Tips on Güd TS
This post is the result of a brief spiel between myself and @surreality over in 'Random Bitching.' So here's my initial thoughts on the topic. Feel free to add in.
And I'm going to just go ahead and try to say: if someone comes in with a question, try to be nice. I know this is MSB, but this isn't in the Hog Pit and I'd like to keep it that way.
To start us out, here's some articles on the topic of writing sex. I have tried to avoid the tl;dr articles. I have tried to avoid the ones by authors who abuse a thesaurus. YMMV here. You may enjoy 'throbbing manhoods' and 'pearl of womanhoods' and describing women as food. I don't and I've found the most engaging TS (whether as a participant or relayed to me later) doesn't, either.
Also, I went through nearly three dozen articles to find these. Most of them were garbage. You're welcome. ;)
Articles by professionals:
In my mind, this might be one of the best articles. Ever. Period. It's informative and has the sort of tongue-in-cheek humor I love. Seriously, anyone who wants to write sex (be it for TS, a novel, or their long-imagined Kirk/Scotty slashfic) should read this article. (BTW, for handy reference per his last point: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song+of+Songs+1)
Her first point contains my philosophy for TS. Will it affect the story or not? Some of the best TS I've had recently involved discussion, during the act on how to take down another PC. Sure, it was TS, but there was also plot involved. Your best TS scenes will almost, without fail, be the ones that involve a point in story (either overall or for your character themselves). She also makes another good point: you don't have to write everything. A single, well-written pose or two can contain most of the ol' in-and-out itself.
I include this primarily about the point that it's easier (or the outcome is better) to write about 'bad' sex. Not 'Oh man he totally couldn't find the clitoris' bad, but 'The character is damaging themselves emotionally in some way.' This is why the romantic, sappy, 'they're so in love' TS scenes get so dull. It's the same thing. Everyone can imagine it. There's nothing engaging in those poses, nothing to latch onto and use moving forward. I can do so much more with 'Oh man, Sal is totally sleeping with him so he'll buy her drugs,' than 'Oh, it's just another Friday night for happy couple Bob and Sue.'
Articles by fanfic writers / roleplayers:
Overall, this is skim worthy. However, the author included some great questions to ask yourself about your character's approach to the 'scene.' I've got some people out there who I've TS'd with on different characters. And some of those people, well... once the TS begins, their PC disappears. This kills a 'mood' more than anything else, sometimes. Don't forget your character when you're TSing. If anything, TS is the time to delve even further into their psyche.
This is a very, very technical article about writing about sex between two women. However, it links out to educational stuff. I have seen men write great lesbian sex and I've had women ask me OOCly beforehand for any advice. So I share this because I am sure there's someone out there who could use the intel.
Another article on writing lesbian sex. This one is more about the fun part of things rather than the technical.
I share this just because I know some of you are tvtropes addicts. But it's not a bad read, either. Especially if you want to know more details about the tropes you should be avoiding.
Yes, this is meant as a joke, but I swear some people out there use this as their Guide to Writing TS.
Not an article, but these are the people behind the 'Bad Sex in Fiction' award and will often post excerpts/nominees. Example: “Now he realised that he was inside her, ejaculating toward her uterus” (from Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”) and "at the end she began to gasp 'oh dear, oh my dear, oh my dear dear god, oh sugar!'" (from Stephen King’s “11.22.63”).
I know, there's no articles on writing gay (between two male characters) sex. This is for two reasons: no good ones came up in my search and I've never been particularly good at it (I'm bisexual IRL and physically attracted to women). Someone else can chime in with tips for gay sex, if they'd like.
Auspice last edited by Auspice
Now! On to some of my own personal tips. These are specifically in the arena of mutual (hurr hurr) roleplay. The articles above are great for writing sex in general, but what about when someone is on the other side of the keyboard?
Firstly, the advice to not be overly descriptive persists. I once had a guy page me (our characters were not in a relationship and we had never OOCly discussed such things) to inform me that he had rolled dice to dictate his character's dick size and the dice had 'decided' that his dick was the length and girth of two soda cans stacked on each other.
Shall we break down the 'NO's here?
Unsolicited sexual advances suck IRL and they suck online. There's flirting and there's just being outright crass. Being crass is not going to lead to anything.
No real (ETA: by real I mean 'realistic and not the type portrayed in porn') woman is going to be turned on by that. Nor interested beyond the clinical 'this should be a museum piece' aspect. That size of a penis is horrifying and I cross my legs just thinking about it.
There is never, ever a need to describe a character's genitalia in explicit detail. Women don't go on long diatribes on comparing the size of their breasts to canteloupe and how their areola are the size of half-dollars and the hue of pink roses while their nipples are pert like erasers (wink wink to the folks that read the first article linked above).
Vague is good. Vague is good because it lets the reader fill things in. I once had someone describe that character descriptions should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover everything, short enough to be interesting (aka leave something to the imagination). Use the same concept in your TS. Imply, be concise, be accurate, but don't be overly/overtly descriptive. Allow your partner to build the scene in their mind without being bogged down by details.
Secondly, don't take forever. This is more directed towards people who play male characters. They've done studies and found that the 'sweet spot' for the actual intercourse part of sex is around the five-to-six minute mark. Pop culture may have some of you going 'Is that it?!', but as a woman: that's perfect. Too much longer and you start to get bored or worry about friction. The number of women who can achieve orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone are very, very few. And the number that can do so every time is even smaller. That's not to say it isn't fun and a fulfilling part of the whole process, but the biologically male get a whole lot more out of it (I have been the awkward third wheel in an argument between a gay couple in which one got fed up with always being bottom).
Think about those combat scenes that just drag out for hours. Or that feeling when it looks like yet another night of RPing socially in the bar. After a while, you start to wonder how many times you can pose the same sort of thing. This goes for TS scenes, too. I can only pose squirming and moaning and raking nails down a back so many times before I'm cooking dinner between poses. And no, I'm not kidding. I have most definitely cooked dinner while TSing before.
Some of my best TS has been over in a handful of rounds. The action was well-written, summarized, and the focus on the characters and not the dirty act of it. When I play a male character, I try to keep things concise and involve the woman, too.
Which leads into point three. Seriously, stop ignoring the woman. Don't get to the 'prize' and just forget about the rest of her. Not only is it going to totally ruin the 'oh we're so happily in love' aspect, but it means she has even less to pose to. And no, spending a single pose in going down on her doesn't count. Describe how your character grabs her hair. The way their hands smooth over her breast or hip. The way your character arches their back and positions themselves to reach her clit. We all hate when we have nothing to 'work with' for our own poses, so keep that in mind. Yes, even when you have just one hand on your keyboard.
You can make things so much richer by making sure your partner has the opportunity to be fully engaged. This means, too, if you're pleasuring yourself IRL... Wrap up the TS once you 'finish.' The other person can tell, I promise. If it goes from vividly-written scenes of lust to bland play-by-play, we know.
These are just a few of my personal thoughts. I welcome others to chime in. Like I said in the first post, try to keep things relatively chill. I know this is MSB, but man if we can make people better TSers by giving genuine answers to their questions, won't the world be a better place? :D
I won't go over the er, finer points of TS here. :)
I will mention one thing though - if your only goal in meeting someone is TS just make it clear somehow. It's not always obvious on non-sex MU* and it makes a great deal of difference especially if the other character (or player) isn't into that... or you!
I've been in situations where I had active roleplay I enjoyed and once they figured my character was romantically unavailable they vanished, which can be pretty frustrating.
Oh, one thing I forgot...
For those that are not biologically female, but play female characters:
Losing one's virginity does not always hurt. For one thing, the hymen (the perceived source of pain) can be lost in childhood for many reasons. Horseback riding being a big one. The actual source of pain in many virginity loss situations is actually due to lack of proper lubrication (which can be an issue no matter what stage of life a woman is in).
Young folks (teenagers, yo) are rarely going to know or think about this... which is why losing virginity can often be attributed to pain.
So, if you're playing a female character and her partner gets her well-aroused beforehand? She's much less likely to feel pain, even if she's a virgin. It might be uncomfortable and strange still, but painful? Not so much.
surreality last edited by
God help me, I think I'm gonna have to do a tip per post for I am a wordy wench, but here goes #1:
Make it relevant.
Three little words with a ton of meaning, all of them important.
Like @Auspice mentions about 'no, really, it's obvious if you're enjoying the scene in more ways than one and you finish up and get bored'? It tends to be pretty obvious if the only reason you want to interact with someone at all is for TS.
So make it relevant. By that I don't mean 'construct an elaborate ruse to get that character in the sack'. Honestly? Take the 'I just gotta fuck somebody right now' urges to Shang.
That's not a dismissal.
That's not an insult.
That's actually what Shang is for and they will love you for it over there.
Let it happen organically IC. Don't aim for it. If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. IC chemistry is real; it's a thing. There are a handful of folks I've played with over the years that I play off of well, and more or less no matter what either of us is playing, that chemistry ends up being there. It may be in the form of unrealized tension (and typically is) but just like 'you know it when you see it' RL, you know it when you see it online between two characters.
Let. It. Happen. Organically.
If it doesn't? Move on. Get over it.
Just like life, if it isn't meant to be, don't try to force it.
That's when things start to get creepy and uncomfortable for someone at warp speed, and it's very likely they are not going to want to play with you at all, let alone play body fluids bingo with you.
 Some people are totally down with this. If that's the case, all's cool! I ain't judgin'. Have fun with every blessing, you crazy kids -- follow your bliss.
If that isn't the case, it is probably not going to endear you to that person if you approach them about it -- so if you're going to anyway because you don't know what their stance on this is, be polite, friendly, respectful, and clear about your intentions if that's what you're asking for, and be prepared to gracefully accept a no if you get one.
If you actually know they're not into that -- they have a public notice to that end, or they've told you so before -- and you approach them, you pretty much deserve to get the text equivalent of a 'hmmph, you sure are pushy!', but if you absolutely must persist in asking anyway, you should still be asking politely, respectfully, and clearly. You really shouldn't be pushing it in the first place, but if you absolutely cannot control your urge to bang someone with that PB and just gotta aim for the dream, well... don't be any more of a jackass about it than absolutely necessary. (Note: It is never necessary to be a jackass. Funny how that works, ain't it?)
 ...and then nobody's happy, there's a thread in The Hog Pit, people start making new policies, staff gets headaches, dogs and cats living together, it's mass hysteria.
Don't be rapey. By that I mean, don't be all grabby-handsie, "I wanna [insert weird sexual fetish] ....", etc especially when you first meet someone. More than anything it's funny and it happens so often, it's not even shocking.
Be descriptive, but don't power emote. Ironic, but 'nuff said.
Read some erotica. I frickin' love Zane novels, they're my guilty pleasure. Seeing how the pros do it goes a long way.
TNP last edited by
Most important: don't play a female (granted, this only applies if you're going to TS a gay guy)
surreality last edited by
Lithium last edited by
- Read some erotica. I frickin' love Zane novels, they're my guilty pleasure. Seeing how the pros do it goes a long way.
This needs a BIG exclaimer. Most erotica is absolute shit. Most TS I've run into on cesspools like Shang is better than most the erotica crap I've seen.
Read some /good/ erotica. I was actually a big fan of Jean M. Aul's Clan of the Cave Bear series. The first one isn't really erotica, but by the end of the second and into the rest it most certainly gets there!
TNP last edited by
I love those. I skip over the straight sex scenes but I do love the books. I do the same with Anita Blake (which have gotten less porny lately).
lordbelh last edited by lordbelh
This thread is the thread I didn't know I wanted, but sure chuckled mightily over while drinking my coffee.
WARNING: This post as pretty explicit language.
So, if you're playing a female character and her partner gets her well-aroused beforehand? She's much less likely to feel pain, even if she's a virgin. It might be uncomfortable and strange still, but painful? Not so much.
Chiming in briefly here to say: Indeed, yes. The first time I had sex it didn't hurt. There was blood like woah, but no pain. Not even after. However, it did take several attempts before actual penetration happened. Sometimes that can take some work. It might not be a: "Pushes in and feels the barrier, and then pushes through it". It might be a "attempts to push in, and gets repelled and slides around all crazy." Just, you know, if you want authentic virginity-losing-rp.
I agree on the disclaimer. You also need to look at the subject material for erotica. I adore several of Cara McKenna's books. (After Hours, Hard Time, Lay It down)-- are good books. I feel like she writes pretty healthy relationships even when the sexual relationship border on kink (dom/sub or bdsm such as in 'Unbound'). On the flip side you have the 'Sweet <blah>' series by Maya Banks, where the female lead just wants "a man who will call the shots in all aspects of her life, not just in the bedroom". I try not to be judgey but it borders a little bit on the squeaky for me. At least, however, it isn't the horror show that is 50 Shades.
Here's my TIP: Communcation.
If it looks like the scene is heading toward TS take a few moments to find out the following:
- Does your RP partner WANT to TS or do they want to FTB?
- What level of detail are they comfortable with?
- What /words/ are they comfortable with? Are they down with 'cock' and 'pussy'? Or would they prefer 'manhood' and 'womanhood'. OR would they prefer things be even less descriptive than that.
- Is there anything they super don't want to have happen and would turn the scene from 'I'm having fun' to 'omg, get out as fast as possible'.
- ANYTHING ELSE. Really. Talk to the person OOC.
Some of the most enjoyable TS I've ever had, has been with people that I was comfortable enough with on the OOC level to talk about the TS. Talk about what I enjoyed and didn't enjoy. What they did and didn't. And I'm frankly not talking about kinky things. But like language. Pose length.
I had one conversation with a person who was shocked that I'd used the word 'cunt', and while it surprised them they were cool with it continuing-- it'd just been a surprise because every other woman they knew hated the word. I, on the other hand, hated the word 'cunny'.
TL;DR / LESS explicit language:
- The first time you have sex as a woman, it may take a couple of tries for actual penetration to happen.
- Becareful what erotica you read.
- Always communicate with whoever you're RPing/TSing with to make sure everyone is on the same level / comfortable.
Something else to consider is communication. Much like you might discuss what you are/aren't into with an RL partner, consider doing so with your RP partner.
I am all about realism and schism in my IC relationships. I am known to enjoy 'torturing' my characters. I put them in bad situations. I let them fuck up. So when it comes to IC relationships and TS, I often do the same.
It might be something as small as my character doesn't 'get off' during sex. Or something as major as them getting way too drunk while depressed and sleeping with someone else.
The last time I did the latter, I was up front OOCly with all parties involved. I made sure there was an OOC understanding that it was for plot and RP fodder, that anyone could throw down the red flag, and I was up to talking over it at any time. It turned out to be some amazing RP in the end and no one had hurt feelings (OOCly).
But imagine if you want the IC dramz, but your RP partner doesn't? Some people do RP for the wish fulfillment and there's nothing wrong with that. Your fun is your fun (unless it involves being a dick to someone else on an OOC level). A lot of the issues I've seen arise from IC relationships and TS are people not being on the same page.
Just like the current US election... We're all in this together. But unlike the current US election, we can sit down and have honest, candid conversations that find a solution for every one. Yes, that solution might be 'Maybe we shouldn't allow our characters to be in a relationship. I want grit and drama, you want happy family,' but isn't that so much better to know up front than to encounter difficult, upsetting OOC drama?
Disclaimer: I took a couple norcos a bit ago for some hip pain, so I apologize if any parts of this don't make sense.
I love that while I was typing up my last post, @Cobaltasaurus was making a similar point.
Communication, people! It totally rocks. You're about to RP one of the most intimate, visceral (that's my word of the week, I swear; I keep using it) acts that humans can engage in. Don't be afraid to chat about it. Have fun with it.
Also, I've never read erotica before because I've always rolled my eyes at the stuff I have seen. http://jennytrout.com/ is the only person I've come close to considering reading. So if y'all have some tips on GOOD smut, gimme some book titles. ;)
surreality last edited by surreality
Seconding the specific point on language choice. This is pretty much the one thing I ever got uneasy about, as in, 'what language choice/writing style is going to be appropriate here'.
I just ask. Ask if there are hate-on words, in particular, and more generally about style: 'flowery, euphemistic, or blunt'? Sometimes any of the above work and it really comes down to the mood and tone of the scene itself: sometimes if people are equally flexible on the word choice/general, that just becomes another tool in the box that can be used to convey the mood and tone of the scene. This can be seriously awesome; at times that switchup from 'the norm' for the characters can be very revealing -- and I mean on a characterization level, not a 'more clothes than usual hit the floor' level.
On the personal yay/nay front, I'll second (or third or fourth... ) the idea of keeping away from things that are undesirable -- but also would suggest being cautious about incorporating 'likes'. If it doesn't fit the scene or the characters, this can come across as "I, the player, am just trying to turn you, the player, on." Depending on the situation, this can be totally awesome and appreciated -- or it can be super creepy or feel very manipulative.
I'm in the latter camp on that one, I'm afraid. :/ If someone shoehorns a 'like' of mine they know about into a scene where it doesn't seem to make sense, or seems out of character for the characters involved? While I realize the other player is doing something they feel is being nice and they're making an effort and those things are appreciated... that's not why I'm writing those scenes (outside of Shang).
(I may genuinely be the weirdo on this. I know this.) I generally don't find TS (outside of specifically for jollies-getting on Shang) arousing. It may be interesting or challenging or insightful or funny (or boring or oh-god-will-this-please-end or 'do they think that's arousing?' or any number of other things), so I'm just... writing. Like anything else, really. So it ends up being more or less super awkward.
 Please write more funny sex. Everyone. Everyone please write more funny sex. You will be so happy you did. Trust me on this if nothing else. Slip in the shower and bonk your head and growl and keep going. Make funny editorial commentary about your o-face. Hop around on one leg cussing like mad at your stompy boots because you can't get them off fast enough. There are endless options and even if just one of them happens it will add something to the scene (don't pile them on into a cavalcade of pratfalls obviously), and it will be a good and memorable thing. It doesn't have to be all the time, but for the love of all things holy, at least try it once if you haven't.
Because sex is funny. It is sometimes really goddamn funny. Too many people take every TS scene as the most srs of bzns. To which I just say this.
Oh, I wholeheartedly agree on avoiding likes/kinks for the sake of kinks (unless you're on Shang, then kink away my ducklings). But discussing likes/dislikes in the regards of the approach are good. And they can be likes/dislikes in... differing themes.
'Likes' as in: 'I enjoy humor and realism and blunt, hard words like cunt or cock.'
'Dislikes' as in: 'I know my character is into BDSM, but if we could avoid anything where she's actually tied up, please? That makes me really uncomfortable and I'm not comfortable roleplaying it.'
@Lithium See, no. I really meant read erotica in general....no disclaimer. Now you're getting into what's good and what's not; which is for whoever is reading it to decide.
The reason I mentioned Zane is because it's arguably bad yet I enjoy reading it. There's a whole lot of things that count as erotica, from 120 days of Sodom, which I think a lot of people have read to The English patient to The Tropic of Capricorn.
But without reading a variety, how would you know what you like? Reading a variety could actually help your writing.
I don't think reading erotica needs a disclaimer at all.
ZombieGenesis last edited by
@ThugHeaven I could not agree more. My wife and I read a lot of erotica (we also run a side business where we self publish our own) and one thing we have learned over the years is that there are often gold nuggets to be found in even the shittiest of stories out there.
We've often been shocked to find out we find this or that is sexy based on how it is portrayed or written in an otherwise forgettable or awful story. Those bad or poorly written stories often led us on a path to find stories that were perhaps better written. Sometimes we even find ourselves really enjoying a story in spite of the flaws to be found within it.
I think handling the logistics @Cobaltasaurus just went over (because yes, words and general terminology can be awkward, especially if you know the other player in a non-sexually themed capacity) is important, thanks for putting that up!
My focus is elsewhere in this thread. Namely, in that unless you're playing on a sex MU* where all the cards tend to be on the table - if you're on a game like Shang you are almost certainly okay with TS or at least sexual themes - the first step is the hardest because you kind of need to get the idea out there.
The easiest way is have a pre-arranged relationship. It's far from rare for PCs to roll out of CGen intended to be with each other and that does solve a lot of issues. All it takes is someone telling you they're considering a game you're on then going "hey, I'm playing a lordling and he needs a future romantic interest if you want". Done. If they say no, it's okay.
Since not everyone likes pre-arranging such things, if you meet someone on the grid the easiest way, shockingly enough, is to ask. "Hey, my character's RP with yours was funny, I kinda see them becoming an item, what do you think about that?". It's that clear, and if they say no it's okay.
The key in both cases though is be prepared to take 'no' for an answer, and that means paying the other person the courtesy of asking them so they get to answer. What is distasteful is shadowing some guy/girl around, showing up in every scene or paging constantly asking for RP then nagging them IC for a relationship. That just isn't cool. Sometimes - hell, often-times - it can work organically without an OOC conversation first but given the sensitive material at hand having a chat early on saves a lot of headache down the line.
Whatever you do, no matter what, for the love of $deity do not spring coercion on people unless it's been discussed in advance. That's the only real no-no in any of this. Your mileage concerning such things can vary wildly; some people figure IC is IC so anything goes, other people only tolerate IC consensual relationships, that's up to you... but no matter what do not try to IC coerce a relationship or sex without discussing it OOC first, ever. Ever.
That means no blackmail going into a kinky direction, no spilling vitae into the cheerleader's mouth to make her love your character, no using Awe or Mind 4 to alter their perceptions, no forcefully accidentally whoopsie tearing clothes off during a fight... nothing. It's an instant trip to the creepy side even if it turns out afterwards they were okay with it. You were still a creeper, you just got lucky (no pun intended :) ).
Just ask first!