Yeah I have researched that article - thanks. But I was more curious to hear practical stories. How likely is it for sexual activity to occur in a LARP, and which kinds of events is it more likely to occur? WOW or Dunegons & Dragons, Vampire...?
This is for legitimate research purposes I assure you...
OK maybe it's because I'm American, but generally in my experience we just "Fade to Black" for the actual sex stuff. Light touching, backrubs, descriptive wording...all those are fine, but then it's "And then we had sex". Crossing IC interactions with OOC love is a dangerous road to walk, and many people have significant others that are not their IC love interests.
Of course people can go against this if both parties are willing, but then great care must be taken to make sure IC and OOC interactions are not blurred together...and that both parties understand it's just for fun and don't get emotionally invested. Real life feelings should never be wounded due to the actions in a game.
EDIT: Saw your post after I made mine. Generally, sexual activity doesn't occur as much DURING LARP, but it is not uncommon for people who meet at LARP to engage in sexual activity. Most LARPers are rather social people, and LARP seems to have more females than many other forms of gaming. I don't think the LARP itself leads to the sex though. There may be a correlation, but it's probably no more than you'd find among mixed groups of males and females engaging in any activity.
- the setting of the larp. Dragonbane was set in free love hippie commune village
- the interests of the players (and the person creating the characters) in romance or lust themes / plots.
I think people are generally prepared to go further if they is agreed 'system' in place - this includes both establish safe words and a clear convention of a simulated system. If you know IC sex involves an OC hand massage, you might be more likely to go down that route that if it's unclear.
I know some players (not in the uk) that do use actual sex to represent IC sex. I also know some nordic groups that use 'brutal dryhumping' as a phy rep for sexual contact.
Dragonbane used a simplified version of the Ars armandi method, with arm stroking. This worked particularly well because the tibetian style fashions in the village didn't include sleeves.
Personally if I expect to be playing out love/lust interest with a character, I'll discuss it with them beforehand OC so we each have an idea of what is acceptable. (e.g. hair stroking can be good way to demonstrate affection)
Some people find it easier to do romance in a IC culture with clearly defined notions of courtship (e.g. a victorian or arthurian setting); such setting also might IC sex less likely (unless you are setting the larp in a victorian brothel or suchlike I guess).
My character at the Maelstrom fest in the UK has been having an awful lot of sex lately, so I have encountered a wide range of examples of ways people physrep sex at Maelstrom (these are not distinct examples - people often use more than one of these techniques at once):
1) The ever popular 'sit around in a secluded area making hilarious lovemaking noises and trying not to laugh too much', with optional throwing into active play areas of outer layers of clothing
2) Tabletop-style - suspending the acting and describing what is going on instead
3) 'Ars Amandi' style body-part mapping (limited to the lower arm)
5) Sitting around chatting OOC for a while, then disarranging clothing and re-entering the game
6) Rolling around on the floor of the tent making appropriate noises while fully clothed and not actually touching any sexual areas (there was slightly more negotiation involved than usual for this scene, where by 'slightly more' I mean there was a brief 'Is everyone okay with this?' asked by one participant).
This being Britain people seem to be quite reluctant to actually talk directly about how they'd like to go about representing a sex scene, so all these things are 'negotiated' in a social kind of way, i.e. whoever's most confident starts attempting their favourite resolution style and people either go with it or pull back and start performing a different style of resolution, rather than anyone actually directly asking permission or explaining what they're trying to do.
As to what element of the game / setting inspires it - Maelstrom is a very social game (i.e. most of what you do during the game is social interaction of some kind) and people are encouraged to make their own stories, which often turn into soap opera / romance plots because they're easy to come up with and do between players without reference to the rules or external factors. And one of the deities encourages the pursuit of pleasure, which seems to mean people who want to have a lot of imaginary sex gravitate towards that faith to have it in.