31 May 2009

Adult Gaming

Greetings! This week, I felt it might be a good idea to discuss sex in gaming. Some of you may wonder why sex needs to be included in your games. Well, strictly speaking, it doesn't need to be included. But why not? The point of gaming is to have fun, right? And sex is fun, right? So why not combine the two?

Ok, I'll admit it. Probably the only players that will want to include sex in their games will be method actors and storytellers. Butt-kickers don't like the idea of their cathartic violence being interrupted for non-violent activities, like sex. Power gamers aren't interested in sex in their games because it does nothing to contribute to their character's power level. Tacticians aren't interested in sex because it has nothing to do with their quest to out-think their enemies. Specialists could go either way, depending on what sort of character they've chosen as their specialty; ninjas aren't known as great lovers, but some other types may (I've known a couple people who really enjoy playing were-cats in the White Wolf shapechanger game, and the were-cats are supposedly extremely sensual creatures).
But even so, sex does sometimes show up in games anyway. Sadly, it usually takes the form satirised by the Dead Alewives in their "Dungeons and Dragons" skit (on the off chance you haven't heard it before, it's been set to video here); "If there's any girls there I wanna do them!" Or, if you've seen The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising (and if you haven't, I recommend that you do; it's very good; the original is also worth watching), you'll remember the moment when one of the male characters decides to play a female, and (s)he and one of the male characters duck out of view to have sex while being given their mission by the king.

I think that sex can be more maturely and intelligently handled. Obviously, it's not necessary to go into details of what's going on, but perhaps, rather than saying, "I seduce the barmaid," you could actually roleplay the experience. I've done this a few times in the past; the most memorable time was when I was in a Vampire game in which we were playing a Sabbat pack called the Crimson Menagerie. My character, a Toreador antitribbu torture artist, had a sexual encounter with his sire, who was also a torture artist. The... foreplay... was interesting. But it was handled intelligently and maturely, and nobody was bothered.

Obviously, this is all dependent on having a group that is capable of handling the topic. Sadly, some people are distinctly uncomfortable with sexual issues. I won't go into my opinions of that state of affairs, but it should go without saying that if your players are disturbed with sex, then it should not be included in your game. Remember, the point of gaming is to have fun, not spend an evening fidgeting in your chair. And even if your group is capable of handling the issue well, there are still certain aspects of sex that may always be taboo (rape comes to mind).

That being said, there are a number of supplements out there that offer insight and advice into roleplaying sex. I have Naughty and Dice, and I enjoyed it (though a lot of the information in there is somewhat common sense, it was still interesting to read, and there was also a lot of new information in there, as well as some stuff for use in the d20 system). There's a netbook version of GURPS Sex that is a bit sparse and was designed for the old Third Edition, but provides specific mechanics for many sex-related issues in GURPS terms. And D&D has the Book of Erotic Fantasy that is a thorough look at sex in the D20 system. I'm sure there are more books out there of which I am unaware.

Anyway, if your group is up for it, perhaps injecting a little physical intimacy into your group can enhance the fun. Just remember not to enervate the enjoyment your players would be getting. And with that, I bid you a fond 

Game on!

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