Let's talk about TS.


  • Admin

    For this thread my default disclaimer - that this is in the constructive section and no personal attacks are permitted - will also have an addendum; please do not kink shame others here. This is an adult discussion so let's be adults about it.

    It's not about what good TS is. But it is a thread about TS.

    So let's break it down a bit! I've been meaning to open this discussion for a while now. As usual I'll offer an original template of sorts for the topic just to make it easier to stay on track, but everyone's encouraged to go off track and talk about any other peripheral issues y'all want to.

    With that said:

    1. Assuming you're playing with a sort of new partner how do you breach the issue of whether there will be TS - that is, actually posing the act instead of fading to black? Is there an explicit discussion about it or do you play it by ear - for example seeing how far the other person is going in their own poses and responding accordingly?

    2. How do you determine the vocabulary involved? When I first encountered TS a long, long time ago it was pretty weird and I actually had a chat with a friend who had already done it (yes, it all felt exactly as awkward as it sounds) since I had no idea if I should plug in the full vernacular or whether I should pose it as a bad romance novel instead. (I picked the latter at the time and it was as hilarious as it sounds). What about you, how do you handle it? What if it's an friend you've known or played with before but haven't had TS with, how/does it change the resolution?

    3. What's a good way to determine how much focus is too much? Or too little? Many here have met partners who made TS the focus of RP, but what's a good way to avoid being in that situation? Have you ever not played with someone because there wouldn't be TS involved? Obviously fade to black should always be an acceptable option, but does it make a difference to you if it's the only option?

    4. Finally, assuming you're not on a sex game where everyone's preferences are stated in black and white, when is a good time and what is a good way to discuss limits? Do you wait until the last second to see if the other person will break out the whip/turn into a wolf/create magical clones of themselves during sexytimes or... how do you handle that? What if you are about to do anything other than plain vanilla stuff? Do you read the room or do you have an explicit conversation?

    Yes, a lot of the answers above will (and should) essentially be "communicate well". But since our community isn't exactly renown for our skills in that area, and since the topic itself is pretty sensitive we might benefit from going into some detail here and share our thoughts.

    One final small potential caveat: Let's assume our potential partners here are not total assholes. Obviously if you've ran into a sociopath all bets are off.


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    Yes, a lot of the answers above will (and should) essentially be "communicate well". But since our community isn't exactly renown for our skills in that area, and since the topic itself is pretty sensitive we might benefit from going into some detail here and share our thoughts.

    I think this is a poor presumption, from personal experience.

    Maybe I'm lucky? Maybe I'm good. I have not had a problem with TS-partners in almost 15 years. I've had TS with folks here that are considered bad eggs, even. The best partners are the ones that communicate well, but everyone that I have had experiences with have communicated very well with me.

    And I have had TS with a lot of people here.

    So, let's not presume our partners are incapable of communicating well.

    On this topic, though, I believe that safety is the most important issue. To that end, boundaries are important, and the most important is the boundary between OOC and IC. Make your own rules, stand firm, and never, ever compromise on that.


  • Admin

    @ganymede said in Let's talk about TS.:

    Maybe I'm lucky?

    Perhaps, but...

    Maybe I'm good.

    That seems more likely! And it's this kind of thing I was hoping to discuss here - what are some good ways to approach this issue? There are certain issues I still insist are uncomfortable to bring up for many people and that's not an assumption - I've been explicitly told about that part.

    Maybe we can talk about ways to bring up somewhat sensitive or awkward issues such as limits, vocabulary, FTB-or-not and see if that's the case for most people, or how we all handle those conversations - or even if they take place at all.


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    And it's this kind of thing I was hoping to discuss here - what are some good ways to approach this issue?

    I would say, bluntly, communicate well. But you said that we couldn't fall back on this.

    To parse it out a bit better:

    1. Set boundaries: You have limits. Declare your limits.

    2. Set clear boundaries: Declare them again. Be specific. Everything from "no anal sex" to "i really hate pregnancy sex."

    3. Then set expectations: How often do you want TS? Is it a garnish or the main course when you come online? (Yes, double-entendre there, har har, GTFO.)

    4. Then discuss what you like: Do you prefer the grinding, descriptive, purple-prose TS, or the light-hearted, fun-having TS that leads to injuries and escapades?

    Outside of this triumvirate, there are my personal lines:

    1. Never give out personal information.

    2. Never talk about RL sex partners, past or current.

    3. Never agree to chat, swap pics, or otherwise interact away from the MUSH of this forum.



  • I have seen people put things such as notes on their character, or even their rp preferences in regards to TS, such as FTB only. Also, if the game has a wiki, I've seen OOC preference there as well. No matter what others prefer, I just respect that and will FTB most often. In the past few years I've just gotten comfortable with one person's rp and have opted to only have IC relationships of that sort with them. If, on places they do not play, my character ends up in a relationship, I let them know in advance that I'm FTB only and everyone seems to respect that.


  • Admin

    @ganymede said in Let's talk about TS.:

    1. Set boundaries: You have limits. Declare your limits.

    Absolutely agreed. I liked your earlier comment too - once you know what your limits are, don't change them. Not for anyone. Not even and especially if they push.

    3. Then set expectations: How often do you want TS? Is it a garnish or the main course when you come online? (Yes, double-entendre there, har har, GTFO.)

    That's a tough issue to bring up, I think. A poster here brought up in a recent thread she had someone as-a-joke-but-not-really-hah-hah complain about the regularity of TS, and I've been shared pages in the past by people who explicitly state that's what they're on the game for.

    Basically this whole thing works - shockingly! - when both people involved want the same thing. What I'm wondering is how often folks are honest, either to themselves or to their partners, about how often they do want this to happen. Is it a fallback on a rainy day when not much else is happening or the, as you aptly put it, main course?

    4. Then discuss what you like: Do you prefer the grinding, descriptive, purple-prose TS, or the light-hearted, fun-having TS that leads to injuries and escapades?

    Another sensitive point here is that in the early stages it might seem presumptious to start the conversation at all. You meet someone you don't know too well OOC yet - maybe you're chatting in pages about video games or whatever, then RP starts heading into that kind of direction... it's a step forward to start busting out the sex questions.

    1. Never give out personal information.

    Agreed. Not just for TS, for anything online. For me even Facebook is reserved to very very few people.

    2. Never talk about RL sex partners, past or current.

    I mean, whatever works for people, but it seems like a huge red flag if anyone does. Talking about marrital issues while you're posing bumping uglies isn't just crossing the IC/OOC line, it's more like setting it on fire.

    3. Never agree to chat, swap pics, or otherwise interact away from the MUSH of this forum.

    Danger, danger!


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    3. Then set expectations: How often do you want TS? Is it a garnish or the main course when you come online? (Yes, double-entendre there, har har, GTFO.)

    That's a tough issue to bring up, I think. A poster here brought up in a recent thread she had someone as-a-joke-but-not-really-hah-hah complain about the regularity of TS, and I've been shared pages in the past by people who explicitly state that's what they're on the game for.

    Too fucking bad? If you want to make sure that you're having enjoyable pretend-time sex, you absolutely have to fucking tell the other person how often you want it. There's nothing wrong with telling people you want to bang-bang-bang all the time. But there is something wrong to get your PC into a relationship with mine and bitch-whine when I'm off doing something else and you want your orifices stabbed or schlong sucked.

    Get the fuck out of my face if you can't be up front with something that's important to you.

    What I'm wondering is how often folks are honest, either to themselves or to their partners, about how often they do want this to happen. Is it a fallback on a rainy day when not much else is happening or the, as you aptly put it, main course?

    For me, yes. For others, no. That's why you should set expectations.

    4. Then discuss what you like: Do you prefer the grinding, descriptive, purple-prose TS, or the light-hearted, fun-having TS that leads to injuries and escapades?

    Another sensitive point here is that in the early stages it might seem presumptious to start the conversation at all. You meet someone you don't know too well OOC yet - maybe you're chatting in pages about video games or whatever, then RP starts heading into that kind of direction... it's a step forward to start busting out the sex questions.

    Let me ask you this: when you're with a new partner in real life, do you casually slip on a rubber and push your meat into their ass? Or do you simply presume that, because they are into the moment, that they would be cool with that?

    At some point, you need to talk about what you like and don't like. If you don't start at the beginning, you risk souring a relationship with surprise butt sex. Take Lawyerbot's advice: talk first, fuck second.


  • Pitcrew

    @ganymede said in Let's talk about TS.:

    1. Set boundaries: You have limits. Declare your limits.
    2. Set clear boundaries: Declare them again. Be specific. Everything from "no anal sex" to "i really hate pregnancy sex."
    3. Then set expectations: How often do you want TS? Is it a garnish or the main course when you come online? (Yes, double-entendre there, har har, GTFO.)
    4. Then discuss what you like: Do you prefer the grinding, descriptive, purple-prose TS, or the light-hearted, fun-having TS that leads to injuries and escapades?
      Outside of this triumvirate, there are my personal lines:
    5. Never give out personal information.
    6. Never talk about RL sex partners, past or current.
    7. Never agree to chat, swap pics, or otherwise interact away from the MUSH of this forum.

    this is truth

    These are very, very important to bring up: setting up clear boundaries, set expectations and what you like and keep enforcing them. People need to speak up and respect each other's wishes. Problems arise when folks remain silent or the person doesn't respect the other's preference.

    The very best TS experience I had is when someone asked me what was my preference and what was off limits before we scened. Then vice versa.


  • Admin

    In my experience at least such things were usually implicit rather than explicit. It was more reading the room - what are my partner's poses like? what verbiage are they comfortable with? - and responding instead of having a direct dialogue to set the record straight.

    On Shang of course - when I played there - all such things were rendered moot. You could get a list of someone's preferences right off the bat and there was almost zero ambiguity about it. Then again communication was really skewed in the other direction - the questions people ask there are very direct, very forward and very explicit. Hell, even back then I had to stop a few times to get a clarification for some of the Japanese/hentai stuff since I had nfc what I was being asked.

    It surprises me - since I hadn't seen that outside of this thread - that anyone puts TS related preferences on wiki for non-sex MU* though. I don't think I've ever noticed any.



  • Sadly, no extended comment yet because road tripping back home as I wonkily finger-type, but the prefs setup I harp on about is about making this kind of communication (in this context and others) easier.

    Setting boundaries is a more complicated issue on nonconsent games because people can and will try to force the issue and this is problematic. It can become moreso when, even accepting the actions through ftb, the person pushing for TS they are now not getting in every sticky detail tries to ramp up the negative consequences for the person requesting ftb. Kinda long past time for games to adopt a zero tolerance policy on that skeevery at the very least.


  • Pitcrew

    Who has time?! I mean rationally I know lots of people have time. I have done TS maybe 2-3 times in the last....6 years. Arbitrary number of years. Granted, I'm not RPing full time.

    The rules are:
    *it has to be part of a story or character development
    *no weird ooc comments on it please, thanks
    *no 2nd person posing
    *no 'we just met and we are super in love now we are going to have four babies and do happy homestead rp"


  • Politics

    @kanye-qwest said in Let's talk about TS.:

    Who has time?! I mean rationally I know lots of people have time. I have done TS maybe 2-3 times in the last....6 years. Arbitrary number of years. Granted, I'm not RPing full time.

    The rules are:
    *it has to be part of a story or character development
    *no weird ooc comments on it please, thanks
    *no 2nd person posing
    *no 'we just met and we are super in love now we are going to have four babies and do happy homestead rp"

    You never want an even number of kids. You need the tie breaker kid so I'd keep it to 3.

    But on the topic of TS/RP relations and the like I know I need to understand the boundaries or know what we're doing or I get uncomfortable.

    I use a model for a PC I had in the past as the way this type of stuff is successful for me. My PC meets PC of opposite sex. We RP, we joke and laugh and have a great time and then start to TS. This leads to more TS and IC things are great. OOC the other player explains how she would like the IC relationship to work and asks for my input which I give. We discuss some of the gray areas and agree OOC we'll talk about anything that should be talked about instead of it getting awkward. IC our characters have a quick talk and bam... No issues OOC or IC have ever come up.

    I find when I try to have those OOC conversations sometimes with other players it goes south. Like goes bad and bad fast. Lots of times it seems whatever I'm saying is colored by whatever the other player wants to hear or doesn't want to hear and then everything gets awkward and in my minds-eye the whole thing looks like a giant dumpster fire.

    Long story short like @Ganymede said above, communicate well. If that communication isn't working its probably in everyone's best interest to just let it go and not get tangled up in TS.



  • I used to TS more but like KQ says, who has time? I can't tell you how many times in the past year my character has been making out with someone and I've had to like time-out symbol to the other player like, "Um, I'm sorry, but we're past my bedtime now because I have to get up at 5 AM."

    I do always require that there be story impetus behind the TS and also, second person posing is weird. But generally speaking it's rare for a character of mine to be at that point with someone who I don't already know and trust.

    That doesn't mean I won't cause ... uh, hilarious coitus interruptus to happen, for example, but that's not really TS I guess.


  • Pitcrew

    I don't mind it if it happens, but I also don't require it. My current main character hasn't done the nasty even once on-screen, which I'm perfectly happy with, cause that means I get to focus on other stuff like cool lore things, while still having cushy romantic RP that doesn't hinge on sex. That's a good medium for me.

    Meanwhile my character on another MU has had a lot more of it on-screen, so really, it's all about playing into what your RP partner wants. I'm easy. To an extent.

    I guess it's just not a big deal to me in general. I'd probably get really annoyed if the people I played with were /always/ after it, cause it can get exhausting and repetitive to write, and I often would like to focus on other aspects. And then there's times where I feel like it fits the moment. Just, y'know, don't be too serious about it, I guess?



  • I agree with almost everything @Ganymede said above. This shouldn't be rocket-science.

    In my experience I'm almost alone in this within the MU* community (or maybe alone in being honest about this?) but most of my RL partners have been fully aware of my text-hobby and would consider TS cheating. So if I'm seeing someone, I usually let people know upfront, 'Hey I'm down for anything but no sexytimes please.' The people who are worth RPing with have always respected that, even if we'd TSed in the past. I've had one person say to me, 'Hey I respect your choice and understand your reasoning but sexual scenarios are mostly inevitable in this particular storyline, so I think you would be a bad fit for it.' I was fine with that too. On every occasion when someone disrespected my request (e.g. attempted to initiate sexy stuff after I'd specifically said I wasn't cool with that), it was abundantly clear that they had serious mental health issues and that I should avoid engaging with them regardless, so I wasn't sorry to cut them loose.

    Don't make it taboo. Don't make it awkward. If you're old enough to write about sex, you should be old enough to talk about it like an adult.

    If you've clearly communicated your limits and expectations but your partner still opts to disrespect them, that's on them, not you. And this is a separate discussion to be had about consent, respect and entitlement.


  • Admin

    @kestrel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    In my experience I'm almost alone in this within the MU* community (or maybe alone in being honest about this?) but most of my RL partners have been fully aware of my text-hobby and would consider TS cheating.

    What you probably never want to do is be on the flipside of that.

    In the late 90s I had an IC relationship with someone's RL wife who was also playing on the MUD, and he was having TS as well... until his regular partner dumped his character. Things went poorly after that, and in fact it was one of the few instances of real drama I ever encountered. This was beyond my control, and it's even arguable communication wouldn't have helped as by the time anyone (including my own IC partner) was aware there was a problem it was too late to resolve it or salvage a lot of ongoing RP which ended up having to be basically scrapped.

    On every occasion when someone disrespected my request (e.g. attempted to initiate sexy stuff after I'd specifically said I wasn't cool with that), it was abundantly clear that they had serious mental health issues and that I should avoid engaging with them regardless, so I wasn't sorry to cut them loose.

    What I don't want to communicate is stuff that should be self-evident.

    For example there's no such thing as OOC exclusivity, jealousy, any of that. Basically if these things need to be explained then there really won't be a need for them to.

    Even my time (and not just for TS) is my own, within limits; sure, if I suddenly stop playing for two weeks I should let people know, but I don't want to explain myself about not logging on one night when I was tired or went to bed early.



  • @arkandel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    @kestrel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    In my experience I'm almost alone in this within the MU* community (or maybe alone in being honest about this?) but most of my RL partners have been fully aware of my text-hobby and would consider TS cheating.

    What you probably never want to do is be on the flipside of that.

    In the late 90s I had an IC relationship with someone's RL wife who was also playing on the MUD, and he was having TS as well... until his regular partner dumped his character. Things went poorly after that, and in fact it was one of the few instances of real drama I ever encountered. This was beyond my control, and it's even arguable communication wouldn't have helped as by the time anyone (including my own IC partner) was aware there was a problem it was too late to resolve it or salvage a lot of ongoing RP which ended up having to be basically scrapped.

    On every occasion when someone disrespected my request (e.g. attempted to initiate sexy stuff after I'd specifically said I wasn't cool with that), it was abundantly clear that they had serious mental health issues and that I should avoid engaging with them regardless, so I wasn't sorry to cut them loose.

    What I don't want to communicate is stuff that should be self-evident.

    For example there's no such thing as OOC exclusivity, jealousy, any of that. Basically if these things need to be explained then there really won't be a need for them to.

    Even my time (and not just for TS) is my own, within limits; sure, if I suddenly stop playing for two weeks I should let people know, but I don't want to explain myself about not logging on one night when I was tired or went to bed early.

    All of what you're describing here is something that should be on them, not you. That's what I'm tryna say.

    You didn't do anything wrong by e-banging someone's wife. She (and her husband) did something wrong by not communicating properly between themselves and declaring their own boundaries to you.

    As you say, communication probably wouldn't have helped — on your side. Because you already did your part; the problem was that they didn't do theirs.

    Because I respect my RL partners, I communicate to my RP partners upfront that I'm in a committed relationship IRL and don't want to do anything to jeopardise that, including TS. So I do my part.

    And that's all you can do: your part. It certainly helps to ask the other person where their comfort zone lies, but anything beyond that (e.g., them not being honest) isn't your concern.


  • Admin

    @kestrel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    You didn't do anything wrong by e-banging someone's wife. She (and her husband) did something wrong by not communicating properly between themselves and declaring their own boundaries to you.

    I agree, even if in retrospect I could have also handled that much better - I was young and clueless. Even so though from a certain point of view it doesn't matter since my RP was still greatly impacted.

    YMMV of course, but generally speaking TS related issues are very hard to recover from. Like, when things actually go badly players don't stay in cordial terms afterwards.


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in Let's talk about TS.:

    What I don't want to communicate is stuff that should be self-evident.

    For example there's no such thing as OOC exclusivity, jealousy, any of that. Basically if these things need to be explained then there really won't be a need for them to.

    For you, this may be the case, but it's not the same for everyone. Hence, the part where I said that you should set up clear boundaries and then expectations.

    This takes all of 5 minutes, and saves you a whole lot of later stress, presuming your partner isn't lying. Then you have a difference issue entirely.


  • Admin

    @ganymede said in Let's talk about TS.:

    For you, this may be the case, but it's not the same for everyone. Hence, the part where I said that you should set up clear boundaries and then expectations.

    This takes all of 5 minutes, and saves you a whole lot of later stress, presuming your partner isn't lying. Then you have a difference issue entirely.

    I suspect you're right. It's just tricky to start a conversation like "Hey, so just because my character is banging yours it doesn't mean other characters of mine won't bang other people" without feeling like I'm basically insulting the other person.

    On the other hand I suppose I would feel much more comfortable discussing how or if our playing hours would match if our characters are going to be attached (which might not be a function of TS at all) which could, from a certain point of view, turn out to be similar in practical terms. "You can't play with other people!" isn't that much different than "you have to play with meee!".