Opinions on Sexualizing Your Characters?:

Total posts: [27]
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1 AwesomeZombie2210th Oct 2010 07:37:50 PM from somewhere over the rainbow
As an aspiring writer and game developer, the first thing I think about when designing a new concept is making characters. Now, I limit myself to have only one character who panders to the audience (I will use Psychotica as an example), but I still make sure to give her a personality besides sexiness (she's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, if you couldn't tell by her name).

In my opinion, making all of the main casts sexualized will just make people groan. Most fanservice characters are loathed by the opposite sex, and some of the same sex for being obnoxious. And besides, the fans can draw their own porn. It's why the internet exists. Ironically, Psychotica is into BDSM, has psychic powers (that are electric in nature), wears a sleeveless black leotard with a zipper, is a Yangire, a Genki Girl, a Classy Cat-Burglar, and hangs out with the God of Chaos who is trapped in a clockwork doll and is a dominatrix to a musclebound leather-wearing man, and yet I still couldn't think of drawing her naked.

edited 10th Oct '10 7:47:09 PM by AwesomeZombie22

2 MajorTom10th Oct 2010 07:40:37 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
People like Eye Candy. But better writing and personality trumps Eye Candy in terms of quality and sales. We've had a relative "wealth" of works from literature to movies and games where they emphasized the sexy too much to the detriment of the story. (And I am not referring to soft or hard core porn)

On the other hand, all the quality writing in the world doesn't excuse fugly characters.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
An accurate depiction
^ This is very true. I let such character exist only if they have something beyond that to attract the reader.

That being said, there are a few such scenes in my work, I must admit.
This is this.
Her with the hat
I think the general advice is: Don't arrange scenes around fanservice, arrange fanservice around scenes. It'll seem less gratuitous.
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5 FeoTakahari10th Oct 2010 09:13:55 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Unless a book contains one or more pornographic scenes, I consider fanservice in it to be a waste—it's hard to fap to three sentences of description. The characters I'm most proud of writing generally don't have much to them sexually, and my one attempt at writing a sexualized character (a once-beautiful, now-disfigured female illusionist who uses her false forms' sexual appeal to manipulate people) didn't work out all that well.
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
6 Voltech4410th Oct 2010 09:30:05 PM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
All Guns Sparking
I've put some thought into this same question, and...well, I haven't come up with a good answer yet.

It's hard to gauge how people will react to your characters; what may be a facet or theme that you're trying to explore (or what seemed like a good idea at the time) may not go over well with your audience. I speak from experience; for one of my classes, I had a piece of a story that featured a college girl who had inherited the family legacy, and wasn't ashamed of it. Although this was before her character development arc - and long before I'd started setting up either her Hidden Depths or the story's Body Motifs - the general consensus was that she was a waste of a character. Shallow, unlikable, all sorts of things.

Maybe it's all just a matter of one's opinions, based on appearances alone. A damned if you do, damned if you don't situation; try to add an element of sexiness to your character, and inevitably someone's going to cry foul. But as long as you make sure that that character has a purpose and personality - and isn't just a black hole of cleavage - I'd say there's not as much to worry about.

So just do what you can as a writer, and it should work out for the better. Hopefully.
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7 Edmania10th Oct 2010 09:34:51 PM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
I hate doing this to characters I like.

I'm fine with applying something like Evil Is Sexy on the enemies I make that I don't like, though. For either gender.

I also deliberately try to make subtext saying that porn of said character either wouldn't make sense or should be highly discouraged, but this doesn't actually work very well. It may even be counterproductive.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
8 NickTheSwing10th Oct 2010 10:44:50 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
Did I make Johnson Viandas too sexy? I mean, he's fifteen, and a thirty four year old woman commented on his first appearance as a teenage mercenary that he is the "sexiest little thing she ever read about."

Squick. That was my reaction.

To wit, he is a young man, big for a teenager, and strong. He has disorganized, somewhat hectic black hair and blue eyes. There is not an ounce of excess fat on him, due to his extensive training from hell that is essentially all of his young adult life. He wears all black armor, wields a BFS, and is very much a brooding, Byronic Hero who starts as a Villain Protagonist, has a little slasher smile, has some Bro Yay with his closest half brother, Carlos, and is a Badass who slaughters demons.

edited 1st Feb '11 4:54:03 PM by NickTheSwing

Also known as Katz
As Perverse Sexual Lust taught us, fans will sexualize anything they like. I mean, Snape is not only a target, he's a common target. So I generally don't try to sexualize anything; fans can turn likable into sexy by themselves.

I do make a lot of characters easy on the eyes, though—after all, I spend a lot of time drawing them. Similarly, I don't fault anyone who includes stuff for Author Appeal.

^That...is pretty sexy. I'm 24. Is that okay?

edited 10th Oct '10 10:58:31 PM by jewelleddragon

10 ACDrawings10th Oct 2010 11:27:43 PM from MY PERSONAL REALITY
I don't sexualize any of my my characters. Unless I designed them specifically to be sexualized and those aren't for main stories, rather for...

Personal use.
When All Else Fails, you have fun and flirt wit da ladies, dats da Drawings way!
11 NickTheSwing11th Oct 2010 12:06:58 AM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
^^yes, that is okay. I mean, I knew I incorporated some Fetish Fuel tropes, but...visualizing it...yeah, its understandable.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Personally, I tend to keep physical description in-character according to who's observing them. If there are long, loving dscriptions of a person's beauty, it's probably going to be because the observer in question harbours UST towards them and has a taste for the purple.

Sexy should emerge naturally from one's work, and from the way the characters perceive and interact with each other. No need to try and force it.
What's precedent ever done for us?
13 A_H_R11th Oct 2010 05:14:14 AM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
There are times where sexualization should be done, IE, POV of a horny teenager that is describing someone they find attractive.

However, other than stuff like that, I'd leave that kind of crud out. If they happen to have a scene where they are walking around shirtless, fine, portray it asexually. The people who like that sort of thing will appreciate it, and the people who don't won't really notice.
"There is absolutely not an ounce of fat on him, due to his extensive training from hell that is essentially all of his young adult life"

Um, if someone literally has not an ounce of fat on their body, they'd be severely emaciated. As in 'on the cover of National Geographic when they're talking about a famine' emaciated. Not conducive to good physical shape.

A very physically fit person will have a moderate amount of fat on their body, or maybe even more (after all, sumo wrestlers are extremely fit). If they don't have any fat at all, their body will start destroying muscles to gain energy.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
15 SalFishFin11th Oct 2010 06:44:40 AM from A respectful distance away , Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Ace in a Hoodie
I actually have one character that's a subtle Deconstruction of the Miss Fanservice archetype. Sure, she wears revealing clothes most of the time, but because of events in her backstory she only does it around people she feels she can really trust. In this sense, she's sort of a Kuudere. except with wearing provocative clothing.

edited 11th Oct '10 6:45:34 AM by SalFishFin

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16 AwesomeZombie2211th Oct 2010 07:58:28 AM from somewhere over the rainbow
Also, if I didn't have Psychotica, Alchemist Saga would be a lot darker. She's pretty much the only character that's always happy (Drake isn't that jolly at trying to make Brianna feel emotions...), not to mention that she (and Clockwork) are the two hyperactive characters, everyone else is stoic or serious when not kicking ass.

Another reason why I limit myself to only one sexualized character is because everything can be a fetish, so leaving one character as a blatant fan-pandering character and having everyone else be modest won't stop the fans from drawing porn of Ryan.

edited 11th Oct '10 8:10:53 AM by AwesomeZombie22

17 NickTheSwing11th Oct 2010 08:15:52 AM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
@ Ettina: I did not mean that literally, I know my biology. Its just a different way of saying something. Jeez, you guys nitpick a lot...

edited 11th Oct '10 8:36:03 AM by NickTheSwing

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Thing is, a lot of writers don't know that. Besides, you can change it very easily - all that needs adding is the word 'excess', as in 'not an ounce of excess fat'.
What's precedent ever done for us?
19 A_H_R11th Oct 2010 09:45:28 AM from Crevice of your Mind
Resistance is Futile
Nitpicking is a good thing. It's what tightens everything else.
I have a Lady of War who I decided to make into the Ms. Fanservice character with Hartman Hips and a pretty face because... uh. I thought it would be really funny to juxtapose her cold, detached personality with the fact that having her clothes fall off in the middle of a fight does not stop her from kicking people's asses.

Basically I combine Rule of Sexy with Rule of Funny, and I do try to structure it around a character's occupation, backstory, or personality rather than just shoving in some gratuitous skin.

edited 11th Oct '10 10:59:34 AM by Leradny

21 FurikoMaru11th Oct 2010 11:06:19 AM from The Arrogant Wasteland , Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
Overt sexualization is what fanart is for.

That said, I write about things which interest me, and plenty of fetish fuel interests me.

edited 11th Oct '10 11:08:01 AM by FurikoMaru

22 Latia11th Oct 2010 03:47:49 PM from The Bottom of Texas
life is hard U_U
I'm okay with mildly fanservicy stuff.

But only with legal characters. And certain characters. One girl I have is underage and a victim of Parental Incest rape. Although characters talk baout her cuteness/attractiveness, she is never drawn in fanservicy poses. It would just feel wrong.
Space hobo
The hero of the story I'm currently thinking up is Chivalrous Pervert who looks good without a shirt and often falls victim to I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!.

I dont want to emphazise on sex and fanservvice though, that's what most of the times repels me from most animes.
24 NickTheSwing11th Oct 2010 04:50:35 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
okay, yeah, thanks. That was what I meant. Not an ounce of excess fat.
25 ImipolexG11th Oct 2010 07:51:40 PM from all our yesterdays
frozen in time
I don't deliberately sexualize a character unless it's going to have some significance to the plot as a whole. There are fanservicey bits in my work, but as a rule they have to fit into the story logically, without seeming gratuitously indulgent.

If I had fans, they'd probably want to sexualize this or that character, and that's fine. Let 'em have their fun.
no one will notice that I changed this

Total posts: 27
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