The Complete Guide To Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: On Sex And Sexuality In The Realms

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ON SEX AND SEXUALITY IN THE REALMS

"In general, there is a continent in the Realms is marked by sexual equality; females and males are equally educated, respected, valued, and eligible for all roles in society. This applies just as well to southern lands, in which men often have several wives while women have only one husband, although the Northerners and Southerners often misunderstand each others' social structures. This is typical of a widespread phenomenon throughout the Realms: in matters of courtship, marriage, sex, and reproduction, as in most matters, there is enough adventuring and trade that people are familiar with many foreign customs; nevertheless, most people consider their own customs to be civilized and proper, while all other customs are unjust and barbarian.

There is a strong emphasis placed on the importance of marriage throughout the Realms, although courtship, marriage ceremonies, and family structures vary considerably. Marriage may be conducted by clerics of almost every church, and the marriages of all faiths are considered equally valid and binding. While sex is generally considered more blessed after marriage, there is very little social stigma in the lands of Faerun placed on premarital sex between consenting hetero-sexual adults. The prevailing attitude seems to be that a young woman and young man will choose (or be chosen for) one another, and that the same mutual feelings that would inspire them to have sex will lead them to want to be married.

Of course, this ideal is often not satisfied. Trysts, whether tragic or comically gone awry, are a favorite subject of bards. Rape is all too common, and is strongly condemned by agents of Good, Chaos, and Law, as violations of personal rights, individual autonomy, and stable social order, respectively.

Two variations in particular of this ideal face strong societal disapproval: interracial and homosexual relations. Interracial marriages are tacitly considered inferior. The elf who marries a human is considered to have married beneath her station; her spouse will die while she is still young, and her half-elven children will face great discrimination and will never fully be able to participate in their elven heritage. Similarly, half-orcs are considered somehow even more tainted than orcs, possibly because of the unspoken assumption that they are not only half-breed, but the half-breed offspring of rape.

On a related note, although it is common knowledge that many people and beasts of the Realms owe their existence to crossbreeding of different species, we do not presently have an adequate explanation for why some species can crossbreed with others and some can not, nor why some crossbreeds, like mules, are sterile, and others, like half-elves, are not.

Homosexual couples are almost unheard of in the Realms, and then they are a matter of scorn. Elm's scribe, is widely rumored to be Elm's lover, and the arrangement is only tolerated because of Elm's unapproachable high status and legendary eccentricity. Otherwise, homo- sexuality is only discussed in malicious gossip and histories of family scandals.

Homosexuals are, however, rumored to be found in disproportionatly high numbers among certain groups, such as adventurers, who have often been driven to adventure because they couldn't quite fit into normal society, and the priesthoods of faiths which require celibacy, since the priests never need to explain their lack of interest in conventional marriage. Of course, most people believe homosexuality to be more common in groups they with which they have formed rivalries or are actively hostile. Organized groups are said to have formed in large cities, but their memberships and activities are highly guarded secrets. Little scholarly data are known about the actual frequency of homosexuals in the Realms, or about their relative distribution among men, among women, and among the various races, nations, and occupations.

Sexual matters are not in the explicit portfolio of any major god in the Realms, although strong cases might be made for the bewitching goddess of beauty, and the sado-masochistically appealing goddess of pain. A small cult has begun to grow praising the name of the Lord of Sex and Carnality, whom I take to be either a new lesser power or else a more explicitly sexual aspect of a more established god.

The use of magic in sex has been extremely limited, due in part to people's understandable reluctance to let mages or clerics experiment on their sexual organs or psyches. The spells listed above should be considered extremely rare. After all, only homosexuals and virulent homo-phoebes would be likely to have spent their lives researching spells concerning alternative sexualities, and even if such people are not as uncommon as we think, they are certainly difficult to discover. Most of the other known spells either use people's sexual desire as a weapon against them, or show a marked obsession with artificially enhancing the spellcaster's own sexual pleasure. Unfortunately, rare are sexual spells designed to help others overcome sexual dysfunctions or to enhance others' sexual pleasure, and it is this sage's humble opinion that the most fruitful sexual research lies in this direction."