What Exactly is Role-play?
Role-play is the act of changing one’s behavior, characteristics, and possible clothing to assume the role of a different person. Role-playing during sex, a scene, or in kink is often used to fulfill fantasies, experiment with taboos, try other kinks, and play with consensual power exchange.
Role-play is a part of BDSM that allows us to explore and try out a whole new world!
Role-play Let Us Explore Other Kinks!
The real beauty of kink and BDSM is that oftentimes it is heavily intertwined and connected. Playing with one kink can allow us to explore others. Kink can feel like a big box filled with boxes filled with other boxes. Opening each box lets us continuously explore, play, and experiment! Just like role-play oftentimes explores consensual power dynamics, other kinks can also bleed into role-play.
Due to this, it is vital to always have informed consent, communication, negotiation, and aftercare when engaging in role-play!
Let’s Talk about Consent
Just like everything in kink and BDSM, consent, communication, and negotiation are vital for some safe, successful, risk-aware role-play!
In kink, there are added tools used for consent to ensure everything is done in the highest, most consensual manner.
With consent in kink, comes informed consent and risk awareness. Risk awareness that everyone in the scene understands that every activity has its risks and that by consenting, one is aware of the risks at hand during play and how to navigate them.
Kink also dictates language differently, so communication is needed to understand what is kinky dirty talk and what is not. In some scenes, especially in role-play, saying the words “no” or “stop” can be a part of play, so it is essential to create a word that is outside this realm that both partners can say to immediately stop everything. This is where safewords come into play! Safewords are predetermined words partners have picked that, if said, means everything must stop immediately.
Negotiation is when partners have a conversation before play to talk about which kinks they really want to explore, which they are open to exploring, and which they are not willing to engage in.
Negotiation, simply put, is used to clarify expectations, discuss any risks that may occur, figure out systems and procedures for play, and sort out which activities will be on and off the menu during the scene.
Aftercare is the time after play when partners recover and take care of each other. This is a time to focus on both emotional and physical needs as scenes can be both physically and psychologically taxing.
Aftercare for role-play can involve communicating the positives and negatives of the scenes, getting out of any costumes, or engaging in comforting activities like cuddling.
Examples of Role-play!
We’ve talked a bit about what role-play is and how to engage in it safely, but let’s get more into the details. Below are some of the popular examples of role-play!
Head of the House/Maid
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Generating Your Own Role-play Scene
If you’re interested in playing around with role-play, you may want to ask yourself some questions first before diving in! I recommend getting in a creative, sensual, kinky mindset and letting the questions lead the way. Creating a scene takes preparation and time and figuring out your what, why, and how is a great first step to making this preparation.
Questions to ask yourself for role-play:
Is Role-play Bedroom Only?
Nope, role-play can definitely be (and is) done outside the bedroom! With role-play, we often see that a couple will bring it outside of the bedroom.
It is important to note that when talking about role-playing outside of the bedroom, that consent in regards to public play should be heavily considered. Random on-lookers do not consent to see kink and role-play publicly. Role-playing in public could look more like dressing, talking, and acting out your respective parts without any sexual or inherent-kink aspects (ie walking on your hands and knees with a collar and leash).
Role-playing in public could look like you and your partner acting as your “character” out and about whether that be at a bar, in the park, shopping, or in a restaurant. It can even be a bit of a warm-up or foreplay to your more private role-playing that will happen later! Role-playing outside the bedroom is also a great way to also dip your toes into a little bit of exhibitionism that does not involve sex.
Funny enough, public role-play is also one of the more common kinks shown in popular media. From Phil and Claire Dunphy’s alternative personalities Clive Bixby and Julianna in “Modern Family” to the sex-positive, “Sex in the City”, Samantha Jones loved to role-play many different characters in public with her actor-bae Smith Jarron. So I say take inspiration from Phil and Claire or Samantha Jones and Smith Jarron and exercise those acting muscles while engaging in some public role-play.It