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This question is in response to @nitsua60's comment on my old question. (I figure Meta is a better place for the discussion than comments on an old question)

Background for everyone else is that the tag was added to the above question. At the time, the tag wiki for the tag was as follows:

For questions related to in-game depictions of sexuality and any potential out-of-game issues related to those depictions.

(See also: the romance tag.)

After reading this, I did not agree that the tag applied, and eventually rolled the edit back.

My reasoning was well-summarized by Doppelgreener here:

Sexuality is about sexual attraction and sexual acts: the horizontal tango and people you'd want to do that thing with. Your actual physical sex is a separate topic, no relation. Someone saying "I was assigned male at birth" is not a sexual statement.

Simply put, the question does not at its core involve:

  • Seduction
  • Sexual Attraction
  • Sexual Preference
  • The players

It is instead, in its most concise form:

"My character is male. Does 5e have any mechanical way to change that temporarily?"

Hence, discussion -- what is the place and purpose of the tag, and should it apply to questions like these?

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4 Answers 4

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Let me preface this with my general opinion about edits: edits are meant to improve a post. Who is the final arbiter of that? The person whose account name is under the post. Why? Because that person will get the positive and negative feedback involved with the post. How absurdly dystopian would it be, if we forced someone to have something stand in their name and then let people deem it useful or not useful when the one getting the votes didn't even agree with it? No. Apart from gross misconduct handled by moderators, the OP of the post has the final say what their post looks like. Anybody else can suggest, post their own version that looks like they want, or downvote if they don't like the version the OP prefers. But they don't get to force their "improvement" onto the OP.


That said, I'm a bit confused by this question. The original post talks about seducing a prince to bear their offspring. And it's not cyberpunk where that might work in vitro. The words used mean very explicitly sticking one's thing into another persons thang. That is how babies are made. I'm not sure how that would not involve sexuality?

This isn't about gender. Well, not in that sense. It's about sex. The act of making babies. Having sex. And how to best do that given a certain incompatible scenario.

I would agree that this tag is not correct if you had asked for other options. Maybe one of your cohorts could seduce the prince? Maybe you could abduct an existing bastard. Maybe there is a way with magic? But that was not your question. Your question was very explicitly how to enable your character to have sex with the intent to reproduce. To me, it would make absolute sense to tag that .

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would disagree. The seduction is only tangentially related background information for the rest of the question. The focus of that question is how to use magic to genderswap and keep it for a certain duration. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2022 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your initial comment is in conflict with the Meta at SO. "If an author is unhappy with the community's edits, they may ask to be disassociated from their post, but the post is not "theirs" in any way that prevents others from "changing the title and content"." - meta.stackoverflow.com/a/415417/971299. Time to turn your purple neon lights on, you are living in your dystopia. :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24, 2022 at 9:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland Well, I'm sorry to see such a misinformed post gather upvotes and checkmarks. Nowhere In the license do I grant SO the right to modify my post and leave it under my name. The post even links the license, but cannot quote the relevant part... because there is no such part. There is a difference between the right to reproduce content, modify content and publish modified content under someone's name. Obvious example: I can modify and publish the bible to my hearts content, but I cannot legally claim I'm the pope. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess the claim may be that the "edited by" part is sufficient to show it is no longer a work solely by the OP, however I really just wanted to bring it to your attention rather than make any personal case in support or against. I see you've commented on the question I linked, will be interesting to see their response. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24, 2022 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland A probably better informed and higher upvoted post on the topic: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11474/… \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Jan 27, 2022 at 9:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm, I feel like that deals more with "What is the etiquette for modifying posts?" whereas we are discussing "Who is the final arbiter of that [edits]?" which it doesn't go into, unless I've missed something? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2022 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland Well, the ettiquette says "never change the intent of the author" and I would assume that the author would be the final arbiter of what their own intent was. If their intent was for this to be not about sexuality, then who am I to tell them they misunderstood their own past self. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Jan 27, 2022 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt I would also assume that, but who is the final arbiter of whether an edit changes the apparent intent of the author, or to make it more generic "Who is the final arbiter of edits?". You say OP, the linked Meta posts says the community. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2022 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt: The license does explicitly give you the right to request dissociation (i.e. "please remove my name from this answer"). But Stack Exchange, Inc. has already implemented that right. You have to ask for it manually (through the "contact us" link in the footer), but they will do it if you ask. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Feb 7, 2022 at 16:43
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I agree with Doppelgreener's definition. However, your question - as written - has two moving parts to it.

Other answers may get into detail about general cases. I'd like to address your specific question: What options do I have for changing my character's sex?

Let us look at the two moving parts of your specific question. First, we have the seduction of the prince who requires the player character to be non-male to 'get on' with them, and then we have the second part - the pc also needs to be capable of childbearing for the duration of the pregnancy. Ideally, we have the third part - the pc wants to revert from his non-male sex to male sex. The group feels confident to handle the problem of parenting.

[...] to seduce the prince and have a royal bastard (we have cohorts who will be responsible parents!) [...] we have one problem: Every single one of the PCs is male... which makes getting on with the [p]rince an impossibility. [...] My character is [...] willing to "bite the bullet" and handle the seduction.

In this first part, we have a prince with precise preferences for a non-male these are explicitly necessary for the whole mission of seducing the price to succeed. It would be impossible for a male to 'get on' with the prince. This predicament seems clearly in the realm of what our sexuality tag covers; these preferences are crucial to the problem - at the core of it and the whole acquisition of a reproductive system that works out for the pc stakes on this to work out.

Are there any spells that would allow him to swap his sex for the duration of the 9 months of pregnancy? Being able to swap back after the happy event would be ideal.

This second part is not at all about sexuality — it is a mechanical question about accessing a tool to swap to a sex capable of childbearing for the 9 months duration of the pregnancy; in succession to revert the sex after labour.


Perhaps it is - that it is not your intention that your problem is about , but the question demonstrably is because you highlight the impossibility of getting on with the prince as a male. As a reader, this is about an in-game depiction of sexuality.

Fortunately, none of the answers focuses on the aspect of sexuality. So adjusting that first part of the question should not render any answers void.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A suggestion, if your pc doesn't need to get on with the prince or seduce them and instead merely needs to bear their child, then explicitly stating just that would work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Jan 15, 2022 at 11:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, this looks to be imprecise language on my part. The scenario was never about the Prince's willingness (or lack thereof) but of the biological stalemate of two males conceiving a child. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2022 at 20:27
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FWIW, I also happened to notice the question when it got bumped to the front page by the edit, and I also felt that the tag was kind of weird on the question, being at most tangentially relevant.

Fundamentally, the question is asking for ways to make a biologically male PC capable of bearing a child. All the stuff about seducing princes and whatnot is just background details that could be removed without fundamentally changing the question or invalidating any answers.

We don't normally tag questions based on just incidental background details.

While I do think that would be an appropriate tag for a question about in-game seduction, that's not really what this question is. The OP isn't asking how to get their PC to have sex with the prince — they're assuming they can handle that part, at least once the other issues with their plan have been resolved. They're asking how to get a baby out of it, given that their PC currently lacks the necessary reproductive anatomy for that. And that's not a question about "in-game depictions of sexuality and any potential out-of-game issues related to those depictions."

So, in this case, I do feel that the removal of the tag was reasonable and its original addition at best only marginally justified.


Ps. I also don't think the tag is particularly appropriate for the other two questions mentioned above, or for any other questions that are primarily about game mechanics related to pregnancy or reproductive biology, either.

As a general rule of thumb for such questions, I'd suggest that if how the characters get pregnant does not particularly affect the possible answers, then the sexuality tag is probably not relevant.

I'll leave it for others to determine whether or not we should have a separate tag for and/or . I do note that we seem to have more questions mentioning pregnancy than I honestly expected, so perhaps a tag for them could be reasonable.

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I agree with Doppelgreener's definition.

I would propose the tag be used in questions about a character's:

  • sexual preferences
  • sexual advances
  • sexual rejections, or
  • sexual acts

as well as out of game ramifications regarding the above scenarios.

Questions about a character's gender identity, gender assignment, or genetic gender feels like it would be more of a question, though that tag feels like it is oddly defined and doesn't truly cover the topic.

Under these guidelines, the linked example question concerning changing sex is clearly not a tag question, though the tag might be appropriate.

The other two are a tougher call, though seem to be more centered on the effects/repercussions of the polymorph spell in their respective systems, rather than the sexual act itself. I would argue that the tag should not be used.

One thing that seems clear to me is that the definition of sexuality can mean several things, and clearly defining it for the purpose of the tag would be an improvement to the site. (Perhaps similar changes in several other tags, though that is a bit out of scope for this meta post.)

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