A guide to safe role-play this Halloween

Autumn provides a great time not only for spicing up one’s coffee, but also one’s sex life. With the ubiquitous availability of costumes, October allows for the popular addition of role-play into many couples’ intercourse repertoires. For the curious, role-play is a type of sexual interaction in which persons take on a “role” outside of themselves, such as a police officer or a teacher. They engage in intercourse using these roles to enhance their experience. A police officer might “arrest” their partner, or a teacher might “punish” their partner sexually. It allows people to get creative and to act on fantasies that regular sex may not fulfill. While costumes aren’t a requirement, they add excitement and an alternate reality to the bedroom.

For some who entertain the thought of role-play, it dies as just that: a thought. Perhaps it is not witches and the bogeyman that scare us, but admitting to our partner that we are interested in something outside of our sexual norms.

If you are afraid of bringing up role-play to your partner, consider that you do not have to immediately come out and admit your interest. You can take small steps to breach the subject, such as mentioning that they would look attractive in a certain costume or that you find a particular role attractive. You know your partner best, so tailor your “baby steps” to their personality and temperament.

Eventually, though, you must mention your interest in role-play to your partner if you want to partake in it. Do not take their curiosity as consent. When it comes to sex, communication is paramount.

If you and your partner agree that role-play is something you would be interested in, but do not know how to progress, then you can talk about what types of situations you would potentially be interested in. This creates a great opportunity to learn about the other person more intimately.

You can even make a date out of your interest in role-play by going to a Halloween store together. If you’re on a tight budget, consider visiting stores post-Halloween to score clearance costumes.

Once you have your costumes, set up boundaries with your partner. Discussing how far you are willing to go and what is acceptable is vital to creating a safe, enjoyable experience. Safe words, phrases or signal words said during sex—which will indicate that a person isn’t comfortable with the current situation and wants it to stop—are popular techniques used to ensure a comfortable environment. Consider the green, yellow, red system. Green represents consent to the situation, yellow denotes a warning to proceed with caution and red symbolizes a demand to stop.

Additionally, research should be done on how to safely perform riskier sexual acts—such as bondage or choking—if you plan to incorporate them into your role-play. You don’t want to unintentionally injure your partner or make the situation uncomfortable.

Role-play can be a healthy way to navigate the previously unexplored fantasies that you and your partner have. It can change the entire chemistry of a sexual experience. Take it upon yourself to expose yourself to this world of sexual interaction: you might be surprised by what you discover.