I am somewhat amazed at the number of new players that D&D has had in the last few years. Sometimes it boggles my mind that with all of the available entertainment options, people still choose to pick up a book, some dice, some paper and a pencil and play make-believe. When I started playing we had entertainment options, but few of them reflected my interests. Fantasy and Science Fiction got some play in movies and on TV, but books was where the genre really came to life, and so my love of TTRPGs stems primarily from my life in books.
Ah, my life in books. I still have a life in books, mind you, but back when I was sliding precariously into puberty from my fanciful time as a child, books were my entire world. Books were like gold. Books, I think, were like food. I not only wanted them, I needed them. I read every piece of fantasy fiction (with a smattering of SF) that I could find, good or bad, new or old. The 1980's were a golden age for my favorite genre, arising from the weird and wonderful fiction of the drug-addled 60's and the macrame 70's.
Some of my favorite books were series books, things like Piers Anthony's Xanth and John Norman's Gor. From tongue-in-cheek high fantasy to swashbuckling sword and sorcery, Conan to Vlad Taltos, I found all of the campaign fodder I needed. It was all fertilizer for the games I was playing and would eventually run. It was sometimes gruff, oftentimes sensitive, and once in a while it was base and crude. If we are being honest with each other, I think I loved the base and crude stuff the most.
My games were not puritanical retreats, far from it. Sure, people died in sometimes awful and dramatic ways, but that happened in everyone's game, didn't it? You hacked a few kobolds, sliced up some orcs, and threw burning oil on the owlbear. That's all ok stuff, right? Now and again, the players would head for an local inn, and sometime start or become roped into a barfight. Again, not so bad. A punch here, a kick there...maybe the thief cut a hamstring when nobody was looking, then snuck behind the bar to steal the money. Seems normal....right?
What about sex? Sure...we had sex. We were normal, young, healthy just-turned-teen boys. It was a fantasy world, dark and grim and based on medieval tropes. There were whores!! Of course there were, because everyone needs to earn a living. We didn't get graphic, but the players often bought an evening of pleasure with a lady or two, or three. You just came back from a dank, dark, dangerous dungeon where your life had been hanging from a thread many, many times. You deserved some fun, some relaxation, a reminder that you were alive, and rich, and two levels higher than when you entered that pit of pain and danger. What you needed, my friend, was an Orgy!
Dragon magazine backed me up. In an article in Dragon #10, I present to you, the ORGY!!!
and then there was the appendix...in case you were a Psionics fan:
Damn! Orgies were quite taxing. No wonder, have you ever seen the sort of folks at an D&D orgy? Take a look...
That's some crazy event! I mean, I get the elf girls and the goblin guys, but whats the story with the dragon? Is he the proprietor? Seems awfully pissed at the couple of guys hanging on the curtains, and I don't blame him. If that was my joint, hanging on the curtains would be frowned upon severely.
By now, you're either offended, laughing, or remembering fondly.
Nowadays, I don't present my players with options for sex workers, or orgies, or anything in that realm unless they bring it up. I'm not opposed to it, very far from it. Sexual repression or political correctness in my game are a no-no. I don't let it get out of hand, or take over the game, but if a player or players wanna have a good time with consenting NPC's of any class or race, I say good on-ya! I'm not a kid anymore, and I don't play out those scenes with a teenage boy's fertile imagination.
These days, if you're gonna throw an orgy, prepare to pay a premium. Then, when it's all over, prepare to roll of the STD chart.
Oh yeah, and then the pregnancy chart.