Interview with Koll and Gilby from Mating Season
Excerpts from Alien Sex Ed Application Forms
Sit In on an Alien Sex Ed Class
Interview with Radek and Dalera from Switching Positions

Interview with Koll and Gilby

Interviewer (female): “Hi, Koll. Thanks so much for meeting with me today.”

Koll: Grunts.

Gilby: “Hello, there. We’re happy to be here. In wintertime, we don’t get to meet a lot of new people in our village. Only a couple of traders who come through, and not many of them. I’m Gilby, by the way. I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing a man’s ribbon in your hair. Does that mean you don’t have a mate for the winter? Are you available?”

Interviewer: “Um…hi, Gilby.” Shakes head. “So, Koll, I understand you searched for a long time to find a woman to winter with you.”

Gilby: “A really long time! My friend here isn’t exactly good with females. He thinks his big size scares them off, but I say it has more to do with his lack of social skills.”

Koll: Growls.

Gilby: “See what I mean.”

Interviewer: “But you’re happily mated now, aren’t you, Koll? To Shila. She’s part of a race of frost-bear shifters, isn’t she?”

Koll: “Yes.”

Gilby: “Her people are called the Children of Nanook. Shila says they were like us villagers when they first came to this planet, but the bacteria here made them sick. Their leader, Nanook, merged his spirit with that of the native frost bear, leading the way for the rest of his people. Koll and I grew up hearing stories about the Children of Nanook, but we thought they were just a myth. Then Shila came along. You should see her when she’s a bear. She’s huge! Big claws, scary teeth, snowy fur.”

Koll: “My mate is beautiful.”

Interviewer: “I’d love to meet her. I’m sorry she couldn’t join us.”

Koll: “Shila is roaming. She doesn’t like being cooped up inside for long.”

Gilby: Shivers. “It’s freezing out there. Me, I prefer to stay inside where it’s warm. And where there are people to talk to. Where did you say you were from? Are there lots of women in your village?”

Interviewer: “Okay. Thank you, Koll…and Gilby. Best of luck with the rest of the mating season.”

Koll: “Bye.”

Gilby: “I’ll walk you out. Wouldn’t want you to trip and fall into a snow drift or anything. Let me tell you about the time I…”

[The door shuts behind them.]

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Excerpts from the Alien Sex Ed Application Forms

When they applied for a spot in Xindra and Quinn’s Alien Sex Ed class, the students had to fill out several forms and questionnaires. I got a signed release from some of the students, granting me permission to share a few of their answers.

Q: What is your view of sex?

Krux: “Proper lovemaking is an art form. An experienced lover has control, finesse, and timing. The young usually lack these skills and can be irresponsible with the act. That’s why my race uses mentors. Young men are trained in self-control from an early age, and older males sexually initiate the young females once they reach maturity. Women need a steady hand to guide them.”

Katra’Ruma: “Sex isn’t a big deal unless there’s a problem. Finding the right match—physically and emotionally—is paramount. Male egos are so easily bruised.”

Whitt: “What’s my view of sex? I’m for it! Seriously, why would I have a problem with anything that feels that good? Sex is fun.”

Spri: “Making love to someone creates a mental and emotional bond. At the very least, there should be mutual respect and caring as well as lust. Those who treat the act too lightly are missing out on the true depth of connection and pleasure that’s possible.”

Hmm, I think I see where there might be a conflict of perspectives here. Good thing there’s a class to bring them together and teach them about their differences.

Q: What do you like best about living in Trilanta? Anything you don’t like about the city?

Varion: “This city is fantastic. There’s so much to do here at all hours of the day and night. It’s never boring. If there’s a negative, I’d have to say it’s that the people here, unlike my mother planet, tend to have a certain perception of you based on the way you look. We Multans are constantly shifting our eye and skin and hair color, so we don’t think anything of it. Here, people sometimes have preconceptions about who you are or what you’re like just from your outward appearance. I haven’t run into much of that, but…yeah, occasionally.”

Benni: “This place is full of clubs and arcades and restaurants and shops. I’ve got lots of energy, so this city is great for me. This is also home of the Trilanta Amusement Park and Fairgrounds, where I work. I’m getting to do my dream job, trick riding my equinoid, Mumble-Peg, to entertain the tourists. Not many females, let alone a petite Flexian woman like me, can handle a six-legged equinoid. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Zeo: “My family runs a private security and investigation business. Trilanta offers plenty of work for us. My people have a good community here, but we sometimes miss the natural wilderness of Nimania.”

Pixie: “The city offers me more opportunities as an artist. I only recently graduated and moved out on my own. It can be scary in the city, especially after dark, but I’m glad to get some distance from my parents. I’m still trying to figure out who I am—on my own, as an adult. My dad retired from code enforcement, and he and my mom can be really overprotective.”

Q: What do you look for in a romantic relationship?

Varion: “I like women who are comfortable with themselves and their bodies. I’m not looking for anything too serious, just someone to share a good time with.”

Benni: “Nobody clingy. This is going to sound shallow, but I get bored with most men pretty quickly. I like sex, and I like to have fun, though I don’t enjoy either without respect and some kind of connection with whatever guy I’m with. Dating is one thing. I guess I haven’t met anyone who makes me want a ‘relationship.’”

Zeo: “I will recognize my mate when I meet her. Until then, I enjoy sexual play with females, but no mounting.”

Pixie: “Oh dear. I’ve…well, I’ve never actually been in a romantic relationship before. I’m not very good with men. I know I’m shy and kind of a scaredy-cat, so guys never seem to notice me. I’d like to meet someone nice, though. Someone who’s kind and listens and makes me feel good when I’m around him.”

Trilanta is definitely full of diversity, and there’s a variety of personalities in the student body. But attraction can draw people together in unexpected ways.

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Sit In On an Alien Sex Ed Class

The Alien Sex Ed instructors—Xindra and her husband, Quinn—enter the room.

Xindra: “Everybody, if I could have your attention please? Thank you. Tonight, instead of our usual Sex Ed class, we’re giving a special lecture to you Earthlings on Cedecian and Semhym sexuality. We have members from both races here to offer a more personal take on their anatomy and sexual interactions.”

Quinn: “Why don’t we start with you, Lexy? Class, Lexy is not only Cedecian; he also works as a sex therapist, so he has a unique perspective. What can you tell us about your race, Lexy?”

Lexy: “Cedecians are a bigender race. What this means is I change gender every month, switching from male to female to male and so on throughout the year. As you can see, I’m currently in the male stage of my cycle. While it’s possible for me to force my body to shift to female right now, it requires concentration and can be uncomfortable.”

Allie Ritch: (raises hand) “Do you mean painful?”

Lexy: “No, not painful, exactly. Just difficult and…ill-fitting. It’s hard to describe. The closer I am to my next shift, the easier it is to make the change, but part of me knows I’m not supposed to be the other gender yet. Of course, forcing the change to make love can be exciting. I feel like a man experiencing sex as a woman or a woman experiencing sex as a man.”

Xindra: “When Cedecians are together as a romantic couple, they fall into complementary cycles, only forcing the shift if they want to enjoy homosexual activities. They’re not only a bigender, but a truly bisexual race.”

Lexy: “That can make it difficult when we pair up with alien partners. The other races are confined to a single gender, so if a Cedecian is in a closed, faithful relationship, he has to give up half the sex he’s attracted to.”

Allie Ritch: “Does this mean relationships between Cedecians and other alien races usually don’t work out?”

Lexy: (returns a warm smile) “They do if we find the right person. Love is the greatest safety net of all.”

Quinn: “Thank you for sharing with us, Lexy. Next, let’s talk to Glynn. Male Semhym sexuality can be problematic, both in terms of intercourse and fertility. Would you explain some of the difficulties?”

Glynn: “Men of my race have only a limited time in which we’re fertile. We hit a stage of decline in our mid forties and lose the ability to have children, although we can still have dry climaxes. We can’t ejaculate unless we find a female who is genetically compatible.”

Xindra: “Needless to say, Semhyms have a low birthrate and can have a high degree of sexual frustration. The latter can make the males come across as stern or unhappy.”

Glynn: (crosses his arms and scowls)

(Someone in the back snickers.)

Allie Ritch: “How do you know when you’ve found the right woman? How can you tell if you’re compatible?”

Glynn: (stops frowning) “If we feel a strong attraction for a woman, we sleep with her to see if we’re a match. Sometimes it takes more than one round of intercourse to be sure.”

Xindra: “If there aren’t any more questions, I think that about wraps it up. Goodnight, everyone. I hope you all learned something new.”

Allie Ritch: (aside) “I certainly did, but I admit I’m pouting. No offense to Xindra and Quinn, but I thought this lecture was going to be more hands-on. Did you get a good look at Lexy? I’d love to stroke those golden curls and rub my hands over his lean, hard body. Then again, I wouldn’t want to get between him and his true love.”

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Interview with Radek and Dalera from Switching Positions

(Spoiler Alert)

Incoming signal…downloading…receipt confirmed.

Estelle: “Welcome back everyone. I’m Estelle Walters, correspondent for Cosmos Today, and I’m here on Pandora II with Dalera Adorea and Radek Tyler. Or is it Mr. Adorea now?”

Radek: “No, it’s still Tyler. We’re not married yet, and we’ve both decided to hyphenate our surnames once we are.”

Dalera: “We just haven’t agreed on who gets first billing, but we’ll work it out. We still have time.”

Estelle: “When is the wedding? Are you holding it here or on Radek’s planet?”

Dalera: “We’d prefer to keep that private for now. Neither of us expected to be in the public eye, and we want to enjoy the ceremony with our friends and families without interruption.”

Estelle: “How are your families responding to your relationship?”

Radek: “My mother was a little concerned at first. She worried that she wouldn’t have anything in common with a woman from such a different culture, but then she got to meet Dalera. Although some of the cultural differences can be a little jarring, we’re all very similar when you get down to what matters.”

Dalera: “My father was wary, but he’s gotten to know Radek better, and he’s glad I’m so happy. I think my parents worried I’d never settle down. Now he and Radek’s mother are arguing over who gets to plan this wedding.”

Estelle: “What about children? Do you plan on having any, and if so, what culture will they be raised in?”

Dalera: “Children? It’s too soon to be thinking about that.”

Radek: “Way, way too soon.”

Estelle: “What about your work? Radek, I understand you recently got offered a promotion back on your home world? How have you handled that, and what does that mean for the two of you?”

Radek: “We both had to do some finagling, but we finally sold our respective superiors on the idea of a rotating schedule. As a multicultural couple, we offer a unique perspective and understanding, so we’re the perfect liaisons between the two planets. We’ll be spending half the year on Pandora II and the other half on my home world. Of course, it’s more expensive to maintain two residences, so we’ll need every bit of that promotion salary.”

Estelle: “You refer to yourself as a multicultural couple. What are some of the difficulties you face because of that?”

Dalera: “I’d say miscommunication is the biggest threat. There are so many things we take for granted: standards and mores and even thoughtless habits that we don’t even realize aren’t universal. We’ve learned to be more thoughtful and to talk things out when need be.”

Radek: “We’re both fairly open-minded, so we usually bump along fairly smoothly. However, we occasionally run into outsiders who aren’t as understanding.”

Estelle: “Explain that.”

Dalera: Most people are wonderful. Here on Pandora II, a few pedestrians might give us a second glance because Radek is larger and carries himself more assertively than the local men, but that’s just natural curiosity. There have been a few instances, though, when we’ve had to deal with ignorance or stereotypes, and that can be trying.”

Radek: “Some people here regard off-world men as too promiscuous and pushy, while a few of my own peers are under the impression that Pandoran women are bitchy and condescending. I’m happy to say these misconceptions are not widespread, but they are still out there.”

Estelle: “How do you deal with that kind of prejudice?”

Dalera: “Mostly we ignore it. What do we care what some stranger thinks?”

Radek: “The best method seems to be teaching by example. You can’t browbeat someone into a different way of thinking, but you can influence them simply by showing them a real-life example that runs contrary to their preconceptions.”

Dalera: “It’s hard to regard either of us as loose when we’re so obviously in a loving, committed relationship, and assertiveness — even outright aggression — is often considered an asset in the business world, especially when you have the savvy to back it up.”

Estelle: Well, it sounds like you have things well in hand. Dalera, Radek, thank you so much for joining us for this edition of Cosmos Today. This is Estelle Walters, signing off.”

End Transmission

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