Sexual Fantasy and Role Play

Watch this video featuring Drs. Chuck and Joann Bird discuss how Halloween is an excellent way to try out fantasy role play.

Many couples feel their sex life is routine and they desperately want to find ways to spice things up in the bedroom. We always suggest sexual fantasies and role playing; unfortunately, this 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 not knowing where to start. For many people the idea of sharing sexual fantasies can evoke lots of fears and insecurities.

Talking about sex, let alone sexual fantasies, is not the easiest thing to do, but remember you can change things.

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Three Sexual Fantasy Myths
(1) 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. 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.

(2) 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.
(3) 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. 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.

7 Ways 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.

(1) Figure Out Your Reasons for Sharing
Be clear about what you want before you have a talk with your partner.

  • 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.

(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. Use your quiet, private time together for this conversation. We suggest having the conversation outside of the bedroom.
(3) Establish Rules and Boundaries
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, keep fantasies about your partner’s relatives, friends, co-workers, etc. “off limits”. Agree 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 because they may have a lot 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
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. 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. 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.
(7) Have Fun and Play!
Stop taking yourself so serious. 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.

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. 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.
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.

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About The Author

Chuck and jo ann bird
Drs. Chuck and Jo-ann Bird
Drs. Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird are both board certified clinical sexologists and relationship experts, counselors/coaches and speakers. Make sure to read their blog, watch their YouTube videos,  follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
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