A beginner's guide to role play, according to a sex expert

Role play is a sex fantasy more of us would like to try than we’d care to admit.

Unlike toys, which continue to grow is popularity and reach new demographics, role play still feels less accessible.

‘Where do you begin?’ some might ask.

Kate Moyle, sex expert for sexual wellness brand LELO, says communication beforehand is key.

‘Talk it out and explore in advance,’ she says.

‘If you are interested in trying out a role then discuss it with your partner first rather than just springing it on them, then if you both agree to try it you will be in the right headspace to use your imaginations and be creative.

‘One of the biggest disappointments is also the gap between expectation and reality, so if you are just getting started with role play don’t expect it to go exactly or perfectly to plan – but be open-minded to seeing what happens.

‘If you are wedded to an exact plan then as soon as it starts not happening you will get stuck in your head and thoughts, and this can be a real circuit breaker for sexual pleasure and desire.’

As with all things that are new, practice will make the experience smoother.

For example, it’s fine to come out of ‘role’ and laugh together – what’s important is that you’re enjoying trying role play out together and are supporting each other’s needs.

Finding the right role pay scenario to start off with:

Start by making a ‘yes/no/maybe’ list with your partner, bouncing off ideas together.

It’s a good opportunity to be honest and discover both where you are aligned and where you aren’t.

You can also look for inspiration on erotica websites, audio books and other platforms.

‘You may not have exactly the same fantasies and so this is a good way of you also being able to work out what could be a good first scenario for you both,’ Kate says.

However, eventually you’ll want to move past the initial awkwardness to get the most sexual fulfilment out of role play.

Kate advises you remember the word ‘play’ in this and to get out of your head.

She says: ‘Treat it light-heartedly and remember to laugh.

‘This is all about play, but sometimes we can have a tendency to take things too seriously and this can mean we get stuck and can feel uncomfortable.

‘Hold you roles lightly and remember the goal is fun.’

You might also find that role play doesn’t suit you and your partner – which is fine too.

The vital thing is to be open.

To balance this openness, you also need boundaries.

Your partner might suggest a role play idea that makes you uncomfortable or that even feels ‘wrong’.

At this point, Kate says you should say it’s not for you ‘in a non-shaming way’.

You don’t need to try something you’re not feeling.

‘If it makes you feel uncomfortable then you aren’t going to be able to let go and be in the moment and enjoy yourself,’ she adds.

‘Positively affirm them by accepting that we all have different fantasies, desires and preferences and that just, in this instance, this one isn’t for you.

‘If there are elements you may be interested in you can also try that – remember it doesn’t have to be the full role but you can also try things like power play if that is part of it, and you can make that work in a way that you both are interested in.’

Treat it like an opportunity to diversify your sex life – who knows what you might unlock and enjoy with your partner.

Smut Drop

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