elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
What scene?! Where?!: The Room Of Cool Night Breezes, Seymour x Sephiroth, @ [info]the_love_hotel


LONG ENTRY IS LONG.



We're in the homestretch, and ironically it was only now that I came into The Fullness Of My Powers And Majesty etc. From this point til the end of the thread I felt only easy, natural, scientific control of activity - all the setup work was done, however well or badly, and now it was time to reap a harvest of startling beauty.

"Then come." Like a cat snatching a moth from the air, he grabbed one of those white hands before they had a chance to get away, and began to lead Sephiroth towards the couch. He took it completely for granted that he would follow.
Regardless of how lilac this prose is, it's immediately obvious to me that there's been a shift in control: where I was hesistant, I became certain. Where I was unclear how to proceed, I created certainty. This is also a characteristically Seymour move - you can even see it in the FMV in FFX during the wedding sequence.

Those tremors of ecstasy had not completely left him by the time he found himself being led along blindly after the Guado. The floor was cold beneath his feet, but failed to jar any sense of coherent thought back into his head. Thoughts of escape or protest were distant whispers, barely recognized for what they were in the wake of that mind-shattering release.

What next would he have of him? It wasn't a literal question, for the answer surely must have been obvious, but rather an outlook. If there was indeed no fighting it, perhaps there was pleasure to be found in this...

Seph's tag clearly indicates a willingness to follow my sudden manic lead - that was really important to me, and once again, slickly and tidily done IC.

The ideal is always to get all communication to happen IC. It's just not possible - it's really really not possible - but Seph-mun is showing us how it's at the very least possible on occasion.

They came to the verge of the low couch. Seymour tugged him forward so that his shins would brush the edge of it. "You should sit." Though he would regret that any part of Sephiroth's splendid nakedness should be unavailable to him.

He bit his thumb then in sudden contemplation, his clear eyes sharp but focused on nothing. Then, decisively, he let his fingers roll through the empty air as though circling the base of an invisible sphere. A soft flash followed. The curse of blindness was broken.

This is the second most efficient tag I would post in the entire thread (score: 80 to 4). The description of breaking the curse is physical, clear, interesting, and concise, and there was even time to throw in a little narration and action that showed the kind of rough concern that Seymour had conceived for Sephiroth at this point.

pressed his lips to the very end of his collarbone.
Hahaha I swear I'm not obsessed with that part of the body. I SWEAR IT.

I do have a thing for elaborate explorations of one's anatomy, and I find that people are very sensitive where the skin is stretched over bone without a lot of padding. More than that, I think it's inherently a dom thing to deal in precise and atypical anatomy: that kind of attention - to detail that so often goes unnoticed - confers a kind of power and momentum to its practicioner. It is as dazzling IRL as within an RP context.

"...what would you have of me?" It was the first he'd spoken since that blindness had been incurred, and now it was low and languid, almost a purr.

"Don't ask questions." Seymour answered, though there was nothing cold or commanding about it. It is better to anticipate than to know.
A beautiful exchange, but of course it triggered the operation of the Smut McGuffin. DERP.

When he felt Sephiroth's fingers on him, he sank his teeth into the flesh at the base of his throat and groaned. It was then that he noticed the massive scar and stilled.

Then, he felt him pause, and his touch indicated what had caused such a reaction. That patch of skin, which felt newly restored, pale and silky beneath his touch, lay just over...

Ah.

He would have asked if the other wished to see the reason, but he found his tongue silenced. Seymour's previous statement had prevented it. Instead, he merely gave the other a faint, knowing smile.



So since I knew basically nothing about the canon and Seph-mun knew it, she asked me OOC if, you know, I meant to Find A Wing. And I was like "uh yes I guess I mean... if that's alright with you."

Let me clarify. What I MEANT to say was "fucking get the wing out, I wanna play with it." But you can't talk like that to civilized humans.It's impolite.

The next couple of tags were very short dialogue tags. I'm always embarrassed about doing short tags even if they're appropriate but Seph-mun didn't upbraid me for it so we were in the clear. Then, at last:

Sephiroth nodded, shifting back out of the other's grasp if for but a moment. He would not want to be so close when it unfurled...

And unfurl it did. His hair stirred as something dark pushed it aside, stretching upwards. The muscles of his shoulders visibly flexed as a form as dark as ink drew forth. With a final stretch it was fanned wide, nothing more or less than a singular black wing extending from his right shoulder. The flourishing movement dislodged a few of those feathers, floating quietly down to rest on the couch beside him.

That accomplished, it folded to rest against his back, that faint smirk not quite leaving his lips.



This was so adroitly described that I kind of O_O'd IRL. A genuine WAT moment! It's a little weird to have only one wing, but more than weird, it is kinky, I am sorry to say. Seymour has a "WAT" to "KINK" turnaround time of about three posts.

He briefly debated the good taste of the question that came immediately to mind, and yet...

"Is it - sensitive?"

He ran his hand lightly over the furled arc of shining black feathers as if to test for himself.



OK, two posts.

He traced the arc of the top all the way to the tip, and then dipped his fingers into the dark feathery secret place where the wing emerged from his shoulder, searching for where one became the other. His other hand he let rest on Sephiroth's chest, one fingertip resting in the pulse of his throat.
This is precisely the point where I started to really relax and let my freak flag fly. I dunno if it's visible in the prose but my understanding of the energy of the scene went from being unbalanced and unsure to being completely involved. I think my biggest "tell" that I'm really into a scene is that I start getting very three-dimensional with things, and 'dipped his fingers etc.' is a very live-and-in-person response to a beautiful black wing.

Smut in general is written strongly when it's direct, physical, and specific.

It was a feeling that he was accustomed to, at least, if not one enjoyed. The examinations of Shinra's top scientists had been a part of his everyday existence for so long, though admittedly, none of them had dared touch him in so...intimate a manner. Those had been cursory, no longer than necessary, and utterly cold.

This was different enough to be borne. To be...acceptable

Good character color in Sephiroth's reply. It also showed, I thought, a receptivity to Seymour's IC reaction that was subtle and sweet.

His searching fingers soaked up the tremendous heat of the enclosure of feathers. They were unimaginably soft, with sweetly downy underpinnings that made him feel curiously dizzy. He laughed suddenly - a guileless laugh, like a boy.

"Touch me with it." He stood up, presenting himself, legitimately and uncomplicatedly grinning.

Though once I've gotten control of a scene, sometimes the problem is that I, hm. Get baroque.

Stepping forward, he curled that wing around the both of them, feathers brushing as low as his calves and pressed flush against him from there on up. They tickled against the back of his thighs, almost curling all the way around again to hug his side, as Sephiroth's hands slid to curl around the Guado's broad shoulders.
Seph rises to the fetishistic/affectionate nature of the occasion magnificently.

There is a very tender exchange that follows this which it would displease me to pick apart: a show of vulnerability that meets with warm acceptance, and, at last, corcordance between the lovers. Too warm and lovely to take a microscope to!

Folding one knee over the couch, he had thought to lower him onto his back - then suddenly realized. The wing. "Ah - then, the other way." Instead he pivoted and sat back himself with his lover in his lap.
I realized in the middle of writing the tag that this wasn't going to be the MxM Missionary that I had originally anticipated. The IC reaction nearly follows my OOC train of thought. It was necessary to pick a position that allowed face to face contact as this was to be very definitely lovemaking and not screwing.

Although, reviewing my other TLH threads, I don't think Seymour has ever not done face to face. Oh wait, once, rather infamously, but that's a lost tale. I'm putting it on my to-do list anyway!

That accomplished, it was too easy then to rock his hips forward, a spark of friction resulting as they met, rubbing against one another.
Once settled, Sephiroth is immediately rather forward. It was excellent. I think I've mentioned before how much I dislike being obliged to lead someone through contact, so this was great if only for that reason. It was great also because pffft rubbing boners together is the best.

There was a note of panic in his voice, however subtle. "I've got to get inside you. Here."

His free hand slipped between their bodies and the open space between his own thighs, and his fingers curled up to stroke insistently there.



Even as willing as he might have been, the fit would still be tight. He'd never allowed anyone to have what the other sought. The sudden press of fingers earned a low hiss as his own fingers dug into Seymour's hips, his forehead leaning in to rest against the other's shoulder.
I thought that was a great (and very hot) reaction from Seph: a silent, sensual, slumping acceptance that nevertheless comes short of being full-on consent. The act of a man with mixed feelings and an erection! Hence: perfect.

Oil. The thought punched through his haze of lust. It was in his robe and there wasn't a chance of grabbing it without breaking contact. No - he could just reach it with his toe, though it must have looked mad and absurd beyond any reconciliation when he began to drag it over with his foot. The little vial rolled out of his sleeve and he picked it up between his toes with the feeling like he'd just won a war.
Lube! You have to have it for the buttsecks. I realized that our partners had gotten to the couch and they were both naked, so there was nowhere clever to hide lube on their persons. WORSE: I absolutely did not want to put Seymour in a place where he had to get up and break contact with Seph. This gently ridiculous business with catching his robe with his toe was my resolution and compromise.

I have an awful habit of interpolating lovely drippy thin oils for the heavier and more enduring lubes that are p much a requirement in IRL assfucking. It's not that I don't know better, and I should probably preface all these anal scenes with "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME" but honestly, it is Seymour Guado and Sephiroth having sex in an interdimensional love hotel, I think "oil that's too thin" is maybe an acceptable bending of reality in context. See? I say that because I'm embarrassed. I hate thick lube and I can't hide it.

he got his hand around both cock again
Everyone makes typos and it isn't a big deal in an otherwise great scene, but sometimes typos have excruciatingly bad timing.

After that, there is, as the French say, un peu de la fingering du ass, then:

To his credit, he made no sound at the intrusion of those fingers, still rocking shallowly against the slick heat of the other's body, willing enough to distract himself. Sensation worked better than gentle words, though those earned Seymour tiny nips and kisses against the curve of his throat, along with those quiet, unsteady hitches in breath.
Seph is plainly both willing and uncomfortable. An excellent realistic detail.

"Up," He ordered, however gentle the tone in which it was done, and tugged at Sephiroth's hips. He had nearly exhausted his patience, and no matter how tenderly Sephiroth kissed him it was absolutely mandatory that he get in. He slid forward a little on the couch, regretfully releasing Sephiroth's cock and holding his own out.

"Come down slowly, Sephiroth."

Omg haha look at the timestamps. Seph wouldn't reply to this tag for 12 hours, and I worried that it might be because I was too pushy. It was also incongruous given the material before. A case of OOC leaking into IC: it was fucking late and I was rather tired. I should have called it a night three or four tags earlier but I was a little obsessed with keeping up with this thread. When Seph did at last respond:

Rising up to place almost all of his weight upon his knees, he gazed downward at the blue-haired Spiran, his own parted lips letting go of a soft groan. Slow, he had said.

His grasp shifted, clutching the other's shoulders as that wing fluttered, balance sought as he obeyed and slowly lowered himself downward. The muscles in his abdomen had grown taunt and hard as steel, back arching catlike as he felt that initial press against him.

No stopping to think. He had commanded him...

And so, head lowered to allow that curtain of silver to hide whatever discomforted expression that might betray him, he continued to press down, until tense muscles gave way. It was heat and pressure unimaginable prior, and he felt his chest tighten with every slick inch that managed to slide in.

Not a sound. No protest or hesitation. Seymour's shoulders, however, might well be bruised and bear the mark of his nails for days afterward.







It was excellent. This scene did skirt the edge of non-con in a lot of ways, but that kind of dangerous, uncomfortable, coercive tension is so hot IC as long as it is organized in good faith OOC.

I liked Seph hiding in his hair; is he hiding from Seymour, or is he hiding from himself? Either way, it was a sign of too much awareness of too little power, which makes my inner dom~seme oh so very happy.

Distantly he realized that this was going to be painful for Sephiroth; in spite of the tenderness that had passed between them, he only knew black pride for the distress he would cause. In his perversity he thought it was a bond and a vow: only I will hurt you like this, and only I will bring you out of pain to pleasure.
A very hard top kind of feeling, that feeling of being willing to hurt, and committing to the responsibility of justifying the hurt. It's a confident and wicked feeling and it represents a dare that the top had better be able to make good on.

I had to be careful to note that it was a one-sided feeling - when I originally wrote this line, I wrote it as though there was an actual contract being formed between these two men. That was presumptuous! I had to reword.

"Look at m-me," He muttered, his breath catching as intense pleasure washed over him. "Don't hide."

Those lips, however, tugged upwards by the faintest degree. "How can I hide...when I'm right..." A flex of those toned thighs as they grasped Seymour's hips, and that tightness round the other only increased.

"...here?"

Hahaha Seymour got boner-pwned. Nice work Seph!

As they begin to move together,
There was pain, screaming protest in his veins as he felt Seymour sink all the deeper, but pain was temporary. He could deal with that easily enough. It would fade. It already had started to, dulled in the wake of that sparking friction.
Seph-mun bears the burden of deciding whether and how Sephiroth will take pleasure from this. I offered no guidance in that regard, no "I fuck you in the ass and you love it" or "I hit your prostate every time without fail (and you love it.)" I dislike forcing a reaction like that, so I usually don't mention the prostate thing at all until it's indicated by my partner.

Another case where I really depend on having a strong partner who's not afraid of deciding and feeling what his or her character is experiencing.

Seph's gorgeous reaction and growing warmth sends Seymour into a fevered fugue:

It was going to be the death of him that he had only two hands and one mouth. It wasn't enough just to touch like this, not with this aching promise of nearness so nearly evading him. His vast hunger curdled his thoughts and he dreamed dark unholy things as he thrust up into Sephiroth's shivering body. To tear open the skin and merge as one, to fold into each others' bodies, a one-winged mutatis mutandis all-encompassing.

This must never be revealed.

Look he's a bad guy, he's allowed to have dark thoughts about intimacy. I also wanted to touch on the way that both characters had mutated in the course of their in-game lives - one of the few experiences they would have in common. I'm sure that's a killer thing to discuss over coffee in the morning.

Then, when it seemed they could be joined no closer, that soft onyx-black wing folded around Seymour's back, pulling himself in and pressed all the closer to that man now giving him this incredible new feeling.
OH SHI~

In the normal course of things, first the uke comes, then the seme. The uke comes because of stuff the seme does to him, the seme comes because of the uke's orgasmic response. That's Yaoi chapter and verse. But Seph-mun picked up on Seymour's obsessive thoughts of intimacy and brought the wing in for a very personal reprise, and I had to throw the Yaoi Bible straight out the window.

The feathers that closed around him were too exquisitely soft, too warm, too close, too full of his mysterious scent. That was the end of it for Seymour.

His moan was strangled in Sephiroth's mouth as he jerked up with desperate strength, shoving himself as far in as he could possibly get. The clenching wet feeling of being inside soaked his consciousness and he came like a man drowning in his lover, sightless, breathless, and hopeless.

Victory: Sephiroth

It was perhaps more the sight of Seymour's surrender to his own climax, more than the feeling of sudden warmth and unending fullness as he drove inside of him one last time, that drove him right over the edge with him. Knowing, despite his submission, that he had wrought this desperate desire from the other...
And the inversion of The Normal Course Of Things is completed. A very elegant denouement.

Warm sparkly afterplay followed - one of the most touching things about all TLH threads is that this is almost always included, I don't think I'd ever seen a thread where characters came and went, as it were - and at its end:

It was impossible to seriously concentrate on anything but the sensation of skin on his skin, warm breath on his shoulder, the strength of his lover's arms and hands - perhaps he was a swordsman - and his long clean untangled hair.

At last he inhaled deeply and spoke, and though his tone was steady it was only because of his overwhelmed senses. "Stay tonight - no, will you stay tonight? Please."



He couldn't fathom the wrath in store for him when the spell the hotel had cast was broken, and Sephiroth returned to his senses, or he would have never requested such a thing.

Still, for now, his prize was won. Sephiroth's head moved in a slow nod, those eyes bright as pyreflies lifting to rest on the Guado. Though it had been revoked as a request, it...didn't seem too disagreeable a proposition. For now.

At the end of this I was like: and then they wake up in the morning and they're in loooooooooooooooooove. Right? Right?

I had to mentally slap myself and be all "omg you pussy, you have the most awful case of bitch dependency." It wasn't because I'm a pimp who needs to get hustlin' or anything, more because it would be awkward and greasy to assume, much more to act on the assumption, that Seph-mun had been as involved and gratified by the thread and the character interaction as I was. I suppose I could have just asked but where's the angst fun in that?

I think these two characters would always have a very prickly and difficult relationship. Even if they came to care for each other very deeply, there is just way too much intensity, grief, loss, compulsion, madness, misc darkness for there to be anything easy, casual, or wuvvy in their interactions with each other. But it's better that way. Sweet and uncomplicated relationships are no fun at all to RP, as pleasant as they are IRL. And this scene, with all its struggle and uncertainty, was really exceedingly fun to RP.
elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
What scene?! Where?!: The Room Of Cool Night Breezes, Seymour x Sephiroth, @ [info]the_love_hotel

Oh my god, I have gotten up to so much other nonsense that it is almost like reading this thread for the first time all over again. What a great thread, seriously. Too bad we have to talk about the weakest part of it now.

Beej! Let's do it!

His chest hitched slightly, eyelids sliding shut at the unexpected flush of heat from so simple a gesture as a press of lips to his wrist. He should have been more concerned with the fact that he was now as he had been upon his arrival in this place, without a shred of clothing on him...
Lovely Sephiroth is responding to my response; I love these feedback loops especially since I do so much advance planning on scenes, and when something like this develops, it distracts me totally from my plans. A+ would ship these two again.

That will leave a mark, he thought, all rueful gratification as he felt the bite of nails on his skin.

He ran his huge palms over Sephiroth's lean thighs, his fingers curling around to brush the fine hairs along their backs. His thumbs curled into the creases at the apex of those legs, but failed to touch his penis; instead they circled his hips, stroked the indentations of the muscles of his lower abdomen, barely touched the pale curls there - and shifted away again, his fingernails running down the insides of the thighs again.

Very lightly, as though it were an artifact of breathing only, he blew along the sensitive shaft of Sephiroth's cock.



The Importance of Teasing! My problem is that I kind of suck at it here, and here's a too-long discussion of why.

I think of seme-ness as being informed by a variety of essential qualities, some of which I have in superabundance, and some of which I can barely lay claim to.

Superabundant: intelligence, education, perception, working and advanced knowledge of sex in all its physical glory, ability and willingness to take control, ability and willingness to maintain a posture of superiority
Barely there at all: ability and willingness to hold control of a situation, patience (don't be fooled, I cover this one up hard but it's still a cover-up), ruthlessness, tolerance for ambiguity, a bunch of other things I fail at so hard that I don't even know their names

That is to say: I'm great out of the gate, but not much for stamina. I will come on like a hurricane, and like a hurricane, I will eventually blow myself out.

Someone like, say, Ryuichi Asami as played by [livejournal.com profile] inurviewfinder has pretty much all of the qualities I lack, so you can see how well they look and work in the hands of a master. There is a sense of quiet, calm, measured, unflappable composure in Asami's actions that I will on occasion impersonate, but never possess. I am always just exhorbitantly excited. In Seymour this channels out as obsession, rage, and a morbid fixation on his past -- all of which are kind of secondary "dark seme type" values, so it works out.

But I always feel my weaknesses.

They are apparent here: I know how to tease someone senseless, but the tension of writing it out, of finding the right place to collapse multiple repetitions into a single phrase, trying to feel out my partner's interest and limitations and level of tension - I lose focus, as with fight scenes. I have a regrettable tendency to consider teasing as secondary to actual screwing, which is all ass-backwards for reasons I shouldn't need to clarify.

People who can write good tease scenes are fucking rare, I suppose I shouldn't kick myself over it. ^_____^ But seriously I mean, in the next tag Sephiroth is all:

He was teasing him, and Sephiroth might have been indignant if he wasn't so concerned with him not stopping.
And my first reaction was "oh god did I overdo it, was that cheesy, I can't stand this tension."

GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, SEYMOUR.

The way that Sephiroth moved in his arms was lithe, delicious, provoking - and if he were any less certain of having all the time he wanted to do all the things he wanted, he might have cut short this leisurely campaign on his defenses.

"Tell me what you want." He whispered, every movement of his lips stroking the soft skin at the base of other man's penis. Though 'tell' was a generous word, another salve to his victim's dignity; what he meant was 'admit', or perhaps 'confess.'

See you can totally tell, I can barely keep my stuff together here. There is none of the relaxed majesty and free-flowing information of all kinds that characterizes my good material. Sephiroth, how on earth did you put up with these lame tags?!

And of course where my strength failed, Seph-mun picked up the ball and ran with it:

What he wanted...

To be freed. To pin the other down and show him exactly what happened when you toyed with the powerful warrior in Gaia. For all of this to just have been some strange dream, in the end. There were a great many things that occurred to him, but damnably enough, only one left his lips.

His head lowered again, those eyes open and sightless, though gazing right at him. "Your mouth."

The hand in Seymour's hair shifted, as though to illustrate this point by the change in grip, though he could not enforce anything upon the other. They both knew this.





Lovely: elegantly concise references to his blindness, his desire, the state to which he had been driven, the powers reserved to each party. Also delicious characterization. DAMNIT SEPH QUIT SHOWING ME UP.

This was to be the last stage of his seige, and he would command it absolutely.
Even I lol'd at this when I was writing it. "I own this situation," said the guy with the dick in his mouth. Hahaha sure fella, whatever you say. Watch it with the teeth.

Of course here I fall into the unpleasant trope that the guy who has a dick in his anything is somehow lowered by it. Yaoi reinforces this dynamic as a matter of course but it's even worse in het porn. It doesn't have to be the case - Seph himself would go on to prove it. But that comes later.

I'm having trouble with this writeup; I kind of balk at writing what I was thinking for a lot of these tags. I wouldn't be back into the warm bright certainty of Doing Pretty Good until after the beej was over. But let's look at the best bits!

Ah wait one more bit of flagellation:

As a young man he had heard many rude jokes to the effect of "what do you call a Guado with no gag reflex? A monk." It worked as well and as frequently the other way around. He had repaid all of those who had mocked him, yet he couldn't help but remember them now -
CHEAP! I was throwing this shit out there because I was genuinely overset by the level of tension in this scene. Sure it's kind of a funny joke if you want to get into the fanwank but nevertheless, I was telling jokes because I couldn't gain purchase on the momentum of the scene in any other way.

Okay good stuff.

Seymour: His hand on Sephiroth's hip gripped tightly, jerking him forward, inviting him to thrust.

Sephiroth: It was an invitation gladly taken, hips already rolling forward with shallow thrusts, pressing deeper into that wet, silken heat closing so tightly around him.
A nice exchange of feedback, and Sephiroth is given permission to be more Sephirothly and active.

Though his adversary was punishingly large, he wanted the prize at stake with a depraved hunger.
I should dislike this line of mine as a matter of course, because it's using abstraction to gloss over the rather messy physical action in this section, but I think "depraved hunger" is the perfect angle of approach on any beej. A useful term! Ever since I wrote it I find myself thinking in those terms about IRL blow jobs.

That peak was hit, and he was arching into Seymour's mouth with a ragged gasp, spilling hotly down the other's throat as the darkness in his vision was suddenly subject to blinding white. As the shudders subsided, he was stone still, save for the uneven pants of his chest, pulse thudding heavily in his own ears.

That...was better than he would later admit to.

Great descriptive tag from Seph, with a whiplash of manly reticence.

After a long silent breathless moment, when he was disentangling himself, his searching tongue slid very lightly over the slit of Sephiroth's cock; only to get a taste for what he had missed, only for the sake of the intimacy of victory.

Bittersweet - he was licking his lips as he rose. He could afford to be magnanimous now, and he drew the conquered soldier into his arms gently. "Can you walk," His voice was hoarse and low after his exertions. He spoke against the flawless shell-pink blush of Sephiroth's ear. "Or shall I carry you?"

Fucking finally, I was beginning to get my legs back under me. A delightful slice of seme artifice in "Can you walk, or shall I carry you?" - a good line, too dry and heartfelt to be Juicy Cheese. Some purpling of the prose but let's not begrudge me that.

The parting flicker of his tongue sent a sensitized rush through his veins, a crisp edge of pleasure parting the haze momentarily. He was slowly but surely coming back to himself, though the hotel did not seem to be satisfied by merely this. His mind still felt mired, and apparently the spell over him was not yet completely broken.

The words against his ear sent a chill down his spine, and what was an attempt at a scowl may have only been given half-heartedly. He was, after all, still reeling. "I can walk," he replied tartly, and as if to prove it his hands detangled themselves from the other.

Seph's last beej-related tag is Relevant, disclosing the effects that he's still under and their locus. He reacts to Seymour's statement but brushes it off crisply, if a bit pettishly.

After this things would immediately pick up, and I will be much happier to talk about them in part 5 than I was to talk about these in part 4.
elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
What scene?! Where?!: The Room Of Cool Night Breezes, Seymour x Sephiroth, @ [info]the_love_hotel

Well thank goodness we have come to the entry of smut. I actually really liked this undressing scene for a number of reasons that were not at first apparent. The blow job that came after I think was much weaker - all my fault, Sephiroth was blameless. Let's look!

(PURELY AS AN ASIDE: I thought I'd get into the blow job this time, but we're already up to 1700 words on this entry and Sephiroth doesn't even have his pants off yet. BJ to be pushed to Part 4!)

With the end of one of his red undersleeves, he wiped away the trickle of blood at his lip. His eyes were dark, and narrowed cruelly, but there was wonder in them. Whether it was desperation, foolishness, or overconfidence, he took Sephiroth's quietude for acceptance.

Every movement was tenative, perpetually ready to shift from a caress to an attack. He came from the side, his hand closing over Sephiroth's gloved fingers where they rested against the wall, and he tried to pull them away. There was strength in his grip, though he was not to be compared with the hardened warrior he was pursuing.

"Come," He whispered. "And let me undress you."
I thought this was, purely on the merits, one of the most efficient tags I would post in this entire thread. There's a signature of Seymour's fastidiousness and cageyness, a sleazy seme line, arrogance, but it's not too overbearing. Good job me! So that leaves the "efficient tags" score at 28-3 in Sephiroth's favor. What I didn't quite realize at this point was how Sephiroth-mun had elected to operate the Smut McGuffin, but I was about to figure it out with the next tag.

And he made no move to stop him, or strike out, though tension resonated through him at that touch as though it were a bow string drawn taunt, almost to the point of snapping.

Seymour had asked it of him. The option to fight had ended without resolution.

A noise escaped him, a soft exhalation of breath perhaps, as his hand was guided away from the steady stone beneath his touch. His anchoring had shifted to Seymour alone, the rest of the room an unknown variable vaguely recalled his brief observance of it, earlier.

His eyes had slid halfway open, glowering at nothing at all, in a look that mirrored that of a cornered predator in its proud fury.
OH. Ha ha sorry Sephiroth-mun, it really did take me this long to figure out that Sephiroth was bound to obey direct commands.

One of the delights of leaving things like this open-ended is that each party has an opportunity to surprise the other. I'm enough of a romantic to prefer leaving things open-ended for exactly this reason: not because I love ambiguity, but because I want to feel the effects of my partner's imagination. Anyway, Sephiroth surprised me. I'll confess that it was not a pleasant surprise. I saw it as being pushed into the position of 'boss', and:

1. Being a boss is for the inhumane and detail-oriented, neither of which I qualify for.

And my experience with threads immediately previous to this one was that being a boss happens because the other party is not interested in allowing me sufficient intimacy to understand what they really want and feel, so I'm forced to guess and direct instead of sense and lead. The difference is a little subtle but it hinges on reciprocity: the boss doesn't need input, he already has a vision for how things should go. But I want the constant back-and-forth feedback of a struggle.

2. Being a boss means one is a lot less likely to be surprised.

Both by disobedience and by acceptance - both of which I absolutely crave. I don't want to win the battle of getting the character in bed only to lose the war of becoming important to that character. My ideal long-term RP relationship would be one where the ostensible bottom fights back forever, yet clearly doesn't want to win if it means losing the relationship. Tense! Dramatic! Intimate! Surprising!

3. Being a boss pretty much always means that my partner is about to go on cruise control.

And I'm left driving all scenes basically blind, which I kind of resent.

I harp on this because all these things developed in their most inglorious fruition in the thread I was most involved in immediately prior to this one. And that thread really got under my skin and fucked with my seme!compass! So honestly I was intensely displeased to see this crop up with this lovely thread that was developing with Sephiroth.

Nevertheless: I made one mistake and one not-mistake. The mistake was not talking to Sephiroth-mun about it right away and getting clarification on where the scene was going from that perspective.

The not-mistake was trusting that this sensitive, intelligent, attentive player was not going to go limp on me. My trust was not misplaced and the scene continued beautifully. STILL IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO ASK.

Seymour: Where pale skin emerged he couldn't help but run his fingertips over it, feeling the other man's pulse, his warmth, the secret history written in his scars.

Sephiroth: Those scars were fine, nearly invisible but in the right light glistening even whiter than the pale skin they lay upon, sealed with mako energy and the regenerative powers of that creature whose cells he bore. One exception ran parallel to his shoulder blade, hidden by that coat and lengthy silver strands, a pale patch of skin still netting itself together again.

The scars were still few, and most would never even notice. He was, after all, meant to be invincible.
And of course in the very next tag I would prove to be very aggravating indeed: imputing scars where none existed. But Sephiroth-mun rolled with it, praise holy boners and alleluia. I can only imagine how annoying it is when someone misreads your character's body. I was embarrassed to make this mistake, but I also had to smile at "...most would never even notice. He was, after all, meant to be invincible." - I took it as the most delicate and subtle kind of "pay more attention" knock, and thought it was very slickly done IC.

Actually, I would say that good manners informed an enormous amount of the energy of this scene on all levels. Which I loved - I am a stickler for manners IRL, I think if you follow all the little rules you can break the big ones, and I would rather talk with a murderer who chews with his mouth closed than a saint who asks me how much I make a year. Sephiroth-mun has excellent manners, and it shows.

Anyway pfft let's talk about sensuality.

Seymour: The long sea-blue tendrils of his hair brushed Sephiroth's chest as he leaned in. As his victim's coat and bindings fell away, the hollow of his collarbone was revealed, and Seymour bent to kiss it. He inhaled deeply, relishing the fresh masculine scent of his skin.

Sephiroth: He could catch the scent of the Guado's hair, something oceanic and exotic, as he leaned closer and the warmth of his lips passed over his skin. Again he grew tense at the proximity, those slitted pupils thinning.

Sephiroth: Now, as he felt the other's breath and lips teasing below his jaw, a warm spasm ripple through him, pooling directly downwards. An echo followed in its wake at the warm touch of unnaturally long hands trailing ever lower...
Sensuality is so important to me.

I hope it is not any particular secret that I am, like the Seymour I portray, an inveterate sensualist IRL, and I will let that inform my RP. What is less obvious is that I love love love love it when a partner also trends sensual and talks about the sensations of closeness: scents, tastes, etc. I don't care if they have to godmod or make things up - like the detail about how Seymour's hair smells, or mine about how Sephiroth's skin smells. I am delighted to have my character painted with the sensations that you or your character enjoy. I can only hope that Sephiroth-mun was as forgiving about all my (non-scar) imputations.

I love reactions, too. There were a great many excellent reactions on Sephiroth's part, and once again, I can only hope I kept up my end.

Well it's about time for another dirty domination trick!

Alas, boots. Although it would have entertained him greatly to take Sephiroth with his pants around his knees, hobbled by his own impossible garments, it was wrong for this moment. This capitulation would come more easily if it permitted Sephiroth to retain his dignity, or so he strategized.

"Here," He offered suddenly, dragging Sephiroth's hand up to the top of his head. Though it was more than a little ridiculous, the position made sense as Seymour knelt to undo the buckles at the general's knees. "Lift your foot."

BE RIDICULOUS.

A moment of careful absurdity does much to break tension and generate intimacy. The message I'm hoping for is "I am absolutely going to pork you stupid, but I'm human and vulnerable like you." In another scene at TLH, Seymour started the scene seated in a big fancy chair; he surrendered the fancy chair to his partner and fetched a comically tiny canvas folding stool for himself.

A character who never does anything ridiculous may be more respectable and easy to worship, but worship, like non-con, is entry-level intimacy. I would rather provoke a single moment of genuine affectionate confusion than a lifetime of worship. You lose the battle of looking like a god, but you win the war of looking like an unforgettable and very real lover. I think the very end of this scene owed much to the willing failures and absurdities presented en route, like this one.

Once more he could not seek protest, though if he was hoping to save his dignity, this was certainly not helping matters.

His free hand instinctively went to the other's shoulder, grasping perhaps more tightly than was necessary. His fingers had already curled into the brilliant blue strands that he could no longer see, one foot lifting as instructed.

Luckily, there was a zipper that ran down the length of the boot at its back, hidden but for the tiny metal tab at the top. The sensation of those hands caressing his leg, meanwhile, did nothing to end his inner struggle not to enjoy this.



I've nearly forgotten to talk about how beautiful Sephiroth is blinded in this undressing sequence, which is incredibly erotically charged. He has been de facto overpowered by the curse on his eyes and the operation of the ring's enchantment - so it's like bondage, but he's not actually tied up, so everyone's hands and mouths are free to roam where they please.

This is the kind of bondage I like best, perhaps all the more so because it's next to impossible to perfectly enact IRL.

It was around this time that I was starting to relax about being the 'boss' - it was becoming apparent that Sephiroth was still alive and angry under his obedience, which is also a quality I value greatly. Seymour was permitted to have his way with him physically because of the enchantments and spells and whatnot, but there was still a fight going on: whether Sephiroth would mentally accept first the physical acts, and secondly Seymour himself on whatever level.

There was still something to hunt for! Excellent! I'm back on board!

Anyway note that, as if to reassure me that he was indeed no puppet, Sephiroth grabs Seymour's shoulder more or less voluntarily.

The moment when Sephiroth grabbed him for the sake of stability - even if his grip was tight enough to hurt - marked the first time that he had laid hands on Seymour of his own volition. As if anything about this could be construed as voluntary.

He was indecently thrilled by it. Seymour marked the occasion by turning his head to press a lingering kiss to the white wrist at his shoulder, and proceeded to remove the other boot. He reached up then to tug the loose black pants down, and found himself eye to eye with what had to be the most exquisite -

"Remarkable," He breathed, almost inaudible.



LOL EUPHEMISMS. It's always hard to figure out how visceral the vocabulary should be in a scene with someone you don't know very well. I erred so far on the side of caution that I got all the way to omission.

Anyway, Seymour was surprised IC and I was surprised OOC to find Sephiroth reaching out for him. In 99% of all cases, TLH subs seem to live in an impermeable box that they cannot move out of without the dom's express permission. Again, in my prejudiced way, I take this as cowardice in the face of intimacy. I have no idea what else it could represent and I not only welcome correction on this point, I beg for it. What on earth can it possibly mean that your character won't touch mine without forms signed in triplicate?!

I was inappropriately moved by this gesture on Sephiroth's part.

I also thought this undressing scene was pure class and would rank it just behind the 'let's play with your wing' and 'let's have an inappropriately involved anal sex orgasm' parts of this scene in terms of absolute enjoyment.

OHMYGOD THESE ENTRIES KEEP GETTING LONGER. BJ in Part 4! I promise!
elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
What scene?! Where?!: The Room Of Cool Night Breezes, Seymour x Sephiroth, @ [info]the_love_hotel

We're picking up right at the start of a fight, but first:

So I keep showing logs and whatnot to IRL/non-otaku friends and they keep saying "seymour wat" and also "sephiroth, is he jewish lol." Viewers at home, go ahead and mute your speakers and repress your hatred for lolengrish with the following videos:

Sephiroth:



Seymour:



They are both kinda pwn in their own element DA NE. Of course Sephiroth's element is stepping on faces with incredible force, and Seymour's element is being almost unspeakably greasy and having a really active afterlife. In terms of classic seme values this pairing could really go either way.

SEME VALUES CHART
SephirothSeymourADVANTAGE
185 cm tall187 cm tallSeymour
Huge sword, mighty in battle, fireproof, chip on shoulderMage, summoner, terrible mother issuesSephiroth
Physically perfect, abs of diamond, silky silvery hair, luminous emerald green eyesFucked up half-breed, built but trending chubby, with sick tats and hair gel club memberships. Has Leona Helmsley's eyes.Sephiroth
Monster yet angelJust a monster?????????
Deigns not to get funky with peopleCanon sensualist, kisses girl, spent adolescence in monasterySeymour

Naturally I see Seymour as the permanent top in this relationship because I always weight heightiness and perviness over strongliness and prettiness and body count (seriously has any FF villain ever killed fewer people than Seymour? Sure he turned in his old man, and that's gotta count for something, but overall the deaths he caused can be measured in, like, single digits. Meanwhile Sephiroth is all *flicks dust offa coat while cities burn*.) in the seme olympics, but YMMV.

There was a player intervention that determined top and bottom, and since it was determined in my favor, it was my happy task to make it look realistic and possible. That's how I saw things. This fight scene nearly overset all my carefully laid plans.

We pick up at the point where Sephiroth has realized that his will is not completely his own. Seymour opens with one of my absolute favorite worst habits ever:

If Seymour was surprised, he gave no sign of it. Neither was there any indication of victory. He only smiled, as he had throughout their time together; the quiet, careful, predatory smile of one who had run down his mark. "As you said, this is only a dream. There are no consequences." He remarked, though it was not unkind. "No matter how serious the crime."

He slipped his fingers under the strap that ran down Sephiroth's right shoulder, deeply enjoying the warm skin there and the hard muscle that he felt twitch under his hand. "Is this not uncomfortable on such a warm night? Does it unbuckle, or shall I tear it away?"

Bolded above: Juicy Seme Line. I can only pray that other people enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them. I will seriously throw such intense cheese down at the drop of a hat, and once I've done it once, I will try to do it over and over until I realize I'm being an awful ham.

Look, I did it again in the very next tag!

"Come," He said quietly, slipping his hand under Sephiroth's long coat and around his waist. "This doesn't deserve petulance. Trespasses like these must be fought furiously, or not at all."

Gross!

Inbetween, Sephiroth is patiently doing the hard work of actually being a character.


This was not what he had meant, not in the least. That he would twist his words as such...

"It unbuckles." His jaw tightened at the touch, as he tried not to respond to it, his eyes flashing cold fury in the face of that smile. "Now take your hands off of me."

If anything, his voice was twice as cold as his gaze.

As a serious aside, during these tags I was furiously searching the entire internet for pictures of Sephiroth's outfit so I would know how to take the damn thing off of him. At one point I was going to throw up my hands and have Seymour order Sephiroth to undress himself. It didn't help at all that there are several variations on the costume, and eventually I went to the place I always go: poetic vagueness.

He slid his free hand between their bodies and started jerking open the zippers and latches and innumerable buckles of Sephiroth's complicated and severe clothes.

But that comes later. What I really want to talk about here is how difficult it is to make a fight work between two Big Bad Guys.

In response to "petulance...fought furiously, &c." [livejournal.com profile] son_of_calamity basically asked me OOC "do you mean it? Can they actually fight? It will draw things out." I really appreciated that, because there are situations where I'm not really interested in humoring a fight. There are also numerous restrictions involved at [livejournal.com profile] the_love_hotel - no uber powering, nothing that would destroy a bunch of things, etc. Canon Sephiroth and canon Seymour both have a lot of very uber powers and I was frankly leary about getting involved in a scene that could so easily become wanky.

Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I was already beginning to trust that Sephiroth-mun was not going to be precious about the character, and that I was only being made to earn my dominance (which I enjoy doing very much.) So let's do a fight scene!


That sounded like an option, to him, and the other was going to regret simply taking for granted that he couldn't do anything about it...or at least believed he couldn't.

As the inhabitants of his world could testify, Sephiroth could convince himself of just about anything he meant to.

"Very well." There wasn't the slightest change in his expression as the hand on Seymour's chest was used to shove him backwards, as though attempting to pin him back against the nearest solid object. Considerable force was put behind that shove, perhaps to make up for the somewhat disturbing fact that he couldn't draw away just yet, that the feel of his skin's warmth was pulling him in, in a way he could not have explained if he cared to.




Let's do a sexy fight scene! The narration at the end here, which admits to an uncomfortable level of IC fascination, was really encouraging to me. It reinforced that this was a necessary, important, and challenging part of making the submission work for Sephiroth, so I was glad to pick up the gauntlet.


Seymour stumbled back, slamming against the parapet wall behind him with a hard gasp. Sephiroth had pushed him hard enough to knock the wind out of his lungs, and he wasn't able to say anything clever about it until he'd gotten his breath back.

It's important to remember that being a seme doesn't mean being invincible. I do see these things play out where the guy on top acts like nothing in the world can hurt him. If it turns out that your seme is not physically able to overpower an epically powerful uke, you just have to find another way to do it - you shouldn't make the seme suddenly twenty times as beefy.

Seymour gets in a few good hits in this fight, but it's obvious he's not anywhere near Sephiroth's level. My favorite/least-favorite tag was this one just after Sephiroth has gotten a hand around Seymour's throat:


Seymour ignored the hand at his throat - it would be trivial in a few seconds, he was certain of it - and instead leaned in to press his lips against Sephiroth's. His own were warm, a little too wide, and tasted of wine. He slid his free hand between their bodies and started jerking open the zippers and latches and innumerable buckles of Sephiroth's complicated and severe clothes.

He didn't bother to reply in any other way. If he had known of Sephiroth's faith in his powers, immense though they were, he would only have laughed. For the difference between one man and the other wasn't so much in the magnitude of power as in the will to use it. A conscience, regret, sorrow: these things that informed Sephiroth's humanity also bound him. But for Seymour there was only the shameless freedom gifted to the most supreme egotists.


CHUUUU~~~

Kinda sleazy. It doesn't even really make sense from a physical perspective. Bad RP!

The note at the end does highlight an important bit that maybe should go on the Seme Values Chart: Sephiroth has reluctantly come around to Giving A Fuck, and Seymour never has. Not Giving A Fuck = more seme power. But his emotional void becomes a liability later on, though it will be a while before we get there.


It wasn't as hard as he could have. That drain of his strength still seemed to be in place...it was as though the hotel, in its cruel humor, meant for him to have enough resolve to fight, but not nearly enough to win.

As the fight wore on, Sephiroth's narration continued to suggest that the fight was Seymour's to win, even if it was due to cheap moves and enchantment. Still, I couldn't seem to close the deal.


Seymour, too, was confused. He had his hands full with this violent man; he'd be forced to fall back when shoved once again by those powerful arms, and his lip was bleeding, and he was failing completely to make any progress; and yet, Sephiroth hadn't said anything along the lines of "no" or "I don't want to" nor done anything decisive like leaving no matter his advantage in a hand to hand fight.


There's an IC feeling of "well why are you sticking around then" that mirrors the OOC feeling I usually get in prolonged fight scenes. I have a lot of trouble parsing them and figuring out how PAOUR LEVALS ought to match up - an admitted weakness. Anyway at this point I was finally of the opinion that there was no reason for Seymour to win a physical fight - most of all against a powerful warrior like canon Sephiroth. Seymour is a magic guy above and beyond anything else.


The time for mere physical persuasion was over.

His hands curled over each other and a queer dark mist coalesced between them. As he released it, he murmured a curse in the most caressing tone. "Be blinded, Sephiroth."


That was the last line of the tag. It was completely up to Sephiroth-mun whether this curse would be allowed to hit or miss, and I'm totally like, please let it hit please let it hit please please silently.


It wasn't materia, which he might have been able to divert. It was some strange variation of the magic used on Gaia, clearly from his own world, and there was no escaping the spell.

Oh thank fuck.

His relief was apparent on his blue-veined face, not that Sephiroth could see it.

Him too.

Fight scenes can definitely go on too long and I think the worst artifact of that is they become unfun as players try to protect the specialness and uberness of their characters. Ha ha even me, though I like to think I'm above that kind of nonsense normally. But here, Seymour was willing to admit a kind of defeat, and Sephiroth was willing to admit another kind.


Seymour: His gaze was locked on his beautiful prey, on whose fine features were written many secrets and many promises. Only be weak, he prayed. Just for a moment.


Sephiroth: He was silent and still for the duration of the other's words, though there was no telling if they were having the desired effect or not. Those eyes were closed, curtained off by the fall of that silver mane, as was his expression. Even hearing the other draw to his feet and close enough to speak, he didn't move.

He could have fought harder. Could have beaten him, easily. Could have escaped.

That he hadn't would haunt him.




I think it was a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

It also left Sephiroth in a delectable position: blindfolded without the blindfold. In the next part of this post-mortem, we'll look getting naked and FINALLY some sex: a big fat BJ!
elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] son_of_calamity has been kind enough to give me permission to dissect this beautiful scene. Thanks Sephiroth-mun! As this was a very long scene it will probably take a few parts to cover.

What scene?! Where?!: The Room Of Cool Night Breezes, Seymour x Sephiroth, @ [livejournal.com profile] the_love_hotel

Beginning With Your Name...

I posted an opening that made room for bondage-y and/or slave-y stuff but quiet either way (I think silence is one of the best ways to put the squeeze on anyone.) But when Sephiroth first posted I kind of instantly went "hahaha forget all that bondage nonsense."

"It is not..."

The silver-haired swordsman was standing some distance away, leashless himself, his arms folded lightly over his chest as he too observed the heavens. All of this was just another illusion provided by the hotel, he was certain. Even so, it was a pleasant change to at least feel the breeze of the outdoors, his senses fooled into believing there was fresh air and a clear sky above him.

There was something strange in the air tonight, though what, he couldn't have explained.

Fortunate then, he thought, that he'd happened upon this room in particular. His eyes traveled sideways to rest on the halfbreed Guado, silent in their observation of him.

[ ooc: I fully intend to have the current even in the hotel fuck with him, but he'll require a little convincing before he submits to anyone. Hope that's okay. ]









IDEAL TAGBACK. Here's why:

1. Good writing!

Plenty of description, and a rhythm in the writing that suggested to me that this writer was accustomed to taking control of situations - especially since it was active and direct. A good omen.

2. Responded to the setting and character

Which, more than being just respectful, means to me that the other player is ready to share in the things that interest me.

3. Indicated interest in a way that was both obvious and subtle.

Sure there's an expression of interest that happens as soon as someone posts in reply to one of my posts. But what I really appreciated here was getting the character's mental narration. It wasn't "this player is interested in playing with you" it was "this character is interested in your character." But it wasn't in-my-face either. Seymour can be a really skittish top! On a first meeting, he hates being chased back. It's his controlling nature. So this was pretty much a perfect approach on Sephiroth's part.

4. Right off the bat, OOC note saying "this may take a while, but things totally will happen."

That's exactly what I need to know. There was a fight scene a little later and if it weren't for notes like this one, I would have gotten to the point where I was like "b-b-b-but don't you want me?!" And of course, just through quality of writing and the other points mentioned so far, this player had aleady written a sizeable check on my account - the account... of my heart.

The fact that it was Sephiroth had nothing to do with my immediate squeefulness. I've never played FF7 nor seen Advent Children, and I had no feelings about the character for better or worse going into the scene. I'm going to have to play FF7 now :( and I'm sure I'll be thinking the entire time "...ooohhh just you wait I'm gonna get an enchanted ring on you and..."

It is perversely the case that the better the tag is, the longer I take to tagback. Good tags always give me too many ideas. I found it faintly insulting that Sephiroth was always able to turn out a good tag in like 5-20 minutes, and there I was off doing anything but writing for an hour while I tried to come up with a suitably brilliant response. But at least at first, I was all "DO WANT" and reasonably fast.

"Do you resent the illusion?" Seymour asked, his tone restrained and unprepossessing. He appeared to take no notice of Sephiroth's gaze as he was, himself, lost in his contemplation of the artificial heavens.

Yet he was acutely aware of exactly where the other man stood, of the breadth and height of his body, the faint scent of his hair as it carried on the breeze. It was the excruciating awareness of the hunter. He smiled in acknowledgment of its swift grip on his heart.


[[The chase is often as good as the catch.]]






TL;DR: I am absolutely going to pork you stupid no matter what it takes.

That's totally how I read this tag now, but at the time I wanted to do at least three things:

1. Continue the conversation the characters had begun

Looked like a good conversation. Once characters are talking about honesty, you can force all kinds of unpleasant revelations, manipulations, and other psychological levers into the mix. As it turned out, the conversation became quite fruitful later.

2. Give an IC indication that Seymour was reciprocally interested

And moreover interested in pursuit. OTOH Seymour is always interested in pursuit. ^_^ I should stick that in my kinks but w/e moving along.

3. Give an OOC indication that I was prepared to be patient and/or clever about convincing Sephiroth

Several tags of developing conversation followed, the upshot of which was Seymour concluding that ethics are irrelevant at TLH, then going to fetch wine, and Sephiroth being left alone on the balcony to find a weird ring on the ground.

At this same time, [livejournal.com profile] son_of_calamity and I had a short OOC conversation about where the scene should be going. Sephiroth-mun was interested in seeing if Sephiroth could stretch, as a character, to being submissive. I was interested in pretty much anything I could get, and said so. But we settled on submission, so I immediately set about making it as easy and frictionless as possible.

This series of tags digs into at least three of my favorite domination tactics, which I will probably kill the magic of by explaining, but that's the sad nature of a post mortem so:

1. Railroading the conversation through excessive eloquence.

This is a pretty direct "mine's bigger", where Seymour takes complete control of the situation and demonstrates that he's the intellectual superior of whoever he's putting the moves on.

Sephiroth's player is more than sharp enough to keep up personally, but Sephiroth himself doesn't have a particular reputation for scurrilous eloquence. I thought the conversational tagbacks were wonderfully IC given my limited understanding of the character.

I often wonder how IC all my talk is with Seymour. To be honest, I'm not all that concerned with characterization, and I'm sure it shows.

I was extremely fortunate that a canon character existed who was physically large, intelligent, amoral, and weird, and who would also just pull amazing speeches out of his ass. But I get the feeling in-game that Seymour's eloquence is the product of knowing exactly what everyone will do, so he can prepare appropriate amazing speeches as needed. Seymour-as-played-by-me is eloquent because he has access to a lifetime of my fast-talking jive. Anyway back to domination tactics.

2. Leaving the room.

I am always a little astonished at how well this works, which is silly because people do it IRL to me all the time. Not that it was hugely effective here. Just that as a general rule it works well. Leaving the room forces the other person to notice your absence. It can be especially effective if you've just made a big fat power play like taking control of the conversation. Leaving the room is also a lovely opportunity for entry-level commands. "I'm going, you stay here." I will almost always let politeness and good manners do the heavy lifting at the beginning of dominating someone.

3. The Smut McGuffin.

The ring! It came from nowhere and leads to nowhere. The ring is an excuse, and meta-gaming of the first water.

The deal with the ring is that it's a prop on which we can hang anything we like. Seymour claims that it's enchanted - it may or may not be. Seymour was actually off fetching yet another McGuffin: wine, which may or may not have been tainted with aphrodisiac. The point of both the ring and the wine (the latter turned out to be superfluous) was to give Sephiroth a reason to be less perfectly in control of himself.

But also on the player side: a prop like this creates anticipation which is in my control and not anyone else's. I don't dominate players when Seymour dominates their characters, but I think it's useful to retain a grasp on the scene's momentum when portraying a top.

Let's look at Sephiroth's response at the apex of Smut McGuffin trickery:

"What manner of ill-humored jest is this?" he uttered softly, his voice gaining a sharp edge to it. Sharp...damn it, Masamune wasn't on hand. No matter. If need be, he could dispatch the other without the need for his sword.

His grip around the wine glass had tightened significantly. Still, he was not as outraged as he should have been...in fact, the thought that the other might be able to control him sent a chill up his spine that was not altogether unpleasant.

But it should have been! More treachery, he was certain of it now.





Beautiful. We get some character flavor - this can so often be awkward, and I thought it was particularly nice that the character flavor came from NOT having a Big Superpowery Thing - and an admission of McGuffin operation, and yet also conscious anger. In FFX, Seymour takes particular delight in putting people in horrible situations just to watch them squirm, so this is extremely aces for him. For me as a player, I appreciated having Sephiroth's reaction shown and told.

There's a delicate balance between just showing and just telling that operates in, you know, pickup smut RP. To do a really classy job of things and follow the instructions of all our English teachers, Sephiroth-mun would have had to write three pages touching on the many physical indications of helplessness, frustration, outrage, insufficient outrage, unbidden pleasure, etc. I would have admired the quality of the writing and been bored silly. By the same token, a tag that read

"What manner of ill-humored jest is this?" he uttered softly. He was kind of mad but also a little horny.


...I would have idled out of that thread right away.

So it's imperative to find a balance that works for both players. I wouldn't say that I hit it perfectly all the time - I think I tend to run long when it would be better to be brief, and vice versa, because I'm exceedingly perverse - and Sephiroth-mun too occasionally ran a little short when I wanted more detail. But the point is: a good scene doesn't depend on perfect tags every time. It depends on tags that work for most of the players most of the time. I think it's harder than perfection to find someone with whom one has genuine compatibility.

Part of the magic of TLH for me is that chance of finding these sleeping dragons and hidden tigers.

In part 2 we'll look at the fight scene and its immediate aftermath! Stay tuned!

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elftaint: FRANK. N. FURTER. (Default)
Elf, the horrible degenerate

September 2010

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