A/N: Reading a delightful story here on ffnet that seems to have disappeared (about Felicity deciding to write a book) set off my imagination on how Felicity might have handled her studies concerning the human reproduction, of which, in that time and age, and with her upbringing, I assume she was pretty ignorant.
I am not quite sure how to rate this story though. Following my instinct, I'd give it a T-rating, but I can imagine people arguing that it should have an M-rating instead. Any viewpoints on the matter, as well as general reviews, are gladly welcomed! But as I said: I´m in doubt myself about the rating, so please just tell me and don´t flame me if you think it ought to be rated M!
"Ugh, gross!" Disgusted and shocked, Felicity King pushed the book away from her across the desk. Studying medicine was very well and all, and she could see the need to know about even this particular function of the human body, but...
She shuddered slightly. ´Imagine having to discuss medical problems concerning this... this "thing"... with a man. Imagine having to examine it...!´ She turned beet-red at the thought alone...
It was simply unfathomable. A lady like herself, touching – or even just looking at a man´s...
A quick shake of her head. It had taken an incredible amount of self-conquest to just memorize its official Latin name, and even write it down on the exam two weeks ago. How much more would it take to have her even think the word without blushing a fiery red?
This was never going to work. She simply wasn´t brought up to use such language. In fact, she wasn´t brought up to know anything at all about those sacred parts of the human body – male or female. They were so sacred that they were completely taboo.
She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes for a moment. Perhaps she should settle for becoming a women´s doctor? So that she could ignore at least the uncomfortable facts to learn about the male body? For somehow it caused far less uneasiness to read about the female body. She actually found it rather fascinating to finally see some taboo mysteries of her youth explained. Whereas she had no wish whatsoever to get acquainted with the intimate parts of a man´s body.
She sighed. And smirked. No such chance. From what she´d understood from her initial tutor Dr. Jones, a female doctor couldn´t afford to be picky. She should be mighty glad for any patient that dared entrust themselves to her. And she had witnessed with her own eyes that being a female didn´t automatically mean preferring a female doctor. Why, at first even Gus had scoffed at the idea of...
She looked at the ring on her finger, and slowly turned it around.
Gus. She had promised herself to him the last time he was here: when he´d get back from Jamaica to leave his mother in the hopefully safe and loving hands of Captain Crane, she would marry him.
Marry Gus. After all the years he had waited for her to mature, and after several proposals from his side, she finally felt sure she was ready to marry him. To build a life with him, a home, a family. But now she was waiting for him instead.
She cradled the ringed finger in her hand. Marrying Gus... She had been fantasizing about it quite a bit lately. Well, before, too, that was true. But now it was getting close to reality. To share a home with him, even a bed... She dreamt of lying in his arms at night, feeling his breath softly brushing her skin. And a proper goodnight- and goodmorning-kiss of course. And hopefully quite a few more during the day. She could almost hear him whispering soft, loving words into her ear...
She only hoped – prayed – pregnancy wouldn´t strike her too soon. For although she had no trouble picturing herself taking care of an infant – hey, she´d had enough practice with Daniel – the idea of carrying a child and giving birth still seemed rather unreal when it came to herself.
Hey, wait a minute! This chapter she was studying was on human reproduction! Perhaps, if she knew a little more about it...? All Mother had ever mentioned about it was some vague story about doves, and she herself had always felt far too proper too further inquire into the matter. Come to think of it, a brat like Felix might know a lot more about it than she did.
That clenched it: she pulled back the book towards her, and leafed on a few pages till she came to the header ´The Human Reproduction System´. And with stubborn determination she placed her chin on her fists and started reading about the forbidden topic. After all, she couldn´t very well let herself be outdone by her younger brother, could she? And besides, it would be good to know what she´d get herself into when marrying Gus.
A few hours later she blew out the lamp and got into bed.
But no matter how she tried, sleep refused to come. For hours, she had studied this one paragraph: ´The Human Reproduction System´. And mortified, shocked, intrigued and disgusted as she had felt upon unravelling this mystery of life (and probably having gone through a good number of other emotions more), she had never even gotten to the next paragraph about pregnancy and birth; she just kept returning to the clinical description of how babies were being made. Rereading it until she felt she knew it by heart. And wished she had never read it. But still returning to read it again. And again. And again.
A man was to bring his... his "thing"... into the lower part of a woman´s body. And then sort of squirt a spray of his seed into her belly...?!
She shivered under her warm blankets. "That is just plain disgusting," she muttered, still in shock from the revelation.
Sure, as a farmer´s daughter she knew that a male animal would climb onto the females, and that this was necessary to get the mother-animal in the family way. But never had she given any thought to the possibility that the human body was designed to function in the same manner! Could the Lord really have intended it that way?! So much for her innocent notions about pregnancy being some kind of special illness to which somehow only grown married women were prone...
And then, if everything went well, one of the seed would connect with the woman´s egg – apparently a small version of a chicken´s egg, but without a scale – and nestle into the woman´s belly – the womb – to grow out to a new baby.
Once again, she closed her eyes in horror. How on earth could any woman agree to such a disgusting procedure? Having a man squirt into you?! For the love of it, she could not imagine any woman subject themselves to such gross distastefulness. Nor a man to such low and tacky actions. If that was how babies were being made, then she´d gladly forsake motherhood. Perhaps she and Gus could adopt some orphaned children instead? Anything to escape that horrid experience.
Besides, Gus would never, ever do such a disgusting thing to her. He was far too much of a gentleman to...
Suddenly she sat up in bed, her eyes wide with realization. "Oh-my-God..." She flinched at her own improper use of the Lord´s holy name, but her mind was too preoccupied to give this blasphemous slip of the tongue another thought.
For if this was truly the only way to make babies... that meant that her very own parents had gone through this filthy procedure at least four times! She gulped painfully. Mother and Father?! Her respectable parents, the people who had raised her and loved her, and to whom she looked up with love and – okay – perhaps a little twinge of irritation about their old-fashioned ideas in some matters...? Would they really have done a shocking thing like that!? Her father – she pictured his easy-going face – squirting into her mother´s body?! And not only once, but four times?! Or more, in case it didn´t always take right away?!
It was unthinkable! And Aunt Olivia and Uncle Jasper, and Mr. and Mrs. Potts, and Grandpa and Grandma King (five times no less!); why, even the King and Queen themselves! And with them all the people in the world who ever had a child! And all those people – how many, a few billion? – were the result of something so... so disgusting?!
She shuddered as in her mind she saw the world being wrapped in a grey cloak of such a disgusting act. Suddenly she felt terribly lonely; an outsider in a world where every man and woman were happily squirting into one another – and she being the only one finding it a most disgusting method. But how else could mankind have multiplied itself so vastly since Adam and Eve?
Slowly she lay down again, pulling the blankets up to her chin. It was a horrible thought, but what if Gus was eager to squirt into her, too? What did she know; after all, she would never have expected her parents – or anyone; make that everyone – to sink that low either. Who says Gus would be any better? She just couldn´t bear the thought of him sticking his "thing" into her and...
She pulled the blankets over her head, to block out every hint of a shadow of such an image forming in her head. That was it: she´d have to write off Gus and remain a spinster for the rest of her days. Perhaps she should join a convent – were there any Presbyterian convents? Otherwise she´d simply have to turn Catholic. Anything was better than the disgusting humiliation of having a man – even someone she loved so much as Gus – squirt into her.
She surfaced again from under the blankets, and though her jaw was set with determination, she had to blink again and again to fight back unbidden tears. It was all good and well: write off Gus and remain a spinster or become a nun, but suddenly life seemed extremely dull and empty. Ever since she was a little girl, as far back as she could remember she had dreamt of having a family and being a mother and wife. And what about Gus? He had been a solid part of that dream for years; she could scarcely imagine what her future life would be like without him at her side.
Okay, he had hardly been around these past months either. But he was there anyway: through his letters, and in dreams of a not so distant future. But if she´d wilfully push him out of her life, would life be worth living at all? And what if... Her heart set off at a racing pace as a sudden hot surge of jealousy raged through her. For what if he found another girl to his liking? One who didn´t mind him squirting into her? And he fell in love with her, married her, and... had children with her?
She groaned, and cringed under her blankets. The thought was unbearable, to say the very least. Perhaps... perhaps...
Suddenly a nearly forgotten memory fought its way to the forefront of her mind. Daniel´s babyshower, so many years ago, with Mother and Aunt Hetty arguing about being a mother to a child you´ve given birth to yourself, or to one you´ve merely adopted. It had been a heated discussion, and she vaguely remembered other ladies joining in as well: Mrs. Potts?
And in the heat of her plea, Mother had mentioned something like the joy and the ecstasy of the primal act of nature.
At the time, innocent as she was, she had contributed that remark to giving birth being the primal act of nature. But had Mother really intended it that way? Her own vague recollection (from in between her embarrassing fainting spells) of Daniel´s birth was of Mother being in terrible pain and agony. Surely she would not describe that as joy and ecstasy? With a voice jubilant at the thought alone?
And it wasn´t just Mother. Felicity King was not that innocent that she shouldn´t have picked up by now that giving birth was a painful and often life-threatening business. Now who would describe something like that with words like ´joy´ and ´ecstasy´?
And now, recollecting some more snippets from that conversation, as well as especially her Aunt Hetty´s evident embarrassment following Mother´s words... perhaps this primal act of nature Mother had referred to had been the making of a baby instead?
She shuddered. For the love of them, her mind refused to form an image of her father squirting into her mother´s body. Yet if this book was serious – and why shouldn´t it be, since it was meant to educate doctors – he really must have done so. Four times no less. And yet Mother spoke of it with words like ´joy´ and ´ecstasy´?!
Perhaps there was more to it then. More at least than the clinical description in a medical scholar´s literature. If everyone – and literally everyone who ever had children – did it, perhaps it wasn´t so bad after all. Disgusting nonetheless, but in some mysterious way even inspiring words like ´joy´ and ´ecstasy´.
She sighed. She probably should give it a try then when the time had come. If it really was that horrible as she imagined, at least she felt reasonably certain that Gus wouldn´t push her into a repetition of the procedure. She knew him well enough to know that he would never force her to do a thing she´d abhor. Even if he himself would like it.
And hey, if it was indeed as unbelievably glorious as Mother´s panegyric would lead one to believe, then at least she wouldn´t have foregone a happy life with Gus, just to avoid this procedure altogether.
Which meant giving it a try was actually her only option if she wanted Gus by her side. For watching Gus marry someone else was simply not a viable alternative; she´d rather have him humiliate her to the bone by squirting into her than seeing him with another woman.
She heaved a deep sigh, and turned to her side. Better try and get some sleep; she had a full day of classes ahead of her tomorrow. She probably just needed some time to digest this newfound knowledge. At least she had sorted it out sufficiently now to conclude that no matter how disgusting it was, it wasn´t worth writing off Gus because of it.
But write to him about it she could. Even at two o´clock in the morning. Just to test the waters how he felt about it.
As she climbed out of bed, she wondered if he knew. And taking out a sheet of writing-paper and a pen, she chuckled mischievously at the thought of how he would blush upon reading a letter of hers on this particular subject. She could just picture him, sitting on deck in the sun, with the sea-breeze tousling his soft dark hair. And with his ears turning redder and redder with every line he read.
And she hesitated. Her fingers toyed with the fountain-pen as she pensively placed her other hand on her belly.
Perhaps... perhaps carrying Gus´s child under her heart one day would be worth the momentary discomfort of letting him squirt his seed into her...