Play long enough and it is just a matter of time before sex becomes an item in your game. Now, I've talked about it before, but that's never stopped me from revisiting an old topic with newer insights or just my current thoughts on it. Today it's on my head because of how expertly it was handled, in a number of ways, by the GM in an L5R game that I am in. How did she do it? Well, I'll talk about that today.
One of the neat things this GM does is she talks about sex in different ways depending on the character involved. There is more aggressive, and potentially offensive, word choice with characters like Crab samurai who are more vulgar by nature and more aggressive/athletic in bed. Softer words are used for characters who are gentler, shy, or otherwise just more coy about it. This word choice creates different levels of intimacy and gives additional insight into the participating character whether they're "making love", "join you for naked time", or "down for a night of no-regrets $@#*ing."
When The Curtain Closes
This GM exclusively uses fade to black rules for any and all sex scenes. Honestly, it is generally just a good idea for most groups - particularly in the states where we get squeamish about openly discussing sex. However, where the scene fades is something else this GM uses. My character, who has lechery on their sheet, generally gets a bit more graphic before the fade than it did for the courtier who stays more chaste - where it was just mentioned "and you'll have your wedding night" and left at that.
This, again, can help give a sense of character but also plays into where it is more of a thing for the character. A large part of my character's flaws and backstory are reflected in that 'Lechery' disadvantage, and it is a key part of why my character's story goes the way it does. As such, it gets more screen time than it does with another character where it is definitely not a part of their story, even if maybe it does happen.
Those two things form the basis for how this GM handles sexy time in her game, and they both work well. In both the key points to remember are that the sexy time happens, it is done in a way that expresses the character, and is handled in a fashion to keep the table feeling 'safe' with the content being discussed. It's hard to do much better.