“Since first becoming more closely acquainted with human culture, it has puzzled me why there is such a difference in sensitivity to depictions of sex in art, whether written, represented by moving picture, or in still image, as opposed to depictions of violence.
The—movies, Holder says they are called—that I have seen containing images of violence are far greater in length and number than scenes of people engaged in the act of Joining, or even in erotic loveplay apart from intercourse. Holder tells me that as far as he knows, this difference has always existed in human culture. It is far different among the people of my world. Sex is not a hidden thing on Evohe; not a shameful thing—and yet if we do tend to seek privacy for lovemaking, it is because it is a sacred thing, to be shared with one’s partner, and we tend to like to focus on one another at such a time. It is not because the act is ‘dirty’, as humans often describe it to be.
Humans, it seems, cannot even agree on how to refer to it. It is referred to in pretty, if symbolic, language, as ‘the act of love’, and yet it is also reduced to the ugly, violent-sounding (at least to my non-Earther ears) word ‘fucking’. I still hate writing or saying that word, but I am trying to be honest.
The traditions of my people hold that the body, its design, and its functions, are sacred. This is why, for as far back as our shared Memories stretch, we have gone without covering our bodies in the second-skin the humans call ‘clothing’, as they, and the people of some other worlds, often do. This is why acts of violence that destroy the body and snuff out life horrify me, no matter how many times I see them—and I have seen them far too often. I do not know why humankind seems more disturbed by many other things than it is by these.
I have heard many humans—and many natives of other worlds as well—say they wish to put an end to war and violence.
If that is true, then I say we must first learn to see the beauty contained in our own flesh, which is the vessel of our spirit—and in the beauty contained in the flesh of others, which is the proof that when the First Ones breathed life into the Sea of Stars and all things that sprung from it, they did not stop at one act of creation. They found the very act of giving life and light to the world to be a pleasure, and so they continued—and they continue today. Our own acts of creation are, I think, a reflection of this—and we should honor them as such. And we should honor each other. Death comes for all, in time. None of us may stay on this side of the spirit-river forever. But, after all I have seen in my relatively young life, I have come to believe we should seek the joy we can bring forth in others—not the pain and grief that come easily enough without our effort.”