Sex

The Sixth World and Sex

Thematically, the world of Shadowrun: Denver is set in a world where cultural and sexual mores are similar to those in 1960s America. A century of pornography, lowering standards, greater media saturation, rising technology levels, and rampant consumerism has removed a great deal of the Puritanical and religious checks and balances on standard behavior. Sexual freedom is relatively common, and the constraints of disease - at least sexually-transmitted diseases - have, by and large, been removed by advances in medical technology. Birth control technologies have been likewise improved, to the point where unwanted pregnancies (at least in developed countries) are extremely rare; both men and women can buy a variety of over the counter drugs and devices to prevent potency and impregnation. The days of the condom are over; now it's patches and injections.

This is not to say that there is nothing that's considered wild, obscene, or deviant. Public nudity is still illegal, though skirts are shorter and the standards for clothing in public have become much more relaxed. Sex in public (even in dark nightclubs) is still illegal as well, though some clubs have relaxed policies on this. In dangerous areas such as slums and Warrens, dressing in too provocative or skimpy a manner is a ticket to getting gang-raped. Women who dress in too-revealing outfits, as well as men, are considered "easy" and often as if they're advertising for it. It should also be noted that the general liberal attitudes outlined above are, by and large, accepted primarily in large, urban and/or educated areas and countries. There are still large portions of the world as well as areas within nations such as the UCAS and CAS that have much more conservative, 20th-century views on sexuality.

On another, important note: While Shadowrun: Denver has no policies prohibiting tinysex, nor do we particularly care what you want to virtually stick into whom (as long as it's consensual, see +news policy rape), players of Shadowrun: Denver should *not* make tinysex their focus. Get out and RP. There are lots and lots of MUSHes out there where you can have lots of sex to your heart's content. We politely suggest that if you find your primary activities on logging into Denver to, more often than not, wind up revolving around finding the next person, position, or location to have tinysex in, you go to one of these places. Shadowrun: Denver is about playing Shadowrun. So get out there and Shadowrun, or at least RP with your fellow shadowrunners!

Deviant Sex

Deviant sexuality - that is, sexual expressions and behaviors which deviate from the commonly accepted 'norms' - has changed in definition, or at least in composition, slightly but significantly since the 21st century began. Homosexuality is hardly as controversial, or even noticed, as it is in the 20th century. Pornography is common and quite profitable. Simchips (and their darker cousins, BTL chips) provide full-sensory pornographic experiences straight to the brain, putting you in bed with your favorite porn stars with all the attendant sensations, combinations and viewpoints one might expect. Transgender sex changes are relatively simple (but still expensive) operations with the advances in medical technology, and it's pretty hard to detect a person's birth sexuality if they've gone the full route without a serious cellular scan—though transgendered men and women still are incapable of reproduction. Polyamory and polygamy are also no longer the taboos they once were. While the primary form of relationship is monogamous, both polyamory and polygamy are legal and somewhat accepted. None of these are as 'deviant' as they once were.

Body modifications have become wilder and stranger with the advancement of technology. Cybernetic, biotech, genetic and phenotype alteration have all created fetish and fringe cultures far outside of the realms currently available. Individuals have modified themselves to be unrecognizable as human cosmetically; there's some strange things out there. People have modded themselves to have extremely odd sexual organs and in some cases have turned themselves into hermaphrodites or even created new "sexes" entirely. Tattoos and piercings are also somewhat common, but still wind up somewhat on the 'fringe'. "Furries", people who have altered themselves to have elements of animal genetics and features in their phenotypes, also exist on the fringes of modern culture. Also falling into this category are the "poseur elves" and other races, humans who have modified themselves cosmetically to appear to be elves and other races. There's also those who modify themselves to be identical copies, at least cosmetically, of their favorite sim stars and public figures; there are Maria Mercurials, Halo Joneses, even (human form of) Dunkelzahns running around out there. BDSM, and its many children, are still considered deviant sexual behavior.

While the types of deviant sexuality and expression detailed above are more accepted in urban, educated areas than they are today, they're still considered deviant and often cause strong reactions, sometimes even violent reactions. There are still sacred taboos that fall on the dark fringes of deviant sexuality: underage sex (the age of consent has changed only slightly, hovering around 16-18 in most places), rape, and incest are still criminal and will cause violent reactions.

Furry Sex

Shadowrun: Denver has a small population of "Furry" enthusiast players and characters. As the issue of "furrydom" and phenotype alteration isn't one directly addressed by the Shadowrun canon, it falls to the staff of the MUX to define some of the Shadowrun theme issues surrounding it.

There does exist a fringe subculture in which biosculpting is the norm. However, these sorts of people are seen as freaks by most normal types, get harassed by cops whenever they're seen, get beat up by gangers, hunted by Humanis, and so forth. The main reason they exist is because certain very visible, influential cultural icons exist who have some minor modifications. They get away with it because they've got a Cult of Personality built up around them and make millions of dollars despite it, whether it's because they're sim actors or Urban Brawl stars. They can afford their uniqueness and all it's trappings - bodyguards, reclusive mansions, robot servants - because they're insanely good at what they do. Most shadowrunners can't justify that.

There aren't any 'furries-only' business venues or regular hangouts, but in fetish clubs, gay bars, and the like you might have small subgroups of congregating furries in the same manner some gay bars today might have small subgroups of bears or leather fetishists.

Being a furry shouldn't be a SR Denver character's primary or even significant defining characteristic, no more than being a troll should be a troll character's primary or even defining characteristic. There is concern that furry enthusiasts will come here and use our rules to essentially turn SR Denver into a place where they can RP in a world where furries are common or acceptable, which is OK, but to do that to the /exclusion/ of the primary thematic thrust of /Shadowrun/. We don't police tinysex or kinks on here, but it does look remarkably fishy when someone comes here to play a furry and the first thing they do is run around and have lots of furry sex. We don't care if people want to play furries, or even if they want to explore that aspect of their world in the Shadowrun universe. We do care if such things start dominating RP, and steer the character (and other characters) away from Shadowrun.

Furries get a sort of larger cultural camouflage over a greater backdrop in the SR universe than they would today. In a world with trolls and poseur-elves and metavariants and such, dragons running for president, sentient centaurs and sasquatch rock stars…a guy who looks like a tiger isn't exactly the sore thumb sticking out amidst a sea of sameness that he would be in today's world. The primary source of anti-prejudice is going to be along the lines of those who will think: 'those scummy Xes at least have the excuse that they were BORN that way, you went out and had yourself MADE that way', where Xes is your prejudice of choice.

The most common commercial reason people have furry phenotype alteration is to become high-end prostitutes. Some people want the feeling of fur against them, and there are those willing to spend some cash to invest in making themselves (or those they employ) into that. It's also somewhat of a statement among the wealthy, though still somewhat rare. It's shocking and attention-getting, but some people really enjoy that.

As far as those people being Shadowrunners, yes, they can do it. However, they should be aware that it makes them *highly* recognizable. In the words of 2, the Ranting Gryphon, "You're an Anthropomorphic Fucking Skunk!" How many of those are there in Denver? Two or three? Hmm. That won't be too hard to find. In other words, furries can be shadowrunners, and on this game /should/ be shadowrunners (Or some variant of such), but they're going to have to be willing to play the freak. If you're living in a AAA secrating apartment, you better have some sort of permits or friends in high places, otherwise, like the rest of the ugly cybered trolls and metal laden freaks, you go in the torn up run down part of town to protect yourself from the "Norms".

Homosexuality

Homosexuality, both gay and lesbian, has become a widely-accepted variation on the norm. Sexual preference based on gender is simply not as important or relevant as it once was in most parts of the urban, educated society of Shadowrun. Homosexual marriage is legal, and homosexuals can adopt and be parents as well. In most urban centers, gay couples hardly even raise eyebrows anymore.

Of course, there are exceptions. Aside from rural and backwards areas, there are some places where homosexuality is not accepted, at least openly. Military organizations, by and large, follow a don't-ask, don't-tell policy to preserve unit cohesion, and by and large, homosexuality is not accepted in these hyper-male, hyper-masculine organizations. At the higher echelons of the corporate world, homosexuality is still considered to be somewhat deviant and is kept behind closed doors; the same is true in political circles.

Interracial

Interracial sex in Shadowrun no longer refers to that between blacks and whites, but between different metatypes. A popular subject in pornography, interracial sexual and romantic relationships is considered (depending on the races involved) to be deviant sexuality by most. Elves and humans, humans and dwarves, and elves and dwarves are subject to much less prejudice and discrimination in this area than any sort of relationship between the former groups and the "tuskers and trogs"—orks and trolls. The heavy influence of the Humanis Policlub, and the majority status of humans in the racial mix, contributes to the prejudices facing mixed-race relationships.

Physically, of course, all of the races are interfertile with each other (though there are no half-breeds; parents of mixed race will produce one or the other racial type in their children). Goblinization doesn't occur anymore (people are born trolls or orks; they no longer express at puberty).

Furthermore, there are no physical barriers between the races; while trolls are larger than dwarves by a great factor overall, genitalia aren't so large as to render mating physically impossible.

Yet interracial couples will still face a great deal of hatred, mistrust, and prejudice, even amongst the "fairer" races. For the most part, mixed-race relationships are looked down upon.

Marriage

Marriage in the world of Shadowrun: Denver is still primarily considered a contract between a man and a woman, till death (or divorce) do us part, at least in most of the world. However, in urban and educated areas, as well as legally, the definition of marriage has changed dramatically.

Marriage laws in the UCAS and the CAS, as well as many other 'modern' nations, permit the marriage of any two, or more, sentient people wishing to enter into a (theoretically) permanent romantic and living arrangement. Sexual identity is no barrier to marriage. Nor is there a limit on how many individuals might enter into the same contract; polyandry and polygamy are also permitted under the eyes of the law, so long as everyone involved still pays taxes. Marriage has become an arrangement primarily to recognize in the eyes of the state and (depending on the participants and the religion's views) the church vows between individuals who love each other. It provides stability, legal protections for the partners in relationship to one another, and a clear line of inheritance and protection for the children of such unions.

However, marriage is even less permanent statistically in the world of Shadowrun than it is today. With the constant changes in the world and the general adaptation of human psychology to be used to constant change and even to crave it, divorce is on a steep rise as people grow bored or tired of their relationships and drift apart. Thus, prenuptual agreements tend to be the norm rather than the province of the rich and powerful, and their crafting no longer has the air of distrust that it once did, simply being considered another step in the usual path towards marriage just like picking the official and choosing the DJ.

Polyamory

Polyamory - the practice of having multiple relationship partners - is relatively common in the urban and educated areas of the world of Shadowrun: Denver. We're not just talking about the sexual aspects here, but rather, the romantic, legal, and relationship aspects as well. While the standard tends to still be the one-man-to-one-woman monogamous relationship, there are many instances of troikas and even large extended families of relationships. Jealousy still rears its ugly head as much as it does in the current world, but there is much less of a stigma attached to polyamory than there is in today's world. Polyandry and polygamy are both legal, and marriage contracts can consist of many more than two partners agreeing to cherish and stay together until death do us part.

It would be fair to say that polyamory is considered in the same cultural niche in 2064 that homosexuality is in 2004, with the exception that polyamorous marriages are legal: still somewhat on the fringes of society, still somewhat controversial, but common enough to not matter to most people.

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