What I am referring to by, "Relationships can be utterly destroyed if people aren't careful with what they watch and what they tempt themselves with," is that sex is like a drug. It is very addictive. It is one of the most powerful drives that a person can have. What you allow into your mind affects you long-term. It is imprinted down deep in your subconscious mind. When you see images of people having sex on TV or in movies or video games or whatever, those images become implanted into your brain. The experiences the characters have in video games and TV and movies and such are pure fantasy, and that pure fantasy becomes people's ideals for romance and sex; ideals others can't live up to.
Several negative things can occur as a result:
1. If you are married or in an relationship, or even if in the future you are in a relationship, you may develop certain expectations, without even realizing it, for your significant other that they don't like and/or that they aren't able to fulfill. Because what you have ingrained into your brain is something unrealistic, it can harm your real experiences. CAN, mind you. It doesn't necessarily mean that it does or will for everyone. Either way, by putting this stuff into your head, you can develop unhealthy behaviors and attitudes towards your significant other. Basically, you put the fantasy on a pedestal that no one can really attain to because this is the kind of thing that excited you in the stuff you've been watching. So, you may even wind up ruining your relationship with your significant other because he/she is not living up to your fantasy expectations. Case in point, some women starve themselves because they are trying to mold themselves into some unrealistic video game woman's image just so they can feel more attractive to men. That's not healthy.
2. Your spouse/significant other may not like the fact that you are watching or playing those kinds of things. Maybe they do, but maybe they don't. Even if they say they do, they may not truly be okay with it. Some will say they are okay with it, even if they are not, because they are trying to make you happy. But deep down inside, they probably resent it. Why? Because they may feel that you have to fantasize about some video game character or whatever in order to do anything with them. They don't excite you enough, so you need some sort of pixels all put together to form the image of people having sex in order to get excited enough to do something with them. Again, I'm not saying everyone is that way. Some may truly be perfectly fine with it. However, I think it might surprise you to find out how many are not okay with it.
3. Some can't control their sexual appetites. The more this stuff is readily accessible to them, the easier it is for them to consume it. But, like many addictions, the more they consume it, the more they need it and the bigger the fix that they need. This CAN, not always, but CAN lead to individuals doing things they shouldn't do; aka sexual crimes. Again, this is not saying that it DOES lead to it. I am just saying it CAN help it along and assist in nudging some people down that path.
Therefore, putting this stuff in games and TV and so forth is playing with fire. Although there are many who can handle it and not do something stupid, there are many who can't. You feed the problem for those who can't handle it, and therefore potentially harm them further and those in their lives.
This world has enough problems with relationships and marriages and divorces and sexual crimes. So, why are we doing things that could potentially make the situation worse as opposed to better?
That is why I don't like sex in games and such. I think it does more harm than good, and frankly, I don't need it. I like romance in games because I think it's sweet and fun and so forth, and it adds a level of emotional connection, but I prefer when games and such "fade to black." You know what happened. You don't need to show me the details. Let the characters have their privacy. Let them have their intimate moment without you watching. lol. As if pixels have intimate moments and need privacy.
Anyway, all that aside. If they got rid of sex and maybe toned down a bit on the violence and gore, they could make this a Teen game. THAT was actually my overall point. Wouldn't they sell more games by making it more available to a wider audience? Parents who don't like their kids playing games with Sex and Gore might allow them to play BG3 if they got rid of the sex scenes and some of the graphic violence. I honestly am not bothered by the violence level, but whatever. The point is that if they tamed down these things, which aren't really necessary to the story, they could lower the Mature Rating to Teen and thus open the game up to more players. Many parents these days are even willing to let their littlest ones play Teen games if they don't have a lot of swearing and graphic violence and especially sex. So although I'm sure a lot of people on this thread love this stuff, I was thinking Larian could actually get more sales if they tone it down a bit to broaden the audience. I'm not saying tone it town a ton. I'm just saying a bit. It honestly doesn't take much these days to go from Mature to Teen.
Fair points @ GM4Him
As a matter of fact I’m still officially Catholic, I never quit the church officially, despite havening to pay some minor church taxes and not going to church, except for Christmas once a year. So I know Catholic sexual morale very well. Despite being still a member, I never followed these strict rules, which I don’t consider to be up to date. I grew up in a family which is nominally Catholic, but very liberal – they don’t take faith that serious. I had sex before marriage, I used condoms and yeah I had many sexual relationships just for fun during my life so far. My current (long-term) girlfriend is a nominally Lutheran woman, who is pretty much agnostic, such as myself. Religion doesn't play any role in our relationship, we just love each other.
I’m a sinner, I confess, but I don’t regret it. You can only regret, what you didn’t do anyway, because for everything you did, there were specific reasons in that period of life. I think modern times changed our lives a lot, there is advanced science and a lot of this contradicts the preaching of the church, especially the bible. Still Christian faith (Catholic & Lutheran) belongs to my culture, which is German, and I don’t want it to disappear completely. Also the architecture of the many medieval gothic cathedrals in Germany shall be preserved for the generations to come, because those buildings are marvelous and also serve an educational purpose. Only therefore I gladly pay my church taxes. Cathedrals cost a huge sum to maintain and this isn't financed by the German state, but church taxes, despite being someone who has many doubts about faith in general. And once I die, I prefer having a Catholic priest say a few words about me in front of my family and children, instead of a profane funeral for agnostics. So far for my personal stance on religion, which is more a cultural thing for me.
Anyway you’ve got a few points here, which I’ll second. The internet and the availability of porn at every corner actually isn’t healthy in general. People might develop strange tastes because of that and the number of addicts to online-porn grow. It can even destroy your sex life, because you might expect from your girlfriend to perform like a porn-star during sex, which is not realistic and eventually you might not be able to enjoy normal sex any more, which should be a beautiful thing between two individuals. I’m not against porn in general, but people should be aware of the fact that it harms them eventually on a psychological level, if they overdo.
In games we are talking about sexual acts, which can be described as soft-core, same applies to most movies. I’m perfectly d’accord with those. I don’t consider these to be harmful in any way, unlike the extensive consume of porn. Most people enjoy these fictions with a little bit of erotic content in it.
Concerning crime or rape that’s a sociological problem. The specific socialization of a person might lead to such a behavior. This has got nothing to do with sex being displayed in games or movies.
I would never do such a thing, I wouldn’t even be capable to enjoy it, if I had to force someone to have sex with me. After all I enjoy it even more if she wants me as much as I want her - mutual passion! A rapist has got a significant mental illness, which has got nothing to do with popular culture. Although I seriously doubt, that many of those actually can be therapized as repeat offender statistics show. Lock them away for good!
Now for beauty ideals, these weren’t created out of thin air and exist for both genders. Therefore I don’t have a problem with games or movies mainly showing attractive role models for both genders. Beauty ideals may be unfair, because they are genetically mostly, but still there is an evolutionary reason for those like phenotypical signs of fertility for women and being able to protect and to provide for the offspring for males (stone age logic, which still has got a meaning even today). Anyway concerning modern ideals, not everyone wants a flat-chested bulimia catwalk model with matchstick legs to be his girlfriend, who for the overhwelming part of human history wouldn't be considered to be attractive at all. Personally I actually prefer some curves at the right spots, without her being overweight and I very much prefer blondes, but that's just me. And not every woman wants Arnold Schwarzenegger as husband, too.
I absolutely don’t think, that Larian should appease prude American parents, I’m sorry. It will attract more players worldwide, if some soft display of nudity and sexual acts are shown in the game. I fear that Wizards of the Coast (Washington, USA) might have a bad influence on Larian (Belgium, Europe). I hope they will handle the display of sexuality more like CD Projekt Red did with Witcher 3, which still had a M ESRB rating in the US afaik. In Germany by the way Witcher 3 had an A ESRB rating (USK 18 is the German equivalent, which means only for adults), not because of the sex, but because of the explicit gore/violence. Just saying, how mentalities tend to be different across the globe.