I Want To Make Believe

I have always had a strong imagination, playing out little dramas with imaginary friends and the occasional willing neighbor in my early childhood. Growing up, I felt I was given a conflicting message through children’s books and television, teachers and other mentors encouraging imaginative play and make-believe while I found my family’s attitude toward my active imagination discouraging, saying playing pretend games in your spare time was “for babies” and as I grew older, “for crazies”. Eventually, I stopped playing openly to avoid my older siblings mocking and my parents reprimand. Instead,  I would sometimes pretend to take long baths or showers so I could silently act out scenes that had been swirling in my head, a locked door between my rich inner world and shaming from family for acting a “fool”. Yes, I was a closeted middle school mime.
In high school, I met a fellow student with a similar passion for high fantasy and horror and we developed freeform role-playing scenarios between classes and after school, writing settings for one another and rarely breaking from our roles when we met up. Our friendship eventually dissolved when we had trouble resolving disputes over the narrative but I still remember our games fondly.
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*Ding* *Ding*

As a dominatrix, I met others who had similar experiences with expressing their budding imaginations and found role playing in adult life a liberating experience after being stifled by other’s expectations, be it through tabletop games, Live Action Role Playing, with a Mistress in a dungeon or all of the above. Some would still carry shame, feeling childish or foolish bringing up their fantasies, while others would dive into a role with remarkable enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to watch a new roleplayer come out of their shell, engage again with a part of themselves they cherished.

 

Some of the most dedicated role players I came to know through my years running a dungeon didn’t stop pretending when they grew up. Our imaginations have always kept us and our playmates entertained from schoolyard games to adulthood, where our fantasies and inner desires took us to the bedroom and into dungeons to act out the dramas we daydreamed. Now we play together in dungeons, at play parties, in our bedrooms, and at conventions. Some have quite a flair for the dramatic, enjoying costumes, elaborate settings and audiences. 

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Luna, 2012

Being able to get into a story or scene we imagine with someone else can be just as much fun as getting lost in a book. Having a place where it’s okay to keep pretending, where your fantasies are not dismissed as immature or strange has been an important part of many role players adventures in entertaining themselves and others with the stories they dream of. Having created a place of emotional safety to explore oneself I want to share my knowledge and experience so others can create their own in the future.

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