I’ve always been a fan of “talking games,” the kind that seem designed for sitting around a campfire (or a coffee table) with various edibles and alcoholic drinks, getting to know people in all the wrong ways. My favorite of these games is FMK, or for those who aren’t familiar, “Fuck, Marry, Kill.” If you don’t know how to play, you should. It’s great (if slightly mean) fun (and I even wrote about it in my story for Susie Bright’s anthology, “Bitten: Gothic Erotica.”) I also like games like “Two Truths and A Lie,” and “I’ve Never.”
One game I don’t like? Charades. I can get up in front of a thousand people and read erotica or teach a class, but get me in a room of five people and ask me to act out “Planet of the Apes”? Oh, hell no. I blush, I stammer, I get embarrassed and nervous. In fact, if someone suggests charades, my first response is usually to find something pressing to do… in another room.
Which brings me to my current review:Truth or Dare: A Game of Passion, for Adults from Good Vibrations, which was sent to me as part of this month’s Good Vibes review package. Truth or Dare is one of the slew of games that’s offered for enhancing romantic and sexual relationships. It’s also a combination of the kinds of games that I mention above: Part part “FMK” and one part “Charades.” The game includes 100 cards, half of which are “Truth” (FMK) cards and half of which are “Dare” (Charades), a die and instructions. There are any number of ways to play, but it’s basically like this: You roll the die and do what it says (if you get wild, you get to choose).
In order to give the game a proper review, I waited until some friends were in town. We poured the liquor, had munchies, and then got down to business.
Before I begin, here’s the layout of the crowd:
- One me (bisexual, submissive, used to working in the sex field and thus talking about sex).
- One hetero, dominant, sadist guy.
- One hetero, switch, nice guy.
- One homosexual, highly sexual, quickly drunk guy.
(Not of us are dating, by the way, so we chose partners arbitrarily).
First card of the night, a dare, went to the hetero switch: Call a relative and fit the words “whip,” “suckle,” and “climax” into your conversation. You have a five-minute time limit to complete this dare. Be careful not to call that one relative who keeps you on the phone for an hour.
Okay, so he called his brother, and I’m not sure he actually did it right (something about subtly sliding the words in), because the conversation was about thirty seconds in and he said, “When you and x do it, which one climaxes first?” At which point, said brother hung up on him. Oops. This might be why I don’t like charades. For as open as I am, I cannot imagine calling a family member and doing said dare. Other dares involved dressing up in someone else’s underwear, pretending you’re in a porno, and putting food around your nipples. At which point, I have to admit, I was second-guessing my choice of play partners for the evening. Just a little bit.
Other dares were, in my opinion, a lot more fun. My favorite of the night? “Select a common household object, the create a sales pitch touting this product as a sexy toy and proceed to try and sell it to the man or woman of the house. You may need to demonstrate the many attributes of your product to show just how useful it can be.”
Then there were the truth cards. These were, in my opinion, the best part of the game. I learned a lot about everyone else, and myself included. Favorite truth questions? “What comic book superhero would be the most useful to you in pleasuring your partner? Describe how you would use it?” and “If you were open to the possibility of a threesome, who would be your ideal third participant? What would you do if given this opportunity?”
After a few drinks and a few more cards, we gave up on the one-person-goes rules and started to play round-robin style. Everyone had to answer all of the truths, and whoever wanted could do the dares. I think this worked better, mainly because of the lack of couples thing (some of the dares (and truths) were clearly designed to be made for couples).
Overall, it was a fun way to spend an evening, and it’s an interesting game. My one disagreement with it is that it isn’t sure what it wants to be: Is it a fun way for a couple of friends to hang out and get to know each other, or is it made for couples who want to find new ways to get hot and heavy? Some of the cards lean one way, some of them the other. The “clearly for couples” cards made for a few awkward moments, even among the four of us open-minded individuals, while the other cards might seem boring for couples who already know each other pretty well (for example: questions about who was dominant and who was submissive, which for our group was one of the ones we skipped).
I think, however, the problem is an easy fix. Give people an alternative must-do if they won’t or can’t do what’s on their card. Say, they have to drink. Or they can pass three times during the game, and choose a new card. Or whatever else you can devise.
The game is a fun way to learn about others — and about yourself — while exploring a wide variety of sexual interests and topics. It’s prettily packaged, in a retro-fifties style black and pink box, and I adored the cover image of the girl riding the guy with a hairbrush.
I think this game would make a great gift for couples who are either just getting to know each other and/or are exploring their sexuality. The box was a little tame for our group, since our topics of conversation tend to revolve around sex anyway, but I can totally see an S&M version or a more advanced version for those who’ve done the basics and are ready to explore even more.
Not to mention, after acting out a scene from my favorite porn movie, I don’t see charades being a problem ever again.
<sounds like> a winner.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
And here’s your Truth Question from the box, loyal readers: If you could watch an intimate moment from your partner’s life before you, what would it be?