Having sexy dreams...Ok Ursula K. Le Guin
might have written Canon, but I can still dream, can't I?
Ole (pron. Ol-E) is an alien, from a planet like the Left Hand of Darkness. That is, they don’t have genders, except to mate, which they do only four days of the month. Colloquially, their name for us is a word meaning “pervert”, since they see us all as being a bit sex-crazed.
Se (to use the preferred pronoun) has wavy blonde hair, blue eyes and is rather thin and on the median range of where men start up and women leave off (back Home, se’s rather tall). Se tends to wear loosely fitting clothing, and has a fine tenor/contralto voice. Most often, se’s thought of as “she”, either as a woman (somewhat feminist) or an effeminate man. If I thought of hir as having a gender it would be “80’s rockstar”, as in David Bowie, or possibly Daryl Hall.
Se was from Ferret’s Ridge, a farm in the Cold Country, where se lived with his clan mates, who raised hir until se got old enough to go to school in town. There, se learned of life on other planets, and decided to sign on to a passing space ship.
Out of season, they do have, well, snuggling. Being in bed with someone is a good way of conserving body heat, and playing in bed with a chum is a fine high art. It’s kind of like what you did as a kid, tickling and play-fighting, and all kinds of things. If you’re both wearing pajamas, it’s kind of easy to forget there’s anything different.
So it was, that Ole and me were having a good snuggle session, when I felt a something in hir groinal area.
“I guess it’s time for my shots.” Gethen, especially those who venture off-planet, use hormone treatments to turn themselves off and on, practice birth control and even to specify what sex they are. They could, if need be, drug themselves into being like Earthlike, but it’s not healthy, so they don’t.
The phallus, to use a unisex term, is an inch-long or so nub off-duty. Below, there’s a cleft with generous inner lips that opens out a space in the pelvic region where the gonads are ordinarily stored…I forget most of the actual mechanics here, but intercourse with human men is possible, though it would take a whole team of them to satisfy a Gethene in the female mode. With a human female…well, it hadn’t been tried yet. “I’ve had three children. I’ll be gentle.” se offered.
“Maybe if I sang you a love song?” We’d had a large lunch, eaten silently in Gethene fashion, and we were chatting until. “This is one I learned at school."
The song had about a dozen verses, and at first sounded innocent enough, a young couple in love. Then, things began to get..weird. The love scene didn’t leave much to the imagination. It didn’t stop there, though. The girl is pregnant, and the narrator sounds as pleased about it as they were about how she got that way. Childbirth and nursing was described as sensually as the tryst.
The final verse hinted that the mother would become a sire in the future.
“It’s…different.” I said. “Mostly, getting pregnant in a love song means some disaster.”
“I think it’s romantic that the insides that make the man climax and let the sperm inside are the same as those that push out the baby.”
“But childbirth isn’t romantic! It has to do with blood, and crap, and pain, and — I don’t know, but it’s just awful. Also, in Earth love songs, the girl isn’t married, and her life is ruined."
“You need city Creches. You get all kinds of aftercare. Then you get to nurse babies until your womb gets small. It's fun! Honestly, you pervs have it all wrong.”
Turns out, there’s a period, about a day or so, when the Gethen know it’s about to happen, but there’s no real feeling or function to their genitals, while they individuate — that is, get to a kemmerhouse, and figure out who is going to doing what, and to whom. The process of individuation can be speeded up with proximity to someone further along, and the more proximal, the better. As I said, they can’t do much down below but there are hands and mouths, and nipples. Especially nipples. He might have bee bites, but they were equally as tender.
That would lead us to go back to bed, and the process would inch forward, the lips becoming sacks, the spongiform tissue coming out of hiding, and the gonads falling into place while we played and dallied.
All the while, Ole would be fussing over me. “I’ve heard that it rubs off.” Earnest questions: “Do you feel this inside you?” he said, tickling my cervix with a long finger." Let me — oh, that’s wet! Your nub is so little…Let me just — take a sniff, it’s so nice. Maybe a tiny taste?” I don’t think that they’ve discovered oral yet, he was so shy and gentle.
And all at once, not a nub, but an honest to goodness pole under his jammies. “I hope I don’t hurt you…”
It was almost a relief.
I said, almost. He was done in about a minute, from In to Out, and for a second, I wondered what the fuss was all about, as he’d gone into yet another nap.
Somehow, I figured I’d be able to get by simply lying down and thinking of England, but it wasn’t that simple.
“I can’t feel like you’re having a good time.” he said. He’d been talking about skiing. His hips were like jelly on springs.
“I am.” Truthfully, though I’d thought I could get by if I just lay quiet and let him poke me.
“Well, if you were, I’d be able to feel it. The hole in your womb would be nibbling on me like a little mouth, and your insides would grab hold of me, like they didn’t want to let me go, and your hips would be moving against me, like you wanted to gobble me up inside you.”
I guess I looked slightly repulsed.
“No, really. Remember the song.”
I could only marvel at his patience.
“Can you feel it if I do this?”A finger, a cervix.
“Oh yes!” I found myself making sounds I had no conscious effort in.
Throughout the night, the cycle of intimacy, sex and sleep was established. I got better and better at moving with him. As the day broke, I felt myself caught up in a twilight state, tired but only wanting more, as everything else faded into distant memories in favor of an eternal NOW, of coupling and being coupled.
Our sleeps lasted longer and longer.
Finally, I drifted off….
I woke up. I was sore. Every muscle ached. I was covered in dried precious bodily fluids, and hungry.
Ole looked down at me, with hir usual friendly warmth. Se was in hir usual Earth clothes: a loose button-down shirt, and a pair of relaxed-fit jeans. Se put down his coffee, and picked up a damp washcloth.
I reflexively looked down. “Is it..?” I managed.
“You’re safe.” se said. “Or not…Honestly, I can’t understand you perverts."