I wrote this online larp towards the end of 2021, as the various lockdowns were starting to wind down. It had some playtesting (thank you, everyone!), and it got run at the online version of that year’s Consequences chamber larp festival, but I’m not sure if it has been at any other time (by me, at least)… because I ‘ve only just now put it up on my website. Oops.
I wanted to create an online larp for two participants, using audio only, with an intimate quality – as though the two characters were lying in the dark side by side, whispering into each other’s ears.
So, Pillow Talk has the two participants doing as close to that as possible – each lying in the dark, with a headset or similar, listening to the other’s voice (and the instructions).
When people hear ‘pillow talk’, they think about sex, and that certainly is one of the things that can be explored in the larp: it features two characters who are in a romantic relationship, and it may well be also a sexual relationship. (Although, no sex takes place during the larp. It is just conversation.)
But I’m very glad to have had some tremendous help from Laura Wood in preparing a version of Pillow Talk in which one or both of the characters is asexual. Laura says:
“Although these scenes are intended to be more accessible for situations where one or both of the characters is asexual, they can also be used when both characters are allosexual. A lot of the activities (eg. exploring sexual boundaries) are not exclusive to asexual couples; and relationships without sex are not exclusive to asexual couples.”
Like with my earlier larp Primal Soup (and this is the only thing that they have in common…) the larp is facilitated via narration: I recorded a bunch of voiceovers that explain each scene. This was weirdly affecting… I found myself feeling so sympathetic towards these people who didn’t even exist yet.
The other notable feature of Pillow Talk, I guess, is that you get to choose a pathway through a set of alternative scenes. You will play four scenes in total, but each of them has options. I’ve suggested that you should look at them in advance and plan which you will aim for, as a story arc – but to be prepared to change from that, if you both feel that it’s right to do so.
It probably needs two hours or so in total. of which one hour will be in play, the rest in prep and in debriefing.