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Adult Event - Threads Blue - Jan 29, 2010  - InteractiveArts
Interactive Roleplay and other Events

Garko the Man-Frog
Date: 2009-07-30 17:40
Subject: Adult Event - Threads Blue - Jan 29, 2010 
Security: Public
Background

About twenty years ago,back in 1991, if you were cool and sort of proto-gothy, you played Cyberpunk RPG.  1991 was a seminal year for LARP.  NightLife and Vampire the Masquerade were about to blow Cyberpunk out of the water, and the latter was about to establish an eighteen year dynasty of LARP.  But we didn't know much about that. It was May and even the lamentable NightLife hadn't been published yet.

I was running a game called "The Second Circle of Hell" up in a hotel room at the then Sheraton Hotel in New Carrolton Maryland.  It had kinky overtones, borderline nudity, making out, and toe sucking.  That same evening I got to do an audit of an event some friends of ours were running called "Lady Jhayne's Party."  It was notable for being a cyberpunk game that was both goth, and had some vampire overtones. The atmosphere was a sort of art-house party/private sex club with a lot of erotic staging and byplay.

There have since been other heavily adult themed games. "Second Circle of Hell" had more closed door runs, "Stardust," "Fete D'Ogun," "Orgia," "The Green Fairy".  In the past few years I've also followed the work of J. Tuomas Harviainen and Nina Hämäläinen in Finland, who wrote the "Soft Core" series of LARPs, as well as "Sin Filled Nights of Bratislava" which I reviewed here.

Since 1991, I have had, off and on, the idea of producing an adult themed game.  Several years ago, I even began investigating potential outdoor venues as a serious adult game would be inappropriate to run at the Property where Threads is run.  I always ran up against several problems.  Obviously one of the first and foremost is dealing with the potential "flake factor" among some of the players.  This is always going to be a problem and will get worse if adult elements are involved.

The other potential issue was comfort levels.  The Threads of Damocles LARP Community splits more than 60% towards people with some kink experience, but not everyone has been to BDSM events, and is comfortable doing a lot of public play.  How do you set up an event to provide opportunities that are challenging to people at one comfort level, without having others just have to sit watching and bored.  

Until Threads this was almost impossible.  Either you needed like Tuomas to be running for your local kink community and have all kinky people, or you needed to "tone it down."  Because there was no way to let people select scenes by comfort level.

This Winter, I conceived of the idea of using Threads as a springboard for a truly adult themed game.  The universe is broad and was designed to accomodate "all manner of shit."  The game doesn't have to heavily impact the principal continuity and the licensing on Threads is such that anyone can run it under a creative Commons license, so there's no issue with "material."  Threads already had a lot of adult themed material.  But I wanted to produce the sort of scenes we did not produce in the regular season.  Realistically there are scenes whose very PRESENCE would be disruptive to a Threads Game.  While I could theoretically bid "Orgy in the public space," the presence of a provocative event like that would overshadow and eclipse the game, become a focus that unbalanced the rest of the environment.  I think we can all feel that and I think we all pull our punches.  I want to create an event where this isn't necessary.

I think the Soft Core series, which Tuomas describes in the introduction to "Bratislava" is more an inspiration than "Bratislava," at least in terms of Blue Tracks.

There have been outright adult/kink games like "Midnight Seductions" in Philadelphia.  But...those have been called wanting in terms of being anything other than a "meet market" game...little more than an excuse to dress up in costume.  I think most of us want more structure and organization than that.

At the same time I've been increasingly taken with the idea of theatricality and theatre in the kink scene.  This is really something that is just emerging as a thing of its own in the past few years, and there are some brilliant local people who have driven aspects of it who I greatly admire as artists.

However, rather than set out to create one artistic vision that is *mine* I want to create an environment where a stellar collection of artists can come together completely freed from the constraints of having to "tone it down."  Any scene is welcome here, though a sufficiently outre scene may not garner many applicants.  I expect a fair number of small scenes.


Announcing


And on that note, I'm announcing 
Threads Blue 
Jan 29, 2010 
Private Hotel Site, Washington Metro Area, Suburban MD
(Site info will be sent only to participants)

(thanks to jadasc for the name)


Target Audience
The first Threads Blue game will be designed to be attractive to people with no previous association with Threads.  We hope to get a lot of new people, many of whom may never play a regular Threads event.   Threads is a huge and disparate genre, and you don't need to know "all about it" to come play anymore than you need to already know the background for four hour games you play at an Intercon 

I expect a fair number of people to come and spend a good bit of time watching and deciding if they want to get their feet wet.  I plan to arrange some interactive elements of the blue tracks that allow people to experiment with various aspects of alt-culture if they choose without feeling pressured.

I also don't think authors are going to develop anything that will leave regular Threads players who are not interested in adult themes feeling the "missed out" by not coming. 


Club Rules

The overall concept of comfort at the game is "sex club rules."  In short, you must be okay with watching or seeing or hearing anything.  You're welcome to turn away of course, but you can't make people stop doing things because they squip you.  However you are NOT presumed to be okay with ANYTHING you do not instigate.  Look don't touch without permission.  Dungeon rules will be effectively the same used at some of our local leather events and locations, particularly DC Crucible and Camp Crucible.  
We'll provide safety instruction and other information for first-timers so that nobody feels they are "dumb."  


A Unique Genre, building on the Past
I expect to see things other than sex explored.  Esoterica is another area where I think there is always a certain amount of "holding back" because nobody wants to risk being too over the top.  Certain types of experimental art tracks press the envelope enough to distract from standard Threads.

I think this will be an exciting and in many ways a totally new thing.  I think the framework of Threads (which is frankly already a fairly kink-heavy event by most standards) provides an excellent foundation to work from in creating something that is not quite like anything that has been done before.

Getting Invited

Threads Blue is *invitation only* So how do you get invited:

1) If you are on the Threads-Adult list you should have already been invited.  If you aren't for some reason e-mail me at gordon@vialarp.org

2) If I know you, drop me a note.  The event is "invite only" to protect against weird walk-ons, not to be overly selective.  If I know you and you can act like a civilized human being, you're in.  e-mail me at gordon@vialarp.org and say "I am interested and would like to receive information."

3) If I don't know you, I need somebody who is attending to vouch for you.   That's all.  So you can "invite a friend."  We just want some line of contact so that we don't have total strangers off the net

When you are invited, you'll receive the Evite (to say whether you are going for sure or not) and an invitation to the Google Group for the game.  Please accept both even if you are a maybe on the Evite, and set the Group to Web Only. 

Who should you invite?  Well people that you think would not be uncomfortable at the event, and who would not make others feel out of place.  This is not the time to play a fun trick on your Joe Vanilla friend just to "see how they react."  We want everyone at the event to be happy and comfortable so that it is a really great time.

This is a big adventure, and the culmination of a decade of thought and planning.  Please join us!
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JayLynn
User: jennylynn67
Date: 2009-07-30 21:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've been looking forward to this since I first heard you tossing the idea around. I can't wait!
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Evil Voodoo Celt
User: evcelt
Date: 2009-07-30 22:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This certainly looks interesting, and I think that it will be a good gauge of the diversity and maturity of the LARP community.

Of course, I'm more interested in the esoterica side of it than the kink side of it... though I also enjoy Green Fairy/Stardust/Fet d'Ogun/Second Circle of Hell style shenanigans. ;-)

Looking forward to it!
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Loki: baldie
User: xiombarg
Date: 2009-07-31 04:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:baldie
Yeah, I might be focusing on the occult aspect as well until I get a better feel for the kink side.
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 05:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know, you may have written more kink themed scenes than *I* have :P
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Loki: coffee
User: xiombarg
Date: 2009-07-31 05:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:coffee
Heh. I guess it depends on what you mean by "kink". I guess nude fascism is a kink for somebody...
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 15:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*Smirk* I just know that the reason we HAVE a collection of "mostly good for show" kink toys in Threads Props is because of you ;P
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Loki: cracked
User: xiombarg
Date: 2009-08-01 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cracked
Yeah, that was mostly for shock value in the Unreal DC scene, and I don't know if they actually got used, since Kammer ended up running it...
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Cynthia Cooper: LARP
User: yunafonfabre
Date: 2009-07-30 22:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:LARP
The travel distance involved is unfortunately prohibitive.

It's a fascinating concept, though, and one I've been tossing around as well. I've yet to find a satisfactory solution, but this sounds very promising.
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stori_lundi
User: stori_lundi
Date: 2009-07-30 22:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Put me on the list but January is usually kinda busy for me so I'm expecting it to run up against something else. :(
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Raven
User: ravenrose
Date: 2009-07-31 01:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I already have a character concept brewing... and it is going to be soooo much fun... rrowww...
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Evil Voodoo Celt: bwahhh
User: evcelt
Date: 2009-07-31 16:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bwahhh
I'm still debating whether to cast or come up with a character. Hey, maybe artful_username would let me play my Unseelie diplomat...
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 17:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I confirmed with artful_username at the last event that the Unseelie and/or Seelie Courts could be used as one of the "presenting parties" along with Seventh Circle.
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Laurion
User: laurion
Date: 2009-07-31 03:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sounds like an interesting experiment. Good luck, and good fun!
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Shinotenshi02
User: shinotenshi02
Date: 2009-07-31 07:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd be interested in the esoterica, as I'm still very new to that in general.

The rest...I'm not sure I'd be comfy with, as I've not had much exposure. In theory, I'm ok with it--and certainly I'm the kind who'll just ignore it and let others have their fun...

I'm not sure I'd like to be involved in Threads Blue, but let me know how things with the esoterica goes...that sounds very interesting.
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kitteblue
User: kitteblue
Date: 2009-07-31 12:33 (UTC)
Subject: "Lady Jhayne's Party"
Just to clarify; It was actualy "The Party That Never Ends" (Stolen form Dave and the Inn.
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: Re: "Lady Jhayne's Party"
Excellent. I *do* recall that now. And despite my singular callout, there were several events weren't there? Thought you'd be amused it's still an influence after all these years.
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kitteblue
User: kitteblue
Date: 2009-07-31 15:11 (UTC)
Subject: Re: "Lady Jhayne's Party"
Yeah, we did them for about 3 years. It was a lot of fun.
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Secretly Mike Young: Cthulhu Ninja Zombie -- The Horror
User: ambug666
Date: 2009-07-31 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Cthulhu Ninja Zombie -- The Horror
So, I have questions. I have an idea for a scene (in the larp sense) set in Rising Sun (it's a whirlwind tour entitled "We don't talk about those places"). Exactly how far do the players expect to go? Having never signed up for any of the bluer scenes in Threads, I don't know how ...interactive... they really are.

For example, it's a sure bet that hentai would be involved in the scene. Now I'm fine with players *simulating* being tentacle raped, but I really do not want them to actually insert my props in their orifices. Is that ok? Or if I put a hentai tag on my scene (in the larp sense), will the players expect me to provide tentacle dildos?(1) If there are warning tags like, "partial nudity," would the players themselves expect to get nekkid, or is it ok if that is reserved for the cast?

I assume that there will be warning tags for the individual scenes (scene in the larp sense), like "partial nudity, simulated tentacle rape, previously soiled panties" and so forth...

Actually, that brings up another question. How much plot do you expect us to write into this? My scene (in the larp sense) would have plot, puzzles for the characters to solve, and eventually a combat (likely silly-boffer involving the aforementioned tentacles).

(1)No way! They're, like, $80! Thank you again for scarring me for life, Mr. Internet. Really. Do a google search for tentacle dildo and see for yourself.
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 15:25 (UTC)
Subject: 1 of 2
So, I have questions. I have an idea for a scene (in the larp sense) set in Rising Sun (it's a whirlwind tour entitled "We don't talk about those places"). Exactly how far do the players expect to go? Having never signed up for any of the bluer scenes in Threads, I don't know how ...interactive... they really are.

In Threads they have not ranged beyond some very mild, clothed flogging and some "look don't touch" nudity. With the possible exception of Holland House 2, where I actually went a little serious, scenes were always keyed to the lowest-common-denominator of comfort level. Part of the reason for this was plot. "Well Joe has to be in this scene because he's following the plot, and so we need to keep it to a level Joe is okay with, even though Joe is a non-kink, non-poly, not particularly okay with it person who sort of puts up."

Obviously part of the point of Blue Threads is that we don't have that constraint. For scenes we can state clearly what the level of participation/involvement is, and assume people will place out of the scene if it exceeds their comfort level. There's no central driving plot that FORCES a person to be in a scene even if they are uncomfortable with it.

For example, it's a sure bet that hentai would be involved in the scene. Now I'm fine with players *simulating* being tentacle raped, but I really do not want them to actually insert my props in their orifices. Is that ok?

Sure. Any writer can put any constraint they want on a scene. Up to and including. "This scene is absolutely straight vanilla. No funny stuff. Don't even think about it. Yes this means you!" It may or may not be very POPULAR for signups, but we'll run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes.

Or if I put a hentai tag on my scene (in the larp sense), will the players expect me to provide tentacle dildos?(1)

I think players would expect that if you wanted them to use tentacle dildoes

a) There would be some clear indications in the scene description that this was going to include nudity and penetration with objects

b) If players needed to bring a prop it would be in the scene description so that they could decide in advance if it was something they had or were willing to buy.

c) If you were providing a tentacle dildo and wanted a player to use it, that it would be clean and safe. Not SEFA.

d) That ABSENT any of those things, they probably wouldn't expect to be actually penetrated with tentacles.

If there are warning tags like, "partial nudity," would the players themselves expect to get nekkid, or is it ok if that is reserved for the cast?

Again, I think they're going to expect guidance. One reason there isn't a bid form up yet is that these are things we need to ask the writer when they bid. There is a *huge* difference between a scene where

a) a cast member will be nude and perform some sort of sexual act
b) there is the potential of joining in and doing kinky things if you want
c) you will expected to get nude and perform some sort of sexual act

I honestly think that the third would be a high barrier for a lot of our attendees without a lot of information and probably some back and forth questions to the artist running the scene. So we need to set those expectations in the blurbs.

I assume that there will be warning tags for the individual scenes (scene in the larp sense), like "partial nudity, simulated tentacle rape, preiously soiled panties" and so forth...

I think we need to go beyond Threads style warning tags for participatory scenes. I think if it's a "watch this" scene that it's fine to say "some weird stuff may happen" But if there's participation, I think there is going to need to be a pretty full and detailed disclosure of what that participation entails, even if it breaks kayfabe. Or, if somebody doesn't want to disclose that, they need to put a "No Limits/Safeword Out" indicator on it, and you know that's pretty much going into an unknown scene and that nobody except a pretty hardened player should do that. I think scenes will garner more signups if any sexual/psychosexual expectations are explained fairly clearly.


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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 15:25 (UTC)
Subject: Re: 2 of 2
Actually, that brings up another question. How much plot do you expect us to write into this? My scene (in the larp sense) would have plot, puzzles for the characters to solve, and eventually a combat (likely silly-boffer involving the aforementioned tentacles).

I think plot needs to be a discussion too. I think if people sign up for a racy scene, and they end up doodling on pieces of paper and solving puzzles they will be disappointed. I think that if people are looking to get their feet wet and sign up for an adventure scene, and find themselves in the middle of a full-blown kinkfest, they are going to be a little wigged out. It's all about expectations and self-selection.

(1)No way! They're, like, $80! Thank you again for scarring me for life, Mr. Internet. Really. Do a google search for tentacle dildo and see for yourself.

honestly the little bunnies bother me more.

And...to be fair...the real answer to your dildo question is "probably not because safe tentacle dildoes are very expensive, and you can't just go jamming foreign objects into people without sanitary precautions." If there were an intent to have objects that could penetrate players/cast there would have to be preparation and thought put into it to make sure it was sanitary.

Serious note here...I'm going to ask people who are not really kink experienced to partner with Writers who are to do safety checks on scene concepts. We're dealing with an audience with "lowish" levels of scene experience here, and I want to make sure we don't end up with the disaster of "Writer who doesn't know what's safe and what's not, meets player who doesn't know what's safe and what not."

In the end all personal safety is going to be left to personal discretion. But...people need to be informed, and scenes need to generally be structured to support good decisions, or at least inform people carefully if they need to give informed consent.
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Secretly Mike Young: Crack Open a Man's Head
User: ambug666
Date: 2009-07-31 19:20 (UTC)
Subject: Re: 2 of 2
Keyword:Crack Open a Man's Head
Thanks for the answers. If I do attend the event, I'll probably bid the scene. I'd be happy to have some sort of kink mentor. I don't ...think... I'll be doing anything too horrible, but I'd hate for something to go wrong due to my inexperience.
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Garko the Man-Frog
User: interactivearts
Date: 2009-07-31 20:29 (UTC)
Subject: Re: 2 of 2
Yeah...Honestly I don't *expect* any problems. Mostly just making sure people san check for basic hygiene. To be fair I intend to put my OWN scenes through the same check. Even in regular scenes there is the potential for embarrassing and awkward moments as something that wasn't thought out "there needs to be a cover on that" suddenly becomes obvious. I want new folks to feel they have all the support they need. And I want it to be in a friendly non-coercive fashion, not the feeling that somebody is "looking over your shoulder and reviewing your stuff."
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