A nurse, school teacher, hooker, Hermione Granger, the President’s daughter?
Role playing. It might seem challenging (I, for one, would have no idea how not to laugh), but apparently it’s good for your mental health and (hopefully) your sex life.
How can it help me mentally? I hear you ask… According to Scott Haltzman, author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University in Rhode Island, it’s all about forgetting the stress of everyday life.
“Part of enjoying tantalising sex is experiencing a level of escape,” Haltzman told Men’s Health. “Role playing interweaves well with the natural tendency to dissociate from the daily demands of life.”
Just like meditation.
As for helping your sex life, it’s all about pushing your pleasure boundaries using the safety (and comic relief) of a character mask (Darth Vader anyone? But, actually – it’s a thing).
Women in the Mamamia office confess to the weirdest thing they’ve ever heard between the sheets. Post continues below.
“Role playing is a comfortable way for couples to explore their sexuality from behind masks. Often the roles people enjoy most are the ones that are the most different from their normal lives,” a sex researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago Brian Mustansk also told Men’s Health.
Star Wars aside, it’s easy to see how role playing might open up an entirely new level of freedom within a sexual partnership. It can be a platform to test out some previously-hidden, more kinkier desires.
“One of the biggest fallacies about sex and relationships is that they have to be fuzzy and comfortable. Sometimes it’s important for them to be just slightly uncomfortable,” Haltzman said. “Most people’s fantasies aren’t really safe.”
When are these not-so-safe, supposedly-orgasm-inducing fantasies best played out? Ideally, with a long term partner (i.e. someone you can trust) and, in some cases, in order to return the spark to a long-term relationship.
“Dopamine levels [in the brain] diminish as you’re exposed to something repeatedly, and exposure to anything novel stimulates feelings of excitement and attraction,” Haltzman said.
Communication, honesty, trust and a sense of humour are key to making role play work. You can use props, costumes, characters, acting and different voices to bring the concept to life (or to climax). This will, likely (if you’re acting is anything like mine), take a few times to perfect.