When I was in first grade I used to make all the boys play a game with me: I was an Indian princess captured by a warring tribe and I needed to be saved, preferably by the tow-headed Andrew.
"Get your hands off me," I would say as I let them grab my hands, my feet and carry me atop the tire fortress. From my perch I would cry out, "Help, help me," and my tribe would come to the rescue. "Now say, 'You can never have her!' or, 'She's ours!'" I would command. Eventually, someone would save me and a marriage ceremony would follow.
Of course, at six years of age, I wasn't aware that this all meant that I enjoyed the attention of little boys fighting over me, that I liked playing out the female rescue fantasy, and that this was how I could express my feelings—in this case, my first crush.
As children, we used the game of "let's pretend" for more than simply passing time. Pretending allowed us to share our desires and expectations, test our positions in the world and figure out how other people fit into that equation. Often, it was the only way that boys and girls could play together, cootie-free. By not being ourselves, we were free to be ourselves. Infusing Fantasy Into Your Sex Life
As adults, however, we tend to denigrate make-believe as silly. In sexual relationships role-playing can be seen as a bit perverted, a signal that something is wrong in the relationship—or with us. After all, why would you want to pretend you're someone else?
Why Try Role-Playing?
The truth is that role-playing doesn't have to be about kinky sex, and it doesn't mean that you are bored with your lover. If your man asks you to wear spiky heels and a long blonde wig, it's not necessarily a signal that he's finding you less sexually attractive. Acting out fantasies can and should be about core relationship elements like communication, intimacy and acceptance, and can both indicate and create strength in a relationship.
"Role playing challenges the confines of a particular relationship," says Cynthia Gentry, author of What Men Really Want in Bed and the upcoming What Women Really Want in Bed. "It takes a lot of trust and vulnerability to share your deepest, darkest fantasies with someone," she says. "It also requires clear, honest communication about what you want."