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Sexuality in roleplay and roleplaying games

I'm starting this thread because, well... the other thread has devolved into a useless flamewar over a subject that doesn't need to be repeated.

The question originally is what place sexuality has in an RPG enviornment.

Myself, I think that it can have a rather large place. Sometimes maturely, sometimes immaturely.

I guess it can be odd if you play mostly a table top with friends you don't feel comfortable being 'sexual' around. Most of my experience roleplaying expierience, though, has been in Larp. I also have a fair amount of expierience in chat rpgs. In both, sexuality actually comes up quite often.

In New Bremen, in fact, it came up so often that there was a joke generator based around it, kind of like the 'they fight crime' joke generator. It went kind of like:

"He's a angsty Silver Fang Lupus Ahroun of a fallen line. She's a contemplative Devil Tiger with a secret mission from the Ancients. Together, they Cyber!"

More seriously, though, I guess I'm confidant enought in my own sexuality to admit that I've participated in explicit sexual scenes in online roleplay. Some of them were 'erotic.' Some of them were more disturbing than anything else (which was the point, because certain types of sexual predation are just freakin' creepy, and it was a horror game). If you ask me, it definitely has a place.

In fact, I've seen it turn into serious real-life romance. I know a few couples that met that way online, and I don't think it will be going away any time soon.

On the flip side, in Larp it can be rather common to see couples play characters who are 'involved.' I know in my first Vampire Larp there was a couple who played a Sire/Childer pair, and they had this wierd Dominant/submissive thing that was amplified by the blood bond and fairly signifigant in the game because of it's consequences in roleplay. I've played a few characters romantically linked with the characters of my SO, and roleplayed some pretty intimate stuff-- not in the 'We're fucking in the living room' kind of way, but in the strongly suggestive PDA kind of way.

Oddly enough, I wouldn't say that Vampire is the most 'sexual' game of the oWoD. Changeling wasn't either, though it could be (Super-attractive Sidhe (app 7, yikes) or Satyrs, etc.) and all.

Werewolf turned out to be the game where sexaul encounters were most encountered. W:tA placed this thing on breeding true, and kinfolk and all that, and made this taboo out of werewolves sleeping with werewolves. Which in an out of character way kind of encouraged it-- people who never would have given a rat's ass about thier characters sleeping with other PC's would design characters around breaking the "Garou shall not mate with Garou" rule. In Larp networks and chat networks, the Children of Gaia tribe is frequently referred to as 'bunnies,' partially because thier Tribebook takes so much time to explain just how accepting they are of certain sexual practices (even the Garou on Garou mating thing). There was also the 'Primal Urge' use of Rage to seduce a normal human into sex just by 'Flexin' your rage thingy. People used to accuse Kinfolk players in New Bremen of essentially playing thier characters as an opportunity to solicit cyber-sex.

And of course, there's always been slews or rumor mongering and finger pointing over who's getting what in-game favors from the ST's because they're sleeping/cybering with the ST's. This was espeacially rampant in New Bremen (I think in the two years that I played there, I had heard at least two stories about each of the senior ST management staff of New Bremen giving a favor to so and so because so and so was a slut and was sleeping with them).

I know in one case my SO actually /was/ solicited for cybersex by an ST of another chat in a matter that was really kind of sleezy. Which was funny because our computers were in the same room, and she brought me over to have a look at it, to help her figure out what to do. We took a screen shot and turned it over to the ST staff, which was I believe part of the begining of the end for that particular ST. Other people came forward with similar claims.

Another thing I can tell you, as someone who is a member of both scenes: a surprising number of people in the BDSM game turn out to be into roleplaying games of the RPG.net sort. I have been invited a couple times to participate in some roleplaying games centered around erotic plots. I think there's a V:tM game that still runs over on the chats at Bondage.com.

So, from my own personal experience, sex does come up in Roleplay all the time. Not always intentionally, but it has it's place, and much like sex everywhere, can be of quality presentation, or of very low grade presentation. It's just a matter of how comfortable you are about talking about sex in general that generally determines how involved you want to get (which can be greatly affected by how horny you are).

Black_Flame said:
The question originally is what place sexuality has in an RPG enviornment.

As much as or little as you're comfortable with.

Seriously, I've seen a million of these threads over the last couple of years as a definite lurker, and that's the only honest answer you'll get. Some groups are comfortable with in your face sexuality, describing the cut and thrust of their characters' love lives and expecting you to be the same with NPCs. Others prefer to leave sex and any form of sexuality in downtime. There's a phenomenal variety of people who play RPGs despite the omnigeek stereotype and all anyone can do is discuss outside the game what's acceptable and then play on that basis.

If that means a straight girl playing a furry love affair alongside a lesbian, or a heterosexuals-only club, or a bizarre in character 3-way sado masochistic blood bond then so be it... as long as that's what the individual players and GM involved are happy to play.


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theonephil said:
As much as or little as you're comfortable with.
Only one post in and we have a definative answer!

I'm not especially comfortable with it myself. As a GM I'm less comfortable with providing the situations than I am with taking part in them as a player. But I can see arguments for sex being a fairly important part of a large number of genres (and playing no part in a large number of other genres).

Sure, it's kind of wierd that I like to do things in games I'd never do in real life (violence, theft etc) and don't like to do things in games I do regularly in real life (sex) but if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense.

The only other issue really is the difference between the public and the private. Violence is, with a few exceptions, a public activity. Somethign you do with strangers at a random time, for example, with others watching or participating. Sex is usually private, without an audience, and usually only with two people. That helps explain why violence in a game situation seems natural and sex doesn't. To me at least. But YMMV.
theonephil said:
As much as or little as you're comfortable with.

I'd only add that before introduced into a game you should be sensitive to how your players will react and in some games things are more OK than in others.
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