This is probably the only time your spouse would endorse an affair: when you’re having one with them.
Therapists say nothing livens up a couple’s sex life quite like channeling those hot-and-heavy early days through role playing.
If you need inspiration, watch this scene from “Modern Family,” where married couple Claire and Phil pretend to be strangers meeting up for a hookup. Things get a little dirty at the hotel bar (and later, super awkward at the hotel elevator, but that’s beside the point).
Below, marriage therapists from around the country share six reasons feigning an affair with your spouse could change your sex life for the better.
1. It’s a good reminder that your spouse is pretty damn sexy.
“So often, we take our partners for granted and get caught up in a negativity bias: we notice all of the things they aren’t doing or could do, versus what they already are. That probably doesn’t inspire you to show up as your best, flirty and sexiest self. So consider having an affair: Instead of hanging out in sweats or your most comfortable PJs, think about what you would wear and how you would greet and engage your partner if it was a first date or the man you’d want to have an affair with. Bring your A-game, leave your history behind for the night and step into the anticipation of what’s possible.” ― Megan Fleming, a New York City-based sex therapist and the author of Invisible Divorce: Finding Your Way Back to Connection
2. It helps keep the kinky, dirty, raunchy side of you alive.
“For most, long-term relationships dictate that the we should only be attracted to, fantasize about and be sexual with the person that we marry. We then trade in that dirty, animalistic side for a romantic love, which kills sex in the bedroom. This also lends to other societal conditioning about how you’re suppose to treat your spouse (case in point: the Madonna/whore complex). We feel bad treating someone we respect in a kinky or dirty way, yet oftentimes, these very visions are what entice us and arouse us. Role-playing is a great way for couples to reignite that which may have been lost, by stepping out of their role as dutiful wife, husband and caregiver and getting back to that place where they can throw caution to the wind and embrace that raw, lewd side of themselves.” ― Moushumi Ghose, a sex therapist and author of Classic Sex Positions Reinvented
3. Bringing something “forbidden” to the forefront can be surprisingly sexy.
“Many people may think this idea could be throwing gasoline on the fire ― and it is. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If a couples is stable in their relationship and trusting, this could bring a new level of heat and beauty. When we bring in the forbidden and play with it consciously, it brings with it a strong sexual charge that drives arousal off the charts.” ― Keeley Rankin, a sex therapist in San Francisco, California
4. It gives you an opportunity to work on your flirting skills.
“Most of the long-term couples I see have forgotten the art of flirting and seduction. I often will create exercises for couples to take on new or fantasy roles which help them get back to playing with one another in a more erotic fashion. The scene in ‘Modern Family’ shows how important it is for couples to leave the domestic behind (both literally ― by going on a date to a location that elicits frisson, and psychologically ― by not discussing to-do lists, the kids schedule or finances). Many couples find their minds are not present to the erotic chase or the experience of teasing due to their minds being distracted by the day’s responsibilities and routines. Playing requires a kind of mindful focus to the role at hand.” ― Sari Cooper, a couple’s therapist in New York City and host of the web show “Sex Esteem.”
5. Dressing up for your spouse can pay off in a major way.
“Perhaps you don’t usually take the time to prepare at all for sex. Knowing you’ll be having a special getaway ― or meeting someone ‘new’ ― could inspire you to take that extra step. You wear that sexy lingerie, shave your beard (or anything else that needs a little trim), wear a scent that’s enticing or try out a new style of suit or dress. Then, you take the time to actually undress each other, enjoying each new layer as it is uncovered. Little things like that can be extremely arousing.” ― Celeste Hirschman, sex expert and author of Making Love Real, co-authored by Danielle Harel
6. It could open up your mind to new opportunities in the bedroom.
“This is an opportunity to try new things you’re not used to: explore new pleasures and play with dynamics of power. See how it feels both to give and receive in different ways. If it’s a ‘new’ or ‘side’ relationship, why not use that mindset to ask for what you want? Creating a little space for the unknown ― for wanting and longing ― can spice up any relationship.” ― Megan Fleming
Have fun, “strangers.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.