Recently I had a porn dream, which I wanted to put into a story. And then suddenly, instead enjoying porn/erotica aspects of the idea, I got myself into worldbuilding mode and asked a question about the porn world itself.

First question got generally well received, but two downvotes (knowing this site) tells me, that I am pushing some buttons.

Actually, I realised it after asking second question about the world, which has zero votes thanks to one downvote and one upvote. So, I am definitely pushing some buttons

The question is: How to ask questions about sexuality and worldbuilding?

I have several more ideas, all mainly suitable for porn/erotica worlds:

  • Alien race which enjoys sex. How would their society look like?
  • Sex as money. Can this work?

I know, that in second case of my question, I could be pushing buttons maybe also because I had religious claim which was not so true.

But still, my editor self tells me, that both questions are in-scope of Worldbuilding, if we talk strictly about the rules.

The thing is: I dont like "pushing the buttons" but still I would like to ask more sex(uality) related questions. How should I proceed?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Re: alien race that enjoys sex, are you implying that human ones do not? $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ I am implying religious and cultural taboo preventing us from having sex with anyone we like anywhere we like. And I wanted to know how society where this does not exist would look like $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @PavelJanicek religous and cultural restrictions don't apply to everyone in the world. If you travel around the world a bit, you're bound to see sections of the world where those restrictions don't exist. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Aify, what blew my mind is that sex is only controlled in patriarchal societies. Matriarchal societies generally don't care who you have sex with because if a pregnancy results, legitimacy comes through the mother, not the father. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 22:05

3 Answers 3


Things like sexuality and religion have been fought over for a long time. You're pretty well off if all you're worried about is 'pushing buttons'.

That said, maybe the people who get offended aren't the kinds of people we want on this site. This is supposed to be a place for professionals, people who can take an objective look at a problem and then solve it using logic, science, and hard factual evidence. If they downvote your questions for no reason other than "eww, sex is gross", then I don't see how keeping them happy on this site benefits the overall purpose of Worldbuilding.

Similarly, I would suggest that you simply take the time to make sure your questions are well-thought-out and on-topic. Take the same care as you expect from your answerers. And if you don't want to push buttons, keep as close to the point as possible, and don't stray into unneccessarily graphic depictions of your world.

As I browse this site mainly at work, I haven't gotten around to reading your questions, but I'm confident you're holding up your end of the deal. If you're willing to bear the ignomity of a few downvotes here and there, then I think we'd all be better off for it. Maybe you could even suggest a sexual tag for the fortnightly tag challenge, that might be interesting.

  • $\begingroup$ Hey I am one of those "I don't like sex unless you are referring to gender as sex" people and I do provide benefit to Worldbuilding like for example this meta question about questions unfairly put on hold: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4118/… so I don't agree that people who dislike sex(except in the gender sense of the word) shouldn't be on here. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 22:56

I'm not sure I see the problem. A brief glance at those links shows that they have received reasoned answers. I also don't see why people with pushed buttons shouldn't raise their objections. A debate could ensue in chat perhaps.

I think if you preface your ideas with the premise of erotica then it comes down to caveat lector.

I personally am not interested in erotic fiction per se so I would simply not answer your questions or comment on them.

The real problem is with subjects that are taboo and I think you have to be sensitive to that. It is the old business about culture clash. I wouldn't normally draw a cartoon of someone's prophet just to annoy them but I might (and sometimes do) make an oblique reference to the illogicality of religions in general.*

I think in the final analysis you must make up your own mind. I get the impression that you are not entirely sure in yourself and that you want us to bolster your point of view. I'm not prepared to do that but I go along with the famous quote.

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it”

Attributed to Voltaire

*Note - Sometimes I have to catch myself. I'm not always oblique enough.


The topics you've chosen aren't a problem at all - you're free to ask questions related to said topics. However, note that questions regarding these topics tend to err on the side of "too broad", "primarily opinion based", and "idea generation".

For example, your first question is "What needs to happen through a history to produce an alternate Earth where gender roles are in total opposite to ours, while keeping all biology the same? (Women giving birth is the main example)"

To me, that reads as both too broad, opinion based, and idea generation. There's no way to say which answer that answers this question is the "best", and there are an infinite list of possibilities of events that could have happened through history to cause this.

Your second question is "How would international politics look in gender swapped world?" - Again, both too broad, opinion based, and off topic. There are infinite possibilities for how the politics would look like (too broad + idea generation), and it's opinion based because you can't prove which one is the best, other than your own judgement.

As it's currently phrased, I suspect that your two unasked questions will also suffer from the same symptoms as your two asked questions.

  • $\begingroup$ but that applies to any alternate world or history question. Even asking "how would society react if..." is too broad according to this, while it gets generally approved by the community $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PavelJanicek "How would society react if" should always be considered too broad IMO. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Example of question proving you wrong: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/10017/… I dont want to start flamewar about this, but I really think that you should reconsider what is too broad here... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ The first example you provide doesn't sound too bad to me. Answers can be judged based on how plausible/likely they are, and will probably focus on the beginnings of human civilisation, and investigate the root causes of how we treat the sexes in modern society. Your second example is definitely too broad, unless it bases its world on the accepted answer to the first one. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @PavelJanicek That doesn't prove anything - I think that the example you posted is off topic, since it's primarily opinion based. Also, that question is 5 months old. The counter example doesn't "prove" me wrong, since all I've said is "In my opinion, how would society react questions are always too broad". (IMO = In My Opinion) $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh even if the first example isn't "opinion based", it's definitely Idea Generation. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I guess you're right. Wow, I don't think any question is safe from close votes... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not =/ We are, after all, on Worldbuilding, which consists mostly of some sort of Idea generation no matter what - it seems that it's the difference between a too broad idea generation (like the example listed) with the massive list of infinite possibilities versus the more heavily constrained idea generation that decides whether or not a question is closed. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ There is a very blurry line for Idea Generation and Too Broad on this site, with no clear definition of where one crosses that line. Nor can there be one. The best we can do is as a community vote as we feel we should on what to close and what to reopen. Occasionally we get questions that are closed and reopened and then closed and reopened. Since these seem to be very few and far between, I'd say that we are doing okay as a community. $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 10:53

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