This evening, we had open sign-ups for Brandeis’ upcoming Festival of the LARPs (“The LARPocalypse”). I tried to sign up for Slash, a LARP mocking bad fan fiction, (I hear it has a lot of rather… inappropriate humor) but all of the female slots filled before I could sign up. And there are still some male roles open, but as my account is registered as a female, I can’t take one. Which is a shame, because I’d kind of like to take a male role.
There’s something I’ve noticed about playing sleazy characters. I’m much more comfortable doing it when cross-cast (i.e. cast as a character not of my gender.) And I’ve heard other players express similar sentiments. I find when using cheesy pick up lines, unsubtle sexual innuendo, or coming right out and propositioning other characters in a LARP, I’m perfectly happy to do it to girls (my role as the drug-addled and shamelessly horny male drummer of an ’80s rock band comes to mind), but I feel a little awkward trying to hit on males as a female character.
I’m not entirely sure how this extends to the less common variations of gender and sexuality- me as a gay male hitting on a male played by a male? Played by a female? Me cast as a lesbian hitting on a female playing a female? A cross cast male? I don’t know. The more unusual combinations haven’t come up yet.
I think it has something to do with how much it could resemble reality. I’m not saying that there are LARPers who might confuse my characters’ advances for advances being motivated by real attraction when it isn’t (in fact, the assumption that roleplayers are prone to confusing role play with reality is a notion I find offensive)… but I still think the potential for me to offend a male player feels greater than the potential for me to offend a female player.
Maybe if Slash doesn’t fill, I’ll email the GM…