Whilst, in theory, the practice of role-play sounds distinctly erotic, in reality, there are various difficulties that can arise, with both performance and production, which can undermine the process. Here are my tips for anyone considering making a foray into role-play:
1. Don’t overcommit. Having chosen to play ‘Sandra’, the Australian, single-mother yoga-teacher in her mid-thirties, do not simulate her mental breakdown in the interests of dramatic integrity. Your lover might not appreciate having to continually reassure you ‘Sandra you are not a bad mother’, whilst you pretend to weep, naked, whilst holding the downward dog position.
2. Don’t under-commit. Having spent a lot of mental energy constructing a husky voiced, medical-professional persona, do not then vaguely refer to yourself as an ‘um … penisologist?’
3. No matter how much you personally buy into Freudian theory, always favour ‘the mother’ as opposed to ‘their mother’. It is very rarely appreciated when you start to mimic their specific parent’s mannerisms and characteristics – the more accurately you portray these, the less arousing the experience is likely to be. I know, I was surprised as well.
4. Unless your partner has a pre-established penchant for something which late night Channel 4 shows inform me is known as ‘pet play’, stay within your own species. You can be a naughty milk-maid if you want, but don’t make them play the cow that you’re ‘milking’.
5. Know your props. Suspenders that attach to stockings need to go underneath your knickers otherwise they come to function as a, highly ironic, chastity belt.
6. Always go for the accent you can do, not the accent you want to do. I know, you’re a masseuse, and you’re aiming for Swedish, but it’s just not working, and, when it comes to role-play, always favour consistency over felicitousness.
7. If you choose to use a foreign tongue, make sure it’s a language that your lover isn’t proficient in, that way you don’t have to worry about conjugating verbs, or whether the formal or informal address is ‘sexier’.