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So, this question is gaining some attention due to its content - specifically about the act of "mooning".

Mooning is the act of displaying one's bare buttocks by removing clothing, e.g., by lowering the backside of one's trousers and underpants [...] mooning can be done for shock value, for fun, or as a joke.

However, there is already a bit of back and forth about the validity/appropriateness of the question on SE. Some of the starting comments of the conversation:

Optimizing sexual assault is not appropriate. I’ve flagged this “rude or abusive”

How is this sexual assault? Mooning people has a long history of being insulting for non-sexual reasons.

It seems the situation is very location dependent, sometimes even within one country. For example in Maryland it's considered protected speechand acceptable even in the prescence of minors, in California it could be a sex offense (or not) depending on intent, and in Texas it is indecent exposure (a sex offense).

I can see how both are valid, based on personal views or opinions, and in some places, based on the law that this is inappropriate, however in other places and opinions (mine included) while incredibly rude, can still be a bit of fun, particularly in an enclosed environment among friends.

But, in saying that, we do try and maintain a level of etiquette and behaviour, so this would probably be worthwhile clarifying on.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would appreciate some clarity on this question as well. I don't want to be seen as being deliberately subversive to the community, and I also think this is a fair question to ask. If I am mistaken, I'll remove the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – NFeutz
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 2:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't have a final answer for what should be a community standard, but one argument made in the Maryland court case referenced in the quote above is that in its most basic form, the act of mooning doesn't show anything more than a thong does, which is acceptable swimwear in pools or at the beach in most(?) parts of the world. Personally, that's about my threshold as well. If the question deals with things you can see in public without anyone raising an eyebrow, its acceptable, even if i don't want to engage personally with the question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 3:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ OP of the mooning question cites as precedent a question on flipping the bird. As gestures go, it seems to me to be just as vulgar, offensive, and sexual - and that question is currently at +190/-3, with the accepted answer at +198/-1. I'm not going to address whether either question is appropriate or inappropriate for the site, but I do think whatever one is, they both are. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 7:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could not the question be changed to simply say "how many humanoid-esque creatures can this 10th level vampire wizard summon that will do his bidding?" or something like that? definitely loses the humor and the pun for the site, but whether these summons moon the party or not is just up to the DM at the table, and having the number of summoned creatures is all the DM needs. He could have them bite thumbs at the players, flip them off, moon them, do the macarena, sing baby shark... that's all mostly irrelevant to the creatures summoned. (Flipping off is number of hands dependent though). \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 17:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE It's materially relevant to the actual problem that they have butts with which to do the mooning though. If we can summon ten thousand snakes, that's zero butts. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener right, my assumption is that "humanoid-esque" should cover that. Maybe "bipedal humanoids" would be better. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE because we all know that if OP was more vague about their needs the question would simply be filled with endless "This is an XY problem, you don't need a butt to serve a vampire" & "please elaborate on why they need butts". This meta question is about whether the question is acceptable on the site or not, suggesting people to ask questions that fall in a grey area of acceptability by being deliberately vague can only serve to worsen the problem. For moderation to be predictable and consistent SE should seek to minimize that gray area, not to widen it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kryomaani
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 15:15

2 Answers 2

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Whether it belongs on Stack Exchange is a normative question rather than a legal one, but my personal opinion is that the linked question is acceptable.

The Question includes some discussion of the law, at least by analogy. But Stack Exchange is completely allowed to take a narrower view of what is appropriate or even what is permitted than the law necessarily does. At its heart, this is a normative question for the community. Also, this is the type of normative question where reasonable minds can disagree.

With that said, my opinion is that this question is perfectly acceptable. We are talking about mooning someone in a way that is childish, but kind of funny in a childish way. My discussion of the law below gets far more graphic (by necessity) than the original post that spawned this question ever did.

Also, this site talks about in-game sexual assault all the time. Now of course, those discussions tend to center either on the best ways to avoid it, the best ways to handle it maturely when it fits in a mature story, or how to recover when something that should never have happened did happen. I hope to never see a question about how to actually optimize in-game sexual assault on this site. But, this is optimizing an in-game childish prank, not in-game sexual assault as that term is usually defined.

I think the linked question is appropriate for this site, but I acknowledge that reasonable minds could differ. Also, to the extent we do want to use the law as an analogy, this would not constitute sexual assault in any jurisdiction I am familiar with. It might constitute indecent exposure, but it would not rise even to that level in the jurisdictions I am familiar with.

This is not sexual assault as it is defined in most USA jurisdictions.

As a prelude to the legal discussion, I am a lawyer. But I am only licensed in Nevada, and I primarily practice civil appeals and real estate law. Nothing in this post, or anything I post on Stack Exchange should be considered legal advice.

I am not certain this should really be addressed as a legal matter, but this question directly invokes the law at least as an analogy. While I have not done a complete survey of the entire United States much less the entire world, in every jurisdiction I am familiar with, mooning someone could not be considered sexual assault. In many jurisdictions, including Nevada the legal phrase "sexual assault" is synonymous or nearly synonymous with rape.

In Nevada for instance, the definition is located in NRS 200.366. That is a rather long statute, but the core of it is:

1.  A person is guilty of sexual assault if the person:

(a) Subjects another person to sexual penetration, or forces another person > to make a sexual penetration on themselves or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of the perpetrator’s conduct; or

(b) Commits a sexual penetration upon a child under the age of 14 years or causes a child under the age of 14 years to make a sexual penetration on themselves or another, or on a beast.

Notably, Nevada does not have a separate law by the title of rape and essentially uses sexual assault to address what many other states would call rape. California does have a separate offense of rape and instead has sexual battery as a lesser crime that involves either touching someone's "intimate parts" or forcing the other person to touch your intimate parts against their will. California's statute is even longer and hard to easily take a core quote from, but it is located at CPC 243.4.

This probably isn't indecent exposure in most parts of the United States

The definition of indecent exposure is highly variable throughout the United States and even more variable when you consider the world. In Nevada, at least as the statute is interpreted by the Nevada Supreme Court, indecent exposure requires exposure of the genitals or actual anus. State v. Castaneda, 126 Nev. 478 (2010). Exposure of the buttocks alone is not enough for indecent exposure. Id. at 489. California's interpretation of its indecent exposure laws similarly requires exposure of the genitals. People v. Massicot, 97 Cal. App. 4th 920, 924, 118 Cal. Rptr. 2d 705, 707-08 (2002).

Notably, exposure which does not by itself constitute "indecent exposure" can still be breach of peace or disturbing the peace, but in most places that requires malice. Also, I think this is a good time to emphasize that none of this is legal advice. And as a real side note, while I have not done a complete analysis, I think the First Amendment would likely prevent application of an indecent exposure law as long as the exposure had a genuine expressive component and did not rise to the level of also breaching the peace. In other words, mooning someone to show contempt would probably have First Amendment protections in the U.S. under most circumstances even if some indecent exposure law would theoretically forbid it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You can't even properly discuss indecent exposure without mentioning the case of Night Elves v. Lava, DND 3.5th, No. 48632 RPG SE (2014). For the record, I think this question (and similar questions about the mechanics of being naked) are fine on the site, even if they describe behavior that wouldn't be acceptable in the real world. It's not like anyone's posting pictures of this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Laurel
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 21:21
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I think this is fine

As stated in the original question's comments and cited in this meta question, we have previously permitted questions which involve rude gestures the likes of which would only fly in a PG-13 movie. And along those lines, I do note that the Stack Exchange's Terms of Service require a minimum age of 13 in order to sign up.

With regards to whether this constitutes sexual assault, as Timothy's answer explains that is a legal question and the answer to it is 'it depends' (because it always depends).

That said, I think attempting to bar this question runs afoul of trying to enforce a conservative American mindset on accepted standards of decency, which I don't think is appropriate to do. Especially when we're talking about a relatively common dumb prank that I've absolutely witnessed growing up without perceiving it as something more than that. But I would also defer to the question itself which states there's no intent to take away the the freewill of any of the participants, rather to just have them perform a dumb prank. Certainly not anymore dumb than trying to get a bunch of people together to flip the bird at one person.

There were also some comments regarding whether this question should have some sort of trigger warning and I don't think that's anymore warranted than other things on this site which could be potential triggers for people. Bear in mind, we play games where regularly the players are murder hobos, where players will manipulate others for their own gain, steal and rob others, etc. I know that there is certain content which I'm not comfortable with and simply choose to ignore it, nothing about SE's system forces information that I don't want into my face.

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