The Power of Dressing Up: Comicon NYC, Halloween, and BDSM

Six ways that Halloween and role playing can enhance one’s erotic sex life

With the runaway popularity of the 50 Shades of Grey (link is external)trilogy of novels, and the hotly-anticipated film adaptation (link is external) (due in theaters this upcoming Valentine’s Day) women and couples across the country have been inspired to experiment in the bedroom (link is external), with Lelo reporting an 82% increase in sales of vibrators and vibrating rings at the end of 2013.

Power Exchange Role Play
Once considered deviant or bizarre sexual behavior, role-playing, power exchange, and BDSM are becoming mainstream as more and more people experiment with this type of sexual play. There is a musical parody of Fifty Shades playing off-Broadway in New York (link is external) where women and men come to laugh and get titillated by the sexually-charged scenes between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Many of my clients have experienced greater intimacy and passion after bringing an element of fantasy into the bedroom. On the heels of New York City’s recent Comic-Con (link is external) (the most widely-attended event of it’s kind; this year’s surpassed the famed San Diego Comic-Con) and with Halloween approaching, the playful spirit of dress up and fantasy are in the air.

New York Comic Con attendees
For couples who are curious about exploring role play and fantasy in ther sex lives, now is a wonderful opportunity.

1. Openness About Fantasies Can Increase Intimacy

The old saying that “the brain is the biggest sex organ” still holds true. How we become aroused in a sexual scenario—either solo or with a partner—begins with fantasy and imagination. Often, my clients are shy about sharing personal fantasies out of fear of being perceived as strange, bizarre, or disgusting by their partner. Not being fully open about one’s sexual desires and needs can lead to problems down the road in the relationship. I work with couples to navigate ways in which they can share and explore their fantasies to achieve a fulfilling sex life. Role-playing is one of many options that provides a safe, non threatening way for couples to explore.

2. Novelty Creates Excitement and Spark

The novelty of a role-playing scenario—whether it is doctor-nurse, teacher-student, or involving bondage, dominance, and submission—transforms a sexual encounter into something utterly new and exciting. Role-playing may help couples who feel they have “lost the spark” are in a “rut” or whose lovemaking has become routine and stymied. One of my clients was so amazed and enthralled when he saw his wife in a corset and stockings—he was able to see her in a new light. Novelty can help partners increase their desire and libido in the long run.

3. Using Fantasy in the Bedroom To Balance the Reality Outside

Role playing allows couples to enact scenes that are very different from their daily lives. Each person is able to step out of themselves and take on a new, exciting role. The harried career woman who feels powerless at work with a demanding boss can take control and power over her husband via safe and consensual bondage. In this way she is balancing her lack of control in her day-to-day existence by engaging into this kind of play. It is a way of subverting her frustrations and playing them out through sex play.

4. It’s All About Communication

To have a successful and stimulating role-play encounter, clear, direct, and honest communication is necessary. Especially for those exploring BDSM, knowing when to stop, and when to say “no” is extremely important. It is vital that activities remain consensual and safe, and the easiest way to do so in a BDSM scenario is to use a “safe word”. As many BDSM scenarios involve one partner overpowering another—by force, rope, or command, sometimes a submissive partner’s cries of “No!” don’t necessarily mean “stop”. It is required as part of a contract or agreement made beforehand that a neutral word like “red” be used as a safeword. Couples should respect one another’s limits and boundaries—and clear communication is at the heart of navigating these encounters. BDSM’s main rule of Sane, Safe and Consensual is at the heart of playing with power during play. Here’s a link for those interested in keeping sex-play with power safe.

5.. Enhancing Trust

Engaging in roleplay and/or BDSM is something that can enhance trust between partners. Roleplay and BDSM put individuals into vulnerable positions. One might feel silly and absurd acting out a teacher-student scenario, not be able to control their giggles, or feel worried about what their partner will think if they reveal their curiosity about being tied up. To expose one’s fantasies—and then explore them—is an act of putting tremendous trust in one’s partner. It not only takes trust to engage in these activities in the first place, but couples might find a newfound sense of trust after engaging in roleplay. This type of sexual activity pushes one’s boundaries and comfort zones, and doing so with someone you love or feel strong affection for can strengthen the bonds of trust and the erotic connection with one another. One has to realize that the play created in role play is just that: play. It is not necessarily the way a couple relate to one another outside the bedroom.

6. Boosting Confidence in the Bedroom Can Increase Confidence Outside the Bedroom

Naming your fantasy and figuring out how to enact it in your sex life can be an empowering experience sexually and help you gain power in other areas of your life. Mustering up the courage to act out a fantasy with your partner might just give you the courage to ask for that raise, promotion, or more vacation time.

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