Romance, and lust will probably crop up a lot too, is a tricky subject that can give people a headache or nausea. This post is to help you navigate the tricky world of good romance roleplay, how to deal with ratings and rated areas, realistic relationship advances, and even a little blurb about romance types. Be careful! This guide tries to keep things at least moderately clean, but if you’re sensitive to sexual material, it may be best to skip out on this one especially the rating guide section. It’s nothing graphic, but it may make you squirm if you’re worried about what your mom might think of it. (Hint; My mother laughed at me being embarrassed at bits.) Either way, have fun!
So first things first, depth! Romance has a lot to do with how you write what you mean to say. A lot of the word choices involved are going to manipulate those who read it into paying attention. So the first thing I’ll do is show you how to write romance well!
"He kisses her."
How often have we seen this sickeningly brief description of what could have been a heartwrenchingly deep moment? Adding “deeply” isn’t going to help it either. What you need to do is to use words that complement the situation and let you branch out further. Let’s go three directions for now alright? First “Romance” as a goal, then “Lust” and finally “Puppy Love.” I’m using these terms just so you get an idea of what I’m aiming for.
His lips part, his heart beating against the inside of his chest as if struggling to be closer to her. A hand slips into her hair, a tender reminder of their bond as he presses them into a kiss, begging and claiming with his mouth, fingertips grazing over her side with absolute fondness.
He pants against her open mouth, slicking up her lips with his tongue as he demands entry, a hand shifting to hold her hips with a firm pressure. He nips, hungry, his pupils blown with lust as he looks pleading up at her, a whine mingled with a groan at his lips as he grinds his hip bones against hers. She was so beautiful, he was dazzled, he wanted more.
And finally Puppy love.
He smiles, and then leans in, tugging at her chin to steal a soft kiss! The electricity shot up his spine in glee before he fell back laughing, clutching her hand. He shot her timid little looks, before winking roguishly, and pulling her in for another chaste but loving peck.
See what I did there? Let’s look at key words. Romance went for words that pulled you deeper into the dramatics of their love. Struggling, closer, tender, bond, begging, claiming, and fondness. He’s obviously attached, it’s deep, it’s persuasive. He wants nothing more than to show how passionate he is for her.
Lust used words like panting, open, slicking, hips, pressure, nips, hungry, blown, groan, grind, bones, and more. See how they’re all pretty primal, kind of demanding? Because lust is quick and hot and it burns you through, the words should strike a chord with people, and make them shift uncomfortably. Even the most innocent gesture (Like grabbing a thigh, and making someone groan) can be dirty (The example was falling off a cliff with a charlie-horse, but you still thought it was sexy.)
Puppy love uses words of playful sincerity. Tugging, steal, soft, glee, laughing, clutching, timid, winking, chaste, peck. It’s all a sort of silly rather than deep and heart striking. It makes you think of those cute little couples who tickle-wrestle, and smile, and laugh rather than being extremely serious with their loving.
All of this came from word choices, and it was just one scene that could be explained in three words if you didn’t care so much. Pretty sad though, to play a romance you don’t want to put effort into. Give or take those dramatic scenes with the build up and the dramatics where a single tiny romantic gesture can make everyone start sobbing their eyes out in sympathy.
So next thing you have to remember is while it’s cute, gushing is painful for other people. Break up your romance with plot, with other topics, or with some sort of goal. If your goal is to snuggle for the foreseeable future being adorable and heartgushy and just the most adorwibble ickle smoochycuddles, then holy shit you can take it to a private area. I know cuteness isn’t considered above PG-13 but it can sicken some people, or drive off others. Not everyone wants to see your tiny nose nuzzle battles played out in high definition for the next 3 hours.
A good way to deal with this is have an interesting topic between the two of you to talk about, or a fun thing to do. Go to a new place and explore with your cute little mate and have fun! You can still be romantic without making everyone want to carve out their hypothalamus than remember it. Maybe I’m a bit harsh on this, but it’s happened so often I’d rather leave than watch it again.
So now that we’ve mentioned ratings, let’s cover some of the basic ways of seeing where the line should be drawn. Now, funnily enough, ratings are basically shit. PG-13 covers up “until the clothing comes off” in most people’s descriptions, but that is a whole hell of a lot of leeway. So let’s cover why PG-13 rules are in place, and where the boundaries of acceptability lie. (It might be different than you think!)
G is considered with the MPAA as extremely innocent. No heavy concepts, nothing beyond general everyday talking, and certainly nothing less tame than that. Among roleplayers and writers however, G is less comfortable. While yes, it retains the innocence and avoids anything terrible, you might get a soft curse word or two in, and a bit of swatting or low key violence like pushing. We tend to use it to show how violent or sexual something is, so a G rated fic might go up to about a chaste kiss or a tight hug.
PG is considered Parental Guidance. You can even mention death according to the MPAA, but not show it on screen vividly. Think Bambi’s mother’s death, and the old Disney movies for the rating style. We’ve gotten away with a ton more in roleplay, up to little teasing sexual jokes, but it’s pretty okay to kiss and hug and snuggle here. It’s good for everyone, as long as you don’t overdo it. It should be casual and out of the way like Mom’s and Dad’s do for their kids in TV shows where their 9 year old is grossed out by kissing.
If you wouldn’t do it openly in front of your Mother (as long as your mother is Regan era conservative) then it’s over PG-13. This gets bent out of shape a lot, because rude jokes are fine as long as they aren’t too descriptive, but sex itself is mostly Taboo. If you start getting detailed with the heavy petting, clothing on or no, you’re heading rapidly for PG-15, or R territory depending on who is running the joint. Don’t rub someone’s thigh sensually, just rub their hip. It’s a thin line with some things, massages might make some people uncomfortable and yet others might be okay up to literally the point clothing comes off. It’s hard to find a limit here, but generally, keep it toned down. You’re not trying to get away with it, just take it out of sight and to a room if it gets heavier than light petting. About “Lime” rating.
We pretty much ignore this exists, and assume heavier PG-13 is this type of roleplay. Basically stretching the boundaries of PG-13 a little without being too harsh. You can go up to about heavy petting, as long as it’s not overtly sexual. Violence as well gets a little more gory.
Sex and Violence, although not graphically described. Don’t fill in all the details, or you’re heading for NC-17. You can grunt, and thrust and moan, but no details on what that’s like emotionally or in depth. It’s pretty bland, but you can reach the bottom tiers of it really quickly. Anything over clothing being taken off is considered R, excusing clothing-on sex which also can be NC-17 depending on how graphic it is. Pretty Lemony.
Heavy graphical depictions. All the juicy details, ahaha. There’s literally no limit here. We gave up figuring out what’s worse than this. XXX is pretty much the same term. It’s for the scenes that are really heavy though, with details that would make a sailor blush. We’re talking emotions, textures, words that make you throw up your hands and walk away with a red face if you’re semi-innocent still. Hard Lemon.
So what have we learned? Word choice again, and a little bit more! Really it’s all how you say things, and how comfortable people are in an area.
Now what do you do if you’re in a rating controlled area, but really really want to do something beyond the level in character along the character’s timeline without writing it out? The simplest answer is what roleplayers tend to refer to as Timeskips. You just say “and they made love” or something to that effect. Probably not that lame in wording however. You can “fade to black” or something like that, or skip to the next scene, waking up let’s say, and insinuate things have happened. You can also take it OFF the website that doesn’t accommodate adult users, and onto messengers, or other places to act it out, and hint back at it during your roleplay anyways. Lots of options here! Just keep the shit out of where it doesn’t belong, and don’t make people regret letting you their part of the internet.
Something to remember if you’re doing this in public for others to enjoy, unless there’s a pre-established relationship or this is quicky, you should probably opt for a realistic relationship progression. This is not to ruin your fun, but to enhance it! A relationship doesn’t start with everyone immediately diving into cuddling, it has its ups and downs. Something has to spark that connection, that drive that sends them to each other. Sure it might be because they’re cute, but what grounds does that really hold in a relationship? You should probably try playing out the meeting and interaction, bounce ideas off each other, explore an area and get to understand how each other thinks. Just talking can sometimes be good for this, but it’s always fun to bond over something happening, like killing a monster together, or bumping into each other and falling over. How you react will set up the whole relationship.
As you go, build it up. You need to notice your interest before anything can happen, and even then are you shy or will you come out and say it right out? Will they even accept or will they play hard to get? Will you date, or what? You need to work things up slowly, and show a normal interaction between characters, show that they are really people too, and not just a pair of dolls being crushed together by the big hands controlling the scene because they just want to see their babies kiss and get it over with. It’s the journey, not the destination, that really makes a roleplay worth while. Play everything you can out, and really let them get attached to each other through their interactions. It’s wonderful to read, rather than lame and stereotypical.
Another thing people should probably keep an eye out for is how they use subtlety and tact in their romances. This is highly dependent on your character’s personality. Some people won’t be as good with being tactful, they’d rather climb the nearest building and shout their love from the rooftops. In this case, that very lack of subtleties is something one should pay attention to. At the same time, don’t be too crass or overstated. You don’t always need a big fancy dinner, all the kissing in the world, ass grabbing, and chocolates to tell everyone you’re hooked up and together. Why would you bother? That’s kind of goofy, really, who would do that in real life except people who are kind of creepers anyways.
It’s the little things that make romance really touch the heart, not the overt loud textual fapping over how much you love each other. Try small things, and explaining them slightly. Having someone bend you over for the thirtieth big kiss scene in as many days can be boring. The momentary nudge in line, and secretly holding pinkies in your coat sleeves and you try to look anywhere but each other? The getting her favorite snack. Grabbing the door for him. Just hanging out like two human beings who can stand each other’s personality for five minutes. That’s pretty rare.
You don’t have to be at each other constantly, just… be natural. You aren’t together because you love mackin’ it or showing off how much you like each other. You’re together because you fit, and if that isn’t the case maybe your pairing needs a little drama, and even break-ups. That seems like a boring life to me, and it’s soooo going to get on nerves. Because to the single lonely roleplayer, that look going on for 10 minutes is kind of hellish. Show some respect for the people around you. You want sappy dappy “smexy” romance, try PM’s just because well, it’s nicer for other people, and you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourselves.
Now, happy relationships? All well and good. But to have a roleplay we need drama. This is because we need a sense of a rising struggle, a climax, and then an ending/re-struggle period to be really into something. It’s like getting to a goal. First it’s the getting to know each other, then flirt, then dating, then together and after that, what, Happily Ever After is only three words people. An RP needs more. So let’s play “What’s Wrong With Your Character” and see what happens. Do they start hating a quirk of their partner? Do they like someone else? Does the partner cross a line with something they don’t like? Check their backstory for hints. If a character has had trouble connecting emotionally, maybe they can fuck up and not notice subtle hints from their new significant other. Maybe they can’t stand being touched because of a fear of being hurt. Maybe bad relationships have pet names that are BIG NO’s.
If you don’t want internal drama, you can always head for the external. Do their parents like this couple? If it’s a character who loves their parents and doesn’t want to be estranged based on their choice there could be amazing conflict there. How about kingdoms? Monsters? Bad guys? Kidnapping, prostitution, mistakes, that stupid drunk chick who kissed him and you saw it OMG! Maybe a little cliche, but fun to work with. Use real reactions and emotion to things, and try to draw it out a little.
Come to a sense of closure at the end to make everyone feel comfortable again, just to have it run for the money next week. What if a bad temper moment makes you regret being with him? What if she comes out with a horrible color love? What if your fetishes are completely wrong for each other? What id they’re pushing their dominance on you, trying to tell you what to do, and you’re a dominant personality too? Conflict damn it keeps things rolling! Just don’t let it effect your real people behind the screen. They’re just playing a character guys. Even if they aren’t working it out in character could help with someone who is too invested, making them feel better about you and your maturity with dealing with it.
In the end, show tact, be nice to others, put some mood into it, check your word use, and put some effort into your romances or they’ll dissolve into meaningless “*hugs*” and “*kisses*” which you can get anywhere. Drama is a plus if well done, and don’t be afraid to mess with it.
Need more in depth tips for writing a sex scene/flat out porn for a roleplay or fanfic? A completely sex related post, with tips and tricks for getting things right and anatomy facts for everyone, should be coming in later days! A.K.A. Whenever I get around to it. I’ll link it here when I finish. Thanks for reading!