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Comic Con was held in New York this week – a nerd’s fantasy of booths, new games and movie previews.
And the main attraction? Dressing up as a favourite character, often with a boyfriend or girlfriend in tow as a matching one.
Doing it in public for the news cameras is one thing (popular couple cosplay costumes included The Avengers, anime, Star Wars and Doctor Who), but in private roleplay is another thing entirely.
And if you haven’t done it before, you can risk dismissing it as cheesy, weird and dominated by odd adult-film cliches. Mailman, anyone?
However, the reality is that it’s just another way of injecting some silly fun into the bedroom – and it’s up to you and your partner how seriously you take it.
1. Pick your characters.
This is the bit where you really have to let your inhibitions go and expand your mind.
The temptation for newbies can be to go for characters you love or admire, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make the best intimate connection. Save that for Halloween.
Looking at film or TV? Pick a character you’re familiar with, and who’s always inspired a bit of arousal in you anyway.
Not sure? Pick out what you’d like to do in bed, and then find a character that corresponds to it. Like to be dominated or to dominate, to experience pain, to do things slowly?
Make sure you know what you want from your character first. You have to do this part together, so that the narrative matches up. Having Han Solo jump into bed with Catwoman is perfectly fine as long as you both know what you’re going for.
If you’re severely in need of ideas, sometimes the costumes area of a good online adult store might be a good place to start – common fantasies include rock star/groupie, teacher/student, doctor/nurse, and other power-play combinations.
2. Don’t feel like you need to be completely in character.
This is not about being Meryl Streep. (Unless your character is, in fact, Meryl Streep.)
Rather, pick the elements you’d like to bring with you, and stay with them. A growling voice, a tendency to scratch, banter, an innocent attitude – whatever characteristics fit the character, go with those.
If you need to stop to think about your motivations, you’re trying too hard.
Do your best to keep the roleplay going as far into the act as possible – if you both relapse back into your usual roles once the actual intimacy begins, it probably hasn’t fit perfectly.
3. It’s OK to laugh.
This is, in a sense, one of the oddest things humans do. It’s good not to take it too seriously.
And just because one of you breaks role and cracks up when somebody says something unexpectedly cheesy doesn’t mean it was all a waste.
Being comfortable and exploring your sensual side with somebody can also involve you finding the process innately ridiculous. Do try to give it your best shot before you dissolve in giggles, though, and don’t be rude.
4. Expensive costumes really aren’t necessary.
Unless it’s a role that absolutely requires props to make it work, you really don’t need to invest in anything.
Getting into a costume can often take the fun out of things for people who aren’t used to the experience – being uncomfortable or overly revealing may make you more inhibited, not less.
Instead, work with what you have – although a good pair of thigh-high stockings are a good part for most role-playing segments.
5. Explore within your boundaries.
It’s crucial that both partners are able to say ‘No, this isn’t working’ without offending their counterpart.
Discuss this beforehand – have a safeword, or a cue, that means the fantasy is over for you. Just because you’re taken on a different persona does not mean that your needs are entirely changed.
You’ll still require the sorts of arousal you always needed – it’s just a chance to expand your usual routines. Take the chance to venture into different areas, but don’t be surprised if something very out-there doesn’t work for you – it’s just a character.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…
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