My FWB wants me to engage in “brother role play.” Am I wrong to entertain it?

My FWB wants me to engage in “brother role play.” Am I wrong to entertain it?

You are currently viewing My FWB wants me to engage in “brother role play.” Am I wrong to entertain it?
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“Wassup, bro?” Two guys greet each other in a friendly “bro” greeting.

Hey Jake,

I have a regular FWB that I’ve been seeing since the beginning of the summer. He’s one of the more “adventurous” partners I’ve had in a while, which is kind of exciting because he pushes me past my comfort zone and gets me to experience new things. One of those things I’ve been opened up to is “role playing”. He likes to set the scenario before I come over, and then I have to practice my acting chops and try to get into whatever the scene is. It started off fairly simple, with things like “lost neighbor”, “handyman” and “broke straight boy.” At times, I’ve wanted to laugh, but overall the scene is actually pretty titillating, so I try to stay in character as much as I can. Now, here’s where I need your help…

The other day he asked me if I could come over and pretend to be his little brother in front of a third guy he wanted to invite over. I asked why his “brother” and he said he wanted to pretend to be an older brother seducing a younger brother in order to turn the third guy on and fulfill his fantasy, but not tell the guy it was staged. Whoa. I feel like things just got weird and dark, and I’m not sure how I feel about this. I don’t want to seem like I’m a chicken if I say no and potentially end our hookups. There’s also a little part of me that isn’t turned off by this, and I don’t know if that says something really wrong about me. What should I tell him? Should I go through with this, and keep challenging myself to be sexually adventurous, even though I think it’s weird?

Lil’ Bro

Dear Lil’ Bro,

There’s definitely a market in gay culture for “brother fantasy”, as “weird” or even “wrong” as that might seem. Most gay adult film tubes even have a whole category devoted to that (although thankfully there does seem often be a delineation into “step-brother” territory, rather than a sibling hooking up with a direct member of the family blood line).

Sometimes the allure to something like this is how irreverent or “naughty” it is, which makes it feel dangerous and enticing. Others may simply have had a sibling fantasy as a child, perhaps lusting after a friend and their hot brother (sometimes even twins!), which has extended into adulthood. And some fantasies stem from something darker, often rooted in childhood trauma.

Regardless, it’s up to each person to decide what they want to engage in, and what turns them on, and if that’s something that is healthy for them, or simply an acting-out of unhealed childhood wounds.

Roleplay is a normal and healthy part of sexuality, and there’s no one-size-fits-all barometer on how moral something is (besides obviously following all laws around ages and consent). When it comes to requests for certain sexual practices, you want to pay attention to how it makes you feel inside to envision engaging in that behavior.

Do you feel shame, fear, and disgust? If so, that may be an indication this isn’t something you really want to do. On the other hand, there may be a part of you that feels excited, even if a little scared, and maybe there’s some titillation there that deserves to be explored.

In this case, it sounds like the “brother-play” is more for your bud than for you, so I would ask you to really examine if you’re agreeing to something because you want to push yourself and explore and expand, or if you’re doing it out of fear of losing the relationship. If it’s the latter, that’s giving away your agency out of a place of lack or fear, and not the healthiest motive. Turning down something you’re not comfortable with does not make you a “chicken”; it makes you brave.

If you do agree to try it, I would encourage you to do so from a sex-positive place without any shame, where you can be sure you don’t tell yourself you’re being “weird” or “dark”. A fantasy role-play is just fantasy.

If the line becomes blurry, and you feel uncomfortable or strange, it’s often a good idea to have a “safe word”, similar to BDSM play, where you both agree to stop immediately when things feel dicey.

I’d also recommend talking to your hook-up about the fantasy more before you answer the request. Finding out if his motive comes from something fun and playful verses something creepier may help you make up your mind. Whatever you decide, be true to yourself, bro’.

Ask Jake is our advice column, answered by Queerty columnist and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Jake Myers. If you have a question for Jake, please email [email protected] for consideration.


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