Your Call: How to Make Role-Playing Less Renn Fair?

photo by h.koppdelaney

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

My partner really wants to try role-playing, but that’s so not me. I’ve never acted, I hate public speaking, and forget about karaoke! I’d like to try new things and I want to make fulfill my partner’s fantasies, but god, acting in bed? It makes me blush and cringe just thinking about it. I know I’ll freeze up, or worse, start cracking up. Is there anything I can do to make it less painful for me?

– Stage Fright

What should SF do?


  1. Wha? I would want to make role playing more renn fair. Bring your Princess Leia’s, bring your Aragorns and bring your ability to be a little silly in front of someone you love/ love having sex with.

  2. Don’t make role-playing into a grand exercise in theater. It is adult “pretend” time. He may want you to be the French Maid or a street walker or maybe even just the girl next door. Any way just look at it the same way you would playing Barbies. Just relax and pretend. Role-playing can be a very fun, stress-free activity if you don’t make anything more than pretend. Good luck.

  3. Role-play is just playing – little kids do it all the time. Don’t think of it as acting; it’s just adult playtime. You can’t do it wrong, and no one will be judging you!

    If you’re worried about freezing up and not knowing what to say, or killing the mood with a cheesy line, the easiest way in is to find a scene from a film (just a normal film, not even porn!) that your partner likes (you can even ask for an explanation of what it is about that scene that makes it so hot to them), watch it by yourself a couple of times so you’re familiar with it, and just act that out. (S)He’ll be familiar with the scenario and it will already be exciting for him/her, while you will know exactly what you’re doing – you can even improvise if you’re feeling brave!

    Good luck and I hope you stick with it – you will both honestly have an awesome time once you’re relaxed enough to enjoy it.

  4. There are plenty of baby-steps solutions that you can work out with your partner (talk to him about everything you said above if you haven’t already).
    possible suggestions:
    – agree to abandon role-play ship after the first few minutes (that way, you can try it out without having to commit to two hours of dialogue)
    – costumes, but leave the lines up to your partner (this way there’s no pressure to act, and if you do come up with a brilliant one-liner, go ahead and throw it in)
    – write erotic fiction together? Not quite the same thing, but you two can take on personas without having to actually act them out … and when you get a little more bold, you’ll have a wealth of lines you’ve already agreed are super-hot.
    – come up with lines ahead of time, no need to memorize (you’ll have a few things to say without the pressure of coming up with them while you’re *distracted*, and this should get you at least half way to a full role playing scene)

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