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So You Got The Girl. Now What? - Exploring IC Relationships in RP

Written by Georgette Tan

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The Cyber Thang
Cybersex is something that arouses both disgust and curiosity. The question here is why do we do it? Is this form of roleplaying neccessary to maintain a relationship that is purely IC?

"Cause it is fun in a way, since we are both quite experienced in real thing.. it's very easy for us to imagine it while we do it... and since we are apart.. it does help release some tension." says a friend whose relationship also developed offline.

Undeniably, this area of roleplay is completely different from the normal tavern prattle, not something everybody can jump into. First, both partners have to be all right with it. There is the language and level of detail to include - some can get rather graphic physically, but some put more emphasis on the emotional side. In some cases, you may have to look twice to realise what they are doing. In the best examples I have seen and experienced, online intimacy is like a joint (no pun intended) authoring of a scene from a romance novel. This is where RP liberties come in most handy.

Some players keep this form of intimacy out of roleplay all together for various reasons. One is to let it happen "offstage" and to do something else when they are together. It is also in this area where there is a danger of overdoing it and turning the relationship into nothing but a cheap thrill. Once the lust blows over, you may find there was never anything in the other aspects of the partnership.

The Internet is a very public medium, and one of the hugest contraversies I've come across in my roleplaying world is, "how much is too much"? Is it legal to roleplay adult intimacy with a minor? Is it right to leave a full graphic description of IC cybersex lying around in an archive or channel log for a child to stumble across? Word of advice to the roleplayer: If you plan to embark on a journey into the "wild side", don't do it with kids and don't leave the stuff around for kids to find!

Happily Ever After?
Drawing from my own experience, life goes on after the wedding. My partner and I often marvel about how our characters can sit down and chat about what they did and who they met that day. They talk about how difficult it is to find a seamstress, how a certain inn in the city kept attracting idiot mages with a tendancy of burning the place down, and how they composed a letter together. There's no longer the need to prevent the other from eyeing up other prospects, but there is a need for creativity to assure that the interest stays and the flame keeps burning. If not, there is a very real risk of boredom sinking into the relationship and killing it.

"RP is harder when you are married," a character named Lance posted in one of my discussion threads. "You have to RP things you never did before, like babysitting, and the things children only dream of doing when they become old enough to actually know how to use protection. Anyways, I think that marriage in RP is a good thing if both people are committed."

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