’Tis the sea­son for fan­tasy role-play

How get­ting into char­ac­ter and cos­tume can rid your bed­room of bore­dom this Hal­loween

Richmond Hill Post - - Currents -

The sea­son of sexy ghosts, gob­lins, witches and wiz­ards is upon us and though the gen­der dou­ble stan­dard that makes al­most all femme-cen­tric cos­tumes sexy is far more of a trick than a treat (does a tree cos­tume re­ally need to be sexy?), there is a les­son to be gleaned from the fact that cos­tumes — sexy or not — fly off the shelves even as the mer­cury drops. Play­ing dress-up is fun.

As an adult tasked with mul­ti­ple re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, your de­sire to dis­miss your rou­tine and em­brace a role that is far from re­al­ity is univer­sal and un­der­stand­able. And Hal­loween pro­vides the per­fect ex­cuse to do so. Whether you want to be per­ceived as scary, pow­er­ful, ob­scene, funny, evil, su­per­nat­u­ral or sexy, a sim­ple cos­tume, mask or makeup change may be all you need to slip into char­ac­ter.

For some, Hal­loween just of­fers an ex­cuse to dress up, and for oth­ers, it’s an op­por­tu­nity to em­brace fear and try new things — in­clud­ing role-play. It’s no sur­prise that hal­loween and fan­tasy role-play go hand in hand. It’s eas­ier to play a role when you’re all dressed up and the hol­i­day it­self en­cour­ages the stretch­ing of com­fort zones. The prospect of be­ing un­rec­og­niz­able and/or at­tribut­ing your be­havioural change to a char­ac­ter works to lower in­hi­bi­tions. That is, you may be more likely to act out of char­ac­ter once you’re in char­ac­ter.

En­gag­ing in role-play with or with­out cos­tumes is the an­ti­dote to bore­dom in the bed­room in long-term re­la­tion­ships, as it bal­ances the safety of a trusted part­ner with the risk and ex­cite­ment of the un­known.

Role-plays can range from ro­man­tic to raunchy, and they may re­flect val­ues and de­sires that con­tra­dict those you em­brace in real life. For many of us, the most ap­peal­ing fan­tasy roles are those that stray most sig­nif­i­cantly from our re­al­ity. For ex­am­ple, if you are ac­cus­tomed to be­ing in charge, you may de­rive in­tense plea­sure from play­ing a sub­mis­sive role. And if you tend to cater to oth­ers’ emo­tional and prac­ti­cal needs, you may opt for a role that al­lows you to be self­ish — or even evil.

This isn’t always the case, so you’ll need to clearly com­mu­ni­cate your de­sires and bound­aries to your part­ner if you want to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence. De­cide ahead of time how far you’re will­ing to go and let your part­ner know if there are words or sce­nar­ios that will kill your sex­ual buzz.

If you feel self-con­scious or silly ex­per­i­ment­ing with role-play, start at a party or in an­other non-sex­ual en­vi­ron­ment. You can flirt with a part­ner while in char­ac­ter and in cos­tume to build de­sire and an­tic­i­pa­tion and then re­turn to be­ing your­selves once arousal starts to build. You might find that once you’re aroused, your in­hi­bi­tions plum­met, and you slip into char­ac­ter more nat­u­rally, but if this isn’t the case, there is no pres­sure to fol­low through with the role-play. You have plenty of time to ex­per­i­ment with the same roles at an­other time — it’s not a one-shot deal.

Some peo­ple find that role-play helps them to com­mu­ni­cate their fan­tasies and de­sires in a more play­ful way (e.g., Nurse Nancy wants to be whipped with your dirty un­der­wear), and oth­ers find that they’re more open to ex­per­i­ment­ing once they’re in char­ac­ter. This makes sense, as both arousal and nov­elty are as­so­ci­ated with low­ered in­hi­bi­tions and greater cre­ativ­ity.

If you’re look­ing for cos­tumes that can be worn in and out of the bed­room, Toronto of­fers a range of op­tions from the bud­get con­scious Value Vil­lage to pop-up shops like Spirit Hal­loween with lo­ca­tions across the GTA. Up­town’s Candy’s Cos­tume Shop of­fers both sales and rentals.

If you’re a last-minute rev­eller and didn’t plan ahead, play the witty jester role and be in­spired by dou­ble en­ten­dres to cre­ate your own cos­tume. Here are a few of my favourites, can you de­ci­pher the dou­ble en­ten­dre? 1. Glue Smar­ties to your pants. 2. Put spice jars in a bra on top of your cloth­ing. 3. Wear cat ears and py­ja­mas. 4. Af­fix a small ra­dio to your head. 5. Tape some teddy bears to your arms. 6. If you’re sin­gle, carry around a bi­cy­cle wheel and stand next to cou­ples (bonus points for pho­to­bomb­ing). 7. Paint your face like an an­i­mal and wear a party hat. 8. Write “book” on your cheeks. 9. Wear a medal around your neck and at­tach some slices of bread to your out­fit.

These cre­ative cos­tumes may not lead di­rectly to hot role play, but they’ll likely lead to laughs and en­gag­ing con­ver­sa­tion, which of­ten amounts to the ul­ti­mate fore­play. Bread­win­ner 9. Face­book, 8. an­i­mal, Party 7. wheel, Third 6. arms, bear to Right 5. Ra­dio­head, 4. py­ja­mas, Cat’s 3. rack, Spice 2. pants, Smarty 1. An­swers:

Many cou­ples find they are more open to ex­per­i­ment­ing when in char­ac­ter

DR. JESS Jess O’Reilly is a sought-after speaker, author and sex­ol­o­gist (www.SexWithDrJess.com).

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