Sure, SATC’s Samantha lit-er-al-ly started sleeping with a pro actor to bring her fave sexual fantasies to life...but she was always a little extra. If you’re nervous to play pretend for hotter sex (or your acting skills are more ‘I was in my fifth-grade play, I think?’ than ‘My Oscars speech is ready to go’), we’re on it. Here’s how to get it right on your first take.
1. PLAY WHAT YOU KNOW
Actual actors do full character studies, but you can just think of roles you’re already familiar with, from real life (masseuse + client) or pop culture (superhero + whoever’s lucky enough to hook up with a superhero). Starting with a known scenario cuts down on prep so you can get right down to business, says US-based sex therapist Vanessa Marin.
Breaking and entering? Don’t mind if I do.
2. SET THE SCENE
“I recommend starting at home, where you’re more likely to feel comfortable,” says Vanessa. If you can’t get in the headspace of a lusty lit prof boning her top student next to the pile of half-clean clothes on the chair in your bedroom, maybe lead your eager-to-please pupil to new territory, like the living room...as long as, you know, you’re alone. This show doesn’t need an audience.
3. GET IN COSTUME (OR DON'T!)
No costume designer or stylist on your ‘set’? Keeping it simple, with a couple of props, can be just as sultry, says Vanessa. She suggests improvising with stuff you have at home and imagining the rest---. Put a regular old tie on your otherwise shirtless ‘accountant’ (the naked-er, the better, right?), and voilà.
4. LOCK DOWN THE PLOT
No need to write a legit screenplay, but agreeing on a few basic cues can help with nerves and logistics, says Vanessa. If you’re a client meeting your jacked personal trainer, maybe you agree (over a series of NSFW texts throughout the day) that he’ll punish you for every squat set you can’t complete. By the time you get to your sweat sesh, you’ll already be warmed up.
5. LEARN (A FEW) LINES
Similarly, having a couple of go-to phrases at the ready can help keep things moving along if you’re stumped. Before you get busy, “Try to think of what you’d say in the actual situation,” says US-based improv acting coach Kathy Yamamoto. Then add a kinky kicker: ‘It’s been so hot without the A/C...thank goodness you’re here to fix it! If you get too warm while you work, feel free to strip down.’
6. LAUGH OFF THE BLOOPERS
This is so not the time to act all serious or particular, says Vanessa. Role-playing is about “having fun in the bedroom and reconnecting with your partner. So if somebody says something that’s totally out of character, you can just giggle about it and then jump back into the scene with each other.” Aka prepare to crack up. A lot.
7. JUST DON'T GO ALL 'ROTTEN TOMATOES' ON YOUR PARTNER
After your grand finales, you can share positive performance notes, like, ‘That changed my life!’ But keep negative critiques to yourself, says Kathy, since feelings can get hurt easily when it comes to ~art~. If you’re up for doing the scene again, talk through anything that tripped you up. Or -suggest a brand-new fantasy, since you two are obvio now award-worthy at boning.