Kissing in LARPs?

SJE

Bibliomancer
Validated User
#1
I suspect this may be a cultural thing, but have you ever kissed someone on the mouth in a LARP whom you would not kiss outside the LARP?

Generally I've played chamber LARPs that dont have much touching other than hand shakes or the occasional hugs. But some of the Nordic games I've been to in Denmark (and recently one in the UK too) had a much more physical approach (along with consent workshops and safewords to stop play) in which kissing to express romance or love is much more accepted. And it does work for creating a sense of intimacy and demonstrating visibly that your characters are together.

So, ever kissed like you were in love at a LARP or is it a big no-no that would be outside your expectations of a standard social contract?
 

0Megabyte

Stardust Princeling
Validated User
#2
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

Not a LARP, but doing film, I've kissed people I wasn't attracted to. No biggie for me, but it's film. When making my short films, I'd never, however, make someone kiss if they weren't comfortable, and if it was in the script, I'd let them know it was there, and ask long before shooting the scene in question, to get permission.
 

Tonbo_Karasu

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

Again, not in LARP, but on stage for a show. And, given how close a couple of my characters have got with others, I suspect the answer is that I never will.
 

Simon Marks

hot DAMN!
Validated User
#4
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

I've seen a lot of ways to deal with this, but the current "in vogue" way to handle it is to have workshops before the game to deal with people expectations and work it out collaboratively.

Other ways I've seen it done is to do a "symbol" of the action, my favorite was a card game called "congress" which if you caught people playing you... can guess. Other ways to symbolise kissing I've seen is placing your chin on each other shoulders or palm to palm touching at about head height an foreheads pressed together.

If all people are comfortable with it, then its fine. If not, then it's not.

Related comment, at the Convocation of Thorns (a vampire freeform) there was a workshop about biting as it was a thing in the game. One of the UK participants thought that the workshop was about how to replicate it while everyone felt comfortable.
The EU players wanted to know how hard a bite was acceptable, enough to leave marks or enough to draw blood. That was an eye-opener for them (and me!)
 

Gussick

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

Wow, that seems like a massive liability problem. I mean, LARP isn't exactly known for a commitment to any kind of realism. At least the ones I've seen. Maybe the ones in the EU/Eastern Europe are different. But if you're using boffers on the one hand and insisting on actual lip contact on the other--yow that's not good guys. Lawyers would rip you up for that.
 

Critias

Social Justice Galliard
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#6
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

I think the whole issue speaks volumes about America's and Europe's different thoughts where sexuality vs. violence is concerned, though.
 

Cain

New member
Banned
#7
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

The key element, of course, is consent. If you're not comfortable with it, nobody should even try to do it to you. Yes, kissing is somewhat differently received in Europe, and some places kissing each cheek is a customary greeting. But, if you've got a problem with it, tell them and they should respect it.

That said, I have done stage kissing in LARPs, but always with a partner who not only consented but was happy to play along. We didn't actually make lip contact, I had my hand discreetly placed between us, and that's all my lips touched.

But the bottom line is: get consent. Others need to get consent from you, or it's all kinds of wrong.
 

SJE

Bibliomancer
Validated User
#8
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

It wasn’t a consent issue- both games had safeword mechanics and the Hamlet one had a workshop on negotiating and escalating touch- rather it was the novelty of the situation- I’ve played many UK chamber LARPS over the decades and intimacy usually isn’t more physically represented than hand holding or hugs. Locking lips as you would with a spouse or lover seems unusual in my experience of the social contract of LARP’s which is why I asked the question at the top to better calibrate my expectations. So far very few others say they have done so in the cases of LARP’s but it’s much more expected in theatrical productions.
 

Vorpeseda

Somehow still alive
Validated User
#9
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

As a UK LARPer, I have never kissed anyone in a LARP, and if I were to, it would only be the few people I'd kiss normally.

Acts of physical violence in LARP have clear boundaries that aren't supposed to be crossed. The use of foam swords, cap guns, nerf, or spell vocals provide ways to replicate the act of violence in game, without actually doing anything of the sort to the other person.

Intimacy however, doesn't usually have that kind of seperation. There are systems that do have rules for things like that, such as a backrub to physrep sex, but none of the systems I've played in have had that. There isn't really anything that is simply intuitive as an alternative, and all the suggestions I've seen fundamentally feature different physical actions. Unlike combat, where swinging a metal sword is represented by swinging a foam sword, there isn't really anything to stick in the middle of intimacy to make it less real. Clothed humping would still be too intimate for me.

Another issue is that plots generally aren't written to involve intimacy due to not being able to control who turns up. If you've got a specific monster crew you know you can write for, then you can write plots that work for that crew, such as writing love triangles. If plots are supposed to influenced by players getting into intimate situations, you might end up in a situation where certain genders and sexualities don't get catered for due to not having the people present that certain players might be interested in. On the other hand, something like defeating the bandit king doesn't suddenly stop being something you can do if you're the wrong gender or sexuality.

The other issue is that my experiences of UK LARP are such that I frankly do not trust most LARPers with the subject of intimacy. Far too often I've seen players joke about sexual violence or make ingame threats, even if it's specifically against the rules. Some people have come to expect to be casually able to threaten women that one person has on multiple occasions screamed OOC threats at me because me and my friends didn't respond to IC threats in the way he wanted. The UK scene, at least from my experience, needs some serious changes to it's culture before intimacy is something that can be safely explored.
 

SJE

Bibliomancer
Validated User
#10
Re: Kissing in LARP's?

If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that there is no such thing as a single UK LARP scene- we are all siloed away in our own types of game- be it boffers, Freeformers, Taggers, Empire, Nordics, WoDers and the ever smaller local groups.

One of the games which did have kissing was in the UK for example.
 
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