Love and Sex... In Gaming!by
Love and the rituals thereof are part of human life. Mating (or sex) is a part of life. Lust, crushes, and desire are also part of life. Gaming emulates life, albeit life of a more colorful variety. Should love and sex and all the good and bad things that go with it be included in gaming then?
To quote the vernacular, love is a many splendored thing. To quote a once popular Gen-X song, love stinks. With all the emotions that arise from love why not include it in gaming? Role-playing can often breed emotions towards people, and love is a dangerous emotion to toy with. I'll assume that most people game with people they like, maybe they even game with friends. If people who like each other continue interacting with each other they eventually become friends, and there is a kind of love amongst friends.
Role-playing love can turn the love friends have for each other (those Greeks called it Phileo) into the kind of love that's normally known as love (another Greek word, Agape). Now why would harvesting love towards another person be so terrible? Well, it's not so long as the other person is not currently involved in a relationship. But there's nothing like a love-triangle, or the subsequent break up of a relationship, to destroy a good gaming group!
Is gaming more important than love? Well, that's your own opinion to form. Yes, there are other gaming groups out there, just as there are other chances for romance. Players who respect one another will most likely not allow gaming to influence their emotions so drastically, but there is always the chance that friendships will be lost due to the emotions that can arise from gaming.
Love, however, does offer a GM yet another opportunity to wreak havoc on a character's life. Be it through a kidnapping, murder, or, my group's personal favorite, disagreement and argument. It can allow the characters to be happy, miserable, and confused all at the same time, just like in real life. Isn't love grand? If the players have enough common sense and respect for each other love in gaming can be a fantastic thing, and I'm all for it. Characters should have relationships, and facets of them should be role-played out to give the characters more dimensions.
Sex normally follows love, as well as being independent of love. I would dare say that there is more sex than there is love in both life and gaming. For many it is an uncomfortable subject, more uncomfortable than most. Also, it is not an appropriate subject for younger gamers, who may neither understand, nor be able to control themselves. Ideas of when someone should copulate should not be presented to someone through a gaming group. In fact, if you didn't understand the previous statements, I suggest you hit the "back" button on your browser now.
If sex is an uncomfortable subject for any gamer in a group, then it should not be brought up! But how much detail do players really need? Should Steve Jackson publish GURPS: Sex? Of course not. It is completely unnecessary to turn a game into a session of verbal intercourse. The only thing that should really be brought up, should two characters have sex, is protection. And the best way to handle this is if the player themself mentions it. If they don't, then it's likely to assume that there was no protection involved and the GM could throw all sorts of things at the character, should the GM feel so inclined.
Why anyone would handle role-playing sex like soft porn is beyond me in the first place, but I know people do it. I've witnessed it. The indisclosure of sex has nothing to do with Victorian sensibilities or morals. There simply is no need for it to be handled like combat is handled, it gives little dimension to the character, outside of un-protected sex and perhaps the breeding of love it does little to alter the course of a character's life. There should be little more than, "Did you have sex?", "Yes, and I used protection". End of story. Next scene, please.
Love in gaming? Absolutely. Sex in gaming? Why? Question your purpose. Are the players and GM going into detail about sex because of a necessary plot point or simply because they can't do that anywhere else? The latter is definitely bad gaming!
-Roll saving throw versus Bad Gaming!