Is there a way to trigger the css for .class:active without a click or touch?

Is there a way to do it without adding / removing a class with those CSS characteristics?

Based on my limited understanding, you cannot control pseudo-classes like that. That would defeat their explicit purpose. You can control what happens (if anything) when it’s triggered, but you can’t control how or when it is triggered. But you can get the same functionality with other selectors.