Sex and RPG’s

I have not watched the video conversation that has been doing the rounds on Google+ addressing the issue of sex and RPG’s.  I am not sure if it is a tongue in cheek or serious look at the subject, but what I have been looking at is the reactions of people to this video.  The comments that inevitably come out under the image of the video that someone has shared.  I do intend on watching it, it is just that I have not found the time to look at it.  So what this blog about is my view on sex and where it sits in RPG’s.

Without it, how do we get new births?  My Nan and Pop
(RIP) with grandchildren

Every response I have seen on this subject inevitably ends up negative.  Why have it in the game?  I am not 15 so why do I need sex in my game?  A lot of us have had bad experiences in games where sex has been involved when we were gaming as teenagers.  Male hormones are at an all time high (I can’t comment girls as I never gamed with females in my teens) and one thing that is ever present in a teenage boys mind is sex.  Combine that with the fact that we (as gamers) were perhaps not as attractive a choice of partner at that age meant that we were inexperienced and therefore sometimes the games would veer into exploring sex.  Or what we thought of sex at the time.  This generally got a laugh (to ease the uncomfortableness) and eventually became ingrained as an awkward experience that many would never wish to see repeated.

So these feelings seem to come up when people see this in their feeds.  Why would we want to go there?  Seen it, done it, didn’t like it type attitudes.  I also have an American friend who quite openly said to me “I don’t do sex in games!”  It makes him uncomfortable and I can respect this.  I will keep this in mind when I play at his table or he at mine.  But I am here to support the counter argument.  I think there should be sex in games.  I think there should be the ability to pursue romantic engagements in game and have that progress to whatever level it progresses to.

Now, hopefully before you close the blog and swear off ever coming again because of the dirty Aussie said he supports this despicable practice, I want to clarify what I mean.  I do not support the roleplaying of actual intercourse in the game.  I mean that the character should have the ability to say they take it further and for this to occur if there is reason.  I am not going to ask for the sounds or positions to be played out in any way shape or form.  That is the arena of an immature gamer or the realm of actual partners in real life.

This aspect of real life offers as much drama to a story as fighting a dragon.  Imagine your barbarian is visited by a dream creature one night and she falls deeply in love with his wiles, wit and world view.  Spending one night in passionate embrace your barbarian travels on only to find herself captured by fey creatures to perform a service for the fey queen.  Sitting to the side of the fey queen as she tells you what she wants as service from you is the King, the same man that you had spent that passionate night with.

I would love to know the trials and tribulations that my
Nan and Pop’s marriage went through.  It is relationships
that largely form us and offer us our greatest challenges
so why restrict the roleplaying of this?

See how the above example provides drama, contains sex, but is done tastefully?  It can, and should, be handled in a mature manner.  The moment someone crosses the line into making fun of it you have lost control of its use and the player or participant needs to be reminded that it is a mature story with mature themes.  It may be that the player is uncomfortable with this in game and it should not be reprimanded, but do say in your game (if you are going to) this may happen and you hope that all players can handle this in a mature manner.

If you are a GM be up front that this content may be included in your game.  For any game that I believe may move in that direction I will call mature content on it.  I did not imagine that our regular Reign of Winter game would contain mature content but it has and I am trying to play off the relationship that has formed between +Matt Guyder‘s Jack Churches and the NPC Nadya Petska.  Initially they fell swiftly in love but Nadya is finding differences between her world view and his own, which means there is tension and drama.  An automatic subplot that is impacting on other players in the group and providing a nice secondary story line.

In fact, in the Ultimate Campaign  sourcebook there is suggestion that relationships of this style should be included with several background options heavily steeped in romance and its effects.  Sex and relationships are a part of many peoples lives so why should we ignore this?  Why should we ignore a drive that is present in all of us.  It makes us feel a little uncomfortable, but if handled in a mature and consistent fashion it can only add to the game and its depth of immersion.

Let me know what you think.  I am sorry if I offend in this post but that is not what I want to achieve I just want to suggest that there is more to this concept.  This particular issue seems to generate a lot of knee jerk (instinctual) reactions that are ingrained into us.  Leave me your ideas in the comments and until next time, keep rolling!

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