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    What is ERP?

    ERP stands for “erotic roleplay.” It refers to a form of roleplaying where the participants engage in narratives that involve physical intimacy, often leading up to and including sexually explicit behavior.

    This type of roleplay is characterized by its focus on romantic, sensual, or sexual scenarios between characters, typically in a safe, consensual, and often private setting.

    ERP can occur in various types of text-based games, such as MUDs and PbPs, but it can also occur in video games such as MMORPGs.

    ERP allows individuals to explore fantasies, express sexuality, and engage in intimate interactions through their characters. However, because it involves adult content, it is typically forbidden in games meant for or played by children.

    ERP FAQs

    Does all romantic RP include ERP?

    No, not all romantic RP includes ERP. There are different methods for avoiding adult scenes, such as fast-forwarding past sexual acts or fading the scene to black (FTB) when things get physically intimate. In such cases, players pretend their characters were erotic “off-screen” rather than describing those acts “on-screen.”

    What are the rules for ERP?

    The rules for ERP vary by platform and community but generally include mutual consent, respect for boundaries, privacy, and age restrictions. Participants should communicate openly about their comfort levels and stop immediately if someone feels uncomfortable. It’s also important to adhere to the rules and guidelines of the game or platform.

    Is ERP allowed in all roleplaying games?

    No, ERP is not allowed in all roleplaying games. Many public games and forums, particularly those accessible by minors, have strict rules against sexually explicit content. Always check the game’s or community’s rules regarding adult content before initiating or participating in ERP.

    See also: Erotic roleplay and consent in games.

    Can ERP be considered art or literature?

    Yes, ERP can be considered a form of art or literature, as it involves creativity, storytelling, and character development. Like other forms of erotic fiction, it can explore complex emotions, relationships, and human sexuality. However, whether something counts as art is quite subjective and depends on the context and execution.

    How can I make sure my ERP is respectful and consensual?

    You can ensure your ERP is respectful and consensual by discussing boundaries and expectations with all participants beforehand. Continuously communicate, seek explicit consent, and be mindful of others’ comfort levels. Respect any request to stop or change the subject and never pressure someone into participating.

    Myths about ERP

    There are several myths about ERP. One assumption is that ERP is only for people who are unable to have physical relationships in real life; this is not true, as people of various backgrounds engage in ERP for different reasons.

    Another myth is that all ERP is inherently degrading or harmful; however, when conducted between consenting adults with mutual respect, it can be a safe way to explore sexuality and fantasy.

    Lastly, there is a myth that ERP is always graphic and explicit, but the intensity and explicitness can vary greatly depending on the preferences of the participants. This is similar to romance novels: some include very explicit descriptions of sex acts, while others are far more tame, leaving the reader to fill in the details with their imagination.

    ERP examples

    • Two characters meet in a virtual tavern and after a night of storytelling and flirting, decide to explore a more private setting, leading to an intimate encounter.
    • In a fantasy setting, a knight and a mage form a deep bond through their adventures and decide to express their affection through a romantic and sensual night.
    • Participants in a post-apocalyptic MUD create a storyline where their characters, finding solace in each other, explore their desires in a world where emotional connections are rare.
    • In a play-by-post forum, two characters involved in a spy narrative use seduction and intimacy as part of their espionage tactics, leading to complex emotional and physical interactions.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."