OOC Gender Preferences in RPs

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Izurich, Aug 10, 2015.

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  1. Hello, awesome Iwakuans! (Did I spell that right?)

    I am curious about a certain topic and may require discussion from you peeps. ;)

    Please keep this thread friendly, this is NOT a debate, but merely a discussion about a topic I am curious about.

    So, without further ado...

    In my 5 years of career of RP-ing, only on Iwaku that I have noticed RP-ers posting Partner Request threads that explicitly specify that they wanted the partner (As in the writer behind the screen, not the IC characters) to be of a specific gender.

    Personally, I never do nor mind it in all my years of RP-ing. I play Male and Female characters all the time, I never give a thought whether my partner is Male, Female, Androgynous, others. IC characters though is another matter, I usually discuss beforehand whether my partner's character would be male/female/others. I RP-ed Female PCs (I'm male IRL) with Male PCs (whose writer is female), vice versa, so... I am unable to see what matters in one's partner's IRL gender, what matters is the characters, right?

    Please give your thoughts and comments on this guys.

    Much love,
    Izurich
     
  2. There are a few issues at play here.

    Well, first off, are you sure they're explicitly saying they want the player to be a particular gender? I've seen a lot of partner requests in my time that were very unclear on that point. Does putting "Female only" in the title of the thread mean female characters or female players? Hard to say. I cruised through the general partner requests and the Libertine ones and I found many that were unclear, one that looked like they were asking for a specific gender but then the thread starter said otherwise in the thread, and none that specifically and clearly stated a preferred player gender.

    Second, it seems like it's not really common at all in non-Libertine roleplays. When it comes to Libertine, I can sort of understand why people would request a specific player gender. Sexuality is a weird thing, people have all sorts of hang ups about what they're okay with and not okay with, and Libertine roleplaying for many is all wrapped up in their sexuality. They very well may not be comfortable with writing something sexual with someone who is not of their preferred gender, because they view it as doing a sexual thing with that person. It's very similar to how people worry about whether doing smutty roleplay with someone is cheating on their spouse or not.

    And finally, lots of people have issue separating characters from players. This works on both sides, where they have problems separating their own thoughts and feelings from their character (which makes them basically play like a self insert most of the time) and also problems separating the other character from that character's player (which means they assume that how the character thinks and acts is the same as how the player thinks and acts). This is why you'll see ridiculous nonsense like someone raging at their RP partner because their character is a rude piece of shit who did something rude and shitty to their own self insert character. It may also go a long way to explaining why some people refuse to do any sort of sexualized RP with someone not of their preferred gender, because in their mind it's sort of an indirect sex act that they are doing with the other player, similar to phone sex.

    That's how I've always looked at it at least. :P
     
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  3. Yes, I am aware that generally it is unclear whether the OP specified the gender regarding the characters or the partner's IRL gender, but what made me create this thread was those several Partner Requests that clearly specified that they want the Writer to be male/female. Things such as, "I am a guy and I only roleplay with girls, no offense to you guys, but it's my preference" and other similar statements with different wordings.

    Hmmm... I agree, after checking those threads, most of them seemed to be in the Libertine section. Ah... yes, it's a matter of perspective then. Personally, I draw a clear line between RP character and RP-er, characters are simply tools (though I can grow attached to them) to write a story (smut or otherwise), what the characters do in-universe had nothing to do with the writer. How the person writes their posts however, may reflect their IRL traits.

    I see, so it's the inability to separate OOC and IC. Fortunately on Iwaku, I haven't yet encountered a person who raged at the writer for something their IC characters did. I had my share of that kind of people already as elaborated in this post at the Roleplaying Pet Peeves thread. Going by that logic, Jorick... that means I can have sex with you? :P Hohohoho!

    NIce once, dude. Thank you for your insight.

    RP-ers who requested partners of a specific gender, please post here and tell us the reasoning behind your actions. :D Come on, don't be shy.
     
  4. I don't really care what the real life gender of my partner is cause I know it doesn't really matter. As long as I have good playing chemistry with them, I'm really glad I found a good partner.

    BUUUUUUUUT

    I do legitimately find myself uncomfortable doing sex scenes with straight male partners and deep down I kinda prefer girl partners. o__o A lot of people tend to blur the lines between character and roleplayer and I don't like getting in to situations where a dude starts hitting on or making sexual commentary at ME just because of what our characters are doing. Which has never happened to me personally before so I dunno why I fear this @_@. But I have seen it happening over and over again to other roleplayers.

    And I don't like situations where significant others get jealous and start pushing their way in to our roleplay, and/or having a bitchfit about the scene we're doing. Which IS something that has happened to me. >< As well as having my spouse get jealous about it. o__o This one has even happened even with my non-straight partners, so it can get tricky. >>;

    So basically, I don't request a certain gender for my partner and I will play with any gender, but I doooo feel more comfortable playing with someone who is not going to hit on me or get me in trouble. >:/ And the least likely to get me in trouble is straight girls or gay dudes. @__@
     
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  5. Oh damn, Diana... reading at your experiences, it relieves me to keep my IRL and Internet life separate... Then again, I've never had someone else's spouse getting a bitchfit over the RP I am doing with them. O_O
     
  6. Well, the others stated most of the obvious reasons here, so I will only add something else instead of repeating what they said. Basically, if I am doing 1x1, I would almost never post requirement to a specific gender, however from the roleplay pairing itself, it's quite easy to see which gender would prefer doing it. Some people just want to make sure of that. Let me explain myself here:

    Do you know that many people ask for a translator or a teacher who is a native speaker of the said language and would always choose such above someone who is not, irrespective of the outsider's proficiency in the said language. Well, it is something similar in the roleplay. It is a rule of thumb that 9 out of 10 times a woman would be able to roleplay a female character better than a man. People say IC and OOC is strictly separate, but that it never 100% true, since the player's thoughts are what animates a character. There are implicit differences in the male and female perceptions and these translate into the character that is being roleplayed. When my character is female, they are much more masculine, not in their overall behaviour or appearance, but rather in the way of thinking, than they would be, should a female be roleplaying the same character. These things considered, it can easily be seen why players would attempt to ensure authenticity by demanding this or that gender. I am convinced that in great many cases, though, that is not really necessary, since the type of player that is most likely to roleplay a character best is also the one most likely to want to join the said roleplay, with minor exceptions, of course.

    This last part may be a little bit off, but from a pure psychological standpoint, men are more inclined to talk to women and vice versa, it's genetic programming in a way. It may play an extremely minor part in the choice when we talk about a more complicated roleplay, but it is there, double more so for younger people, where the hormones are jumping and screaming, so to speak.

    P.S.: It was just pointed out to me, that my last point may be misunderstood due to the main premise being misleading. By "men are more inclined to talk to women and vice versa" I meant that people are generally more likely to prefer talking to the type of people they are attracted to. I come from a place where things like different sexuality and untraditional gender perceptions don't exist, cut me some slack :3
     
    #6 Aleksandar, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  7. I see! Hmmm, yes, at the core it's mostly about human psychology which is influenced by age, gender, culture, and life's experience.

    Nice one, Aleksandar! Thank you for the insights.
     
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  8. For the same reasons as @Diana stated, I have a slight preference towards partners who are female. Playing straight scenes with a straight male can occasionally lead to uncomfortable experiences.

    I experienced this a LOT in my time on Yahoo, where in the chatrooms a lot of OOC was interspersed between the IC/RP posts, so there was a lot of line-blurring there. It got to the point where I'd sometimes rather tell people I was a guy playing a female character (and deal with the additional backlash that sometimes came with that) rather than put up with the incessant flirting and inappropriateness.

    I'm over it now, and generally speaking I don't really care what gender my partners are anymore, because I'm mature enough to tell someone to fuck off if they're being a jerk. Buuut like I said I do still have a slight lean towards females.
     
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  9. I see! Hmmm... I am quite surprised actually. I thought some people prefer playing with their preferred gender rather than the opposite (This is me assuming that you are a heterosexual female, Fatal), but Diana and your posts said otherwise. So there are variety of reasons after all, the ones I saw are mostly people requesting their partner to be of their preferred gender (e.g: Heterosexual male with a female, vice versa).
     
  10. I can see why some people would prefer opposite gender, just for comfort. And yes, I am a heterosexual(ish) female.

    When I was a much younger RPer, the gender of my partner mattered because I felt like a guy would play a guy much better than a girl would, and likewise that a girl would play a girl much better than a guy would.

    I've since come to learn that's not always the case xD

    Once I got over the initial sort of mental "barrier" of playing characters of different genders with players of different genders, it stopped mattering as much.
     
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  11. I've also seen a lot of what Diana and Fatal are talking about, particularly back when I played World of Warcraft and roleplayed on there. Oh, the number of poor fools who did some smutty roleplaying with a woman (or, because it wasn't at all uncommon for people to pose as girls OOC in order to get free stuff from desperate male players, a man they thought was a woman) and then started being all creepy and talking about having feelings for the actual person playing the character. I was friends with quite a few women who did sexual roleplaying on the server I played on, and for a while there it seemed like there was a new guy creeping on one of them and professing feelings of love every damned week.

    Roleplaying with gay males or straight women to avoid roleplaying with silly people who might blur the character/player line and then get all creepy about it seems like a fine strategy to me. :P
     
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  12. >_>

    As an avid MMO player, I may or may not have abused the fact that I was female to receive free handouts.
     
  13. That's quite... childishly desperate. :( I'm sad...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Hmm well in my limited experience and as far as I know I've only rp'd or talked about rping with three guys and I've gotten bad vibes from them, first one was micro manager and got really defensive if a female character was not attracted to them, second was another micro manager, just plain creepy, had a sue character, and even told me more or less that it didn't matter what I wanted their character always got their way and my character had no choice in anything, third was just very creepy in their description of a character they were trying to tell me about that they were interested in. That being said I don't tell other rpers 'oh you have to be a boy or a girl to rp with me' cause that's dumb and I've had creepy and poor rp partners that are female before but I think because of those odd experiences I'm slightly bias in where it'll take me a little longer to warm up to an rp partner if I know they are male. Though I am aware that's really unfair for me to do and I do try to get over it quickly.
     
    #14 razorrabbit, Sep 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  15. Ok, I was pretty guilty of this when I was a teenager so let me add some perspective on this.

    Long Version (open)

    Now first off though it should be clarified I never made an interest check outright saying "Females Only".
    But I might as well have, cause I practically always ended up with female partners, and those that were male would die out very quickly.

    Now I'm mainly going to be touching on Jorick's later two points: Comfort levels with Sexuality, and Blurring the line between player and character.



    Basic Background

    So me as a Teenager had joined a lot of 1x1 roleplays.

    It should also be noted that where I came from before Iwaku (I'll be mentioning this a lot via 'The Guild') there was no Libertine section.
    1x1's were all just cramped together into one Interest Check, and the vast majority of them were in nature Libertine, to the point where unless if clear restrictions were set at the start almost every 1x1 would turn Libertine in nature at some point.

    *Oh and if people are thinking "Don't you mean Liberteen?", the Guild never separated it by age either.


    Comfort Levels of Sexuality


    So as mentioned by others, a lot of people do feel rather personal about sexual roleplaying.
    This can be from a number of factors such as the detail put into it, for example one usually doesn't go "He blows" he'll go into further detail about the how, the feeling, the specific parts, they're thinking.
    You know, general detail/explanations that players add to RP posts for the sake of immersing themselves, only in this case they're immersing into sexual content. This is can make it feel very real for to them, especially when something such as sex is a common human interaction and desire to have. It's not something remote in fantasy such as say "Slaying the Dragon with Excalibur" where one can easily go "This doesn't happen in real life".

    And when someone is that immersed it can be even more detailed or intimate than usual sex-ting or phone sex, so a lot of people end up seeing it as a form of cheating simply because of how close it can feel, and the amount of detail actually put into it. And then you got those individuals were any form of talking sexually with others can be seen as cheating, but that's a topic for another time.

    So first off to even get these scene's to begin with you need two players who have stepped up and said "I am ok roleplaying/immersing myself into this kind of content", but human's have a big array of levels they're comfortable at. You're going to get those that vary from "Only those I trust" to "Anybody". And along that spectrum you got those who may be willing to be open about it, but don't want to move beyond their own sexual attraction. Because at least that way they feel more natural/at home about it.

    *Note in some cases it might be cases like only wanting a sex they're not attracted to. For these people the reasoning could be something along the lines of "If it's not someone I'm attracted to, that adds a level/suspension of disbelief" or "If it's not someone that would be attracted to me then I don't need to worry about the partner taking it personally".


    Blurring the line between player and character

    **Now, this one before I start should be given an immediate disclaimer. Back on the Guild one of the people who I originally set up a 1x1 with had actually became a Girl Friend, and this last around 2 years (however it was on and off during that time). Now, what exactly caused a 1x1 pairing to turn into an actual relationship? In all honesty I don't even 100% remember, and due to the Guild Crash I can't even bring up old records/messages to figure it out. However from what I can remember it was because as we RP'd we did also engage in a lot of OOC conversation, and over the span of a few months we grew close enough through OOC chatter to feel that an online relationship was worth a shot. So in my memory, this wasn't one of those "I can see you as your character" situations... Which considering our RP was about a Gang Member kidnapping a Princess would have been pretty bad. XD**

    Any ways, this largely ties into the same thing I got into with the "Comfort Levels of Sexuality" point. As the nature of roleplays people immerse themselves quite a bit, and this can get very personal when it's a topic that almost every human being has either engaged in or has a strong desire to engage in. So already the person has allowed themselves into this fictional world/story quite a bit, to the point where one only needs a push or two for that immersion to turn into line-blurring. This push could be "I'm really lonely in Real Life and really want someone", "I'm in a rough spot in life and need someone to make me feel better", "My real life is awful and I need an escape", "I really like the player behind the character and wish I could be doing this with them" etc. Essentially some sort of outside factor to make the person emotional vulnerable or desperate enough that their Brains starts to adopt the RP was their form of reality. Even if consciously the player realises it as a separate entity, if the unconscious mind desires it strong enough the persons actions and behaviour could start to change to be treating it as if it is their actual life. This is where possessiveness and OOC advances can start to become a thing.

    *It should also be noted that on top of the Online Relationship mentioned above, there were another case where in either reflection such a line was being blurred.
    It was one of those "Would be together if not for being in another relationship" deals. In this case note the girl had also asked me out within the first week, before any RP actually had started yet, but the 'Chemistry' for a lack of better word had grown stronger the more indepth things like roleplays were a thing.


    Blurring the line between player and character - Non-Romantic/Desperate Life reasoning/motivation.

    This one's more of a small bonus/foot-note, because I'm actually dealing with a player in D&D group atm who has the issue of not being able to separate IC with OOC. Though he doesn't do it in a Romantic/Libertine manner, but it could still work as a decent example of other reasoning's this stuff pops up.

    So, brief background on this one.
    As I've mentioned on the site before I was born with Autism, Diagnosed at age 3 and went through 12 years of therapy for it.
    During those 12 years I met a lot of other people with Autism, one of these people being the current D&D player in question.

    In this case our group has dealt with a series of episodes where something IC does a way he doesn't like it, and his reaction is to lash out at the players over it. To list a few examples.
    (Small Note: If anyone where goes to the "Giant in the Playground" forums. You might know of this person as 'Player D' from when people share their D&D experiences).
    • Stunned by Gelatinous Cube, and assassinated by a party member who was betraying the entire party. Reaction was crying for 3 hours straight (I timed it), even when told his character would revive after the fight.
    • Exposing himself as a Vampire in front of a Druid (Knowing ahead of time Druids pre-disposition to the undead). And then when the Druid attacks it for being unnatural he yells "You ruined this campaign for me!".
    • Calling a campaign complete shit because he was flanked (and knocked unconscious by a horde of Goblins)
    *Should note whenever he makes a character he always gives very basic concepts like "He's an Assassin" or "A Bounty Hunter whose loyal to his contract". And then uses them as essentially his class/sheet of stat's to which he ends up playing himself. If you do ask him he will say "Oh no, I'm roleplaying my character, their motivations etc" but if you ask him what those are it will always go back to the "He's an Assassin" thing. So essentially he's always playing as himself and not a roleplayed character/personality.

    Now this case what's going on is honestly the Autism and lack of a 'Character', where most people naturally have the ability to separate pretend from reality he is suffering more difficulty/hardships with doing so.
    So when something in the Campaign goes badly for him, his usual reaction to blame the players as if the characters hostility is the players hostility. The skill that let's someone go "This is a game, not real life" is present for him, but it's one he needs to consciously focus on to remember, and even then he will snap into a rage first and then need to remember the fact after said rage is done.

    On top of which as I mentioned above, he takes himself and insert's them into his characters. That right there adds to the problem because now if something happens to the character, there's not really a 'character' or personality there it's happening to. It's not a separate intensity that one can act is, it's himself, instances are happening to him without it actually happening to him.


    Technically Teen me is Guilty of the "Insert Self into RP too" thing

    To give some history though, in my case 'Gwazi Magnum' was an RP Character before being my username. On the Star Wars Universe RP I used to be in my character Duvnar Magnum adopted a son named Gwazi Magnum. Back on the Star Wars site everyone's username was that of their main character, it was a habit we picked up because we originated from Combine which is a star wars simulation site, where you play as a character in the galaxy, so to make it easier on the staff there everyone's know by their character.

    This habit followed me to the Guild, where my username remained Gwazi Magnum (by the time the Star Wars RP ended Gwazi had replaced Duvnar as my most used character). And then as a result I made most characters in the games "Gwazi Magnum". I did take efforts to make them unique from one another (however not well) mind you.

    Then adult me has a special case of "Welcome back to the Guild" where the RP actually involves the RP Guild itself, in which case being Gwazi in that specific scenario just seemed fitting to the setting. Though even then I take efforts so it's a similar but different person from who I am.


    TL;DR

    It can be a combination of a few factors.
    1. The level of detail that tends to go into RP posts
    2. How something like sexual content is closer to Real Life than most RP settings
    3. Real Life might have pressures that makes the individual want (even if subconsciously) for the RP to be real
    4. A Diagnosis they have might make it more difficult for them to separate the RP from themselves
    5. If they're the kind of person who insert themselves into the character rather than make their own unique character it can add to the "This RP stuff is happening to me" problem
     
    #15 Mistake, Sep 27, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
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  16. Generally, I prefer my one on one partners to be played by females. Most guys (though there are a few exceptions) tend to be quite crude with their wording, especially in adult type of role playing. Nothing is a faster turn off than the use of some words in a role play for me, and they are used almost exclusively (in my experience) by males. Perhaps if some guys found a... softer verbiage to use, I might be more welcoming to it.

    I think it comes down to preference in writing styles. Psychology has shown that there is quite a difference between males and females when writing that people subconsciously pick up on.
     
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  17. Nice one guys! :D Loving the comments and feedbacks from all of you!

    @razorrabbit : I see. :) I think it's a matter of past experiences then, I am a guy and I am confident I don't do those things. It's good to see you are aware of it and try to warm up to people, no matter what gender they are. Keep it up!

    @Gen. Gwazi Senpai : I read the Long version! Now gimme a cookie! Ahem... I see, so to summarize, I think your post pertains to how Wisdom and Mental condition affects a person's Roleplaying. :) Teenagers are still developing physically, this includes their brains, I think I remember Brovo saying something about an adult's logical part of the brain is equally developed compared to a teenager's.

    @Kakumei : Well, since I don't know about your preferences in sexual wordings specifically, I can't give much comment. :P I am a guy though and by default, I use the 'Tastefully Descriptive' principle in doing Libertine RPs, though I am adaptable.
     
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  18. I'm going to have to look through and see them. Maybe they will be tasteful in comparison to what most people I run into use.
    Words that otherwise, just make me get up and leave the role play forever. XD
     
  19. @Izurich
    Oh I know it's just a matter of having poor luck and like I said those are the only three I know of, I usually don't actually know the gender of my partners in most cases. I usually assume but I never actually know. It is something I try to get over though after all would be sucky to miss out on a potential awesome rp partner just because they were the opposite gender of yourself. Though being a nervous person in general probably doesn't help too much with that :bsmile:
     
  20. I never looked at the hard science of the Frontal Lobe (likely what Brovo's referring to) so I can't really speak in that regard.

    But in a nutshell yes, it's wisdom, mental condition are factors.
    But one's ability to separate IC from OOC as well as one's desire for romance could play into it also.

    Though those technically fall under "mental condition" but are big enough they should be noted separately.
     
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