Role-Playing and Fantasy Games

Everyone has fantasies, even if you don't think you do. They happen while you dream at night or sit (daydreaming) in your cubicle during the day. Men and women have them, albeit usually different kinds. Some sexual fantasies feature erotic situations and scenes you might like to act out with your partner. Others remain strictly fantasies, meaning you wouldn't want them to occur anytime, anywhere outside of the privacy of your imagination.

However, this latter category may include fantasies you may wish to share, meaning tell your sexual partner. Indeed, many fantasies, too hot for real life, can add a zesty erotic edge to a couple's lovemaking when verbalized in the heat of passion. Using fantasies and role-playing to enliven sexuality can be effective as long as each partner is equally comfortable with the process and is game to play with the particular characters, actions, props, and places the other wishes to try out.


Lovers who wish to try out fantasies involving force or gentle restraints should choose a safe word before they begin. This is a word (it should never be “no” or “stop”), which unequivocally means, “Stop immediately.” A safe word like “pineapple” or “computer” leaves no room for confusion about one partner's intent to stop or take a break from your sex play. A safe word allows both of you to let go and enjoy the fantasy.

A very common female sex fantasy, perhaps the most common, is where a man “takes” his woman, essentially requiring her to submit to his greater strength or commanding words. This only works if both partners have agreed to it beforehand, but the fact is that both men and women enjoy playing out this fantasy. Many women, especially powerful ones, say they like letting go of control in the bedroom, either occasionally or frequently. Many a man who is quite comfortable sharing power with women in the workplace, or splitting duties with a wife at home, relishes the idea of playing the brave and daring hero of his boyhood dreams. One way for both to try on these roles, or experiment, is by playing out the fantasies in sex play. Many couples like to use costumes to play priests, maids, courtesans, pirates, and cops; they may use props, including handcuffs, ropes, and masks, to enact full scenes, either scripted or spontaneous.

The Blind Date

This exercise is essentially a role-play and a date night put together. Your goal is to go back in time and enact a first meeting between the two of you in a slightly risqué setting, perhaps happy hour in a bar or at a train station. The idea is to spot each other across the room or platform, and go through the paces of seduction — complete with pick-up lines, sexy banter, and outrageous flirting. The key is to make it very different from your usual night out routine. In other words, don't go to your favorite restaurant or someplace you might encounter someone who knows you. The goal is to make the familiar unfamiliar again, adding an element of risk and rediscovering the chemistry that originally brought you together.

Give Completely for Eight Hours

This activity may seem simple, but it's not. As an exercise in submission, it can be very powerful and transforming if you give yourself over to it. By spending one whole day serving your lover, and likewise being served, you'll discover new aspects of yourself and your partner. Through this experience, both of you can create a new emotional space for giving and taking within the relationship, with a potentially powerful and positive impact on your sex life.

Here's the surprising part of this exercise. Whereas you might at first think it's harder to serve than to be served, the opposite is often true. It can be difficult to ask for things, and receive exactly what say you want, regardless of how silly or self-indulgent the request feels, hour after hour. Why is it so hard? For one thing, it's challenging for many people to know and ask for what they actually want. Then, you must get past feeling selfish or bossy. For many adults, especially self-reliant, independent types, none of this is easy.

For the one giving, your challenge is to feel selfless. This means putting aside any resentment you might have about who's been doing what housework or childcare in your real lives. What you'll find when you perform service for each other is that you'll eventually move past these inhibitions. You'll discover you really enjoy giving to your partner and in turn relish receiving from him — when it's acknowledged.

Acknowledgment is key, and it's often a revelation to couples how far a little appreciation can go toward creating harmony in a relationship. When you've completed your days of service, you can share your internal experiences with each other. Of all the things your partner did or asked for, what meant the most to you? What service gave you less of a thrill than you might have thought? Hint: If you allow it to, this exercise can produce positive repercussions in the bedroom, where honest and unrestrained giving and receiving are essential parts of healthy sexuality.


There will be many ups and downs in this relationship, and as Mrs. Anterbus put it in Thorton Wilder's play, “The Skin of Our Teeth,”: “I didn't marry you because you were perfect. I married you because you gave me a promise. This promise made up for your faults, and the promise I made to you made up for mine.”

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