Monday, August 17, 2020

#RPGaDAY 2020: Day 17 Comfort

Back in 1972, Dr. Alexander Comfort wrote a groundbreaking book, "The Joy of Sex".

Groundbreaking in the frank portrayal of the sexual act as something to celebrate and enjoy.  Also groundbreaking for its illustrations (and photographs at least in the 2008 version) and its place as part of the start of the sexual revolution.

I think what we need today is an equally revolutionary "Joy of D&D."

One might ask why we would need such a book. One could also ask why we need a Joy of Sex, but if nearly 30 years of studying (and three degrees in) psychology you would be surprised by how little people actually know about sex.  Sure they can "do it" and have been since, well forever, but there is still much that people don't know. 
People can ride a bicycle, but that does not mean they are ready for the Tour de France.

I am not talking about a book on how to play the game. We have those, the rulebooks from TSR/WotC.  Or even a manual on how to run the game.  I'll contend that the pinnacle of this is still the AD&D 1st Ed Dungeon Master's Guide.

No. In this case, I am talking about an easy to read book; a breezy sort of guide. Maybe even a collection of essays and personal stories mixed in with guidelines on not just how to play D&D (and I think D&D in particular) but also how to get the most enjoyment out of it.  A Gourmet Guide to D&D and Roleplaying as it were. 

And just like how Dr. Comfort's book broke free of the Puritanical notion that sex had to be done one way for one reason alone, this guide would break the notion that D&D has to be done way.  Sure it can be a serious game, but it can also be light, breezy, and fun. 

Both books serve the same purpose


1 comment:

Dick McGee said...

May not quite be what you're after, but have you read Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering? It's at least close to what you seem to be looking for IMO.

https://www.amazon.com/Robins-Laws-Good-Game-Mastering/dp/1556346298

There are also uncountable thousands of videos, podcasts, and play sessions out there on the net, so maybe we don't need a book so much as a guide recommending different sources?

As for the need for Joy of Sex, if anything I think you're understating the staggering level of just plain ignorance about human sexual activity and desire out there. It's not just psychological, prior to pioneers like Kinsey, Johnson and Masters even basic physiological facts had never been subject to any kind of scientific study. Things have gotten better in that regard over the nearly 50 years since JoS was published, but real sex education is still sadly lacking almost everywhere. If you don't educate yourself (or find a partner willing and able to do so) you certainly aren't going to get much in schools or from most parents. A lot of what is picked up through cultural osmosis is sheer nonsense, some of it very harmful nonsense.

Peoples' reluctance to learn about their own biology simply baffles me.

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