Kazza Rants: Underaged Roleplayers and Smut
This is more of a compilation of thoughts, rather than a rant per se. I also have a feeling that what I’m about to write is an unpopular opinion, but I think it deserves to be addressed nonetheless.
Smut is a big part of roleplaying, there’s no denying it. And quite a few roleplayers, on Tumblr and elsewhere, are underage. Recently, I had a 13-year-old apply for an RPG I admin. Said RPG also allows smut and mature themes. Considering the fact that I do feel the admins have a certain kind of responsibility, I had to think long and hard about whether I should accept the player or not. I ended up accepting her because her writing was good and she understood the character, but only after checking to make sure if she was okay with there potentially being smut and cursing on the dash. Not to mention how the smut isn’t too frequent, even though it does exist.
There are different levels of maturity, but when I was 13 years old, I barely knew what sex even was. In this recent situation, I felt almost motherly and protective, and both my co-admin and I agreed that we would be extremely uncomfortable with such a young person actually parttaking in roleplaying smut themselves, on our watch. We’d have to cross that bridge when we came to it. We also considered things such as the matter of parental permission.
It might sound hypocritical and grandmother-ish, but children do grow up much too fast these days. A 13-year-old is a child, and should be allowed to act like one. There is time to be mature and do adult things later in life. I believe roleplaying can be a factor contributing to maturing too soon, depending on how early you start and what kind of roleplaying you do.
There’s also a legal aspect. I’m 22 years old, and I’ve made the decision not to roleplay smut with someone who is under 18. Because technically, it would be illegal for me to do so. And I do feel it’s my responsibility to say no, not the underaged roleplayer’s, just because I need to be the person who knows better. Not that the risk of anyone reporting me to the police is that big, but it’s still there. If I were a parent checking my 13-year-old’s computer and finding out they’re roleplaying smut with a 22-year-old, however, I’d report them instantly. No matter how “innocent” it really might be.
If two underaged people roleplay smut with each other, that’s a different matter. But someone who is an adult could technically be convicted for pedophilia for doing so with a person who is still a child by law.
Of course, these are difficult matters, which don’t have one right answer. But I do feel they’re worth thinking about, especially when you’re an “older” roleplayer. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and claim no responsibility.
Came across this and thought I’d post it. This echos my opinion, I’m not sure about the other mods.