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Author Topic: PC329: Araminta, or, the Wreck of the Amphidrake  (Read 8072 times)

Unblinking

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Reply #20 on: October 01, 2014, 01:53:35 PM
I also got the impression it was more to prevent impropriety than rape.  

There was some clear indication that there was man-man love going on in the sailors' quarters. That being said, in a world of propriety, no one would ever admit that sort of thing goes on. In the world of society and propriety, turning Araminta into a man would protect her from having sex because homosexual encounters just don't occur.

I didn't think it was necessarily because there was an assumption homosexual encounters don't occur.  But more poking fun at the comparison of the high value of female virginity vs male virginity in society at the time--since the medallion completely changes the equipment down there, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that her ladyparts are still virginal after she has a man-man sexual encounter.  After all, her ladyparts weren't even there at the time--they have an alibi!  If male-Araminta has sex, who cares, he's a dude and dude virginity is a thing to be discarded as soon as possible (is what they might have been thinking).

Also, if someone expressed doubt as to her virginity, it's possible that she might be physically examined to prove that virginity.  But if she was male at the time of sex, then I would guess her maidenhead would still be intact when she switches back.  And as a major bonus, I hear that lacking a uterus is a 100% effective form of birth control--that's a pretty damned huge advantage she has for sexual freedom for a woman of her time, especially a pre-marriage woman.  Not many people are going to believe you're a virgin if you clearly have a baby in your belly. 

Anyway, just a different take on why the amulet might be considered a protection from impropriety.



On a tangent, I wonder what would happen if she got pregnant and then put the amulet on?  Would she be a pregnant dude?  Would the baby disappear forever?  Would the baby just kind of be offstage until she turned back into a woman but then would come back when she did?  Maybe the amulet just wouldn't work for the duration of the pregnancy?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 01:55:47 PM by Unblinking »



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Reply #21 on: October 01, 2014, 02:02:49 PM
No... I don't think that the amulet is meant as protection against impropriety. The amulet is, after all, voluntary. The whole point of Araminta's exile to the colonies is that her family is sick of her improper ways. The maids, the chaperone, and (to a lesser extent) the eunuch were all partly protection against a consensual encounter (have you ever tried to get it on with a eunuch looking at you? Totally kills the mood...) (ok, the eunuch at least was definitely also protection against a nonconsensual encounter... but I think he did double duty as part of her generally awkward disapproving entourage). Her family wasn't just protecting her, the were trying to control her... but they were also trying to protect her from what they saw as a clear potential for danger.

When Araminta was given the amulet, they didn't say "if you ever feel like you are about to consent to sex, put this on so you'll become a dude! That will make it ok." They said "put this on if the worst is about to happen." And for that matter, they gave it to her to put on when she felt like it. They didn't weld it to her neck and put a spell on it so if she ever got sufficiently turned on she would turn into a dude! The amulet was definitely a way to prevent her from being hurt.

Though, come to think of it, that would make a pretty hilarious premise for a fantasy rom-com. A well-intentioned but hopelessly backwards magician "blesses" a princess to become a prince whenever she's turned on, and she spends the entire story trying to hide this from the guy she's into (possibly while having confusing encounters as a guy on the side). Only finally when he discovers it, it turns out that this prince charming is bisexual and totally into boy-her also! And true love's first kiss breaks the spell. Because having your parts turn inside out every time you get randy would really suck, even if your prince is down with it.

You know, on second thought, I'm not sure this would be a fantasy rom-com. The more I read the premise above, the more it sounds like porn. Weird porn. Weird fantasy genderswapping porn. That said, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing...

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Reply #22 on: October 01, 2014, 02:15:41 PM
You know, on second thought, I'm not sure this would be a fantasy rom-com. The more I read the premise above, the more it sounds like porn. Weird porn. Weird fantasy genderswapping porn. That said, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing...

I'm sure there's a market for it.  :)



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Reply #23 on: October 01, 2014, 03:37:42 PM
You know, on second thought, I'm not sure this would be a fantasy rom-com. The more I read the premise above, the more it sounds like porn. Weird porn. Weird fantasy genderswapping porn. That said, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing...

I'm sure there's a market for it.  :)

Not only that, there's a Podcast for it! (Not just for that, I should point out, but it would fit perfectly there.)

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


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Reply #24 on: October 01, 2014, 03:39:40 PM

I didn't think it was necessarily because there was an assumption homosexual encounters don't occur.  


I didn't think homosexual people existed in Proper Victorian Society and the literature that reflected it. That makes the nod to the homosexual encounters actually happening more impactful drawing the line between fact and fiction.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #25 on: October 01, 2014, 03:49:46 PM

I didn't think it was necessarily because there was an assumption homosexual encounters don't occur. 


I didn't think homosexual people existed in Proper Victorian Society and the literature that reflected it. That makes the nod to the homosexual encounters actually happening more impactful drawing the line between fact and fiction.

Oh, there was TOTALLY a gay scene in Victorian England. IIRC, lesbianism was totes kosher, but the men had a much tougher time with it.

I've been trying to think about what I'd do if I had an amulet that could swap my biological sex at will. Somehow I can't get past sarcastic stuff like "ask for a raise", much less figuring out what my love life would look like. :P

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Reply #26 on: October 01, 2014, 03:51:07 PM
I didn't think it was necessarily because there was an assumption homosexual encounters don't occur.  

I didn't think homosexual people existed in Proper Victorian Society and the literature that reflected it. That makes the nod to the homosexual encounters actually happening more impactful drawing the line between fact and fiction.

Homosexuality may not have been acknowledged on the surface of Polite Society, but as many of the stories in (then-)contemporary underground magazines (like The Pearl) show, homosexuality – or at least homosexual activity – was not far below the surface, even (or, perhaps, particularly) in highest classes.

(Of course, being porn and fiction, one can only use it so far as a model of any actual people, events or activities, but it is at least (if you will ;) ) suggestive.)

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


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Reply #27 on: October 01, 2014, 03:56:50 PM
I've been trying to think about what I'd do if I had an amulet that could swap my biological sex at will. Somehow I can't get past sarcastic stuff like "ask for a raise", much less figuring out what my love life would look like. :P

           /(|
          (  :
         __\  \  _____
       (____)  `|
      (____)|   |
       (____).__|
        (___)__.|_____

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Reply #28 on: October 01, 2014, 04:05:24 PM
See also Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb.



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Reply #29 on: October 01, 2014, 04:06:01 PM
You know, on second thought, I'm not sure this would be a fantasy rom-com. The more I read the premise above, the more it sounds like porn. Weird porn. Weird fantasy genderswapping porn. That said, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing...

I'm sure there's a market for it.  :)

Not only that, there's a Podcast for it! (Not just for that, I should point out, but it would fit perfectly there.)

If someone writes this story, I'd totally run it in my podcast. My listeners LOVE genderfuckery.

I could also point you to some paying markets that would be interested, depending on the theme. (For example, there's an Arthurian themed call for submissions at Circlet Press...)



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Reply #30 on: October 01, 2014, 06:10:23 PM
I've been trying to think about what I'd do if I had an amulet that could swap my biological sex at will. Somehow I can't get past sarcastic stuff like "ask for a raise", much less figuring out what my love life would look like. :P

I think that a person who was willing to use that freely would be amazing in bed.  Not even necessarily from sleeping with lots of people, but just being able to be on the receiving end of stimulation of either a female body or male body at will--a few hours alone with that amulet could get a person a lot of experience of what the other half may experience sexually.  You could rent it out--just make sure you sterilize it after each lend.

Or even not sexually, but just seeing how other people react to you, converse with you if were male or female.

You could force people found guilty of sexual harassmnet and the like to wear it for some period of time, in an effort to make them understand what it's like to be on the receiving end.



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Reply #31 on: October 01, 2014, 11:08:34 PM
I've been trying to think about what I'd do if I had an amulet that could swap my biological sex at will. Somehow I can't get past sarcastic stuff like "ask for a raise", much less figuring out what my love life would look like. :P

I think that a person who was willing to use that freely would be amazing in bed.  Not even necessarily from sleeping with lots of people, but just being able to be on the receiving end of stimulation of either a female body or male body at will--a few hours alone with that amulet could get a person a lot of experience of what the other half may experience sexually.  You could rent it out--just make sure you sterilize it after each lend.

Or even not sexually, but just seeing how other people react to you, converse with you if were male or female.

You could force people found guilty of sexual harassmnet and the like to wear it for some period of time, in an effort to make them understand what it's like to be on the receiving end.

Okayokayokay! I've been thinking about this, and with the help of my hilarious husband, have come up with the following list of suggested activities everyone try in case of Magic Amulet Acquisition! (We tried to pick mainly non-depressing stuff, so YMMV)

Enjoy while female:
- Multiple orgasms
- (In USA) Easier to have multiple high-quality friendships with people not your SO (esp with other women)
- Working in an elementary school/with small children without raised eyebrows
- try out pregnancy and see what that's all about
- More variety and range in fashion options
- Easier access to female-coded awesome hobbies like crafts, cooking, dancing, etc
- People generally find you more approachable

Enjoy while male:
- Quicker orgasms
- Pockets
- Grow a beard and have fun wearing it in different styles (Movember!)
- Higher alcohol tolerance
- Easier/simpler fashion choices, and how you basically just need to shower to be presentable in public
- Easier access to male-coded hobbies like automotive stuff, tech, computers, etc
- People generally don't mess with you

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Reply #32 on: October 02, 2014, 03:55:40 AM
Good lord, what did I start....

Here I was worried someone might take offense.

Just a couple comments, and please correct if I misheard, but I thought that at some point the main character mentioned the prospect of "rape and murder" as a woman upon noting the approach of the pirates.

Secondly, the lengthy discourse on impropriety occurred when he/she discovered that he/she would be sharing a room with the captain during the voyage... where both were men standing in the captain's cabin.  This was extremely confusing.  a) why does he/she care, if he/she is planning on escaping and never going back home?  b) if s/he's never planning on going home, and s/he's attracted to the captain... what purpose does his/her disguise serve? c) if sharing a room with a man... as a man... during a voyage calls his/her virtue into question, why wouldn't being unsupervised, as a man, with his/her own room, on an entire vessel of pirates do exactly the same thing?  d)  in the section where she was given the talisman, there is a running commentary ("in case of the worst") in which the giver is said to "suspect that she was already familiar with" what the talisman would prevent.  Unless I misheard or am completely misinterpreting, doesn't this mean they already doubt (as apparently we should) that she's a virgin?  Then why does she care about the impropriety of what happens when she's alone with an entire pirate crew on the ship? 

I'm really not trying to warp things... this story really did leave me very confused about the character motivations and actions in part.  Any clarification would be a great help.

On a lighter note or two...

Also, if someone expressed doubt as to her virginity, it's possible that she might be physically examined to prove that virginity.  But if she was male at the time of sex, then I would guess her maidenhead would still be intact when she switches back.
But all the work and hearty food greatly physically changed her.  Who can say what loss of "male virginity" might translate as...

And as a major bonus, I hear that lacking a uterus is a 100% effective form of birth control--

Not 100%... just ask Zeus!

On a tangent, I wonder what would happen if she got pregnant and then put the amulet on?  Would she be a pregnant dude?  Would the baby disappear forever?  Would the baby just kind of be offstage until she turned back into a woman but then would come back when she did?  Maybe the amulet just wouldn't work for the duration of the pregnancy?

Rumiko Takahashi, when asked a very similar question about her character Ranma 1/2, replied "I don't think about it, and you really shouldn't either."

Quote
Enjoy while male:
- Quicker orgasms
- Pockets
- Grow a beard and have fun wearing it in different styles (Movember!)
- Higher alcohol tolerance
- Easier/simpler fashion choices, and how you basically just need to shower to be presentable in public
- Easier access to male-coded hobbies like automotive stuff, tech, computers, etc
- People generally don't mess with you

Sorry, not true...  Beards, for example, are not evenly distributed... some are only able to grow hideous moth-eaten greasy crabgrass on their faces.  Alcohol tolerance is only higher on average, not universal... just ask the southeast Asians (who generally have vastly less alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme). 



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Reply #33 on: October 02, 2014, 04:35:59 AM
Okayokayokay! I've been thinking about this, and with the help of my hilarious husband, have come up with the following list of suggested activities everyone try in case of Magic Amulet Acquisition! (We tried to pick mainly non-depressing stuff, so YMMV)

Enjoy while female:
- Multiple orgasms
- (In USA) Easier to have multiple high-quality friendships with people not your SO (esp with other women)
- Working in an elementary school/with small children without raised eyebrows
- try out pregnancy and see what that's all about
- More variety and range in fashion options
- Easier access to female-coded awesome hobbies like crafts, cooking, dancing, etc
- People generally find you more approachable

Enjoy while male:
- Quicker orgasms
- Pockets
- Grow a beard and have fun wearing it in different styles (Movember!)
- Higher alcohol tolerance
- Easier/simpler fashion choices, and how you basically just need to shower to be presentable in public
- Easier access to male-coded hobbies like automotive stuff, tech, computers, etc
- People generally don't mess with you

Actually, Varda, you've hit on a lot of things that the transgendered quote as advantages to being female. I don't know any F to M trans, so I can't comment on the other stuff. But I've certainly spoken to transexual ballet dancers and one TS who couldn't wait to have surgery so she could join The Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service. (You can join the forces here and then change gender, or do it the other way around, but you can't join up while in the process of changing gender.)

Also, since I've mentioned it, The Amulet must have done rather more than just physical changes. It would have to change your Gender Identity too, otherwise you'd get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

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ElectricPaladin

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Reply #34 on: October 02, 2014, 05:50:48 AM
Also, since I've mentioned it, The Amulet must have done rather more than just physical changes. It would have to change your Gender Identity too, otherwise you'd get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

Does gender dysphoria really come in "crippling?" I get "unpleasant" and "distracting" and "please God let me win the lottery so I can afford the treatments/surgeries/etc to help me live in a body I can be comfortable with," but... crippling? As in "renders one incapable of dealing with immediately dangerous and life-or-death-situations?" Hm... I'd be willing to listen to someone who has actually experienced gender dysphoria tell me that I'm wrong, but at the moment this doesn't make sense to me. I'm not exactly mentally healthy myself - pretty bad anxiety, to the point that it often gets in the way of my daily life - but I can tell you that if someone gave me a magical amulet that gave me the power to escape a dangerous situation, but at the cost of radically increasing my anxiety while I wore it, I'd still find it useful because even if my anxiety were much worse, I think I'd still be able to do things like run, hide, fight, etc.

Honestly... I just think that Araminta was a bit of a cold fish. She obviously didn't like being in the "wrong" body... but I just think that she's one of those emotionally tightly wound people who just isn't bothered by most things (except for the things - like confinement - that really get to her).

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Reply #35 on: October 02, 2014, 07:49:19 AM
Also, since I've mentioned it, The Amulet must have done rather more than just physical changes. It would have to change your Gender Identity too, otherwise you'd get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

Does gender dysphoria really come in "crippling?" I get "unpleasant" and "distracting" and "please God let me win the lottery so I can afford the treatments/surgeries/etc to help me live in a body I can be comfortable with," but... crippling? As in "renders one incapable of dealing with immediately dangerous and life-or-death-situations?" Hm... I'd be willing to listen to someone who has actually experienced gender dysphoria tell me that I'm wrong, but at the moment this doesn't make sense to me.

Oh yes. GD can be literally crippling. I does vary, which is why not all Trans have surgery or even need to live full time in another gender, but I do speak with one woman who, as a man, suffered blackouts and hysterical blindness as symptoms of her dysphoria.

Admittedly, that's a very extreme case, but when stress leads to things like blackouts, seizures, and hysterical blindness/deafness/amnesia, that is a bad sign.

Like, "Get this person away from the stress before it kills her!" kind of bad.

And the woman I mentioned who wants to b a Naval Nurse attempted suicide when she was 14 because of her GD. I'd call that pretty crippling.

The trouble is, and this is true of all mental health problems, that those who do not suffer find it very hard, if not impossible, to appreciate the severity of the illness.

If it helps though, I'll tone down the statement to say you could get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

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Reply #36 on: October 02, 2014, 09:50:58 AM

Sorry, not true...  Beards, for example, are not evenly distributed... some are only able to grow hideous moth-eaten greasy crabgrass on their faces.  Alcohol tolerance is only higher on average, not universal... just ask the southeast Asians (who generally have vastly less alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme). 


...We're agreed about the pockets though, right? :P

Also, I'll take the half-assed beard.  ;D

What else SHOULD go on the "do while male" list?

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Reply #37 on: October 02, 2014, 01:11:45 PM

Also, since I've mentioned it, The Amulet must have done rather more than just physical changes. It would have to change your Gender Identity too, otherwise you'd get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

Does gender dysphoria really come in "crippling?" I get "unpleasant" and "distracting" and "please God let me win the lottery so I can afford the treatments/surgeries/etc to help me live in a body I can be comfortable with," but... crippling? As in "renders one incapable of dealing with immediately dangerous and life-or-death-situations?" Hm... I'd be willing to listen to someone who has actually experienced gender dysphoria tell me that I'm wrong, but at the moment this doesn't make sense to me.

Oh yes. GD can be literally crippling. I does vary, which is why not all Trans have surgery or even need to live full time in another gender, but I do speak with one woman who, as a man, suffered blackouts and hysterical blindness as symptoms of her dysphoria.

Admittedly, that's a very extreme case, but when stress leads to things like blackouts, seizures, and hysterical blindness/deafness/amnesia, that is a bad sign.

Like, "Get this person away from the stress before it kills her!" kind of bad.

And the woman I mentioned who wants to b a Naval Nurse attempted suicide when she was 14 because of her GD. I'd call that pretty crippling.

The trouble is, and this is true of all mental health problems, that those who do not suffer find it very hard, if not impossible, to appreciate the severity of the illness.

If it helps though, I'll tone down the statement to say you could get crippling Gender Dysphoria.

Huh… live and learn. I certainly knew it was bad and unpleasant - I had no idea it could do that. Thank you.

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Reply #38 on: October 02, 2014, 01:46:19 PM

Sorry, not true...  Beards, for example, are not evenly distributed... some are only able to grow hideous moth-eaten greasy crabgrass on their faces.  Alcohol tolerance is only higher on average, not universal... just ask the southeast Asians (who generally have vastly less alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme). 


...We're agreed about the pockets though, right? :P

Also, I'll take the half-assed beard.  ;D

What else SHOULD go on the "do while male" list?

I agree about the pockets. And during the winter, I wish I could grow a beard!



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Reply #39 on: October 02, 2014, 03:31:33 PM
...We're agreed about the pockets though, right? :P

Yes. It is utterly crazy and weird that women don't get decent pockets.


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