Role-play is all about taking on new identities to fulfill a fantasy. It’s not just pretending to be someone else in the confines of your bedroom, but a way to explore your sexuality and build a deeper connection with your partner. You can be as imaginative as you want to be since there’s no one way to do role play.

Don’t know where to begin? Here are tips to get you started. 

Mention It Up Casually

Opening up about doing more in bed with your partner can be a touchy subject. The best advice from sex therapists is to bring the matter up casually. You can use a line like, “I was reading this in an article,” or “I saw this on TV.” It’s a great way to gauge how open your partner is to the idea of doing role-plays or using sex toys in bed. Don’t make a big deal out of it to not pressure your partner to decide on the spot.

Lube It Up

Be ready with your lube every time you get frisky in the bedroom, even if it’s just vanilla sex. You probably already know this if you’ve already been engaging in anal sex, but the anus doesn’t have a natural lubricant. Dry penetration will hurt and may cause tiny tears in your anus if you’re not careful.

With the choice of lubes, silicone is the most recommended since it’s thicker and longer-lasting. Stay away from oil-based lube or any oil products because it breaks down latex, which most condoms are made of.

 Start with Simple Toys

Toys are a great addition to stimulate your senses,  but there’s no need to get all Christian Gray on this one. Cock rings, fleshlight, and butt plugs are just some of the basic toys you can invest in. Cock rings are worn around the base of the penis and help make erections longer. Fleshlights can be a great alternative to regular masturbation. Meanwhile, butt plugs are not just for kinks, but they’re also particularly helpful for prepping your anus for bigger things. Anal toys come in different shapes and sizes; all you have to do is take your pick. 

Set the Mood

What happens before the main event is as important as the event itself. Toys are often used to get you in the mood, but they aren’t always necessary. Setting the mood could mean engaging in sexy talk or putting on pornography or a curated playlist.

The first suggestion can be intimidating for some, especially if you’re not used to saying “dirty” phrases to your partner, but it’s a definite turn-on when done right. You can do your research from porn since most, if not all, usually have cheeky dialogue.

Know Your Fantasy

You might have a favorite movie scene you want to recreate or pretend to be strangers hooking up for the first time. The possibilities for role-playing are endless, and there are so many sources for inspiration that are readily accessible on the web. Be creative with your roles, but don’t get hung up on mainstream ones. Sure, it’s fun to get frisked by a police officer because you’ve been a bad boy, but does that scenario really arouse you? Dig deep into your fantasies. 

Negotiate Your Boundaries

It’s important to be candid with what you’re willing to try out and what’s way beyond your comfort zone. This is a conversation that you need to have with your partner before trying out any sort of experimenting or role-play in bed.

Tell them the words, phrases, or scenarios that make you feel uncomfortable so that your partner can steer clear of them. It doesn’t mean that a yes to role-play is a yes to every aspect of it. So be explicit about your boundaries to avoid leaving any gray area.

Start Slow

It’s going to be awkward at first, and that’s okay. While it’s important to commit to your roles and the scenario you planned to do, it’s also not good to dive into it when you’re still figuring things out. Start small and slow. A great tip is sexting your partner first. That way, you’ll already be living your fantasy without necessarily having to act it out. Also, it’ll be much easier to say your lines out loud when you’re already comfortable typing them. 

Dress for the Occasion

Costumes help you get into character and make role-plays more realistic. An office scene requires you to be in a business suit, while scrubs and a lab coat fit a medical checkup scenario. You don’t always have to buy costumes. You can scour your closet and improvise with the clothes you already have. Costumes are not mandatory. If you feel weird wearing a wig or donning costumes, and they don’t necessarily arouse you, skip them. Your imagination is a powerful enough tool to get you in the zone.

Communication Is Key

Communication is a no-brainer when attempting to push boundaries in bed. Take note of your partner’s safe word. Once you hear it, stop what you’re doing right away because it means something has made your partner uncomfortable. 

A safeword is not only helpful in bondage or discipline, but it’s also a convenient way to call out your partner immediately. Keep in mind: a yes to doing one thing doesn’t mean a yes to another. Consent should always be present and given every step of the way. Anything less than an affirmative is already assault.

At the end of the day, what matters most is your and your partner’s pleasure and comfort. Don’t feel pressured about spicing things up all the time. But if you both feel that role-playing or experimenting in bed will add something new to your relationship, then it’s something that you should consider trying. After all, the fun is in the trying, but do so with respect to yourself and your partner.