opinion

A Look at the Benefits of Role-Play for Couples

A Look at the Benefits of Role-Play for Couples

What’s the No. 1 issue for couples in the bedroom? Boredom. It seems inevitable — after a certain amount of time with the same partner, it’s easy to slip into a routine that feels less exciting or satisfying.

But this is easily remedied, and there’s a simple antidote: Couples who make a point to routinely insert novelty and playfulness into their sex lives fare much better in the happiness and satisfaction department.

Some people say they aren’t comfortable with role playing; they feel silly, ridiculous, or downright embarrassed. What if they mess up or make a fool of themselves?

Keeping a brightly burning flame lit is one thing, but how do you reignite something that flickered out long ago? Couples in this position often feel stuck; they don’t know how to get back to enjoying sex like they did in the beginning of their relationship, back when sex felt carefree and playful.

Remember that sex is play. The first step is reframing how we think of sex. There’s a reason so many people refer to sex as play — that’s exactly what it is. Think back to when you were a child playing pretend games with your friends.

You’d invent all sorts of scenarios like cops and robbers, doctor’s office, playing house, or even pretending you are animals at the zoo. When you played, you let go of all your inhibitions; you were so focused on the fun and connected to the play, there was no space for hesitation or judgments.

For many of us, it was especially invigorating taking on the personality of someone or something different, and adult play can be surprisingly similar — though as grownups, we can use these games as a platform for sexy role play.

Role play is the key. Sexual role play can help use break through our intimacy roadblocks. When we play a character that is different from ourselves, our creativity flourishes. The uninhibited nature of role play helps uncover hidden parts of our personalities; we become more daring, find it easier to vocalize our desires, and our self-consciousness diminishes.

Some people say they aren’t comfortable with role playing; they feel silly, ridiculous, or downright embarrassed. What if they mess up or make a fool of themselves? How is feeling more self-conscious supposed to make you feel less self-conscious?

This is a very real hurdle that can be difficult for some to overcome, but using props and costumes is one of the best ways to get past this. Looking the part and having the right accessories can help you slide into your character and let go.

Animal role play. Pet play is a fun place to begin your role play journey. It lends itself to dominant/submissive dynamics and you can find plenty of accouterments to enhance your scenes.

With this type of play, one person acts as the trainer and the other is the pet. The pet’s sole focus becomes creature comforts while the owner exerts control by dishing out rewards and punishments. Sliding on the Strict Leather Puppy Hood with Bendable Ears can instantly put you in the headspace of a playful, curious, naughty puppy.

Paired with a set of Strict Leather Padded Puppy Mitts, it becomes easy to believe your partner has transformed into an enthusiastic pet ready to please. Those looking to up the ante with pain play can add a Jolt Electro Puppy Trainer Shock Collar to the mix.

Although puppy play is one of the most popular types of animal role play, the imagination is limitless. You’re free to be anything you want. A simple White Fox Tail Anal Plug and Ears Set or Brunette Pony Tail Anal Plug can be the springboard you need to fully step into your role.

Medical play. For most of us, playing doctor comes naturally. It’s a common childhood game, and for adult play it lends itself to naughty exploration. Medical play is also ideal for people of all experience levels.

Hardcore medical fetishists and those newly dabbling in role play can find it just as satisfying, and it can easily be adapted to most fetishes. Doctor/patient relationships often incorporate dominance and submission, humiliation, bondage, pain, sensory deprivation, or fear.

Accessories like blindfolds, restraints, electrosex devices, urethral sounds, and enema equipment can easily become part of a hospital themed storyline — all products that XR Brands proudly makes!

The Strict Straight Jacket is classic medial play themed gear. Completely restrain your willing patient while you test their sensitivity and reflexes with a Twin Sensation Wartenberg Pinwheel, for instance. Rolled along the soft inner thighs and over the genitals, it is sure to bring about a spirited reaction.

If you like pain in your play, the Electric Wartenberg Wheel Estim Kit delivers sensations ranging from playful tingles to razor sharp jolts.

Penis play like CBT (cock and ball torment) goes hand-in-hand with medical scenes. If pinching, prodding, squeezing, clamping, or tying are your thing, shake it up a little with something like the Cock Shock Remote CBT Electric Cock Ring. It operates like a shock collar, but it’s sized for a penis.

The Jolted Cock and Ball Strap with Penis Stim sports a urethral sound and is designed to zap from the inside and outside simultaneously.

Urethral sounding for pleasure is similar to some procedures a doctor may perform — but your doctor certainly won’t have a Cadence Extreme 10x Vibrating Urethral Sound in his repertoire. This sound sports 14 inches of vibrating silicone and can really spice up your medical scenes.

Remember, pleasure product shoppers are often looking for more than just a toy.

Many are hoping to find support and tools to help reignite their sex lives, so turn on your empathy and help your shoppers think outside the box as they browse the merchandise. Suggest scene ideas and display complimentary items together, even.

Role play may just be the exact thing they didn’t even know they were looking for.

Rebecca Weinberg is the general manager of XR Brands, which specializes in fetish and BDSM with full-spectrum product development and design to create a series of fully merchandised collections dedicated to the lifestyle.

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