Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying: Erotic Roleplay

Ah... the topic every roleplay blogger dreads to discuss (myself included). This has been sitting on the virtual backburner for me for about a year now... Erotic Roleplay, or ERP, is generally very commonplace within the roleplaying scene, however it is quite often ridiculed by other RPers or many try to pretend that it doesn't happen. Because of this three-letter acronym, roleplayers have been given an extremely bad reputation in the the World of Warcraft (and beyond) because the non-RPers tends to paint us all as a bunch of horny, mouth-breathing, cheetoh powder-encrusted lowlifes. This is, of course, vastly untrue (though there are always the extreme exceptions) and it is over-hyped thanks to incidents like Abhorrent Taboo and the Deeprun Tram (The latter was proven to be staged, but it didn't really matter much since the impression was made. The picture to the right is from the aforementioned tram "encounter", by the way).

Though I do understand why ERP happens. Just like in any story, whether it be in a novel, video game, movie, and what not... Love scenes happen. Plus, sex is a part of the natural way of things in real life, so we naturally do what we know in stories of various kinds. I am far from telling people to never engage in ERP if that is their wish... However, I WILL say this:

Have respect for your fellow WoW players and keep it private.

• THOU SHALT NOT publicly emote your sex-capades in /say or /emote. No one wants to be forced to see your kink. Ever. And you will likely be griefed and ridiculed by others around you. You can also be reported for abusing the channels.
• THOU SHALT keep any sensual interludes within private channels, whispers, party chat, or even raid chat. This also includes foreplay and other actions beyond a PG-13 setting.
• THOU SHALT NOT get it on in the middle of the AH/Bank/Main Square or any other obviously public area while buck naked.
• THOU SHALT try to maintain the integrity of the roleplay server and its inhabitants.

And here's two rather big ones from a IC-standpoint.

• THOU SHALT keep in-character feelings separate from out-of-character ones. Just because someone else's character loves yours does not mean that their player loves you.
• THOU SHALT NOT let ERP be the constant focal point of any character interaction with another.

There is no faster way to make an amazing story of love against all odds go sour than the two "commandments" above... Doubly so for the last one. Just think about it from the perspective of reading a brand-new novel, fresh from the bookstore...

Your two characters go on amazing adventures together. There is action, drama, humor, occasional awkward moments of budding romance, and so much more. This book is great! Then it comes to the moment of when your characters' relationship goes past the point of no return... Eyes lock, trembling lips meet, and the two consummate their love oh-so-passionately.

Then, out of the blue, this amazing novel you were reading moments ago, becomes some stale and emotionless porn fest that would even make the most poorly-written Harlequin romance novel weep tears of blood. That will be what will happen to your characters and their story if you do not put a leash on their libido.

If your characters must get it on like rabbits, fade to black or space those times out. Keep things interesting and do something else, ya know? Having your characters' only interactions be sexually based will get absolutely boring and it will most likely ruin all the character plot you have worked for. There is more to relationships, fictitious or not, than sex.