Dear Kat; I’m back!

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Before we move on to today’s question, I’d like to offer an apology for letting this blog collect so much dust over the past month. Between personal issues, motivation issues, and a plain lack of questions coming in – I spent what little time I could muster trying to get this place a little more exposure, instead. Expect a write-up or two in a future post! That said…

An anonymous reader asks,

Dear Kat,

I like to consider myself an open minded Roleplayer and a person in general, but there are a few different concepts floating around in RP that boggle my mind. One of these is the fairly decent proportion of people roleplaying their Norn women as being futa. I don’t understand this, and it annoys me when I want to have one of my Norns meet a woman, only to discover “surprise.”

 

Why do you think this is such a popular thing? It kinda creeps me out.

 

Dear Anon,

I was never actively involved in the roleplay scene in Guild Wars 2, so I’m afraid I can only offer some thoughts from the perspective of a woman who once played a number of “futa” characters herself in other MMOs.

While there are lots and lots of reasons someone might find the genre an attractive prospect (for me, it was all the potential trials and troubles that might come from that nature of duality – a chance to RP something completely different and put my writing to the test with a sensitive issue), one of the recurring themes I’ve seen is one of empowerment. If I had to hazard a guess, I suspect this might be why Norn, in particular, may be a popular choice for the genre.

Though the feminist movement has done so much for evening the playing field between men and women, I think that, for some, the symbolism of a virile, powerful man comes with an inherent sense of authority and control – and so some of these people may be exerting a form of power-play with a mostly-female character; and then enhancing that by playing a figure that towers in height and muscle over the human characters.

Conversely, I’ve also pondered in the past that it might be a symbolic thing even in sexuality. That, perhaps for some, the combination of every trait of fertility from both genders might tickle at some primal button in the brain. 

In truth, these are just musings and guesses – the actual reasons are as varied as the goals of such characters! It’s true, when the concept of ‘futa’ is invoked – most people think first of the aimless hornball with no depth beyond how deep they’d like to stick it into any complying orifice; and I think that’s terribly unfortunate. Such characters do exist – and that’s okay! They aren’t harming anyone, and if they and their partners are having fun – more power to them. But when it comes right down to it, the stereotype isn’t quite so common, and serves mostly to place a burden upon those who don’t want to be seen as following it.

To veer off-track for a moment, this is why I’m such a fan of the ‘biography space’ in MMOs – it’s not only a place to give others an idea as to what your character is; a chance, even, to portray your character to those they’ve not yet met as something other than what the physical model portrays – but it’s also a place to give courteous warning; to say “This is what I like, and if this isn’t for you, you don’t have to get involved.” At least, that was often what I used it for – many aren’t so willing to be open about such things, given all the stigma against it. Dialing back to that “unfortunate” clause.

In the end, it’s just like any other trait, aspect, or aim that our own might not agree with: it’s frustrating to have to back out of an RP mid-way because something against our tastes has.. ahem.. arisen… but all we can do from there is to make our leave politely, kindly, and with as few hard feelings as possible.  Who knows? Perhaps that other person – whatever the reason we’re uncomfortable is – might be willing to work with us if we but calmly explain that we’re troubled and not keen on the idea of moving forward. But expecting it is as unfair as expecting someone to ‘get over’ their discomfort because we don’t agree with it.

And some thought roleplay was a simple thing!

Wishing you more fun and less frustration,

~Kat

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