Role play is easy, fun, and a great way to build new experiences together. It can be elaborate or spontaneous. It can be kinky as hell, or sweet as vanilla pudding.
Many lovers role play naturally and don’t think about it. Others feel awkward when it comes to dress-up or play acting—if that’s you, don’t worry! Role play doesn’t have to be serious, and laughter is one of the many benefits it brings to your love life.
What Is Role Play?
“Role play is the act of imitating the character and behavior of someone who is different from yourself.” – Collins dictionary.
Erotic role play or sexual role play is simply roleplaying with a sexual element. It can involve two or more lovers who act out different roles in order to bring sexual fantasies to life. In other words, sexual role play is like acting, for the purpose of sexual excitement.
When you watch porn with any kind of storyline, simple or complicated, you are watching role play. For example, when porn shows a housewife at home wearing a thong and a hot repair man happens to knock on her door, that’s a role play.
Common scenarios are escort and client, doctor and patient, photographer and model, teacher and student. Role play can involve a complex narrative and full costumes, from period pieces to something thrown together from your closet.
8 Benefits of Erotic Role Play
1. Bring Fun into the Bedroom
Drama is fun. When you watch young children play bus driver or house, they are experimenting with different roles. When you see Meryl Streep take on another difficult part and convince us all, that is role play too.
One of the benefits of sexual role play is that it takes us out of the same old routine and adds a bit of drama to our erotic lives.
Some of us feel silly the first few times we don a cop uniform or a skimpy tennis skirt or an executive suit, and that’s perfectly okay. Laugh and enjoy it, but don’t give up. The more you get into your role, the more fun you’ll have!
2. Explore another Side of Yourself
Seeing her in different outfits keeps sex hot, so imagine the full spectacle? Your lover might wear something they would never wear in real life, and that amps things up.
One of my guys is not too kinky and feels awkward wearing leather. But when I tell him to pretend he’s a biker, he slides out of his office persona and into a macho one—he wears leather chaps that I find super hot!
The key here is to provide one another with positive encouragement without any pressure.
3. Enter Your Partner’s Fantasy
It’s one thing to talk about the things that turn each other on, but kinky role play lets you experience it firsthand in theater.
Maybe there are things you aren’t into, but when you play someone else, or pretend you’re someone else, you can have more flexibility and broaden your range of experiences. This brings about the role play benefit of increased intimacy with your partners.
4. Gain a Better Understanding of Your Partner
Playing out a lover’s fantasies is fun and sexy, but it can also help you understand her better.
How does she act in different situations, and why? What makes her tick? Watching how she takes on different roles can teach you a lot about her and vice versa.
5. Enjoy Healthy Escapism
Stepping outside of the daily grind is necessary to relieve stress and make life interesting, and another benefit of role play.
We all need healthy forms of escape. Unhealthy escape patterns show up in negative interactions with partners, risky behavior, self-harm or self-destructive activities, and excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
Role play is one way to take a break from ourselves and chase pleasure that is healthy and helps to build our relationships rather than destroy them.
6. Make the Impossible Possible
We all have dark desires or ones that just aren’t possible. Role play lets you go there when you just can’t go there.
You may be surprised at how many women want to pretend they are prostitutes, for example, or rape victims. Some men fantasize about their sister or a teacher they can’t have. It can be cathartic to make-believe impossible fantasies.
7. Heal Old Wounds
Cathartic play acting can help resolve some of our tensions, losses, wounds, and scars. Darker scenarios replayed in a safe setting with a trusted partner are opportunities for a script to be rewritten, replacing trauma with power.
8. Build New Skills In and Out of the Bedroom
Look at how many actors “become” a new role—lifting at the gym, learning to fly a helicopter, quitting drinking, mastering a unicycle.
Role play can be intense and inspire you to learn new skills, whether it’s paint classes, tango lessons, or wine appreciation. Many couples use role play to safely explore BDSM.
Read Kink Lovers’ big list of BDSM Play Ideas.
Not all role plays are repeat scenes or require so much investment. But even fleeting fantasies can bring new skills and ideas to your love life and beyond.
I’ve learned a variety of makeup skills through role play, not wearing much in my everyday. My girlfriend learned to walk in stilettos and another learned to salsa with her new lover.
You may discover new oral sex techniques when you pretend to be a different man, or pick up some Italian pillow talk—you never know!
Is role play already a part of your poly love life? Share your tips!