This is a neat little piece about sex and intimacy in RPGs.
My first major D&D character was a female elf rogue, who gladly charmed her way out of situations, though never actually had any sex on-screen in the campaign (to be fair, I started playing her at age 12, and that game went through age about age 15-16). She ended up married to one of the other PCs (a male human fighter/mage), somewhere toward the end of the campaign, and they formed a pretty tight bond going forward (or at least, so it seemed to me). This formed a basis for most of my future characters and storylines, especially my work in the World of Ruin setting and my novel SCOURGE OF THE REALM, which stars a priestess of the goddess of intimacy/love/sex in her world.
While I have come to understand its role as a core part of my writing aesthetic, when I was young, my interest in playing female characters and establishing/playing around with relationships and sex in RPGs struck me as a bit odd. I was a bit of an awkward kid who never really had any experience with girls until I realized I could befriend them late in high school (that was really cool, btw), and I didn’t have a real girlfriend until my sophomore year of college. (And I’m married to her now.)
In my personal life as a white straight cis-male, I’m about as straight-laced as they come–even *quaint* by today’s standards of relationships and sexual ethics–and I think part of it is that gaming and fiction have given me so much room to explore and experiment in a virtual, safe way.
I think the inclusion of romance, relationships, and sex is not only good and healthy in a game, but often times extremely important. It opens up doors to understanding and shifts of perspective that can be quite powerful when applied to real life.
Caveat: When it’s done well, of course. If sex in your games translates to “f*** the wenches” or involves rape or other dehumanizing shit, you should probably reconsider. 🙂