Warning: This article contains spoilers about the episode of Girls that aired March 9.
In the list of things you never want to hear your significant other say, "No, I don't want to have sex right now" is definitely up there. And hearing, "I don't want to get sticky before rehearsal" is probably one of the worst ways that message could be worded. Unfortunately for Hannah, that's exactly what Adam says to her on last night's episode of GirlsÃ¢â‚¬”while she's straddling him, no less.
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Afterward, Hannah decides she wants to try to salvage the sexual excitement in their relationshipÃ¢â‚¬”so she plans out an elaborate night of role playing that involves a blonde pageboy wig and a rendezvous at Marnie's apartment. Of course, the night doesn't go quite as planned. First, Hannah gets Adam punched by yelling "Let me go!" in public and telling a stranger, "I have never seen this guy in my entire life. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ He's been harassing me. I can't be the first person he's done this to." We get that she was trying to stay in character, but really?!
Then, after the couple gets to Marnie's place and starts having sex, Adam freaks out because Hannah randomly changes his role and "it doesn't make any fucking narrative sense." Yikes. So it doesn't exactly come as a surprise when Adam tells Hannah at the end of the episode that he's going to stay at Ray's apartment to minimize the distractions while he's prepping for his upcoming Broadway debut.
Now, we're guessing you have enough common sense not to tell a stranger to call the cops on your boyfriend mid-role play. But we do feel for Hannah; role play, while great for injecting novelty into a sex life that needs some spicing up, has the potential to get a little embarrassingÃ¢â‚¬”especially if you're trying it for the first time (or trying it with a new person for the first time). So we asked Emily Morse, a doctor of human sexuality and host of the Sex with Emily podcast, for her best tips on how to make the experience fun and sexyÃ¢â‚¬”not cringe-worthy.
Give Your Partner a Heads-Up
Hannah thought it would be hot to surprise Adam with some out-of-the-blue role playing, but it's actually a lot smarter to start a conversation beforehand about which fantasies you both find hottest. That way, they won't find the experience so jarring. Plus, while you shouldn't be scripting out the scene line by line, it's always nice to have both parties be aware of the basic premise going in, says Morse. Having trouble asking your S.O. whether they prefer the naughty schoolgirl routine or a sexy nurse getup? "A lot of times, women might feel uncomfortable about saying, 'I've always fantasized about a stranger coming into the house and gagging me,'" says Morse. "If you pose it as, 'Here are some scenariosÃ¢â‚¬”what turns you on?' it's a lot easier to discuss."
Try This at Home
Another smart tip for your first go-round: Keep things inside the house. "It's always awkward when you're starting to do anything different sexually, whether it's dirty talk or trying a different position or role playing," says Morse. Experimenting with role playing in a comfortable location means one less factor that could throw you for a loop.
Know That One (or Both) of You Will Break Character
Laughing when you're actually supposed to be a dominatrix is completely normal when you're a newbie role player. "You're not going to be perfect the first time you do this," says Morse. You don't have to let it derail the entire experience, thoughÃ¢â‚¬”just get back into character as soon as you can. So if you're supposed to be a sexy schoolgirl and you start giggling, Morse suggests saying something like, "I'm sorry, that was very bad of me. Are you going to punish me?" And just like that, you're back in character.
Don't Let One Bad Night Ruin Role Playing For You
"Sexually, there's a lot of people who shut down when they have one not-so-great experience with a partner," says Morse. While you should never feel pressured to do something you truly dislike, consider giving role playing at least a couple of chances before you make a final ruling on it one way or the other. Talking about what you liked and didn't like the first go-round can help ensure the second one is even better, says Morse. For example, "You could say, 'I've always had a fantasy of being handcuffed, but being blindfolded made me nervous because I didn't know when you were going to enter the room,'" she says. "Every time you try something new in the bedroom, it'll push you to see your partner in a different light, and it'll keep heightening the arousal and help you find new reasons to be attracted to your partner."
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