Roleplay: What You Need To Know

What is Roleplay?

Anything that allows you to explore different personalities, temperaments, and ways of expressing yourself sexually.

Roleplaying is meant to heighten your sexual arousal by re-enacting a scenario in which you and your partner get aroused. This can mean truly whatever you wish it to. We’re all well aware at this point about the Halloween costumes like nurse, maid and more”devious” roles like master and slave due to pop-culture. We even see roleplay in subcultures like drag, cosplay, and various fashions. Fashion, in other words, is a cultural construction of representation. The existence, form, and direction of fashion are dependent on the complex interplay of quite specific economic, political, and ideological forces.

roleplay psychnsex

We all choose to be someone every day when we put on clothing. Clothing represents a shield, a form of power, and a persona we play into to make everyday life ours- if even just for representation. When we take clothing from something we display for everyone we come in contact with to feast their eyes upon, to a more secret representation for our partner(s) it transforms into something different. We can act out fantasies not just as a projection of our ideal self but rather, an inside look into someone we aren’t willing or able to be during the day.

This is where it gets fun and complicated.

You aren’t what you wear as a role; you are the role. We see actors do it, and individuals in the subcultures mentioned above; but opening up a fantasy or vulnerability takes courage. You’re asking another person to accept not only who you think and project you are, but in addition, who you want to pretend to be to sexually satisfy you. It may seem weird, a little untalked about (unless as a joke) but costumes and roleplay in the bedroom are actually a super common, and a fun experience that many partners like to try. Some of the most common roles include:

  • Doctor/Nurse/Patient
  • Escort/Client
  • Executive/Secretary
  • Handyman/Housewife
  • Master/Slave
  • Photographer/Model
  • Stripper/Client
  • Teacher/Student
  • Ageplay
  • Animal play
  • Authority figure/Misbehaving Adult
  • Gender-play
  • Incest Play
  • Owner/Inanimate object
  • Prison Guard/ Prisoner
  • Torturer/Captive prisoner
  • Uniform fetish/ Authority figure

roleplay psychnsex

But you’re not limited to these, by any means, they just might have a better selection of pre-made costumes at your local xxx shop or online boudoir destination. Some of these personas are more undiscussed or socially deviant than others but whatever turns you on and makes you and your partner happy is up to you- not anyone else. We’re certainly not judging!

We also see these attractions as more common in everyday life than others, such as the uniform fetish. There are many people who are more attracted to a person in uniform than others and are willing to admit it and display the attraction. This is also a similar concept as the “misbehaving adult” otherwise known as the “bad boy complex,” or the business person and subordinate.

Other personas and attractions are a little more complex in nature (and nurture) such as incest play. It’s important to note that just because you have fantasies about a hypothetical father seducing a hypothetical daughter or a fictional mom seducing a fictional son – a fantasy is just that: fantasy. This type of sexual attraction and desire can be stemmed in power complexity of the desire rather than incest itself. The thrill of breaking a taboo it what is being eroticized, usually.

roleplay psychnsex

 

Intrigued by the act of roleplaying, and lack of existing research, we decided to do our own study and ask some of our readers their thoughts on roleplay:

30 people answered our questions on their roleplaying habits who live in the  US and Canada. 30% of our participants identify as male, 66% identify as female, and 3% as non-binary with most being between the ages of 18-44, but 9% of participants were older than 44, and we did not ask anyone younger than 18.

Though our questions were straightforward; we got some pretty interesting insight.

Check out the answers below:

What does role play mean to you?

costumes and characters 23.33%
playing pretend 40.00%
no idea 3.33%
one person taking the lead 0.00%
pretending to be someone I’m not 33.33%

Have you done role-playing before?

Definitely yes 46.67%
Probably yes 16.67%
Might or might not 10.00%
Probably not 6.67%
Definitely not 20.00%

How often do you incorporate roleplay into your sex life?

1 time a year 6.67%
2-3 times a year 13.33%
every 6 months 10.00%
a few times a month 3.33%
1 time a month 10.00%
on occasion 20.00%
never 36.67%

Do you own costumes?

Yes 6.67%
Multiple 3.33%
Only Lingerie 50.00%
Nope 40.00%

Do you use props when you do roleplay?

Yes 13.33%
No 36.67%
Occasionally 26.67%
Never have, but want to 23.33%

Where do you do your roleplay?

in the bedroom 58.33%
around the house 33.33%
in public 8.33%

 

Then, we asked about what types of roleplay they’d already tried, want to try, and would never try.

  • Top 3 people have tried: Medical (Doctor, Nurse or Patient) 13%, Teacher/ Student 15%, Authority figure/Misbehaving Adult 12%
  • Want to try: Escort 11%, Stripper 10%, Photographer / Model 9%
  • Would never try: Incest play 22%, Animal play 20%, Owner/Inanimate object 11%.

Happily, 73% of our participants said they talk about consent with their partner when trying new things! The other 17% said probably, and the remaining 10% said might. 66% said they talk about consent and safe words right before role play. The participants were a bit divided when it came to sticking with monogamy. We asked If your partner doesn’t want to try roleplay, would you consider doing it with someone else? 55% no, 38% maybe, and 7% yes.

roleplay psychnsex

Alls well that ends well

So, what do our results mean or why do they even matter? Regardless of any theoretical or hypothetical situation, it’s interesting to actually chat with real people about what they’re into. From this type of insight, we can better understand motivations and end stigma and misinformation. 46% of our participants have tried roleplay, but did you ever learn about it? It sure wasn’t in my sex ed class.

We strive to help our readers get the information around subjects they might not even know they needed! With education comes the end of taboos, more freedom to explore, and more avenues for self-understanding. If you have any questions, we’d love to help answer them!

Want more specific ideas?

Here are 30 ideas to roleplay with a partner and a book recommendation for a comprehensive guide!

Sasha

Co- Founder of Psych n Sex, previous writer and campus educator for the Kinsey Institute & published psychology researcher. Manhattan girl obsessed with post ww2 abstract expressionism, beet juice, vintage clothing & Scandinavia.

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