The Dark Side of Online Roleplaying

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I’ve been wanting to write this article for a long time, it’s one of the first articles I really wanted to write about when I started getting into my more serious articles, ones away from talking about video games and anime. The problem was that I really didn’t know how to write about this specific topic, hell I’m not even 100% sure I’ve figured out how to properly write it now. But to start things off, I’m going to declare something to really push the specifics of this article out:

I used to roleplay online, specifically I used to write stories back and forth with another player that would have our characters engaging in sexual intercourse.

This isn’t coming from a place of embarrassment, shame, or anything like that, I could care less what anyone thinks about me after hearing that. What I did online was just write erotic fan-fiction essentially with another person online. Now again, I’m not embarrassed one bit about this, but what I will be doing is covering my ass and ensuring that anyone reading this article doesn’t lump me into a group that I don’t belong with. I can straight up tell you that at no point did I try to take any of this onto a personal level, I never asked for anyone’s personal information, I didn’t try to get anyone to webcam with me, I didn’t try to ever take any of these roleplays I used to do beyond that, the roleplay. I have definitely heard stories throughout my time partaking in online roleplaying where people have been stalked and called late at night.

A dark side on the internet has always been those foolish and naive enough to give out any personal information. I always said it during the time I spent frequenting chat rooms and message boards, I had no intention of taking anything that I do in these places beyond that, that’s not what this is for. The reality is that once you log in, you essentially have to take any piece of “real” information you’re given with a grain of salt. Whether it’s a person’s name, age, gender (especially gender), pictures, you just don’t assume any of this to be true. Sure, it might sound great to a horny 19 year-old boy like I was back then when a girl who claims to be 18 and looks to be a super hot redhead wants to meet up with me, but the odds of this person being exactly what she claims to be is so low, no one would take the bet, no matter how bad a gambling problem they had. Even at a young age, I was fully aware of this, the worst I ever took things was giving a fellow player my personal e-mail address and I got lucky and it never became anything potentially dangerous.

But yeah, if someone claims to you that they’re 22, female and gorgeous, make the assumption that they’re actually 45, male and probably smell like an outhouse.

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I got my start through Yahoo!’s various chat rooms, a place I’m sure a lot of people who were born in the 80s and early 90s remember very well. Back then there were only a smattering of roleplay-based chat rooms and generally speaking no one really took it all that seriously either, when I frequented the chat rooms, it was almost like a new thing, people were just testing the waters. Generally speaking whatever you did there, it was a constant barrage of “hi” messages, immediately followed by “asl” (age, sex, location). And since I was younger than I should’ve been, I would lie about my age. I started this at the age of 14, I didn’t become truthful with my age until, well…ever. By the time I would have, no one was asking the old “asl” anymore.

When I really started getting into online roleplay was through a site called PlayByWeb, which I was amazed to find out after a Google search, actually still exists! It’s nowhere near as lively of course, since it’s essentially a message board roleplaying site, but the fact it’s still alive and somewhat kicking all these years later is incredible to me, I was on that site up until about 11 years ago. I never engaged in sexual roleplay on that site specifically however, it was through networking I would make through the site that would kick this off. What I normally did through the site was a few serious stories that a bunch of us friends in high school would write together, our own badass fantasy world, hell I still remember the name of the main board we played on, it was called Threads of Destiny, which ironically I had no idea of the existence of the Squaresoft game Threads of Fate, that was a funny coincidence when someone pointed that out to me.

Through these games, we would often get a few random people joining the game and playing with us, as unless we marked it private, anyone could join and start playing. As time went on, the games kept going, or faded away and new ones started. I became familiar with more players, started recognizing people playing different characters. Eventually, I made Yahoo! Messenger contacts with a couple players and we started taking things outside of the site and roleplayed one-on-one stories through Messenger. Initially, nothing special occurred, it was the same old shit. But over time, the roleplays got more romantic and eventually it just kept going forward until sex was introduced and these roleplays with who I will always hope were female players became more than just a fantasy roleplay that at most would contain a kiss. These were terribly written and never really went that far, the average porn scene was probably more kinky and rough than these roleplays were.

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For me, it was never something that I used as fap material right then and there. I know people who did and I have no idea how the hell they did it when these roleplays took forever to get through the entire sex scene (and without needing a new keyboard afterwards). What it was for me, was a way to get a ton of fantasies out of my brain and allow it to roam freely somewhere else. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and especially when you’re a horny teenager, you can build so many different stories and scenes in your head in a matter of moments. I’m still kind of like that today, but at least I have a girlfriend of 9 years that can help me fulfill some of these fantasies. At 16-18 years of age, that was not the case, so what all the roleplaying did was offer me a way to at least put all these thoughts out in the open instead of just holding them all inside and driving me absolutely crazy at times.

But like I said earlier, these roleplays still weren’t even that “dangerous”, it wasn’t until about 4-5 years ago when I found the place where I would eventually cease my roleplaying ways for good. I had taken a break during college, having a girlfriend that lasted longer than a couple months really helped that. Unfortunately, that couldn’t even help me after I graduated. I never got a job in the field I went to school for, so I was working in a factory, miserable and depressed. My girlfriend was about an hour’s drive away from me, so on most days I didn’t see her because honestly, I didn’t want to drive all the way out after work to see her and then go home an hour or two later, I didn’t want to just see her and say hello, I wanted to spend a whole day with her. So for the majority of the week, I was a mess, I hated my job, I was bored out of my mind as most of my friends from high school had moved away, so I was sitting at home, just begging for an outlet to get something out of my head. Eventually, I looked up my old home of PlayByWeb to see what was going on, but it looked so dead that I couldn’t bring myself to give it another shot. So a quick Google search later and I found the last place I ever roleplayed on, RPC.

***WARNING!!!*** I will leave the link to the site here if you’re curious enough to check it out, but I will warn you that this place isn’t exactly a “tame” place, per se. When I was a consistent player on this site, it was far different than what it is now, it was still a bit…sick, but nowhere near as bad as it is now. So view at your own discretion!

The site seemed like a cool concept, it was a massive chat site with at the time at least a hundred different user-generated rooms, all of varying topics, settings, universes and more. There was also at the time a room that was solely dedicated for players who wanted to only play through private messaging, so it was like a room where you knew you could message anyone on that list and it wouldn’t be bothering them. Well it could, but I’ll get to that idiocy later. The site was also up front that it was an 18+ site, you logged in knowing that majority of roleplaying going on here was that of a sexual nature. And in the early going, that’s what it was for me, just like I used to do through a few contacts through Yahoo! Messenger years prior, it was constant creative stimulation and a place for me to just shut out all the depression and misery I was feeling at the time. At one point I had my own chat room that had seven active users playing together and it was a lot of fun.

A year later however, things changed rapidly…

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I don’t know what changed in a year’s time. But it felt like anyone who was into a normal level of roleplay just vanished from the site. I blinked and without any warning, all the “vanilla” roleplayers (vanilla means normal or to some, boring and unexciting) disappeared and they were replaced with mainly these four kinds of profiles:

Futanari Characters

For the innocent ones out there, a futanari character is essentially a female who also has male genitalia. It used to be a word to describe characters in fanfiction and hentai that were created and drawn by people who couldn’t do yuri (lesbian) properly, so it was their easy way to have two girls having sex and not having to draw guys at all. What happened on RPC specifically is that over the course of a year, there used to be a single chat room for these types of characters. Now I’m not all for the segregation of anything, but it was helpful for most players to have a room like that, so if you were specifically into that gender of character, you knew exactly where the majority of them were. By the time I ended up leaving, it seemed like you couldn’t click on more than three profiles before finding one of them. And they all for some reason either had unnaturally large genitalia, like Ron Jeremy sized and then some, or they just replaced a human’s genitalia with a horse’s. Because that’s a thing, apparently.

Furry/Monster Characters

Again, I honestly had no problem with these either, though I know a lot of people think the furry community is one of the weirder ones. Like the futanari crowd, there used to be specific rooms where they’d all hang out, but just like the futanari characters, furries and monsters started to seep into all the main rooms. While I wasn’t sour about the idea initially, as I could always just ignore them, a lot of these players got really offended and pissy around anyone who wouldn’t play with them. Because apparently a person who doesn’t want to have sex with a humanoid otter is a terrible human being.

Loli/Shota Characters/Lovers

And this is where it starts getting really bad. Like I said, I didn’t have a problem with futanari and furry characters, I just didn’t like the amount of them that were starting to take over what used to be a very diverse site. But this specific kind of character under no circumstances was ever acceptable. Once again, for the innocent, loli and shota are terms referring to younger girls and boys, in particular those who haven’t reached puberty. So generally speaking, we’re talking 12 years old and younger. And the flood of profiles that were either 8 year-old boys and girls or profiles looking to have sex with characters of that age ramped up a lot, of course including profiles looking for “daddy/daughter or daddy/son” incest roleplaying.

A common theme I noticed through the change that lead me to leave the site and cease roleplaying for good, was that “normal” female profiles kept dropping in numbers. Either you were a woman with a giant cock, you weren’t human, or you were a child. And the latter…I really don’t want to even think about it, honestly. There’s a lot I can’t unsee now, since most of these profiles came at me without warning, since you don’t know what you’re clicking on until the profile is open.

“Rape-Loving” Characters

This was the one that ended it for me. Now I know there’s the “rape fantasy” where one pretends to be raped and apparently this is a very normal kind of fantasy, in fact through a slight skimming of information through Google searching, there was a study done in 1998 where over half of college-aged women surveyed had actually engaged in these fantasies. I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone is open to the fantasy of someone of the sex they’re attracted to surprising them with sex, like the old walking into the shower with them cliche, that sort of thing, but I’m not so sure about the whole “wanting to be raped” thing. Now if that’s your fantasy, you know what? That’s fine, that’s your fantasy and you are welcome to enjoy that in private. The problem I had with this kind of profile on the site, was that so many of them demanded that be the scene and were offended when I told them I wasn’t interested in pushing them hard against a brick wall in an alleyway and raping them. Once again, I was okay with the existence of it per se, but when it becomes over half of the players’ interests and get really offended when you don’t follow those interests, it takes the fun out of it.

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For me, those four things completely broke my perceptions of what online roleplaying was. For a year, I was enjoying a resurgence of creative writing, where I was allowed to explore my own sexuality in a safe space. For a year, all the things I listed above existed on the site, but it wasn’t a majority and it wasn’t shoved in my face. There were characters of all kinds, but in my first year you could actually find female characters that were your average, everyday girls. They went to school, had a job, liked going to the beach and then enjoyed such boring things like sex on a bed and unexciting things like sex in a school changeroom.

A year later, the majority of female profiles I would click on were not your average, everyday girls, they were vampires, werewolves and were either under the age of 13 or had a 9-inch penis. They thought places like the beach, camp sites, and school changerooms were boring and preferred to engage in sexual intercourse where they were chained up, gagged and being raped in the ass by a giant dragon’s dick…or Daddy. No longer could I convince anyone to set up a scene where we were living in the same apartment dorm, just down the hall from each other and through some crazy anime-esque event, I walk in on her either naked or in her underwear and thus starts the path of sexual depravity. The only way I could convince that person to do that story, is instead of walking on her and after a brief moment of yelling and screaming, they settle down, share a kiss and then get on with the fun, I would instead put my hand over her mouth to muffle her screams, shove her on the bed and rape her right then and there. And if I said no to that, I was the asshole. Yes folks, if I refused to roleplay a rape scene with someone online, I was a terrible human being.

So I left RPC. I left the site with some good memories and a shitload of bad ones and certainly a lot of images that I will never be able to unsee. Thankfully with the imagination I have, I’ve been able to replace a lot of the bad things I saw with more “normal” things like y’know…consensual sex with a person of age, it seems like a good and safe place to be. Up until a week ago I hadn’t visited the site and it was because I had thought of writing this article that I went back and checked it out. The place looked even worse, almost like you were being punished for not being so kinky that instead of writing your name on a tag, you walk in with a safeword written on the tag.

And then I decided to do a test on the site.

I actually have kept the majority of the coding from my profiles I used on the site and I took the one that got the most attention out of all the ones I did and put it back on the site and logged in. I sat in the main room and simply put the status of my character to “PM Friendly”, which signifies to all people in the room that I am available for private messaged roleplay. My profile was that of a guy who was training to be an Olympic swimmer and worked as a lifeguard to make ends meet. When the site wasn’t as terrible as it became, this profile got hit up a lot (mainly cause the art I selected for the profile was really good, I got lots of comments about how good the pictures I selected were) and I got a ton of stories done with that character alone. This profile was well-made, some real work was put into it, the profile had full information about the character, several pictures for reference, a backstory and an out-of-character section that said straight up things like “NO RAPE!!!”. I logged into the site for three straight days. I got hit up three times the entire three days and two of them were interested in rape-based roleplays, even though like I said earlier, the profile specifically said that rape is not up for discussion.

I ran a second profile during the same three days. I made a completely brand new one and did it in five minutes, almost no work put into it. It was simply an anime picture of an older male, I gave a name, age and said that the character was into rape, incest and lolis (aka severely underaged girls). I did the same thing as my other profile, put up the “PM Friendly” status, so that both profiles to the average person in the chat looked the same, just with a different character name. In an hour alone, I got messaged by six different profiles, two of them were underage female characters, one was an underage boy, one was a humanoid dog, one was a male vampire and one was a futanari horse who wanted to rape my character.

By the end of the three days, the “normal” profile that had a lot of work done on it got three unique hits, two that clearly did not actually read the profile. The profile done in five minutes and had extremely disturbing tastes got hit by a total of…28 different profiles. The number is actually much higher, more near 40, because several of the profiles hit this same profile on different days.

That confirmed everything I knew already. The site was no longer a place where everyone of different tastes could come together and act on their desires, it had become a place where only the darkest and downright disturbing desires were allowed to flourish. Once again, while I don’t like these tastes that people have, I didn’t mind it when it already existed in the first year I spent on the site, because it wasn’t being forced upon me. It was when it started taking over the site and people were either forced to join them or leave that I really had a problem with it.

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The fact that I was outcasted for liking “boring” things like consensual sex, realistic human characters and story-driven narratives and not wanting to basically roleplay 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction with a humanoid horse girl with a footlong still to this day drives me crazy. While I don’t miss roleplaying, I’m not getting the itch to do so anymore, it still bothers me to this day how the time I spent doing so came to an abrupt end. They’re still good memories and they were wiped away by some real disgusting bullshit.

The amount of things towards the end I would get chastised and downright bashed for was absolutely ridiculous. Here’s a long list of things I apparently did wrong towards the end of my days on RPC:

  • I was a straight male
  • I was a human with realistic proportions
  • I wanted to play with characters at an age where I wouldn’t get thrown in jail for having sex with them
  • I didn’t want to engage in the raping of their character
  • I didn’t find their spider girl with six breasts attractive
  • I didn’t find their shitty drawn wolf girl attractive
  • I didn’t type novel-length posts because I wanted to finish a sex scene before I passed out
  • I was friendly and liked to chat a little before actually starting a roleplay session
  • BECAUSE I SAID NO!

While most of my “dark” experiences with online roleplaying consisted of my time on RPC, I feel like it still works out as a warning for anyone curious about trying to do that, whether in a chat room, a message board, over a messaging service like Skype. Whether it’s keeping your personal information private, or dealing with people with completely unnatural and in some cases, downright disturbing tastes, there’s a lot to be aware about. And when it comes down to it, you have the power to say no to anything.

If people thought I was hard to talk to, because I said no to a scene where I would have raped an 11 year-old fox girl, then fine, I’ll be a person who’s difficult to talk to. I can deal with that.

One comment

  1. What I have found from being in group chats on kik is that a lot of girls (aged 14 to 18) have daddy fetishes. You will find comments like “f–k me daddy” and things like that. Or in general (at least on kik) people are either mean-spirited to each other by calling each sluts or telling each other to kys, or they are overly sexual with people uploading all sorts of videos to the group chats and chasing anyone that looks female (and some girls do the same to guys).
    Essentially it seems basic decency has completely disappeared from online social platforms.

    Like

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