MEMBER OPINION - Roleplay: To Play or Not to Play, That Is the (Sexual) Question

MEMBER OPINION - Roleplay: To Play or Not to Play, That Is the (Sexual) Question

from Recon News

16 January 2024

By NikeShoxBoy

Can sex be a game? Most would find the suggestion, at the very least, confusing. Sex is a serious act. It should not suffer the lax, frivolous connotation of the word game. But games can be serious, too. There is a whole culture surrounding games and gamers take games very seriously indeed. I don't know about you, but my favorite videogames growing up were RPGs or 'roleplaying games'. A player can be almost anyone or anything. Living out fantasies and/or participating in whole new worlds within our shared real one can be thrilling, and even cathartic. In terms of sex, fantasy roleplaying is no different. But before I advocate for roleplay and discuss its intricacies, it's important to outline the arguments against it, or rather why people may not find it alluring altogether.

Firstly, it's inauthentic and fake. This is the main reason. We should all take sex (and kink) seriously. To pretend to be someone we're not and consider sex "play" can be seen as irresponsible and perhaps foolish. Some may find the ascribed word, play, offensive. So much so that it begs the question, why be anyone but yourself, especially during sex? It's only natural for you and your partner to want the other as is, not some invented character.

Another: roleplay takes too long. Yes, depending on the scene or scenario, it can well take hours. Granted, kink sessions can and do take hours, but typically there is no buildup or "story." Both partners get right down to business. For hardcore role-players, however, an hour, maybe more, can pass before there is any sexual act.

Performance anxiety is another. And I mean that literally. It's one thing to be nervous to perform as yourself, but having to put on a show as another person can be intimidating. Roleplay comes with a sincere level of pressure to act in character, from beginning until end.

Finally, the last notable reason against roleplay is, like other fetishes or kinks, can you have sex without it? It's a strange question, but it merits contemplation. Like videogames in general, living in a fantasy world can become addicting. For some role-players, the idea of making love or a traditional kink session without the added elements of a story, situation, and buildup can be boring. What does that say about the person? Not wanting to be yourself in a very intimate moment. What does that say about the person and how you see your partner? It can be presumably rude or insulting, I want my partner to constantly play as someone else other than himself. Valid questions indeed. But as the saying goes, everything is fine in moderation.

So, why roleplay in the first place? What's the appeal? Our sex lives are enriched by the additions of kinks and fetishes, including, types of peoples. Human beings sexualize a myriad of aesthetics, energies, vibes, costumes. How one presents oneself to the world for a variety of purposes and occasions can release certain pheromones or trigger reactions from others that result in, well, you becoming turned on. A simple platonic experience like casually discussing a book with a professor can easily turn sexual for one reason or another. These reasons, or sexual triggers easily get sexualized, and subsequently evolve into fantasies.

But do all roleplays need a seemingly platonic impetus, situation, buildup, or interaction? Not necessarily. Consider Masters & Slaves. Now, lifestyle masters and slaves do not consider these "roles" as "roles" per se, but rather as just who they're. However, for those who do not live the traditional master and slave lifestyle, there is a time when both the master and slave return to equal footing and cast aside those roles and expectations until the next session. For these masters and slaves, there is no justification for a platonic interaction to justify eventual power dynamics and sex, for their roles as master and slave inherently warrant immediate respect and standard decorum the instant the session commences. Domination and submission happen naturally and is usually instantaneous.

With fantasy roleplaying, however, certain questions must be answered before assuming your characters. Which characters are you playing and what is the story attached to these characters? What about descriptions, such as ages, costumes, and temperaments? Setting or settings of the scene? Don't forget to define the power dynamics. Which one is dominant and submissive, or is there switch at some point? What about sexual acts, kinks, and fetishes? Which are included, when and to which extent? But remember, it's important to balance out what is to be expected and what is best left to the natural flow of the scene. You don't want all the magic to be drained out by knowing too much beforehand.

Besides the almighty orgasm and creative rush of playing somebody else or an exaggerated version of an ordinary role, like student or medical patient. Is there a more psychological catharsis to roleplaying? I argue, yes. It's normal to sexualize someone in a position of power or powerlessness. Reasons why we sexualize that power, and that person can correlate to real-life dynamics, found in our professional or personal lives. That sexualization can be so intense that to mimic that specific dynamic in roleplay, where you're safe to explore, can be exhilarating. Perhaps one is trying to compensate for a real-life void or conflict. Or one is exploring a side of oneself that one does not or cannot present to the world. Roleplay can allow us to control the narrative or come to terms with an internal or external conflict that is unable to be resolved or resolved in one's favor. This is why roleplay can be cathartic.

Before I finish, are there scenes or scenarios that are frowned upon or shameful? Yes, and I understand my obligation to briefly highlight those which would be deemed illegal or morally wrong. The first being, CNC, consensual non-consensual, otherwise known as the "rape" roleplay. Another is raceplay: sexualizing racial or cultural dynamics and applying them to an ostensibly racist, problematic, or politically incorrect situation. Then there are incest simulation and literal ageplay. Many draw a big, thick line between sexualizing biological relationships, immediate and/or extended family members, versus those of "by-law," and consider roleplaying a scenario wherein you or your partner plays a minor indicative of pedophilia or hebephilia.

I'll finish by getting personal. I too use roleplay as a catharsis. I often sexualize real-life dynamics or situations or people due to the power dynamics, mainly for the purposes of curiosity and/or closure. I also use roleplay as a vehicle to present different sides of my personality I do not or cannot present to the real world. In roleplay, I usually arrive in the form of a brat, no matter the character I'm playing. Being a brat tests my dom; it makes him worthy of my submission. Going further, it heightens the tension and elevates the platonic buildup with a distinctive veneer of suspense. Many doms criticize brat subs as being – as I've been told – whiny little bitches who lack respect and don't deserve to be dominated. That's fair. I don't resent that perspective. I just wholeheartedly disagree with it.

Sex is serious. And for many, it's not a game or "play" at all. But as far as semblance of truth goes or verisimilitude, I say: play God with your sex life. Make your fantasy a reality.

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