Sex advice with Suzi Godson: Role play can inject novelty into a sexual relationship

My husband of five years has, quite out of the blue, asked me to meet him in a bar and pretend I don’t know him. I assume the idea is that he seduces me, which is fine, I suppose. What worries me is that he might be unsatisfied with our sex life, or that he has tried this with someone else.

Where the idea came from is less important than where it ends up taking you. Although his suggestion makes you feel apprehensive, the fact that your husband wants to push the sexual boundaries doesn’t mean that he is, or has been, dissatisfied with your relationship.

Arguably, it is an affirmation rather than a criticism. He has taken a risk in opening up to you about something that he wants to explore within the confines of your marriage, so use it as an opportunity to talk about sexual desires, fantasies and insecurities, and express your feelings of vulnerability within that context.

Try to keep an open mind. Role playing can be a funny and harmless way of injecting novelty into your sexual relationship. The script can be as tame or as outrageous as you like, and you don’t have to do or say anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. The simplest kind involves pretending to be someone else, but if you are a naturally shy person, you could make that a central feature of your script. Fantasy is anything that intensifies the sexual experience, and role play does not have to include elaborate costumes, props and rehearsed scenarios.

If, for example, you agreed to pretend to be a stranger meeting your husband for the first time, your character could be particularly shy and he might adopt the role of a more assertive male. You might even decide to dress for the part.

Most role play happens in private, but taking it into the public domain increases the erotic tension. Meeting your husband for a drink in a bar is no big deal, but pretending to be picked up by him while “in character” will set the butterflies fluttering. It requires you to be able to transcend self-consciousness, so attention to detail is crucial. The more effort you put into costumes and props, the more fully immersed you will be in the experience.

Remember that this is a game and it doesn’t have to be completely serious. It’s fine to laugh, and if you accidentally mention the dog, or your mother-in-law, don’t beat yourself up about not staying in character.

It is meant to be fun. You can then choose whether to keep the fantasy alive while you have sex (and book a hotel room, say) — or just to use it as foreplay, and go home together.

Role play is a way of safely stepping out of your comfort zone into a fantasy world where the only limit is your imagination. The only rule is that when you re-enter real life, you need to be able to look each other in the eye without feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

If you and your husband can wake up after a night of role play and feel nothing but joyful connectedness, then your game playing is positively reinforcing your intimate relationship. If, however, you wake up regretting it and feeling embarrassed, maybe you pushed it too far. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon it — just try something simpler, or do it at home, next time.

Send your queries to: suzigodson@mac.com

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