The 20 Best Sex Games for Couples in 2023

Who said game nights need to be wholesome?

collage of dice with vintage photo of women holding signs that say "I won" and "I lost"
(Image credit: Brittany Holloway-Brown)

There's a common misconception that spicy activities like kink toys, sex toys, and sex games are only for couples whose routines have gotten stale, but this couldn't be further from the truth. "Playfulness is essential to passion, connection and pleasure," says sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Jess O’Reilly. "Couples who are playful are often more connected, passionate, and sexually active." 

Dr. O'Reilly goes on to point out some of the benefits of the best sex games, including "learning more about one another’s desires, boundaries, fears and fantasies; seeing one another in a new light and make new discoveries; creating tension and excitement to fuel passion; exploring new fantasies, scenarios, positions and sexual exploits; [and] laughing and enjoying one another’s company."

Ahead, we've spoken to sex experts and educators about the importance of sex games, how to incorporate them into your sex life in a safe and fun way, and, of course, about which sex games should be added to your shopping cart ASAP.

Establishing Boundaries Within Sex Games

Sex games often involve prompts that call for one or both partners to divulge certain thoughts or preferences, or to engage in certain sex acts. Given these circumstances and the desire to keep the atmosphere light-hearted, it's easy to feel pressured into doing something one doesn't want to do. Dr. O'Reilly reminds us, however, to "always have a PASS card on hand. If the game doesn’t provide one, you can make one. Take it out at the beginning and leave it on the table knowing that you can use it—without judgment—anytime."

If a literal card isn't your style, Marla Renee Stewart, MA, a sexologist and sexpert for Lovers, suggests saying something like, "I don't think I'm ready for that today, but let me think about it and if we play again next month, I'll be more ready to possibly take it on. Now choose something that I'm ready for..." Angie Rowntree, founder and director of ethical porn site,  adds, "In a scenario where you are playing a game together, you need only say something like 'Let’s pick another card' or 'Let me spin again.' If your partner asks you why, there’s nothing wrong with saying 'I’m just not comfortable going there but let’s keep playing.'"

And if your partner is being a bad sport? Rowntree doubles down, saying, "Don’t ever feel bad about sharing your boundaries and hard limits, because consent is key in any sexual exchange." Your partner(s) should be invested in ensuring your pleasure and comfort, and Dr. O'Reilly says that if your partner continues to coerce, guilt, or otherwise gaslight you into doing something you don't want to do, "consider focusing on the relationship itself—on your own or with a therapist who can help you to address the ways in which you communicate and support one another." 

Sex Games for Casual Partners

Sex games can be an excellent way of getting to know a new partner, or of capitalizing on the levity that often comes with casual and short-term relationships. "For couples who might not be familiar with each other’s preferences, games that get you asking questions are great," agrees Rowntree. "If nothing else, you get some laughs together—but really, games are a great way to learn new things about each other and explore new territory free from the inhibitions that might have prevented you from asking them to 'go there' or 'do that.'"

Below, check out some of our favorite sex games to pull out the next time you call up your casual boo. 

Sex Games for Serious Couples

Sex educator Tara Jones tells us that she always recommends sex games for long-term couples as a way of reigniting or keeping alive a sense of passion. 

"There are two types of sexual desire," she explains, "spontaneous desire during which you become horny and then decide to act upon it or not, or responsive desire where arousal is felt after the sexual interaction has begun. For example, an instance where you weren’t horny before kissing but now that you and your partner are making out, you’re in the mood. In long term relationships, responsive desire becomes more and more common, and without random bouts of horniness, there needs to be more of an effort to remember to initiate sex at all. Proposing playing a sex game is a thoughtful way of letting your partner know you’re still interested in them sexually, even if you don’t randomly jump their bones."

Stewart agrees, referencing three primary benefits for couples engaging in sex games: "They help you to spend quality time together and get to know each other in a different way;" they release hormones that help you "chemically and emotionally bond with your lover'" and those increased bonds "facilitate you into being more physical with your lover."

Adventurous Sex Games

If you're interested in trying something new, like kink, group sex, certain sex toys, or role-play, it might be nerve-wracking to come up with a new sexual repertoire all on your own. Games, therefore, are a great way to start to gain inspiration and try new things with your partner. 

Games are also excellent if you know you want to get raunchier, but aren't sure how. "Sex games present a chance to do or experience things that you or your partner might not have even thought of, or considered otherwise," says Rowntree.

Below, some of the best games for the sexually adventurous.

Foreplay Games

Foreplay is somewhat game-like in and of itself, being that it's characterized by teasing, but it can often be rushed or passed over. For that reason, Jones finds sex games to be a great way of prolonging anticipation.

"Foreplay is all about delayed satisfaction, and that anticipation can be so sexy when you view it as a crucial ingredient in the sexual interaction instead of something to be rushed through," she says. "Anticipation lives in the excitement phase of the sexual response cycle, the first stage preceding orgasm. It’s the key to breaking out of a routine, which in the context of sex tends to be all about getting to the goal (or climax) as fast as possible. Instead, we want to slow it down, and savor each moment. Games can be a great way to do that!"

Sex Games for Getting Down to Business

Foreplay is fantastic, but there comes a point when it's time for the main event. And if you're looking to turn that into a game that you'll remember for ages to come, try a game like the ones below.

For more, visit our Sexual Wellness section, where we unpack topics around consent, kink, sex toys, and more so you can have your safest and very best sexperiences yet.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at