The Beginner’s Guide to Role-Play

black and white close up of woman sensually touching her cheek

Getting bored with your typical sex routine? There’s a laundry list of ways you can mix it up, one of which is Role-Play. Role-playing is easy, fun, and lets you explore realities that are imaginary or sometimes even taboo. As humans, we role-play more often than we realize. Doing it in a sexual way allows us to expand our comfort zones, discover fantasies, and marry our mental arousal with our physical.

If you’re new to the game of grown-up pretending, here are some tips and ideas to make role-play your way to great sex.

Talk About It Beforehand

When it comes to sexual activity, role-playing might sound a bit milder than say, bondage or domination. But it still involves confronting your boundaries, so it’s important to talk about it beforehand and make sure everyone involved is informed and comfortable with the scenario. Communication is a golden rule when it comes to sex. It’s not a good idea to burst out of the closet in a pirate outfit screaming “walk my plank!” and expect your partner to jump on board. 

Talk it out, make a plan, and ensure consent before you dive into your fantasy world together. 

It’s Okay To Laugh

Remember when you were little and pretending was easy? You could tap into your imagination at a moment’s notice and explore your curiosities with joyful abandon. Maybe you pretended by yourself, and maybe you pretended with your friends. Either way, it was always FUN, remember? 

As we mature, the pressures of adulthood begin to populate our headspace, and our imaginations tend to fall by wayside. Role-playing is a great way to tap into that ability that we used to have as kids and utilizing it for our adult needs. It’s essentially just grown-up make-believe! And just because we’re making it sexy doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t laugh along the way. 

Especially at first, role-playing might feel silly. It might be awkward and you might not know what to say or how to go about it. That’s okay! Don’t judge yourself! The whole point of it is being playful with each other while exploring your fantasies. So if you feel a giggle brewing as you’re playing your part, let it out! Laughter naturally leads to comfort and happiness, which is what everyone wants in the bedroom. 

Goal-Oriented Play

To make the most of role-playing, think about what you want to get out of it. Are you trying to spice things up in a long-term relationship? If so, then switch up the power dynamic from what you’re used to. If you’re usually the dominant one in bed, try playing the innocent college student who’s asking for extra credit. Are you learning about your new lover’s fantasies? Then have fun going back and forth when choosing your scenario and absorb all the info. Maybe you’re considering venturing into a kinkier sexual lifestyle. If this is the case, kick things up a notch and explore bondage or consensual non-consent. 

The reason for the role-play can inform your approach and execution, so be mindful of your goals as you get into it. After all, no two relationships are the same, therefore no two roles are.

Role-Play Is A Spectrum

Like all aspects of sexuality, role-playing exists on a spectrum. There’s no one right way to do it, and there are varying degrees of play. Role-playing can be as simple and easy as using fake names or occupations in bed. There’s no rule book that says you have to go full hog and rent a Princess Leia costume your first time. 

That being said, the possibilities are endless! You can use costumes, props, and locations. You can even script out full scenes and rehearse them. Heck, you can film them and watch them together at a later time if you want to relive the scene. 

If you want to try something a little more advanced, stretch the play past the bedroom. On a different day, after planning ahead of time, start the role-play in the morning when you first wake up. Stay in your role and text each other naughty things throughout the day. Maybe go to dinner together and use your role-play alter egos in public to add an exhibitionist layer to the play. Then when you go home, pull out all the stops and get totally lost in your fantasies.

Sexy Starter Scenarios

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few starter scenarios to get your creative sex juices flowing:

Boss & Employee

This scenario is great for beginners because it plays on a relationship that most of us are quite familiar with. One partner pretends to be the other’s employer, which creates an instant power dynamic that everyone can relate to. Maybe the boss asks their receptionist to come into his office and dictates a sexy love letter to a mistress. Maybe the two run into each other in the break room after a shift, and suddenly notice they’re the only ones left at work. This scenario is also fun to play with because it’s not something that is acceptable in real life. Playing with “taboo topics” can amp up the excitement of the role-play.

Jock & Cheerleader

This scenario is a type of age play that uses archetypes from our teenage years that we recognize. It’s fun, accessible, and nostalgic! Pretend you’re the most popular couple on campus and you just can’t keep your hot hands off each other. You can even change up the roles to suit your own experience. Play the football captain and the bandcamp nerd, or the class clown and the president of the chess club. It can be a fun way to relive your youth as the fully realized and sexy adult you are now.

Firefighter & Citizen

This scenario plays out a “damsel/damoiseau in distress” story. The strong firefighter rescues a citizen in need just in the nick of time. Then, just as they’re safe from the fiery danger, in each other’s arms, the weight of the situation moves them to share a passionate, sweaty kiss. Rescue scenarios are fun because they add an element of danger and intensity to the situation. If you want something a little less realistic, you can play a warrior rescuing a townsperson from a dragon.

Dueling Wizards

This type of scenario is great for people who are into fantastical and other-worldly situations. Magical realism is fun for a lot of people, and what wizard isn’t sexy? Playing powerful characters is always exciting. Use costumes and makeup to really take this scenario up a notch and fall deep into each others’ imaginations. 

Role-playing can unlock the door to a whole world of sexual satisfaction. Remember to have fun, release yourself from judgment, and let your creativity fly! You’ll be surprised at how good the sex that ensues will be. 

Laurie Magers is a comedy writer and actor living in Los Angeles. Her favorite color is red and her favorite food is crab legs. Check out more from her at