|"The Horny Druid went on Tinder"|
I wrote an earlier blog post about how larps are too short to larp with unattractive guys.
Afterwards I asked the Swedish Larp Women Unite Group on facebook about what they think makes a male larper more attractive to play romantically with. This blogpost is a follow up on that post.
What do I mean with romantic or intimate play?
Romantic or intimate play does not have to has as its main goal that the characters will end up happy, or even together. It is a type of play that can be used to tell any story but due to what it entails more often than not needs more communication between the players before the larp game.
Part of this is because it more often than not means you will be touching each other in ways that demand a little bit of trust. Even touch that would otherwise be innocent can be very loaded in a romantic or erotic setting. Themes that have to do with intimate relationships, sex and romance are given a lot of weight in current literature, music, movies and other art and there is no reason it shouldn't also be present in larp.
Remember, the following hints I have gathered from different people who belong to the Swedish Larp Women Unite, and this can mean that they can contradict, be very specific or be repeated. The hints are not primarily from me, but gathered from a Facebook group.
You can't change yourself to fulfill all of these demands, but even those you can't fulfill can give valuable clues about what other people think about or are looking for.
I will be dividing the answers into categories.
- Have a pleasent smell. The absense of bad smells and odors. What is a bad odor is very individual, but basically: wash yourself and brush your teeth.
- Body odour. Everyone has a different one, and if your body odor is compatible with what the other person enjoys, that makes things easier.
- Brush your teeth, don't smell of sweat.
- Eliminate a bad breath.
- Smell nice/ be clean.
- I don't mind sweat unless it's very old or the person is sick.
- Dirt is fine, but wash your hands.
- Have a nice haircut.
- I like tattoos and piercings.
- Brown, emotional eyes.
- Don't be more than 5-10 years younger than me.
- Take the initiative and talk about limits.
- Think through and formulate your own limits.
- Off course, stay within the limits we agreed upon.
- Don't say "I don't have any limits" or "I'm up for anything with you." I don't believe you and I will be careful with your body and your ego.
- Do a lot of check ins during game.
- Take the initiative and ask for the characters to have a relationship, but offer me an easy way to say no in case I don't take you up on the offer.
- Be ready to negotiate and talk through limits.
- I like if we have an idea about what the relationship will lead to in game for both of us. I want a goal with the relationship at the larp, whether it's romantic or not.
- Is it a safe haven to retreat to after the adventures of the day.
- Will it end in tears and misery?
- Will it start out carefully and end on a happy note, offer something exiting but still feel cosy?
- Will it tie two groups who otherwise would not see eye to eye closer toghether?
- Is it just to cover up our evil plans!?
Out of game interaction.
- Say no if what is suggested does not suit you. This makes it possible for the other player to find someone else or suggest something else.
- Say no if you do not want to do what is suggested with the person who suggests it. This makes it possible for the other player to find someone else or suggest something else.
- Be a reasonable person: Be or give the appearance of being on the same ethical page as the other player. Have the tools to talk about limits, consent, the setting the larp is in and how you want the game to play out.
- Be calm or project calmness when speaking about the setting of the game even if you do not agree.
- Project confidence and that you are a good listener.
- Before the larp - show that you want to play out the relationship. Be involved in suggesting how the relationship was before the game started and describe how you would like it to play out during the game. Show enthusiasm in front of your game partner even if in game you will play estranged and possibly murderous.
- Help out by being creative in coming up with scenes that relate to the relationship. It is scary to play a romantic relationship, and it can become really scary if the person who promised to play that they were in love with your character doesn't even say hello before the game.
- Don't be a sleaze.
- Don't talk shit about women, we can hear you.
- Act mature, be calm and secure.
- Don't assume a suggestion for romantic or intimate relationships between chacters means anything in the real world. But don't assume it doesn't either. Make a risk/reward - call. No shame.
Style of play/ larp-style
- Show me you are willing to co create our larp experience with me.
- Show me you see me. Realize even the smallest gesture can give as much emotion as something more grand.
- Talk to my character in game and not just about my character.
- Involve me in the creation of storylines, don't just deliver them as the finished product at expect me to enjoy them.
- Allow us to have a, eye for detail. Barely touching hands can feel like an electrical jolt if done right.
- Be prepared to at least take half of the initiative both in and out of game. It is possible to be adversaries in game and still invite the other person to larp with you as long as you keep it active. It is passive play that is so hard to keep up with.
- Be active in playing out the relationship during the larp. Keep an eye out for your in game partner if you are near each other. Check in with them out of game if needed if you need to know more about ideeas or wishes. If your partner seems unresponsive or tense, find out why.
- Roleplay in a convincing way.
- Be perceptive of how the game is going and try to be objectively analytical. Ask yourself "is this working out?"
- If you can, check in to see if both of you are having fun and feel the relationship is adding to the larp experience.
- Don't be afraid of taking people you are playing a relationship with to the side and ask how's it going. Accept if it's not working out and help them end your relationship a in game way that works out for all of you.
- When it comes to show physical affection, do it clearly and directly. Don't cop a feel on someones bum or start making out without warning. Instead you can stroke a piece of hair behind the ear and look the coplayer in the eye.
- Think in opposites. Post apocalyptic: give your partner something for nothing. Hight society hiostorical larps: Break the norms for your love. Forbidden love: Write love notes that can be found.
- NEVER improvise anything about pregnancy/abortion/dead infants without clear consent!
- When choosing what compliments to use, primarily compliment in game and not out of game characteristics.
- I we negotiated consent and limits before the game, I prefer if you don't check in very often during the game. I don't want my game to be disturbed if not needed. I promise to tell you if anything changes if you promise to tell me the same.
- I don't like compliments out of game, but at larps I don't mind being complimented for my out of game appearance.
- Dancing. Its good no matter what dance you know, and you don't need to know it better than you are able to dance without harming your partner.
- If you can express emotion through dance that is extremely attractive. Dancing complements larping beautifully.
- Well made gear. Having good looking and realistic gear.
- Bring an extra blanket.
- Bring chocolate.
- Write me letters before the game - I'm delighted if you show this intiative and show that you want to build up a back story to the relationship.
- If fitting the scenario, ask for a photo of me to carry around in game.