexual behaviors without any guilt or risk of harm.
• Sharing our sexual fantasies with your partner is dangerous to your relationship.
Many couples enjoy sharing their sexual fantasies without any problems. However, it is important to first establish safety, rules and boundaries with your partner before sharing your sexual fantasies with each other. It’s also important to know what’s okay and not okay to share.
• Sexual fantasies are bad and unhealthy.
Sexual fantasies are completely safe and normal and a healthy part of your sexuality and sexual motivation. Your sexual motivation requires more than hormones, it requires external and internal stimuli which involves both images and stories. So, if you are thinking about your to-do list (internal stimuli) while having sex, you probably won’t be aroused. Sexual fantasies can heighten your sexual arousal and overall sexual pleasure.
How to Talk to Your Partner about Sexual Fantasies and Role Playing
Sharing fantasies with your partner reveals a part of you that no one else gets to see; it’s a very intimate experience and you must feel comfortable with your partner to be able to express them. Here are some steps to help you get started:
1. Figure Out Your Reasons for Sharing –
Do you want to share to learn about each other’s inner sexual worlds? Does simply sharing your fantasies turn you on? Are you looking to fulfill your fantasy or certain parts of it with your partner in role playing? Which ones will you share and which will you keep to yourself. Be clear about what you want before you have a talk with your partner.
2. Make it the Right Time and Place –
When you want to talk about anything related to sex, don’t do it as you’re cooking dinner, with the kids running around the house. You won’t have time to talk. Use your quiet, private time together for this conversation. We suggest having the conversation outside of the bedroom.
3. Establish Rules and Boundaries –
Share each other’s motivation and reasons for sharing sexual fantasies. Discuss what you will share and what you won’t before you get started. For example, some couples feel safer only sharing fantasies about fictitious people. Fantasies about someone you and/or your partner know can be difficult for your partner to handle, as they may feel insecure about you acting on those fantasies. Therefore, we suggest keeping fantasies about your partner’s relatives, friends, co-workers, etc. “off limits”. We also suggest making an agreement with each other not to share the details of each other’s fantasies with anyone else, especially friends and family, etc.
4. Establish a Dialogue –
Bringing up this topic can be tricky. Remember to take it slow with your partner. Your partner may have lots of negative assumptions about sexual fantasies. Start by letting your partner know how much you enjoy them in bed and you are simply interested in spicing up your relationship. It may help to start the conversation by talking about sexy scenes in movies. You can discuss your thoughts and feelings about the scenes. When you both feel more comfortable, then you can start sharing your fantasies.
5. Listen without Judgment –
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to be able to talk openly — you have to be able to listen without judgment. Upon hearing your partner express a sexual fantasy that’s out of your comfort zone, it’s generally not good to react with, “That’s gross! You’re a pervert! No way am I going to do that!” Instead, take a deep breath and remind yourself that a fantasy is just a fantasy and that it doesn’t mean your partner wants to explore it in real life. And sexual fantasies are not always literal. They are often symbolic, so explore the meaning of the fantasy with your partner. Remember, if you react judgmentally when your partner is opening up to you, all you are really doing is conditioning your partner to close up and keep these things from you.
6. Make it a Win/Win-
When couples act out each other’s sexual fantasies, they gain a better understanding of each other’s sexual desires and they keep their sexual relationship new and exciting. Sexual fantasies can range from being cute and romantic to being spanked or even tortured. Role Playing is defined as a situation in which one acts out or assumes a particular character or role. So, if your partner wants to role play a romantic sexual fantasy, that may be okay with you. However, if your partner has a sexual fantasy that you’re uncomfortable with or that’s not safe for your relationship to do in real life (i.e. like a threesome), try not to immediately say “no”. Instead, make a counter offer. Maybe suggest ways to act out certain parts of the fantasy instead of the whole fantasy. Or suggest another fantasy that you find arousing that also has similar elements of your partner’s fantasy. Be willing and open to compromise. If you have difficulty compromising or if you get stuck, get help from a Sexologist or Sex Therapist in your area.
7. Have Fun and Play!
Stop taking yourself so serious. Remember, you are not playing a role to win an Oscar! If you’re not comfortable with the idea of improvising and role playing your partner’s sexual fantasy, then start by watching a steamy movie together and acting out some of the best scenes as the characters in the movie. This may help you get more comfortable playing roles. Once you’re comfortable, you will be ready to improvise some roles and characters. Sometimes having a costume or props will help you get into character. Continue to play so you both will feel comfortable role playing.
Common Sexual Fantasies and Role Plays
The types of sexual fantasies that people have varies greatly. Some people fantasize about having sex with more than one person, being forced to have sex, having sex with someone of the same sex, or even watching or being watched having sex. Some fantasize about being held and desired while others fantasize about being dominated, spanked, humiliated or even tortured. Some people fantasize about celebrities, strangers, past lovers, people in uniforms and yes, even animals or other creatures. However, the most common sexual fantasy involves doing lot’s of fun sexual acts with your partner which can lead to some fun role plays!
When people hear about role plays, they may automatically think of a French maid and her boss, police officer and burglar, teacher and student, photographer and model, doctor and nurse, or stripper and client. However, role plays can also be a situation from the past, the first time you met or adventures from your favorite movie or book. Some couple’s participate in role reversal. If one partner is typically more dominant and the other submissive, they can switch during role playing.
Just a Few Role Playing Safety Tips:
• Create a safe word to stop the play for any reason. Agree that the play will end immediately when that word is used.
• No laughing at your partner for something they do or say. However, it’s okay to laugh at something together.
• Avoid judgment and say no without hurting or putting your partner down.
• Agree to only do things that you both are comfortable with.
• Remember to make it safe and consensual!