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Recently I've been noticing a lot of people who ask for the gender of their RP partner to match the gender of the character they're playing. Since I'm trans-masculine/gender-nonconforming, I have a hard time understanding this request. Often times, what it turns out they're asking for is to have a partner who matches their junk preferences. But, my junk doesn't match my hormones, doesn't match my gender, doesn't match the types of characters I play.

Is there anyone else in the trans community who has encountered this? What do you do about it? How does it make you feel? (I usually just click on over to the next LFRP, but sometimes I feel like I'm missing out when the plot is good.) And to the people who are asking for a certain gender for their partner, I have one respectful question: Why?

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Not trans or asking for specific genders for my rp partners, but I can offer one reason some people might only want to play with a specific gender; to protect themselves. While this hasn't happened to me personally, I have heard stories of female rpers being creeped on or hit on by their male rp partners so they eventually start rping only with other women to avoid that.

As for me personally, I don't care what gender my partner is, male, female, trans, nonbinary; as long as you have something to catch my interest and I'm not full up on rps, I'll play with you.
winplaceshow Topic Starter

That's a good answer but I am asking to hear from people who actively require a gender in their LFRPS, rather than people who are speculating. Also to clarify most of the people I see are not women looking for the same gender but people looking for their partner to be of the gender they are attracted to. Thanks for taking the time to reply!
I know I'm also not in the "people who ask for specific genders" category, but I do know, from people that I have unfortunately interacted with, what one reason is. It's the issue of people who can't separate IC from OOC. They ask for an RP partner of the gender/sex they are attracted to so they can try to start a romantic relationship with their RP partner, instead of just having one between their characters. And they can be jerks about it. (Obviously I am not saying it's the only reason, but unfortunately it's a common one.)
And, as a not-cis person, I tend to just not RP with people who ask for a partner of a specific gender. If the plot was really good I'd just let them assume whatever they want about me, I guess? Not the best move I think but it is likely what I'd do.
winplaceshow wrote:
I am asking to hear from people who actively require a gender in their LFRPS
It's been my experience that the ones who ask for this won't 'out' themselves by responding to your request. I agree with what Lorekeeper said, in it creates a 'vibe' that they have more than just writing roleplay between fictional characters in mind. Maybe not a 'romantic relationship' OOC-wise, but maybe in some individual fantasy they want to have.
Focusing specifically on the character & player gender match, especially in a context where it seems to be a player "junk" preference thing: A reason I've seen explicitly stated has been in the context of MLM, coming from guys saying they're sick of just seeing the same stereotypes marketed at women into MLM or "boylove" stories over and over; and that they feel it always becomes obvious pretty fast when they're playing with a woman who's just sexualizing them or sticking to those stereotypes, a lot like with the whole "men writing women" problem concept. In at least once case, I think they even specified cis guys only with their reasoning being that trans guys would have had very different life experiences growing up from cis guys and that, again, they feel (or at least suspect) that comes through in the writing.

More into just my speculation, I think that when dealing with romance in particular, especially if it goes toward the erotic, there are probably folks who may actually be maintaining the OOC/IC boundary fine but who still feel more invested if the player's gender does, indeed, match their preference; and/or who simply want someone who can really "write what they know" instead of just trying to image what it'd be like. And, while I don't think much toxic masculinity makes its way into RPR, that is something that may leave some guys feeling extra weird if they know their partner in some romantic thing is also a guy.

Me, I don't use any such restrictions myself, but there are cases I see sometimes where a woman character played by a guy will make me cringe a bit. It's far from universal, and I've actually seen women write female characters in a lot of the same ways sometimes, for some reason, but eh, it happens. Been pretty rare that I've actually had a writing partner do that, though.

And being an asexual non-binary person... yeah, there's a whole lot that I don't really understand either. And to me, if someone places that much importance on player gender, I tend to figure we wouldn't be a good match to play together anyway (with some exceptions that, unfortunately, depend on me being aware of things that it wouldn't be fair for me to ask).
From my perspective, there are definitely two obvious reasons people have these kinds of preferences. And those two reasons have been mentioned before, but I'll reinforce that logically, it's either for protective purposes or romantic purposes. For the former, I generally typically try to avoid such people because it feels like it'd be pretty humiliating to have to go up to someone and ask them "oh, I'm non-binary, am I okay with you?". Whilst I've never gotten into a situation where gender has really mattered (perhaps because I play a specific type of RP that player gender rarely comes into it, what with being asexual), I feel that if I was asked for my biological sex in order to do an RP, I'd either nope out of there, or if the RP idea is enticing enough, I'd simply state my gender identity as all that should matter and leave it to them to decide if that's enough or not.

At the end of the day though, I accept that everyone has different reasons for RPing. Some do it for making stories, some do it for inspiration, some do it for escapism, others have more adult reasons for it. Depending on that reason, people have different limits and needs. Sometimes those limits come at the expense of trans and non-binary people. But when you think about it, out in the wider world, noticeably non-binary and trans people are quite rare (even factoring in the fact that trans people are a minority, many people aren't ready to present, whilst others present quite successfully). It's a thing that the type of demographic who heavily uses the internet is overrepresented in and is generally easier to convey in an online environment. Plus, many of those people for whatever reason aren't out about their transness beyond the internet either. Therefore, you get a lot of a cis people coming to a highly diverse site such as this one with the incorrect expectation that the site's population is a lot more cis than it actually is.

Personally... player gender has never come into it with any RP I've looked for. But I can see why people might want it, even if I don't always agree that it's the right thing to do from an inclusivity standpoint.
I don't know why that matters. I am a heterosexual male and I have played as many female characters as males. If you look at my profile, you'll find a 50/50 mix of each. I guess I'm just surprised about this in this day and age that it would even be a thing. So many people on here run characters as anonymous. It really shouldn't be anyone's business. The only thing I ever want to know is if a player is of legal age (I'm not comfortable dealing with minors) and sometimes I like to get an idea of their approximate age for certain kinds of RPs. That doesn't really matter for fantasy and sci-fi, but if I'm doing a more realistic modern game younger players can't idenrify with certain situations. I've found sometimes age difference has an impact on what I'm looking for and someone who is 18 may not have the life experience necessary to really understand certain topics since I'm in my mid-forties. Beyond that, no other details should ever matter.
The idea that most people are doing it for romantic purposes is weird. I strongly prefer my partners to either be non-binary or feminine-identifying because nine times out of ten, my experiences with writing with masculine-identifying individuals have ended in harassment/stalking, them trying to make moves on me, or otherwise having behavior that is uncomfortable and unacceptable. For all of the sapphic women I write with, this is the exact same case. We don't care about turning RP into tinder. We're just trying to not have men stomp all over our safe space by sexualizing our characters' relationships, tell us they think being lesbians is 'hAwT', or hell, even try to tell us that we're not writing our characters correctly because that's not how lesbeenz act!!!1!! Can't tell you how many times that men have started trying to get me to talk about ~smexy times~ with my lesbian characters within the first five minutes because they're addicted to a certain something that has been normalized in society.

Most of us are comfortable with non-binary identities because they don't identify as men, which means they typically don't have a whole lot of toxic masculinity traits. Trans women are women, so of course they're welcome. We have lots of similar experiences with both demographics (hell, a lot of us are NB sapphics) so we find unity in the whole 'dear god is anywhere safe anymore??' thing.

Is it a requirement for my partners not to be men or male-identifying? No. But I'm also going to hold those individuals to a much stricter standard because my past experiences have brought me to be highly wary of their behavior. All I want is to feel safe and comfortable to be my regular self without feeling the need to filter what I say or what I show of myself in fear that someone's going to be creepy about it. I'm here to have fun, not dodge bullets from men who decide they love me after three days. Funnily enough, my harassment from RP partners literally vanished after I began writing exclusively with sapphic partners, lmao.
As a cisgender woman, I don't care what gender the person is behind the character. However, aside from one really terrible experience with an RPer who identified as a cisgender male, I have had zero problems with RPing my female characters in heterosexual relationship with most RPers who RP male characters and identify as male in RL. Perhaps it's because I'm clear from the start that I don't mix IC and OOC. I like where my life is, my job, my family, I have zero interest in OOC romantic relationships and anyone who tries to push that boundary gets blocked!

Most problems I've had are male RPers who try to RP female characters and try to push an IC lesbian relationship with my female characters. I don't RP FxF regardless of the gender behind the Roleplayer, but a lot more males, in my experience seem to have a problem accepting that and again, I block!

Edit: Being creepy on an OOC level isn't exclusive to men. I've seen RPers who identify as women in RL being creepy towards other RPers as well, so let's please stop the assumption that only RL men are guilty of this. People not respecting boundaries isn’t gender related.
I've seen these posts too and to be honest: I typically feel disgust towards them. Mostly because I feel like my gender shouldn't be part of the equation and as a NB/trans person... I'm honestly tired of my gender being brought up so much in my day to day life. I've been asked privately what gender my 'body is' and 'what do you have?' and that just left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to this. It feels EXTREMELY invasive and can even make me feel dysphoric if I don't line up with their 'tastes.' (Eugh...)

I've also seen younger transgender people commenting on these LFRP ads - explaining themselves and I don't think ANYONE should have to 'explain' themselves or give out their AGAB. It sqwicks me out seeing that behaviour. TL;DR I don't think gender should be brought up when looking for a roleplay partner. Others might feel otherwise, but this is just my personal opinion. I think RPers should block the creepy folk rather than search for one specific gender in partners. (I never feel included)

Sincerely,
Someone who doesn't fall under 'male' or 'female.' :blue:
OwlGryphon wrote:
I've seen these posts too and to be honest: I typically feel disgust towards them. Mostly because I feel like my gender shouldn't be part of the equation and as a NB/trans person... I'm honestly tired of my gender being brought up so much in my day to day life. I've been asked privately what gender my 'body is' and 'what do you have?' and that just sort of left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to this. It feels EXTREMELY invasive and can even make me feel dysphoric if I don't line up with their 'tastes.' (Eugh...)

I've also seen younger transgender people commenting on these LFRP ads - explaining themselves and I don't think ANYONE should have to 'explain' themselves or give out their AGAB. It sqwicks me out seeing that behaviour. TL;DR I don't think gender should be brought up when looking for a roleplay partner. Others might feel otherwise, but this is just my personal opinion. I think RPers should block the creepy folk rather than search for one specific gender in partners. (I never feel included)

Sincerely,
Someone who doesn't fall under 'male' or 'female.' :blue:

Can I applaud this please? Where is the like button? I keep wanting to like. ❤️ :)

It’s more about wanting to get away from gender stereotypes of how one thinks a gender should be and doing a good job of RPing the character in a believable manner.

Also stop feeling guilty about blocking creeps that are most likely narcissistic jerks regardless of gender and just block them and enjoy your RP. ❤️
Falyn wrote:
Being creepy on an OOC level isn't exclusive to men. I've seen RPers who identify as women in RL being creepy towards other RPers as well, so let's please stop the assumption that only RL men are guilty of this. People not respecting boundaries isn’t gender related.

I'ma toss out there that while I have experienced creepy behaviors and IC/OOC blurring in this manner most frequently in folks who are presenting themselves as cishet guys, the most overt and "wait, what?" instance I've experienced involved a chick (and this happened years ago on a different site). She at least didn't continue to be creepy after finding out that I wasn't a guy IRL, just a character I was playing was, but she had apparently started thinking about me in terms of being her boyfriend after, like, one or two interactions. It had never even come up how old either of us was. Pretty much the only thing she had to work with was that my male character was a sweetheart in general, and especially around cute girls. Not even specifically her, just... cute girls in general.
While I don't set specific genders restrictions for my rp partners either, I have asked some people for this matter and have received two answers: one, I can confirm was to "write from what you know", as Zelphyr mentioned above, to avoid "unrealistic answers".

The second, which was, unfortunately, the answer I got the most, was to test if they could breach the boundary between OOC/IC- which got to the point I had to stop making female characters for a while due to the harassment from both female and male RPers, who would go out of their way to break IC to be very, very creepy and disgusting. And because of this, I openly dismiss or ignore specific gender restrictions when I see them in a Looking topic.

I personally don't think specific gender restrictions should be necessary, to be honest.
winplaceshow wrote:
Recently I've been noticing a lot of people who ask for the gender of their RP partner to match the gender of the character they're playing. Since I'm trans-masculine/gender-nonconforming, I have a hard time understanding this request. Often times, what it turns out they're asking for is to have a partner who matches their junk preferences. But, my junk doesn't match my hormones, doesn't match my gender, doesn't match the types of characters I play.

Is there anyone else in the trans community who has encountered this? What do you do about it? How does it make you feel? (I usually just click on over to the next LFRP, but sometimes I feel like I'm missing out when the plot is good.) And to the people who are asking for a certain gender for their partner, I have one respectful question: Why?

I hate to be that guy but I assume that people say these in terms of comfort level. I honestly rp with all kinds of people but others may not feel the same way. When people are doing 'M lf F' it means they have a male character looking for a female. Usually for a romantic roleplay or the like. But people have their own ways of doing things, and I woun't intrude. Or you can be a sneaky fella and hit up an anonymous character,.
I've always wondered about this too. Especially since it's the internet and you never know who's really behind the screen. I never understood why one's gender matters when it comes to rping.
But then I read some of the comments below (some are insightful) and can start to see why.
In the past I've had partners fall in love with me or ask me out, or for other personal information. When we never talked or barely got passed the 'hey how are you's'. I never understood it and always had to drop them. Or in some cases, block them. So I can see understood why the issue of unable to separate one's self from a character.

Personally I don't think specific gender restrictions should matter. I stay away from those kind of rpers. Roleplay for me is like a unique story-telling where I'm involved. People only wanting to rp with an opposite gender is like only wanting to read books made by the opposite gender.
Kim Site Admin

The mod team has been having some discussions about this issue. The reason we've tolerated it historically has been that some people do have safety/comfort concerns.

That said, we think there's a real difference between "I prefer to RP with people who identify as femme or queer for comfort reasons" and more of what we usually see, which is 99% cishet men strictly wanting to RP smut with cis women. This throws up a lot of red flags, starting with that they either can't or do not wish to separate IC from OOC. It also points toward potential violations of the rule about not using the RPR as a platform to specifically seek out RL dates or hookups.

We're talking now about taking a harder look at requests on the LFRP board we worry are "Genital Invasive RP Requests." They are their own kind of safety concern, and none of our members should have to think about or verify what's in their pants in order to write fiction.
This is somewhat a nonsequitur, but the idea that people might avoid writing with people because they're masc/male or femme/female or enby doesn't sit right with me. It smacks of misogynistic preconceptions.

Being predatory, horny or not understanding boundaries is not exclusive to any one gender or orientation. If you make snap judgements from someone based on their gender, I beg you, stop. lmao.

Also if you're using rp sites to date, you can do better, I promise you.
Kim wrote:
That said, we think there's a real difference between "I prefer to RP with people who identify as femme or queer for comfort reasons" and more of what we usually see, which is 99% cishet men strictly wanting to RP smut with cis women. This throws up a lot of red flags, starting with that they either can't or do not wish to separate IC from OOC. It also points toward potential violations of the rule about not using the RPR as a platform to specifically seek out RL dates or hookups.

Bingo.

RPR is not a dating website. If a person is that fixated on what the gender of their writing partner is, perhaps this isn't the hobby or place for them. No one should have to provide personal details about their real life in order to (essentially) play make believe. That's an invasion of privacy and I have some background in investigative work. It's amazing how much information can be gleamed on a person from just a few leaked tidbits and that can lead to some really creepy stalker behavior. Individual's safety is more important than another writer's intrusive gender preference.

I RP as both male and female characters. Yes, I do post my gender to my profile, though there's no requirement I do so. Even then... will I prove to a person it's true? Nope. No one's getting photos or personal contact info or any of that. I enjoy my ability to just exist here. It's best to allow other writers the same without prying into their personal lives.
Another few things people should be informed about is that no one is under the obligation to RP with anyone else. Everyone has the right to say no and others need to respect that. Not everyone clicks as writers regardless of gender.

I have a hard time with people saying some people seek opposite gender partners because they are looking for IC relationships. I know very few people who RP online who would take the risk of giving out real life information on themselves and meet someone in real life to start dating them. Some have and do and it has worked out, but that is a minority and they have hopefully taken the necessary precautions of meeting a stranger who could be far different in RL from what they claim online.

Personally I stay away from smut based LFRP ads or those with over 50% romance over plot.

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