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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jen View Post
    Some people say that due to Charms, every time an Exalted or a magical being talk to a human the former is basically trying to rape the former.

    I mean, I don't have much life experience, but does being talked to by a charismatic person considered attempt rape in the Western world ?
    A common work definition of rape is "sexual interaction without informed consent". Consent comes from Latin, essentially meaning "to feel with". If both parties feel the same way, then it's okay. Naturally, attempting to influence how someone feels about something is one of the essential cores of human interaction, so trying to come off in a better light cannot be considered attempted rape.

    There are complications to this. Being very persistent despite clear negative signs is disrespectful, as discussed above. There's also the issue of external influence. For example, what about if someone is drunk? Can they give informed consent? After all, they are not at their full mental capacity, and alcohol is very well-known for making you different than you normally are and making it harder for you to understand things. Some people would argue that drunk people can't give consent due to that outside influence (of course, while you are sober, you can give consent to getting drunk and having sex!).

    The problem with sex magic would be twofold: not only does it cloud the judgement, causing you to maybe make different decision than you would have if you were "sober", but it's also inflicted from the outside. The parallels to date rape are obvious.

    Now, add to this that Charms are not supposed to be magical outside effects in Exalted, but expression of supernal skill, yet they are still powered by the "magic juice" of the system. That's a very double message, and I frankly find this type of dubiousness to be the best argument against sex Charms (and any kind of magical social influence) I've heard. Not enough to make me dismiss them as a concept, but I can see why people would be bothered by this.

    (Side note: It's an interesting question whether being really, really good at making people like you can also be objectionable? I'm not sure. I suppose it'd have to depend on what you do with that skill in that case.)


    Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Jen View Post
      I also want to ask for some examples on what do people consider a seduction attempt, do you think that it lie more in the intention (I want that guy to like/notice me) or action (It's strip time!).


      Originally posted by Jen
      If a guy seduces a gal then it's kinda rapy, if vice versa then you play right into the sexist stereotype which make you a gigantic miso-gonist (sorry, that's word is really hard to remember for me). Soooo not that I'm complaining, but is guy-on-guy the only road that I must walk in order to find that hot and steamy seduction story ?
      Hey, Jen, why do all your threads open with this kind of nonsensical hyper- Oh. Ooh.

      Clever, my man. Clever.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The MG View Post

        Hey, Jen, why do all your threads open with this kind of nonsensical hyper- Oh. Ooh.

        Clever, my man. Clever.
        Click-Bait is your friend.

        Wonderandawe's guide to getting people to post on your topic.

        1. Type up a post to encourage conversation about a topic you want to read about.
        2. Season post with topic appropriate rage inducing keywords like "Dreams of the First Age" or "Lilun".
        3. Post new topic.
        4. Respond to your posters until the conversation can sustain itself.
        5. Avoidance Kata
        6. Lurk from the Loom of Fate and watch the conversation unfold.

        The topic will eventually flame out, but by that time I've usually grown bored with the topic and moved on to something new.
        Last edited by wonderandawe; 01-15-2016, 05:24 PM.


        I write things.

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        • #19
          As a player I am pretty much NO TOUCHY (there's a combination of reasons/rationales there but suffice to say, that's my natural state, my group is okay with it*). I am VERY no touchy about heterosexual romance/sex involving my character (my current main game has a possible, very slow burn queer romance going but we've been playing for months and I think the characters involved have touched like twice?).

          As a reader/writer, shit yeah there are so many ways to do seduction without rape, Jesus, how is this even a question?

          I think the main reason most male seducer characters are seen as rapey is because that's how they've been written throughout the centuries of oppression, basically. Like, if you read Casanova's diaries (or Don Juan's, whoever it was since I've blocked it out of my fucking mind) then that dude raped SO many women and it's vile. So vile. But that's a cultural trope. Same with Pepe Le Pew, or the 'sidekick who is totes charming and hits on women all the time' (see: Jason in the Anita Blake books, Ivan in the Vorkosigan series) where the 'hits on' is 'gropes nonconsensually and makes lewd remarks at and pressures women into sex because *he* knows they secretly want it). These characters are kinda nasty and boring and stupid. You wanna play a seducer who is a dude who seduces women? Play a kind guy, play the guy who comforts small children and cooks good food and comforts characters and protects them and is smart enough to work out what the woman he wants actually desires*. Actually play Shen, but that's probably because I love his character portrait and nerds with beards are my jam...

          Female seducers follow the same lines really. A good seductive character doesn't assume their target is a fuckwit with hormones for brains. They connect, however briefly and superficially, with the person they wanna fuck. It's like camping, leave them in better shape than you found them. If your seducer works only because 'well of course men wanna fuck pretty ladies' then she's a failure on a creative front, and boring to boot (not to mention offensive because men do have feelings!).

          Seducers need to have an internal motivation for wanting to fuck as well - that's where it can get tricky, and interesting, in terms of 'my motivation for finding a willing lass to bed in every town is that I cannot sleep alone' leads naturally to 'well, what happens when they don't want to?'. That was literally the character hook for a seducer character in a romance I read once, btw. 'I wanna nail chicks' is, well, kinda boring. Same with 'my self esteem demands worship' because being ploughed probably doesn't actually fill that need. 'This is a convenient way to further my espionage' is just begging the ST for your enemies to be an assortment of asexuals, people with very definite fetishes, and physically incapable. Work your own angles first, basically.

          Now, player motivation has to come into it too. Playing a seducer because you wanna play out that stuff? All well and good but get consent, y'know? Don't drag people into your kinks, it's poor form and gross. Playing a seducer because you wanna combo it with an MA and a character concept? You still need to make sure everyone is on board. I really, REALLY, dislike playing in a group with that kind of character. My hackles rise and I have no fun. It just doesn't work for me to sit there and be part of that game. So I have issues when fellow players run a Lothario, and the ST allows it, then first session I get to sit around with my skin crawling while they try bang the waitstaff. It's not a concern now, but it has been, and tanked my old group. Playing that because you have a psychological niche you wanna scratch? Be super super careful, please. Please. You're involving other people in your brain-things and that can go badly.

          Mostly though, shit yeah seducers can be valid and amazing concepts and characters that don't rape people, invalidate other people's sexualities, or bore the shit out of everyone at the table.

          * I was talking about the Red Rule with John and Holden once, and the thing is, it seems set up to protect people like me, y'know? And it is, and does, but John pointed out it's also there for the people who want to play out sex, seduction, rape, and things like that in game as well. They aren't bad people, they aren't gross or assholes (unless they're doing it against the will of the people involved, obvs), and the Red Rule protects them too. Which was interesting to me, and makes me think of the Red Rule as less about me, and my issues, and more like the (eponymous) safeword structure in BDSM - it's there to give a structure for consent when you are playing at the edges of it. It makes even more sense in that context than for tables where 'wait, what?' is the response to aggressive use of sex charms. Because the Red Rule isn't 'bad person, no play for you' it's 'stop this bit of play right now'.

          **see: a library would, in my single days, have been a GREAT place to pick me up at so long as I wasn't actually working and you weren't a douchey creep leering at me and suddenly proposing sex. Because that wouldn't work at a club anyway, at least in a library I can assume you might share some interests).


          ". ... for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material." -= Guillermo del Toro

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Lucy Darling View Post
            Now, player motivation has to come into it too. Playing a seducer because you wanna play out that stuff? All well and good but get consent, y'know? Don't drag people into your kinks, it's poor form and gross. Playing a seducer because you wanna combo it with an MA and a character concept? You still need to make sure everyone is on board. I really, REALLY, dislike playing in a group with that kind of character.
            Quoting this because yeah, that's really important too. Things you and the GM are okay with, AND things the rest of your table is okay with. At my table, I'd be okay with the PCs doing some flirting, maybe some light kissing, but there's a transition to offscreen if it gets too much.

            To me, the SPIRIT of the Red Rule boils down to "Dude, don't be That Guy", y'know, the one who makes it creepy for everyone. Even if the other players aren't involved directly in the sex stuff, don't go to a degree that makes EVERYONE uncomfortable.

            And to echo what many have said, I'm both glad that it was spelled out in the book in case you're playing with That Guy, and sad that it needed to be spelled out.


            Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
              It's kind of sad that the Red Rule needed to be explicitly stated in writing to put the kaibosh on this kind of action, but that's what it does. The Red Rule basically says that nobody's character can be forced into performing an intimate or sex act, using any kind of magic or mechanics or anything, unless the player is ok with it.
              If you poke around in kinkster and feminist forums, you'll find the topic of "active consent" - that is, slowing down and making sure your partner is eager and willing for each new round of weird fun stuff. The Red Rule is basically a wordy, nerdy version of active consent.


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              • #22
                I don't think we should be ashamed that the Red Rule is spelled out explicitly. I mean, it would be great if we were perfect, but since we aren't, it can't hurt to talk about how to get better.

                Our culture is pretty nervous when it comes to sex, and likes to not talk about it while still wanting to engage in it. I think the explicit language of the Red Rule is a way of setting the playing rules out in broad daylight. That way, you can make sure to play within them and, paradoxically, create more freedom through the formalisation of more rules.


                Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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                • #23
                  It is all about expectation handling. There is nothing wrong with characters spending time on nag sex or playing peoples emotions, or other creepy behavior, as it is a story. However, just as there shouldn't be a splatter scene in a romantic movie, make sure the people in question are comfortable with a topic first before including it. If it is a story for a book, it is about making sure the potential readers have a chance about finding that type of topic might show up. For gaming, it is about the people around the table.

                  Then, it is a good thing to be aware what it actually means, so one doesn't just toss it in out of habit. Personally, I love exploring different mindsets, which if we leave modern settings often mean picking values for my character (or NPC's) that could be uncomfortable for someone with an escapistic agenda.

                  As safewords have already been mentioned in the thread, I would recommend looking at something as X-cards as well; http://www.gamingaswomen.com/posts/2...th-the-x-card/

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                  • #24
                    I don't like people playing dudes as seducers, not because I have any great objection to it, but because I've seen it played as a character's concept a couple of times and it has always been played badly. Maybe with different players it could work.
                    I find that as a general rule, I find active (as opposed to just standing there looking hot) seduction in games pretty fun when it's played for laughs,* and kind of annoying when it's done seriously, if I'm involved (as the ST, it's not a concept I'm interested in playing). I don't really mind if other people do it, it's just boring to me.
                    But honestly, that's the same whether it's a boy or a girl character. I think perhaps, due to cultural power differentials, I'm more likely to find the girl seducing the guy amusing than the other way round, because I'm laughing at the guy's naievety. If it's serious I find it kind of dull/annoying. Which is sort of sensible (due to cultural power differentials, as I said) but also kind of sexist really.

                    *We have a lot of romance, seduction, and romance-based drama in the game I play, rather than the one I run, but it's generally comedy while the evil sorcerers or cultists or whatever are the serious part.


                    STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                    • #25
                      I personally view the Red Rule as less a player saying "You can't even try seduce me. ever." and more an agreement of "okay, we can try to seduce each other, but invoke this if your character doesn't swing that way or if someone's laying it on too thick."


                      "Life before Death, Strength before Weakness, Journey before Destination."

                      "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves"

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                      • #26
                        I am glad that, what with the Lover and Raksi, Exalted acknowledges that women can also commit rape. Speaking as a woman, I have never felt that positive discrimination (of the kind that all women are pure flawless saints and/or victims who exist solely to display the- inevitably male- villain's cruelty) betters our society or achieves anything- except making flat characters who bear more resemblance to Ebony Dark'ness than anyone in real life.

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                        • #27
                          I'd like to second all this love for the Red Rule, which is now a house rule in all my games and will probably be turned into a sign to post above our gaming table at some point.

                          As to the basic question of "when is seduction okay and when is it rape" well that's an easy answer: rape is when you have sex with someone without their consent, seduction is a social maneuver to get that person's consent. The latter is healthy behavior and glorious fodder for RP between enthusiastic participants, the former is a game-ruiner and also just really really not something I ever want at my table from PCs.

                          More to the actual point though, both genders have negative stereotypes associated with seduction attempts, but the specific stereotypes and the societal backlash will be very different. In general, men who openly seduce are "dangerous" and "most likely rapists" and women who openly seduce are "impure" and "most likely damaged goods." People will express their preference for one admonishment over another, but they're both honestly quite bad no matter who you are.

                          I've had a lot of amorous characters at the table over the years and it's never been a problem for me. In general, my guideline has become "it never hurts to ask once" and thematically that seems to hold true. Whether male or female, a character who propositions every random passerby is usually "quirky and liberated" until they press the issue a second time after being told no. There will be people who try and slut-shame even for that first attempt and if it really makes your players uncomfortable then I'd recommend not encouraging it, but from a storytelling perspective the one free try rule works well in my experience.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Korhal_IV View Post

                            If you poke around in kinkster and feminist forums, you'll find the topic of "active consent" - that is, slowing down and making sure your partner is eager and willing for each new round of weird fun stuff. The Red Rule is basically a wordy, nerdy version of active consent.
                            Active consent and safeguards, yah. A big part of active consent is understanding that the action/topic can be turbulent. And especially in kinkster communities, it can be purposefully pushing delicate buttons that have the potential to go too far. But the fun can sometimes be in resisting, in playing it up, or in keeping things moving quickly. So... You build back doors, quick ways of breaking free in case stuff gets too heavy, too fast. You outright say that it can be ended at any time with a word, make sure that everyone involved knows when to pull back a bit.

                            It's healthy to talk about it, really! It's just kinda good practice. Much better to look at it as a lifeline than as a slap on the wrist. And to look at it as normal and okay. Cause one of the biggest issues you can run into is usually... Thinking it's not okay to pull away when you're uncomfortable. Thinking you'll hurt someone's feelings while being in a super bad place, yourself. So, stated in the rules to encourage that~


                            Stuff I've made:
                            Ex3 Combat Flowchart > https://www.dropbox.com/s/wnh21nkq07...d%20Combat.png
                            Ex3 Battlegroup Cheatsheet > https://www.dropbox.com/s/byc19z0coe...roups.png?dl=0

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Weimann View Post
                              The problem with sex magic would be twofold: not only does it cloud the judgement, causing you to maybe make different decision than you would have if you were "sober", but it's also inflicted from the outside. The parallels to date rape are obvious.

                              Now, add to this that Charms are not supposed to be magical outside effects in Exalted, but expression of supernal skill, yet they are still powered by the "magic juice" of the system. That's a very double message, and I frankly find this type of dubiousness to be the best argument against sex Charms (and any kind of magical social influence) I've heard. Not enough to make me dismiss them as a concept, but I can see why people would be bothered by this.

                              (Side note: It's an interesting question whether being really, really good at making people like you can also be objectionable? I'm not sure. I suppose it'd have to depend on what you do with that skill in that case.)
                              This is what galls me about Rose-Lipped Seduction Style in particular, in ways the Red Rule alone can't fix (save by nuking it off the page entirely). It's a charm that bypasses all the elements that make the social system something other than verbal mind control, wrapped up in the overall package of the shakily-consistent conceptualization of Charms, and it doesn't even have the Psyche keyword that says 'this is not normal'.

                              The only charm in the game that explicitly ignores all the Unacceptable Influence protections - need for an intimacy, sexual orientation (or lack of one!), risk of death - is the one that lets a character talk someone into bed.

                              That really doesn't sit right with me.

                              (Of course, some Psyche charms like Hypnotic Tongue Technique would benefit from clarifying exactly how much they override, too, since they have to override at least some to function...)
                              Last edited by squidheadjax; 01-17-2016, 05:56 AM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by squidheadjax View Post
                                This is what galls me about Rose-Lipped Seduction Style in particular
                                How would you feel if it was double 9s and Intimacies you based seduction on counted as one level higher than normally instead?


                                Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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