The EARTHBOUND Series
Preface to Sexual Customs and Practices of Planet Earth
by Nykkyo Kyhana
Over the centuries, official policy viewed all but casual relationships between Florans serving ExoAgency assignments on Earth, and the native population, as problematical. Those of us who have spent time on Earth realize this view is unrealistic. Human are by nature social beings, and friendships and even romances between Florans and the native population have been and will continue to be reality.
It is in recognition of this reality that I have composed this monograph on Earth sexual practices, based upon fifty Floran years' experience living on Earth as Agent-in-Chief for North American Operations. I would be remiss not to state, emphatically, that it remains ExoAgency policy to discourage romantic involvement between the populations. This is a wise policy. Nonetheless, it is likely a Floran Agent may find himself or herself thrust into a social situation in which a romantic or even sexual relationship is the inevitible outcome.
Florans and Earth people are the same species, and Floran culture derived from an Earth one presumably not too dissimilar from that found there today. Our peoples are very much more similar than do we differ. Nonetheless, significant differences exist between Floran and Earth approaches to sex.
Because we are the same species, the same sexual physiological response is programmed by biology into our bodies. The differences arise from how we employ those responses. The answer to the question, "Why did these differences arise?" would be an interesting and useful preface to the material in this monograph. It would be, assuming the answer were known. Since no one knows why, what follows is my conjecture based on experience living within both populations.
Soon after PlanetFall, the band of colonists who founded our world encouraged active interbreeding among themselves. The reason for this was to create a genetic mix and avoid creating inbred sub-populations. Cultural mores against stepping outside the marriage bounds were deliberately smashed. A Floran's attitudes today toward sexual fidelilty stem ultimately from this. One result was the rapid homogenization of the Floran population -- the creation of a new race, as it were, formed from a blending of the many races of the original settlers.
Somewhere around a thousand years after PlanetFall, Floran's society introduced centrally administered population control, employing mandatory contraception. Around the same time, our medical community completed the eradication of pathogens within the Floran biosphere. Consequently, Florans may -- and do -- engage in sex freely without concerns for unwanted pregnancy or disease transmission. These remain very serious issues on Earth.
In addtion, at this time birth licenses were introduced and family lines identified, codified and crests assigned. Within two generations, separation of the procreational and recreational aspects of sex had become complete, and the foundation for current Floran sexual practices was established.
How these practices evolved remains a topic of debate. My hypothesis is based upon the differences between the basic male and female sexual responses. To reiterate, these responses are programmed into the human species by biology. The male sexual response is rather simple and straight-forward. The female response is considerably more complex, and women are gifted with the capacity for greater and deeper sexual pleasure than are men. This phenomon has been observed from the earliest days of our species, as evidenced by the ancient Earth legend of Tireseas1.
As Florans abandoned (or -- as in the case of the persisting taboo of incest -- dramatically weakened) Earth proscriptions regarding sexual partnerships, our women discovered the freedom to select partners for recreational sex on the basis of maximizing gratification. Who better understands the complexity of the female response than another woman? Men desiring pairing with women by necessity learned to compensate by becoming more woman-like in their practices. Over time, feminine qualities became desirable in men as well, and today differences between the genders on Floran are less salient than is observed on Earth.
What does this mean within the Earth context? For one, Florans tend to value the mutuality of the sexual experience far more than is common on Earth. Floran sex partners approach the act much more as equals, and with the intent of communicating fondness to one's partner. Such has become almost instinctive to a Floran.
In contrast, a strong element of power and domination has been associated with sex from the earliest days on Earth. Unfortunately, this aspect is still very much in evidence within Earth societies today. Herein lies perhaps the most important difference between our peoples. Understanding this and other differences will help a Floran on Earth assignment negotiate social interactions with Earth people that can be tricky but ultimately rewarding.
This monograph explores in detail the sorts of pitfalls of which a Floran must be aware as he or she builds friendships with the Earth population. I feel obligated to remind the reader, repeatedly, of the hazards of sexual mingling with Earth people -- specifically, disease transmission and unwanted pregnancy; and, always to keep foremost in one's mind the importance of our mission for ourselves and our fellow Florans.
-- Nykkyo Kyhana, Agent-in-Chief (retired)
New York, April 23, 2039
1 Tireseas: According to the ancient Greek legend, the king and queen of the gods, Zeus and Hera argued over whether man or woman experienced greater pleasure during sex. The question was put to Tireseas, who had lived life as both man and woman. He answered it was woman.