Posted by: Jess Riley | September 5, 2008

Theme Week Romance: Erotic Roleplay

To cap off the theme week, it has been suggested that I make this post that I’ve been working on in my head for some time.

Now, it’s always been my experience that so-called “true roleplayers” and erotic roleplayers have been at odds on MMORPGs (and other places) for some time. This is something I can understand, even though I don’t think that it’s as black and white as all that.

My point essentially is that while I can understand that a lot of people (I’d even go so far as to say the vast majority of people) who frequent roleplay blogs like this one aren’t going to be all that interested in erotic roleplay, it’s my personal opinion that erotic roleplay isn’t all bad and, in fact, combined with other roleplay, can open up new facets of a character.

At this point I’d like to make a distinction; I don’t personally see the appeal of creating a character to do nothing but roleplay sexual things, but I’m sure some other people do. That’s fine, but you’re not the people I’m talking about here.

I have no problem with taking a character that was developed for what I’ll call ‘dedicated roleplay’ – a number of different plots throughout the game – and including some eroticism amongst all the other roleplay. This is something that I know a lot of people have a problem with, but I think that including eroticism (or, if you’re not comfortable actually roleplaying that given the TOS about adult content, or just because you don’t want to, discussing what kind of eroticism would be going on between the characters) in a romantic plot can benefit the story in some ways.

This isn’t at all to say that knowing what your character does in the bedroom is always essential. I don’t think it’s ever essential to know – but when I’m involved in a romance plot, I like knowing more or less where the involved characters are standing sexually. If there’s a love triangle, and one couple are doing it and the other couple aren’t, that could add an extra dimension to it. If a couple is married, and one of them is disgusted by intercouse (a plot I was involved with on another roleplaying game), that could add an extra dimension to their roleplay. A woman your character tried to seduce in the past could be fondly (or not so fondly, depending on how that went) recalled in discussion over a few drinks.

This is far from a lengthy post as I’m hardly inclined to talk about how it should be done, or even that everyone should do it. I just wanted to take this moment to point out that if you do roleplay romance, presumably they do something together when they go home at night, and there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to knowing that that is – and it can lead to some interesting roleplay outside of the bedroom, or character development in unexpected ways.

It’s also possible I’m just a pervert, which I’m sure wouldn’t surprise Sean at all.


  1. It’s hard not to roleplay without dealing with these kinds of elements anyway. People in general are naturally attracted to each other, not necessarily romantically, but in the sense that we need to be around others of our kind.

    Romantic involvement, especially sexual encounters, have a deeper facet that a lot of people don’t think about, and that is how people (or in this case, characters) interact with each other after the deed is done.

    Depending on the encounter and the circumstances, the interaction between the two could be devotion, discomfort, discomfort to the point where one has to leave the area where the other is… there’s a whole new realm of threads and twists with that sort of interaction.

    The key is playing what you’re comfortable with. If you or your partner are not willing to ‘go all the way’ at the keyboard (or are otherwise disturbed by the notion), then don’t. But don’t let a wasted opportunity to develop your character pass because of it.

  2. While a sexual encounter isn’t something I would be comfortable with roleplaying (simply too… I dunno, too much like cyber?) I’ve certainly given that aspect of my characters’ lives a lot of thought– it can be an important attribute to deal with. In fact it actually inspired me to give my main character a much deeper backstory than she’d already had, because I was thinking about it =P

  3. This topic was City of Heroes’ Internet Backdraft-invoker du jour when I played. Granted, that was a few months ago, but in my 15 months of playing, it was one of the few things that stayed the same. Memes may come and go, but elitist roleplayers are eternal.

  4. Rereading that comment for the fiftieth time, I only now realize that that last line came out completely wrong. I refuse to take sides on this issue.

  5. Erotic roleplaying was probably the first natural outcropping of all roleplaying in general. We’re all sexual beings so it was bound to happen. I remember even some of the first BBS I roleplayed at with PG-13 ratings. Erotica was outlawed so to speak, so it created this underground PM circulation of erotic RPs with users branching off to create their own adult RP-centered bulletin boards.

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