Sex and Sexuality in the Five Kingdoms
Though the various kingdoms view sex differently, sex, and sexuality are powerful and motivating forces in the Five Kingdoms, and have their own complications.
Sex & Sexuality, Love & Marriage in the Five Kingdoms
Each kingdom has prevailing views on these issues and, while these views are by no means universal, it does give us a sense of how the majority in other kingdoms view sex, sexuality, love and marriage.
It is fairly common, especially among the upper-classes, for there to be a mentoring relationship between a younger and an older person of the same sex. Like ancient Athens there can be a sexual element to this relationship.
Marriages are often matters of convenience and not of love. To be married and to have lover, as long as it is kept quiet and discrete, is common enough and does not raise any eyebrows.
Homosexuality is only frowned upon if the person refuses to get married and produce children.
Couples are not expected to be married before sex, but promiscuity is frowned upon as are extramarital affairs. Interestingly, Jorlund believes in love marriages across all levels of society and find arranged marriages distasteful.
Homosexuality is seen as a bad influence from other kingdoms. Among some of them homosexuality is seen as an abomination and goes against the order of nature.
The oldest kingdom is also the most permissive. They see nothing wrong with most sexual practices as long as consent is involved. They even have ceremonies for same-sex marriages. Arranged marriages are still fairly common though among the upper-classes, but it is assumed that once there are children both partners will take extramarital partners.
This openness has made some of the other kingdoms, most notably Jorlund, critical of them saying that Khet is decadent and orgiastic.
To take lovers from members of your unit is common and encouraged to help with unit morale and cohesion; it does not matter if the relationship is heterosexual or not. It is frowned upon if this relationship becomes anything other than just sex between friends.
After military service a Lycadran is expected to find a husband or wife and raise strong, healthy children. This is considered a duty of all good Lycadrans. It is not uncommon for a couple unable to have children to take a lover in the hope of producing offspring.
Homosexuality is frowned upon past one’s term of military service. One’s term of service is seen as the time to sow one’s wild oats. Homosexuality does not produce children is the common reason why it is looked down upon.
Marriage, especially among the upper-classes, is seen as being political and not romantic. There is a double standard when it come to extramarital affairs – it is permissible (and expected) among men but punished among women.
Homosexuality is frowned upon and is usually thought to be a decadent pastime of the nobility, an unwelcome influence from Agathos, or both. Lesbianism, however, is not considered a problem and is thought of as a way to keep wives or daughters from taking male lovers – a union that might produce offspring.
The chivalric tradition is very strong in Medeira and is used to help control pressure caused by the suppression of romantic marriages. Also, it helps to create an ideal that frowns upon the sexual conquest of other men’s wives.
Exists, but is frowned upon in all of the Five Kingdoms. Priests and followers of Brhys are the most vocal against it. There is some who argue that technically that it is infanticide and is therefore punishable by death.
The most common is an alchemical equivalent of the morning after pill and is readily available from any apothecary. Condoms and more modern contraceptives don’t exist so one has to be careful about catching an STD.
Prostitution is fairly common in the Five Kingdoms, both male and female. There are two types of prostitution: the courtesan, or high class prostitute, and the street-walker. Courtesans are represented by the Bed-warmers guild. They are usually well-educated and are as much a companion as a lover. The average person is unable to afford their rates. All of them get their training at a young age from the guild and are usually slaves that are bought by or given to the guild. Streetwalkers are usually slaves who are owned by a brothel. Others are just poor and looking to make ends meet. Their health varies, but a significant portion of them have some sort of health problem. They can be found in almost any settlement. Freistadt keeps them all regulated in a district near the docks. A streetwalker found outside this area trying to find customers can get into a lot of trouble.
They exist in the Five Kingdoms. The most common ones are found within our own world and have pretty much the same effects. There is nothing like AIDS or HIV. The most common S.T.D is syphilis. These diseases can be readily healed by divine magic, but it can be fairly costly; about 90 gp per casting. Alchemical cures are available, but are less effective. Priests of Hath on occasion go through the streetwalker district and administer spells for free to those who need it.