I: What I'm looking for
Familiar with the Mass Effect universe? Motivated to create? Hungry for exploration, action and romance?
To be completely honest, I've invested more time into rewatching Firefly than playing Mass Effect, but something about Mr. Whedon's universe... I'm not sure what to say. It would be inaccurate to call that universe lackluster, but compared to the video game in question I'm not sure there's much comparison where malleability and creative navigation is concerned. The color and variety of the species, intergalactic politics, xenophobia and the potential for conflict, nevermind the technology available... Having played through both games and searched the wiki/codex up and down, I'm just so much more intimately acquainted with this particular galactic palette.
But I love firefly.
I guess what I'm saying is I'd like that Firefly "We're close to gone out here." feel, set in something a little more expansive and tangible. If the Firefly MMO ever comes out I'll be there with bells on, but I'm not sure it's worth holding off in the interim when I could have this now.
To clarify: to meld the two universes would feel like blasphemy to me. It does not track to have both happening at the same time - they are distinct, in my view, and it is so much simpler in coordinating with another player to say: "Mass Effect. Blanket statement." I feel there is room for a compromise between all the things I loved about the danger of marauding, lovable colorful spacepeople and a star chart I can know intimately and can literally manually circumnavigate in high definition whenever I want. It leaves little room for discrepancy; the problem for me is keeping track of the minutia of a fictitious world or universe I have not myself created or previously experienced. Why reinvent the wheel? I know how to use this one now.
I like the idea of playing with the events of the game and continuing storylines, even in small things. It could be that my character escaped from the prison Shepard rescued Jack from and carved out a small, improvised pirate/scavenger/renegade trader enterprise, or either (even both, for that matter) of us was raised in the same way and place she was, to similar result. Any races, any period, any events, any content. Original content or established characters, everything works.
As for where you fit in? I can have a small crew waiting for you there and just play the universe around you, or we can go halfsies on both fronts - it can just be the two of them, or a revolving door of passengers and people met on various missions/errands. Maybe you'd like to be an indentured servant procured on Illium, carted across the galaxy and paid to my character in payment of debt. Perhaps you'd rather be a slave pawned to mine on Omega for a similar reason, and my character was not in a position to refuse. Nothing's more entertaining in a situation like this than an unwanted captive, unexpectedly respected and aided or treated as nuisance overall. You could play as a rival with similar goals temporarily aligning with mine, or a mercenary hired for protection, even a pilot or engineer. I'm very open to the specifics, but if you can let me know what you need I can be quite creative.
If you're interested, please check my O/O and send me a message. Nothing is static, everything is disposable, and I'm always will to negotiate over content. The content makes the story, but the story is what's attractive and important. If the story is great, I'm happy to write whatever. I don't expect complete roles and storylines from you (although, don't hold those back!), just your impressions and reactions to what I have here and a little bit about what you hope to get out of this. We can talk specifics afterward - what do you need, what directions you see this conceivably taking, and if you could have anything included in this story (not just sexually), what would it be?
II: The way I play
You know, I was really looking at some ERP and my involvement with it recently - really looking at it - and I realized something: I don't come out here for eroticism. I used to think I did, but upon reflection I haven't really believed that for some time. Please don't misunderstand: I get that this is an adult site. I write adult material frequently, and the stories I will continue to write have will have adult content. Perhaps moreso than I thought, as a matter of fact, but in a very different capacity I think.
One of the things that roleplay has taught me is that sex is an inexorable segment of what it is that shapes a person. The stories I see most of us craving are almost exclusively human interaction, very character-based. To leave that aspect of a character out of a story is to leave that story incomplete, or confuse the issue at least. Nothing gestures toward the larger, grander pieces of you more strongly than that aspect of your life, even if it is very rarely indicative of who someone is as a person (as anyone who's been playing long knows). That's a very different thing, but I haven't been able to find the piece that's been turning this sour for me. That's been happening for a while now, as a matter of fact. I'd get into a story and reach that first sexual peak and think... Why aren't I feeling anything about this? I'm not sure I've been investing the way I felt I did when I started in with writing out here in the black. I've been waiting for that gratification to be enough, and it never is. The enthusiasm has been draining away because I think of this as erotic roleplay. I need to think of it as roleplay, with eroticism incorporated within that as a piece of the larger creature, to whatever degree. If the story requires more, it'll have it, but the why of it is very important.
Sex is intrinsically a product of you. To view a complete story, including an outline of the people that make it worth reading, you really need to record the pivotal moments of their adventures and give the picture uninhibited. That's not something you can do without displaying where they go in their private time and what they do with it. That's why this is so thrilling. The most spectacular aspects of who a person is can surface during sex; it can be the place people draw their self-esteem or daily motivation from. It can be the thing that recharges them, and undoes that last little piece of buzzing energy they just can't settle into their own skin without releasing.
Someone very wise once told me that releif and release are very different things.
The smallest development in what they can accomplish outside of that can be such a moment of victory... If you didn't have that buildup and totally intimate detail, it couldn't mean as much.
Sex tugs at pieces of all of us, all day, it shapes so much of who we are and how we conduct ourselves. The character really becomes the character once we've gone somewhere private with them. I think I get why it is I come out here, and why the fiction I write outside of roleplay (which rarely includes sexual content) never seems to go anywhere that feels worthwhile to me... Sex is about being surprised by another person, give and take, cohesion... Anything I write solo is to reading like eating is to cardboard, once you've done this enough times to really got a handle on how to get the most out of it. Nothing compares. I've had some real moments of creative beauty out here, I don't mind telling you; when two writers match up it can be fantastic, if only fleetingly, but that is not an emotional connection I have with the other writer. I never know the names of the people I write with, it's just flat out nothing like actually sleeping with somebody. The story is great, but I have no idea who you are, and half the point of this is that it doesn't matter. We can be anyone, do anything, no consequences. Just... share this with me, totally accept what I'm chasing today and leave it at that. Anything goes. I'm here for you, you're here for me. Whatever falls short of these four or five simple rules, just leap. One of the reasons ERP has taken off so well is that you have record of every detail, as much as you can record while it's happening: everything, moment to moment, as much as it takes to articulate what you see happening. You just have that, now, and you can let it go whenever you want. In re-reading we literally re-live the experience, and hold those moments to ourselves in their entirety, because the only thing about them that was ever real was what you wrote.
But that's not why I do it.
Rather, that's not how I think I'd do it best.
That's the thing that's been missing... I think I've been doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
I feel like the rape/coercion/non-consent trend speaks to an innate disposition to male assertion of power and female craving to be desired, and to distinguish alpha males from the rest of the Pack. I understand this, but the notion of actively victimizing a female character holds no interest for me. The older I grow the more human I become, if that makes any sense at all, and the notion of being desired absolutely supersedes any wish to take power from someone who willfully withholds it. I can see in my roleplay partners a trend, something balanced on the tip of everyone's tongues that nobody can quite name. We want NC, but we also want to be seduced. We want exertion of power, but we don't want viciousness unending. We don't want real evil, we want to glimpse it safely. The heart of the problem is that punishment is not something you ask for (as I was once told), that's what makes it punishment. We like characters who will take power and violate another's sanctity because that's the only way it can exist, in the taking. The fact that it is taking, as an expression of power. Many of us come out here to assert or be in the presence of power. But most of us don't want to see someone victimized - no judgment, I don't believe it's at all fair or rational to say that anyone who craves that in roleplay is necessarily a violent or dangerous person. It is fair to say, I think, that many people who ask to see it happen in story form don't explore why, and thus miss the point.
We say things like 'humiliation' and 'NC' as blanket statements - overwhelmingly the terms serve as figureheads - but to take them literally kills my experiences IC. There's nuance required here, I think, and for the majority of us those themes without a human backing or purer intentions just turn into distasteful muck. Whether cruel intentions are interrupted by extraneous circumstances or a sudden change in leverage that leads to epiphanous change in priority, my main character needs to become good or at least need to be that way - Lost In Space's Dr. Smith style, or better yet, as Tolstoy wrote, "Be good, but try not to let anyone know it."
For domination, degradation, humiliation... The concept is titillating in abstract, but the reality is hideous.
People like to come out here and feed that wolf without ever touching the true nature of what it is to degrade a human being, never hurting a soul or causing one to be hurt. We separate this world from the real one because we know what it would mean day-to-day. Philosophically a person cannot feel fulfilled or happy in truly manipulating the people around them - you can have fun, I'm sure, but the emptiness that brings inevitably spoils all delights and turns even the sweetest taste to ash. The villains of my stories are woefully misguided, lecherous, hateful... But I don't want to play that kind of character as a lead, I want to defeat those demons and find a resolution. I invest myself in these characters too much to be stuck with someone I don't respect or enjoy. The escapist aspect is what brings us to things like Firefly, Mass Effect and Elliquiy itself - I'm not saying that crueler characters are indicative of evil or useless players, or even that I will never play such a character again, but I currently have no use for it. As an axillary character, absolutely - I like to play both sides of the battle and envelope my roleplay partners in a more controllable and mysterious conflict, but as a lead with no filter? I just can't enjoy myself.
Someone was writing to me recently about what she called 'rough seduction', playing off of an existing deep attraction to be bold and aggressive. It needs to be a segment of a larger, more personal and emotionally respectful interaction, there should be genuine and meaningful connection there, even if both parties aren't completely at peace with their undeniable attraction to each other. Using that to draw someone in and exert power and authority over them is very different than cornering and abusing a person... I think if most of what I see out here is really asking for something, it's that.