((The RP XP with MJ))
It’s time again for YOUR ROLEPLAY QUESTIONS! And to celebrate the 50th Edition of The RP XP with MJ, we’re going to turn up the heat and have a Q&A that’s hot and sexy, because this Q&A is all about Erotic RolePlay (ERP).
I recently got a batch of ERP questions and decided to add them to a couple others I’ve had on the back burner, so turn down the lights, get comfortable, put on some Barry White (or keep it canon with something smooth by Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes) and let’s get started…
DISCLAIMER: ERP is for mature audiences RPers. Consequently, some of my discussion here may be frank and suggestive (though I’ll try to tone it down as much as possible). Before engaging in ERP, be sure that you have 1) Established your intentions OOCly, 2) Agreed to the level your ERP will take with your RP partner, 3) Established that your RP partner is an adult. For more on ERP (the do- and do-nots), refer to RP XP #6. In the last Q&A (RP XP #40) I answered the question of how to get out of an ERP if you get pulled into one without permission. In a not-so-related topic, see also RP XP #9 where I talk about male players with female characters.
Now let down your lekku, loosen that gun belt, polish that lightsaber. Let’s talk sex.
How do you enter ERP without looking like a hormonal teenager?
An interesting question because a number of ERPers out there are hormonal teenagers. You can usually (but not always) tell by their approach. They’re usually bold, up-front and typically quite crude, though I have encountered one RPer under the age of 18 who approached one of my characters with ERP in mind whose spelling, syntax, grammar, and mature approach made them seem far more mature than their age. (NOTE: I didn’t engage in ERP with them because they were under 18, but I did have an OOC chat with them wherein I encouraged a lot of reading and writing, bolstering the talent I saw in our brief interaction).
Before you enter into an ERP, ask yourself this question: Am I doing this because I’m horny and want to have “pretend sex,” or is this part of my character’s development, their nature, or is it part of their world? I’ll come out and say it: You’re not a deep, serious, dedicated, hard core, etc. RPer if your motivations in-game are to satisfy your needs more than your character’s. Approaching someone ICly with a suggestive /whisper because their character is dressed “slutty” is acting like a hormonal teenager. Approaching someone ICly because their character appeals to your character (through an overheard conversation, the way they emote, or the way they carry themselves) is more “realistic.”
Also, if your first approach is, “Are you into ERP?” you’re doing it wrong. And yes, I am an advocate against telling people they’re RPing wrong, but when it comes to ERP the lines are different. Unless you just want to practice “sexting,” that’s not the approach you should use. ERP should come up the way intimacy comes up in real life. Your characters should have some kind of interaction leading up to the intimacy. That can be anything from a drunken one-night stand to a long period of “dates” and running Flashpoints together in-character, where friendship becomes more.
How do you ERP tastefully?
Another excellent question. ERP “chat” can range from the downright crude and pornographic to something more suggestive and insinuated, essentially The Spice Channel vs. Cinemax.
Even if you and your RP partner have demonstrated that you’re both mature and adult… Even if you and your RP partner have agreed to acting out intimate moments through ERP… Even if the relationship between your characters has grown comfortable… ERP can be ruined with the wrong language and the wrong setting. If you want your ERP to be more serious and mature, consider these rules:
~ Avoid Crude Language
“S*** my C***,” “L*** my P****,” “F*** me hard,” are all very base forms of sexual communication, and really have no place in the world other than pornography (my opinion, folks). Granted, a heated moment where all inhibitions are out the airlock may arise and heavy breathing will give way to an intensely erotic outburst once in awhile, but there are ways to convey this without breaking immersion with crude language.
You can substitute body parts with euphemisms or similes. Instead of referring to male genitalia as a c***, d*** or Johnson, opt for something like “shaft,” “member” or even something colorfully innocuous (though humorous), like “sword” or “tool.” The female t***, p****, or the singularly most crude c***, can be substituted with “breasts,” “sex,” or “tunnel.”
Typically, the tone and emotion of the setting will dictate what kind of language you use, but keep in mind that you don’t always have to make direct references to your “member” or her “sex.” For example, the exposition of “/e kneels down,” “/e bends over,” “/e touches,” or “/e lies back” don’t mean anything by themselves, but in a sexual connotation, you can fill in the blanks with what comes next.
What about the direct action verbs? Well, since we’re in the SWTOR universe, you can exchange the F-word for the more canonically correct “kriff” (aka. “The K-word”). And again, your setting will dictate whether “ram” or “slam” is more appropriate than “enters” or “slides.” Emphasize your actions with appropriate adverbs as well. “Slowly,” “roughly,” and “delicately” are common.
~ ERP, Like Regular RP, is Give and Take, Action and Response
I’ll say it plainly: One-sided ERP is virtual rape, even if your RP partner has consented to ERP, shown that they are mature and of age, and the scene has been entered into appropriately for the setting.
If you’re familiar with “godmodding,” you should be familiar enough to realize that taking control of another character’s body is no different than disarming them in a duel, hacking off their limb or speaking on their behalf. To that end, avoid presumptions that take control of a character away from another player. When it comes to a sexual act, your RP partner will decide if, when, and how much their character climaxes.
How do I know if I’m RPing with a male or female?
You don’t. Period. Even if a player states that they’re one gender in OOC chat doesn’t make it so. I’ve known quite a few males who pass themselves off as female players, and vice-versa. Now ask yourself if that matters. If you are a male RPer and you will only ERP with a female player, you’re putting the art of RolePlay more on your personal desires than extending your talents to a character you control. After all, what does it matter to your male smuggler that the female ex-Jedi coming on to him is controlled by a guy or a gal? It shouldn’t. If you’re concerned about the gender of your RP partner, NEVER NEVER NEVER engage in ERP. As Yoda would say, “Search your feelings.” Or, in this case, search your motivations for wanting to ERP in the first place.
If you, like me, don’t care about the gender of the player as long as their RP is mature, adult and consensual (and makes sense with the character they’re controlling), don’t assume your RP partner feels the same way. I typically clarify that I’m a male RPer if I happen to be playing a female character. You may get the brush off from someone whose intentions are more outside-the-game, but I’ve never been called out for it. Remember, RolePlay is a Community. We’re all familiar with the art. If you get to the point in a character relationship where ERP is around the corner, chances are you’ll be able to address gender issues openly, and if your partner has a problem with it, they’re usually pretty up-front about it and may suggest a “fade out” technique, or politely end the character relationship.
How do you spot an invitation to ERP?
In mature scenarios, a character relationship may get to the point where there is a tender touch, a longing look in the eyes, or even a gentle kiss. The next scene should be considered optional, and this is where the subject comes up. Presuming your characters are in a private setting and it looks and feels like sex may be the next step, feel free to extend the invitation yourself. Even if the other person describes their character as disrobing or moving toward a sexual position or situation, jump into an OOC whisper and make sure they’re an adult.
How long does/should ERP last?
Damn good question, and so glad it was asked. It’s a mistake among RPers who ERP (or ERPers) that virtual sex acts should last a long time. The question of a male’s stamina, the number of orgasms a female character can have, etc. all tend to weigh on an ERP and make it drawn out and boring. Remember, that an ERP scenario is a stepping stone to the larger life of your character. You have worlds to conquer, enemies to fight, Ewoks to feed. Your whole life isn’t about sex (discounting several stereotypical smugglers I know).
To maintain a believable stretch of time that doesn’t make your male character seem like a “quick draw,” or your female character seem like an “sex-addictive schutta,” use exposition to extend time without having to wade through redundant comments and repetitive details. If you have to consult a thesaurus during ERP, you’ve been going at it too long.
Consider this outline:
III. Afterglow (or Aftermath, depending how ‘wild’ the scene was)
The actual “sex” part of ERP can take some time, but once it’s established that that’s what’s going on, feel free to say something like, “…continues for ___ minutes/hours” etc. Then move on (presuming, of course, that your RP partner agrees with the established set of time). There’s only so many different ways to describe “rhythm,” “moaning” or “panting.” Cut it short. Move on.
During ERP, maintain character. Keep things in mind like self-consciousness, awkwardness, shyness, allergies and fetishes (or responses to fetishes). KNOW BEFORE YOU BEGIN how your character would respond to invitations to different acts or positions, and don’t be afraid to be vocal if you play your Sith somewhat prudish. If one position is enough for her, stick to that in-character. Likewise, consider whether or not it’s been “a long time” for your character and how he/she may respond considering. Is your character promiscuous? Have they had many partners, and are they likely to carry some form of galactic V.D.? Is protection involved? Is it possible your character (or theirs) can become pregnant? As with any RP act, be sure to chat these out OOCly before beginning.
SIDEBAR: PROTECTING YOURSELF
Even if you don’t care what gender your ERP partner is, make sure you get a verification of their age. You can be criminally liable for engaging in sexual talk, connotations or suggestions (even virtual) with a minor. Granted, a clever 15-year-old who writes well can say they’re 20 and you wouldn’t know. Protect yourself by asking them to confirm their age, then take a screen shot of your game screen and save the image in a secure folder on your computer. And, as with anything, the only way to be completely safe and secure is to simply NOT DO IT.
Keep in mind that ERP is an OPTION. There are ways that your characters can engage in sexual relations without acting them out. The “fade out” technique is probably the best method.
Bonzor kisses Elysia tenderly. “Let’s take this to bed.”
Elysia kisses him back. “Okay.” She takes him by the hand. ((fade out))
Bonzor ((fade in)) pulls on his shirt and fastens the buttons. “Wow.”
Elysia runs a hand through her hair. “That was… amazing.”
Bonzor grins. “I know.”
RP XP WITH MJ WIKI:
((The RP XP with MJ)) appears exclusively on swtor-life.com every Friday. You can follow him on Twitter @MJswtor, or write to him at swtorliferp(at)gmail.com