Girls of Almea and other non-serious themes

Posted by Panu Petteri Höglund on 14:25 10/19/01

In reply to: (none)

As I have written several soft-pornographic stories in Irish for the benefit of learners, I could not help noticing your jokes about Almean pornography. But seriously: does pornography exist in Almea, or in Verduria? I mean, literary and artistic depiction of sexuality, both highbrow literature and smutty entertainment, is universal. But discussing Verdurian pornography, we should really wonder if the perpetual dilemmatising about "is it pornography, or is it erotica" is as universal, or if it is a consequence of a peculiar historic/cultural development on Earth which does not exist on Almea?

And, by the way, are there major biological differences between human and Almean sexuality which might lead to interesting societal consequences? (Cf. Le Guin's "Left Hand of Darkness").

Mark responds:

Interesting question... for Cadhinorian attitudes toward sex in general, see the beliefs pages. Verdurians don't suffer from the anti-sex and anti-female attitudes common in Western culture (but they're not libertines, either). There is a category of pornography (kechezil), but neither the content nor attitudes about it would be identical to ours. Frank and ribald stories, for instance, are not considered pornographic (Emanél Mitushek's story quoted in the Verdurian grammar is one). Nor is pornography illegal; the Verdurian attitude is to moderate rather than ban the vices.

Other lands vary, of course. Ismahi is widely perceived to be licentious (though this is mostly due to the behavior of a minority-- the nobles and intellectuals); Barakhún is more restrictive.

As for biology, there's nothing as spectacular as changes of sex. As in other areas, I've kept the uestî similar to terrestrial humans. Ktuvok reproduction is rather different, though not very titillating. The ilii are perhaps the most interesting. Iliu females are physically protected against rape, for instance (the offending organ, at the least, would be lost). And ilii have a form of telepathy or magic which allows images and sensations to be directly communicated; this is one of their major vehicles for art and spirituality, but works very nicely for sex, as well.

(If you're dashing to the improbaballistician, I should note that only a very, very few ilii have ever been interested in sex with humans!)

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