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Old 12-08-2005, 04:01 PM   #1
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Is it good, bad or meh in an online roleplaying environment? If you don't do it, why? How do you handle relationships of that kind? If you do it: How do you play it out without it seeming cheesy and awkward?

(NOTE: We're talking consensual sex between characters, not rape. Rape's for another thread! )
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:16 PM   #2
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I've been in a few situations like that--typically I just end it at them lip locking and sinking down onto the bed/floor/whatever, or some similar moment.

I don't think it's needed, and I think it's rather idiotic, to actually write out the sex part. Different strokes for different folks, but for me it's always been an irritation when people want to role play out the entire sex scene, and I always refuse to. If they want cyber smut, they can get it elsewhere.

For me, Role Playing is about developing the character. I feel that a sexual relationship between two characters is a -very- important character builder (depending on the char) but that writing out the actual sex doesn't advance any kind of development.
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:59 PM   #3
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Noone will be asassinating you in the middle of sex then, which your post indicates as "not a big deal"... after all it's idiotic to act out the sex scene..?

The point I'm trying to make is that acting out the sex scene is not idiotic, nor pointless, but in my opinion tasteless.

Does that make any sence?  
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:18 PM   #4
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I think it really depends on the situation and the characters involved, and the players' personal threshold for acceptance of that sort of detail.

Most of the time I would "fade to black," meaning, get some kissing and a bit of groping started but once it comes to the hay-rolling part I (or the other person) would send an OOC message saying we'll just assume it happened and skip to the zipping the pants back up part.

There were a couple of times when it seemed pretty important to act it out. One in particular, my character had been molested by her father as a child and was -completely- afraid of intimacy growing up and throughout her young adulthood. She finally met someone she felt comfortable with - who had also experienced intimacy issues. I wanted to see how things would progress. Would she get to "that moment" and freak out? Would she submit utterly and let her passion overcome her fear? Would it be something in the middle? I really wasn't sure where it would go, until I took it there. So - I did, with the consent of the other character's player (who also wanted to know if this "moment" would resolve his character's issues).

Mudsex, for its own sake - isn't a focus for me at all. I don't shy away from it, but it isn't why I roleplay. If the situation presents itself, and it doesn't look like it's gonna turn into some crazy 2-hour marathon, I probably wouldn't object to it. But again, it isn't the focus of my roleplaying, and there are usually more interesting things to do in roleplaying games.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:52 AM   #5
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For some time now, Aabahran has had a PG-13 rule in effect regarding this very subject. Aside from the argument of the tastelessness of the subject, we need to recognize the very real fact that some very young players enjoy our MUDs. So we've made that sort of behavior taboo. As someone else said, if that's your flavor, there are places that cater to that very thing, but it's not Aabahran. I have RPed those sorts of situations and usually did the fade to black of a PG movie or TV show, smooching and such and then a generic emote of makes passionate love to <blank>. Anything more than that would stepping too far over the line, in my opinion, as again, we must consider our younger players in addition to those who just don't wish to be involved in that sort of thing.

Also, it's EXTREMELY uncomfortable as an Immortal to walk in on that sort of thing unexpectedly. Personally, I feel it a bit on the goofy side, but to each their own, I guess. I only ask our players to respect the rule in an effort to keep the game focused on what it is about....good old killing and pillaging.
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Chayesh @ Dec. 09 2005,12:52)
For some time now, Aabahran has had a PG-13 rule in effect regarding this very subject... Personally, I feel it a bit on the goofy side, but to each their own, I guess. I only ask our players to respect the rule in an effort to keep the game focused on what it is about....good old killing and pillaging.
The question that's worth posing in response to that, it seems, is this:

What makes the act of consensual virtual sex between two characters in a private place any more unsavory than acts of virtual violence? If we're really trying to protect the young from things that might hurt their psyches, it's kind of hypocritical to encourage violence while dismissing sex as goofy and harmful, right?
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:12 PM   #7
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Most of the time, if it involves people that are not me? I'm apathetic to the matter. Private place, consenting adults... I have more important interests than who's having sex where.

As for myself, I'm not into it. I can do scenes that lead to sex, but I don't get into the whole idea of watching the 'mechanics' scroll along my screen. If I want that, I'm already on the internet.
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 09 2005,14:29)
What makes the act of consensual virtual sex between two characters in a private place any more unsavory than acts of virtual violence? If we're really trying to protect the young from things that might hurt their psyches, it's kind of hypocritical to encourage violence while dismissing sex as goofy and harmful, right?
Three words: Fundamentalist Christian A**holes. You know, the sort who -freak out- about sex generally but who are happy to engage in violence and murder on a massive scale. With leaders like these, can you blame the rest of the culture if it follows along?

--matt
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Dec. 09 2005,21:00)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 09 2005,14:29)
What makes the act of consensual virtual sex between two characters in a private place any more unsavory than acts of virtual violence? If we're really trying to protect the young from things that might hurt their psyches, it's kind of hypocritical to encourage violence while dismissing sex as goofy and harmful, right?
Three words: Fundamentalist Christian A**holes. You know, the sort who -freak out- about sex generally but who are happy to engage in violence and murder on a massive scale. With leaders like these, can you blame the rest of the culture if it follows along?

--matt
Agreed. Christian fundamentalism in this nation (and fundamentalism of any religion throughout the world) is a big reason for many of the problems faced by humanity and the reason that despite the progress of man technologically, we're still a child-race as a species. The hypocrisy that goes with Christian fundamentalism (it's horrible to have an abortion, but perfectly acceptable to blow up an abortion clinic or to nail a gay man to a fence or to kill thousands of Iraqis over wounded pride and oil) is probably the most disgusting aspect of American society.

And despite what Christian fundamentalists will say, "normal sexuality" is anything but in American culture and that's long been the case. It's just narrow-minded and ignorant denial that has led many to believe that what they consider "good" or "normal" is actually so.

That's not to say that sexuality shouldn't be handled in the context of the role-play, if appropriate. That is to say, if there are cultural taboos in place, they should be considered when role-playing. But as far as portraying sexuality in role-play, it's something that is up to the individuals concerned, but it's nothing that a PC should feel obligated to do or not to do based on someone else's belief regarding it.

Whatever floats your boat.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:16 PM   #10
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I think the main thing everyone is forgetting is that, while some of you all find it okay between consenting adults to RP sex, the majority of the players in your playerbase may not be adults. As an IMP, I and our staff have a responsibility to the entire playerbase to provide a game that caters to as many people as possible. Sex is a road, in my opinion, that doesn't need to be traveled down.

And BTW, again the text medium stole my sarcasm. For a while, that has been always the argument raised by those who do want RP sex is that it is hypocrisy to outlaw that but then have a game full of violence and mayhem and killing. The thing is this: First, if you advertise as a MUD that is R-rated or allows sex, fine. Just let people know what they are in for when they play there. We advertise as a medieval fantasy, player-killing MUD. People know what they are getting. Second, no state that I'm aware of has special laws protecting children from being exposed to violence (outside of actual criminal acts against them). It is, however, often the case that laws exist to protect children from online sexual predators. Another good reason to not have explicit sex on your MUD. Third, as I mentioned earlier, lots of the players are NOT adults. Only adults can consent legally to sex. Fourth, you invite behavior that can drag your MUD down, i.e. harassment, vulgarity, and other things that make playing your MUD unpleasant for the person on the receiving end of these unwanted advances.

Again, my responsibility in my position is to the entire playerbase; to provide fair gaming and fun for all of them. The sex stuff doesn't need to be there.
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:34 PM   #11
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I've written columns for Top MUD Sites in the past, and one of them dealt with sex. I've described virtual sex as "a waste of bandwidth" and I've talked about the issues of young people doing this. While I agree that online predators are a threat and that we shouldn't condone that, I think we also need to remember that there's a significant difference between roleplayed activities between characters and an adult finding some way to lure a child into a compromising situation IRL. Is it really that likely to happen, via a MUD?

Can we really hope to police all kinds of behavior? If they don't do it on your game, they can do it on IRC or AIM or MSN Messenger or via email.

In any event: This thread really isn't meant to be a discussion of how MUD administrators police sex. It's meant to be a discussion of whether players just fade to black or if they play it out. For purposes of this discussion, we'll assume the people behind the characters are adult and consenting.

So, putting the thread back on the rails: If you don't do it, why? If you do, what's the value in it and how do you do it without making it seem "goofy?"
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:57 AM   #12
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Good RolePlaying is after all about wordplay. For some people, many people really, sexual content is enjoyable. As far as keeping it from being goofy, well it is no more silly than 'thee' and 'thou' or any other suspension-of-disbelief aspect of the games.

I met my wife playing Muds, and then we created one together. Mudsex was certainly a part of our romance for a while.

The idea of public conduct, and private, spaces on the game is generally a good idea. Both Immortals and Players should respect the private spaces in a realistic way. Really, with Language, Violence, Intense emotional scenes, Scary Images, and the rest that makes up a good Mud, they are never really going to be less than R rated anyway.

Anyone under the general age of consent should not be playing without parental permission. Being that these games are on the Internet, the best you can do is state that up front in big bold letters.



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Old 12-12-2005, 02:19 AM   #13
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The debate about having violence and mayhem on muds and not allowing sex on muds can be answered another way.  Children often engage in fighting amongst themselves (hopefull not killing each other), and frequently play cowboys and indians or cops and robbers.  This is a form of violent play early in a child's life.  But unless your child is playing "doctor", sexual play is strongly discouraged. You can explain why killing and slaughtering is inappropriate out of game context, but introducing children to sex online is not appropriate and should be restricted to protect young players.
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Old 12-12-2005, 10:58 AM   #14
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Sex inside the game has been a topic of converstation for me of late because my new game project is going to include babies. Players can breed with other players or with NPCs.

Thread from my Forum about 'Breeding'

I am sorry for the people I am about to offend, but I find real violence to be FAR more objectionable than sex. And since we are talking about 'text' here I feel quite comfy with my voluntary underage flag. I use every manipulative trick I know to get people to tell the truth when the Mud asks 'Are you over the age of consent in your home Country?'. Lying about this can get you removed from the game, and sooner or later anybody, especially a kid, is gonna get found out.

If you lie, somewhere a clock starts ticking. When it dings, your time on the game may very well be over, f o r e v e r.


I think a certain level of reality is needed in the relationship between the players for it to be much fun. But game sex can of course become obsessive very easily, so it has to be part of a pretty intense game setting. And really, of all the other creative arts, music, literature, paintings, and on an on, what topic tops Sex except Love?

Private spaces, with locking doors, and snoop-shields, are really good ideas if you allow this sort of play. Public spaces should remain PG to allow everyone free run of the game. Knowing you are blocked from every form of remote viewing available to anyone, Saff (except Admin), and all other players is really necessary. On a game that is based on Role Playing the GameMasters have to watch you quite a bit. Being able to 'turn off the lights' has to have some extra game functions attached to make things work properly.



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Old 12-12-2005, 12:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Chayesh @ Dec. 10 2005,13:16)
It is, however, often the case that laws exist to protect children from online sexual predators. Another good reason to not have explicit sex on your MUD. Third, as I mentioned earlier, lots of the players are NOT adults. Only adults can consent legally to sex.
It is indeed true that only adults can consent legally to sex, but that doesn't strike me as relevant to MUDs, since there is no sex going on in MUDs. There are only people typing commands that provide (sometimes very fertile) material for sexual fantasy.

--mat
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:37 PM   #16
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1) I'm no lawyer, but I doubt there is anything illegal with having virtual sex with virtual beings in a virtual environment.

2) I don't think you can say "assume everyone is an adult" because generally speaking, you have no idea how old the other party is. This is my personal objection to online "text sex", but I see it more as creepy/manipulative and not illegal.

3) Our own rules don't discuss sex, and instead deal exclusively with sexual harassment-- when you persist despite one party clearly demonstrating a lack of consent. I doubt this is illegal, but it's not a good thing to permit if you want people to play your game, and that's reason enough to forbid it.

4) Our game is also roleplay-mandatory, which has two important consequences:

- We can and do observe mortal interaction as we see fit, since one of the rules of the game is that all interaction is In Character. The playerbase is generally positive about this, given that we have a number of reward mechanisms which are most often visited on people who don't know they are being observed and evaluated. The assumed lack of potential privacy means people will seek other venues to pursue explicit encounters, which we're fine with.

- This also precludes the type of activities which might involve law enforcement-- soliciting minors for RL encounters, exchanges of personal information, etc., since that's all out of character. If we see it, we already have grounds to remove or suspend the character, and if the intent is clearly shady/creepy, we're more likely to throw the book at the person in question. (Typically, a character who slips OOC would get a reminder not to do it, at least initially. But there's latitude depending on what the player is trying to accomplish via the rules breach.)
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Dec. 12 2005,14:37)
2) I don't think you can say "assume everyone is an adult" because generally speaking, you have no idea how old the other party is. This is my personal objection to online "text sex", but I see it more as creepy/manipulative and not illegal.
[/quote]
Don't take me out of context, please. I said we should assume, for purposes of this discussion, that the parties involved are adults. If I must be even clearer to keep this from its constant derailment into Sex-is-BAD! anvil-droppings, I'll say it even clearer:

We're assuming you're an adult and the person you're playing with is an adult and you've confirmed they're an adult, there are no doubts, there are no chances you or they are going to be arrested for child molestation.

Now, back to the actual question: How do you handle virtual sex with your character? Play it out or fade to black? If you play it out, how do you make it worthwhile? What value do you see in the activity?

Please refrain from further responses that basically say "I don't allow sex on my MUD" or "I spy on people on my MUD to make sure they're not having sex." This isn't a thread about administrating sex or morality. It's about how players handle sex. This can include NOT EVEN DOING IT ON THE MUD , but instead using AIM, MSN or other venues to avoid the prying eyes of administrators. The point of the question remains: What's useful about this form of roleplaying to those who do it?
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Old 12-12-2005, 10:45 PM   #18
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I feel that offering a PG environment is the best course of action. Text-based sex is something that shouldn't be allowed, just because its too likely to offend someone, especially children, maybe people with religious beliefs against, etc. etc. You can skip over the actual scenes from happening, but then again... I come from a background of playing more hack n' slash type players, not ones gettin the ladies .
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Enzo @ Dec. 12 2005,23:45)
I feel that offering a PG environment is the best course of action. Text-based sex is something that shouldn't be allowed, just because its too likely to offend someone, especially children, maybe people with religious beliefs against, etc. etc. You can skip over the actual scenes from happening, but then again... I come from a background of playing more hack n' slash type players, not ones gettin the ladies .
I reiterate: Just answer with how you, personally, as a player handle it. I'm not interested in whether you think a MUD should be PG-rated or R-rated or NC-17-rated.

If virtual sex isn't your thing, type something like:

"I just fade to black."

or

"It's just not my thing."

You may, of course, feel free to elaborate on your reasons for feeling this way, but steer clear of discussing general MUD policies.

This isn't a thread about what MUD policies on sex should be. It's a thread about how players handle virtual sex. Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:54 AM   #20
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Hm.... actually I would go for a PG-like sex interaction unless the actual roleplay requires it. Though I once found myself in a situation like that, and I must say that said MUD was not fully RP, so I wasn't sure what to do.

So basically my idea is, if you're comfortable on going all the way, do it, if not, there is always...

/emote makes love to (player).
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