How role playing and sensory exploration can add excitement to your romantic life.
By Coralie McEachron | Photo by Kylene White
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a relational and sex therapist. My training has focused on seeing the world systemically, including how we are interconnected with others and the ways that our past, present, and future impact each other. I help people create a more authentic connection with themselves and others through talking about topics that once were taboo.
For my first column, I would like to start by introducing you to a sexual step you can take into the new year. As adults, our obligations cause us to forget the freedom that comes with letting go of constraints and getting to play again. Oftentimes, the closest we can get to this in adulthood is through organized sports, video games or spending time with a child. Here’s how we can break the habit and bring playfulness into the bedroom.
Focusing on elements related to sensuality that take us out of our heads and into focus with our bodies can include any of our five senses. It also shifts us from performative or outcome-based sex to pleasure. Examples may include bringing in whipped cream or edible panties; wearing a delicious perfume or cologne; incorporating a blindfold, or running an ice cube up and down a partner, or lapping wine from a lover’s belly button. Watching sexual imagery or a movie together can be bonding for some couples, whilst others might enjoy reading erotic novels together, playing sexy music in the bedroom, or incorporating items for touch ranging from vibrators, spanking, flogging, a feather, and more. See what resonates and opens you up to being present in your body and being better able to feel and receive pleasure.
Role playing can involve anything that takes us out of the constraints of being ourselves and allows us to live out fantasies with anyone whom we trust or choose to let in to what we want. It can range from incorporating play through calling out a new name or pet name in the bedroom to a more elaborate scene or scenario where both partners review what they like, their limits, acts they consent to, and a safe word to indicate that a limit has been reached.
Ask yourself what things draw you in, excite you, or would feel fun and novel. Some folks may exaggerate or even switch up their current sexual roles in regard to who is more submissive or dominant in the relationship. Others play out going to a bar and flirting with their lover like they were strangers meeting for the very first time. Common scenarios that are played out may involve dynamics with a forbidden element. The most important factor is that both parties are clear about what they would like to happen and allow for laughter and grace!
Whatever you try, come with an open mind, and give yourself permission to name the desires and wishes you have, knowing that what speaks to and turns you on is unique, special and worth exploring.
Have a question? Send it to Coralie at Coralie@northstarcounselingcenter.com for a chance to have it answered in an upcoming column.