ELFQUEST
FORUM ARCHIVE     ABOUT EQ     READ ONLINE     SHOP    
ABOUT     READ     SHOP    

The spectrum of sexuality and Elfquest

Leanan

I am discussing my sexuality with a certain member of this forum. It turned out she had no idea there was anything besides heterosexual relationships in ElfQuest. I gave her my view (that all elves are basically bisexual, though some have preferences). I also gave some examples of same-gender love- or lifemates.

Could you guys help me explain elven sexuality, and give all the examples you know of elves loving one of their own gender? Most of it has been said already, years ago, in various threads, but I could not find one dedicated to this subject only. If you find such a thread, a link would be appreciated.


:D :-\"

RichardPini

@Leanan said: "I gave her my view (that all elves are basically bisexual, though some have preferences)." (I would have used the highlight-quote function, but it does not seem to be acting in this thread...)

I'm going to toss this into the potential mix, and then step back. "Basically bisexual" is a convenient label to use, because on this world most people need (or are comfortable with) neat categories for things. Hetero, homo, trans, us, them... And we understand that for many, talking about Elfquest becomes easier, at first anyway, if labels can be used. But I hope here, readers will try to make the leap beyond the labels, and wrap their minds around deeper - and maybe more challenging - notions. The elves are not bisexual. We don't really have a word for what they are, though we've fallen back upon omnisexual or pansexual. Actually, Bunchh (from Wendy's "Masque of the Red Death" said it best so far: "I'm just a bit of everything, handsome. Could as easily make love to a tree ... or a sea storm ... or even Royess as to you!"

RedheadEmber

I think the most obvious would be Dart-Shushen.

Cutter and Skywise has also dabbled.

We also have Leetah's and Nightfall's famous 'naked dance'.

Then there are the three-matings, in which two of the people involved are of the same gender - obviously.

Skot-Krim-Pike is probably the most clear-cut loving someone of the same gender of these as, unlike the other two 'post EQ1 examples' this isn't (or rather wasn't) a case of someone who already has a serious lovemate/lifemate recognizes someone else and all three of them become a... tripple but rather three people - two Guys and a gal - who became a family-unit.

Scouter-Dewshine-Tyleet might be a bit more complicated, I'm not sure Dewshine and Tyleet would have become and item if it hadn't been for the whole Tyleet recognizing Dewshine's lifemate and Dewshine being absolutely thrilled about it thing. However, it's pretty clear to me that they love each other dearly (even exaching soulnames, not a small thing considering what happened to Dewshine the last time someone learned her soulname...) and if Scouter died I'm sure Tyleet and Dewshine would remain together as a couple.

Finally we have Dart-Serrin-Talmah. It has been speculated that just like Skywise is an elf who prefers what the maidens have Dart might prefer what the lads have, so I'd say there is a possibility that even if Dart hadn't recognized Serrin (and he hadn't been in wrapstuff at the time - not to mention severy depressed over the death of his aforementioned lovemate Shushen) then he and Talmah might have ended up together even without Serrin. But of course that's purely speculations.

Vaeri

also there could possibly be something Dart-Kimo going on. not sure where i've read it in the comics, but i know a lot of fans enjoy that.

there's also Vurdah-Ruffel-Maleen. Vurdah even states they are her lovemates in the original quest during Heart's Way, when complaining to Leetah about having to share Skywise.

and of course Shenshen, who enjoyed lovemating with our Pike trio. i sincerely doubt she'd play with Pike and Skot, and ignore Krim! nor would Krim let her. XD

RedheadEmber

Vaeri said: not sure where i've read it in the comics, but i know a lot of fans enjoy that.


The notion of Dart and Kimo being and issue came-to-be during the Forevergreen arc in which Kimo - for some unknown reason - knew Dart's soulname.



RichardPini said: We don't really have a word for what they are, though we've fallen back upon omnisexual or pansexual.


Can't we just say that they're sexy?

;)

Tam

I think that, before we can wipe away labels altogether and understand the elves to be just...sexual beings, we have to individually understand the spectrum of labels. And so many of us do, so it's a bit easier for us. And I'm not saying anyone needs to take a Gender & Women's Studies class or anything, but for someone like @Leanan's friend who needs it more clearly explained, we have to lay down the foundation's individual bricks before we pave it over.

Mmm, tasty metaphors.

Thankfully, others have explained it well enough, I think. The only way to do better would be to probably sit down with this person and point out individual scenes and situations.

This is also why I can get a little passionate about increased obvious representation. I came across a dead holt recently, and I was reading their rules, and they ban anything other than heterosexual relationships in that game, because it's never "explicitly shown" in the comic, or something like that. And because apparently, people who want to role play same-sex couples are only interested in "adult" scenes. And I was just...incredulous. It still baffles me, especially as a decidedly not heterosexual person myself. And it's not that there aren't rainbow relationships in Elfquest, they're just not as easy to find, which means that people who aren't as savvy to that aren't aware. And on top of that, when people think that to show someone is into someone of the same sex, they need to be shown having sex, that lets them gloss over more nuanced cues. Which is sad.

Vaeri

that does sound rather sad, Tam...same-sex couples can show their love in ways aside from sex! forgive me for being a bit blunt, but that kind of sounds rather ignorant. Same sex couples can show love by cuddling, as we see in Cutter's image he sent to Rayek during their epic fist fight, just holding onto Skywise and Leetah.

or worrying about their wellbeing, as Pike did when a tree branch nearly landed on Krim and Skot. he didn't focus on just one of them, he immediately grabbed both of them and called them both his family. though one can debate he showed a little more affection for skot, paradoxically, by smacking him in the face. XD

personally, i kind of wish holts would come back...i'd dearly love to see a holt that is true to what Elfquest was, with active members.hmmm...perhaps i will create a forum holt.

Tam

Vaeri said: forgive me for being a bit blunt, but that kind of sounds rather ignorant.


Right there with ya.

Vaeri said: personally, i kind of wish holts would come back...


Oh, we're working on it! I run a fairly active one called Oakleaf Holt. I also play in Beacon Call, which accepts original characters, and Wild Forest, which is a bit more worldpool. And then there's River Twine, Survivors of a Lost Holt, Holt of Dancing Lights...Eregyrn's thread with the active holt listing, in the Holts section, is pretty handy. :) And I don't think any of them have any rules restricting a character's sexuality either. *chuckles*

Vaeri

i saw about Oakleaf, which is intrigueing enough...i suppose i just want to find a more active one...XD though i'm probably going to have to play my character differently than her story i've written..but then that's the fun of it! perhaps she may even gain a new lifemate...male or female! or perhaps both.*debates*

Thornbrake

Tam said: This is also why I can get a little passionate about increased obvious representation. I came across a dead holt recently, and I was reading their rules, and they ban anything other than heterosexual relationships in that game, because it's never "explicitly shown" in the comic, or something like that. And because apparently, people who want to role play same-sex couples are only interested in "adult" scenes. And I was just...incredulous. It still baffles me, especially as a decidedly not heterosexual person myself. And it's not that there aren't rainbow relationships in Elfquest, they're just not as easy to find, which means that people who aren't as savvy to that aren't aware. And on top of that, when people think that to show someone is into someone of the same sex, they need to be shown having sex, that lets them gloss over more nuanced cues. Which is sad.


I completely agree. It's so incredibly frustrating that the notion that representing same sex coupling/relationships is something "adult" and not appropriate for children. It is if you're showing a same sex couple having explicit sex. Otherwise, it's no different than representing an opposite sex couple. The longer representation of same sex couples lingers in the shadows (in real life, mainstream media or even in Elfquest) the longer this narrow minded and bigoted viewpoint will persist. Thankfully, that seems to be changing rapidly on all fronts.

Rob

I believe this was the interview/feature package where the elves were "outed," for lack of a better term. 20 years ago this month!

comics_journal_168

Leanan

Thank you all for your replies! You have said exactly the things I hoped you would say!

@RichardPini Yes, I am aware that bisexual is just a human label. Pansexual or omnisexual would be better descriptions (though still not completely accurate, from the elves' point of view, if I'm getting this right) but I had enough on my plate just trying to explain to her what 'bisexual' means.

@Tam I too have been told in a Holt that I should not play one half of a female-female pairing, and that if @Sofia and I persisted in doing that, we would be shunned and disliked by the rest of the tribe of elves the Holt leader had created. So instead we left that Holt, started Three Moons Holt, and I made the 'Gay Rights' topic in the off-topic section. (It seems to be still going on - unlike Three Moons Holt, unfortunately.).

I am always surprised when I learn that an EQ fan does not like LGBT people, does not want to hear about them, is homophobic, etc (my friend is none of these things of course, just a bit unfamiliar with the subject). For me, acceptance of all ways of living and loving has always been a big part of the story and message of ElfQuest.

Vaeri

i am often disappointed when people seem to be limited in their minds about what a couple is...i hope we've helped open this annonymous forum goer's eyes, to show them that the elves love in MANY ways, not just between a male and female...and of course, there's the rather beastiality aspect between Timmain and Timmorn's father...XD if that don't break SOME boundaries, nothing will!^^

i confess i often see the same on DA though...i run a sailor moon based group called Children of Serenity( love Usagiii!!) and would have events where people would pair her with someone new, and create a child from that pairing. some people had lovely designs, but one person disappointed me because all of their pairings were male/female...and there are so many fantastic females to pick from for a pairing! to be honest, when you are talking fantasy fiction(not Elfquest, that has real life rules), in which a magic crystal does many things and you have a utopia made of crystal...if you think it's impossible or wrong in this setting for females to have children together, it comes off as a bit childish.(sorry for the rant! i am done now)

RedheadEmber

Vaeri said: and of course, there's the rather beastiality aspect between Timmain and Timmorn's father...XD if that don't break SOME boundaries, nothing will!^^


Not really though. She was a wolf at the time.

Vaeri

well then that could be up for debate! cause the mind is not wolf, it's elf...that actually rather poses a dilemma. is it the body or mind that constitutes someone as animal or not-animal?...not the right thread for it probably but food for thought.

Tavie

I was thinking about how some may consider the idea of "omnisexual" problematic because it could include, by strict definition, animals (see wolf discussion above) or children.

But I don't think these issues apply to the elves at all. I think elves probably play by an unspoken set of rules along the lines of another Wendy Pini creation, Lord Anton Prosper of Masque of the Red Death, who I think had the stricture "Do as you please, but nothing against another's will". That would seem to summarize how I imagine the elves approach the choosing of romantic or "play" partners, don't you think? It would naturally exclude anyone who would not be mature or sentient enough to consent (animals, children.) Why would an elf want to "play" with someone who didn't want to "play" with them, right? (This, of course, excludes those not-of-sound-mind elves, such as Winnowill, who tortured myriad elves, humans and trolls in all sorts of ways.)

Vaeri

very good point. we do see a case of this during Tyleet raising Little Patch. when he hits puberty, she states in an "over-voice" that "it takes at least two, joined at the very least in desire."

MrsGrizzley

Vaeri said: to be honest, when you are talking fantasy fiction(not Elfquest, that has real life rules), in which a magic crystal does many things and you have a utopia made of crystal...if you think it's impossible or wrong in this setting for females to have children together, it comes off as a bit childish.(sorry for the rant! i am done now)


*hesitant raise of hand* Uhm... Healing Magic can do some... astonishing things. Admittedly, from a genetic standpoint only a female who had once been male can "sire" a son... but two females can have daughters with the proper... alterations made to one or the other... or if either happens to be born... uhm... "intersex".

So yeah... no reason at all for pairings to remain exclusively male/female... even if you're looking at producing children.

In my original fiction, and I am quite open about having been influenced by ElfQuest to the point where I can accept this sort of thing, I have at least one romantic relationship that is between three females and they do, in fact, have children.

RedheadEmber

Tavie said: I think elves probably play by an unspoken set of rules along the lines of another Wendy Pini creation, Lord Anton Prosper of Masque of the Red Death, who I think had the stricture "Do as you please, but nothing against another's will".


Reminds me a bit of this from the beginning of Heart's Way:

On the World of Two Moons, in the hidden oasis or Sorrow's End, dwells a race of elfin beings whose only taboo --
is harm to another.

lunakat

Elfquest reflects the ideals of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

lunakat

The Elves all wear bell bottoms. That's a dead give-away.

RichardPini

Tavie said: I was thinking about how some may consider the idea of "omnisexual" problematic because it could include, by strict definition, animals (see wolf discussion above) or children.


Going to go far out on (what may be to some) a very thin branch here.

Yes, it could include animals and children, both extremely touchy subjects for us, in this world, in this time, to even consider talking about. But if you want to stretch mental and emotional muscles way past the comfort zone, you have to acknowledge the possibility of mindsets that different from ours. And then (we hope) acknowledge the difficulty of trying to portray such notions in a beautiful, gentle way.

Believe it or not, in Elfquest, both have already been addressed. Regarding the "bestiality" thing, many people have wondered - and will continue to wonder - about Timmain and the original father wolf. Some have asked further - and we've answered - whether or not more modern Wolfriders might still now and then enjoy a very different "roll in the furs." Then, remember when Cutter worried a bit to Skywise about Ember, and suggested that the stargazer might be Ember's "first," and Skywise admitted he'd be happy to "in a heartbeat ... if Ember wanted it so?" I don't recall anyone being horrified at implied pedophilia, but Ember was, by any contemporary yardstick, definitely underage in that tale.

We get away with such subversions because they are subtle. Ours is not a nuanced world, less so lately than ever, but it's been our mission, for going on forty years, to show all different kinds of love in the best, most appropriate fashion - for the sake of the story first and foremost. Because every reader takes away a different experience, we must tell the story our own best, honest way, and trust you - whether you're totally happy with the presentation or not - to see the glass at least half full.

Tavie




RichardPini said: Then, remember when Cutter worried a bit to Skywise about Ember, and suggested that the stargazer might be Ember's "first," and Skywise admitted he'd be happy to "in a heartbeat ... if Ember wanted it so?" I don't recall anyone being horrified at implied pedophilia, but Ember was, by any contemporary yardstick, definitely underage in that tale.


Although certainly underage by human standards, I think Ember was at that point when many human teenagers begin exploring their sexuality, so it wasn't THAT far out there. (She wasn't pre-pubescent, in other words.) Harder for me, at least, to grasp was that someone who basically raised her, often treeing with the family, was something like an uncle, would want to "roll in the furs" with her! YUCK! But that's my human taboo talking. Not an issue for the elves, I wouldn't think.

Leanan

RichardPini said: Some have asked further - and we've answered - whether or not more modern Wolfriders might still now and then enjoy a very different "roll in the furs.


Now that you have mentioned this, I can't get the mental image out of my head. We know that such things were common in the times of the first Wolfrider chiefs. So I, too, must ask you: is there still a possibility that an elf would have sexual intercourse with an animal, and also, if this would only happen when the animal has "elf blood" and/or the elf has the "blood" of that animal species. ("blood" in quotes because it is not literally blood but genes).

Vaeri

i personally am QUITE thrilled by all this...then again, i have what could be defined as odd sexual tastes. i am also curious to hear the answer that you've given before, sorry to make you repeat yourself elfpop!

also, the potential relationship between Ember and her "Uncle" Skywise isn't strange to me personally...when i was younger, about puberty or so, i was VERY much attracted to my uncle, who is non-blood related but i very much saw him as an uncle. frankly, i generally think as long as there is no blood relation, any relationship could be quite acceptable to me, even if it were say step-father and step-daughter.

conversely, and perhaps paradoxically, i actually don't generally mind incest either....especially in literature. it adds an enjoyable spice to the story for me, just because so few other stories do it. beastiality falls under the same category in literature. so few stories are AFRAID to do this, that i thoroughly enjoy the stories that DO, even if it is subtle and perhaps not entirely in that category.

and @MrsGrizzley no reason to be hesitant! i don't bite.^^ i rather enjoy your idea, though i'm not sure it's one that ElfParent's would employ. i tend to think in the elf world, it's possible for two fathers to contribute genetic material to their child(Pike-Skot-Krim) and that might be as far as it goes. though perhaps with a healer's aid, it MIGHT be possible to transfer one females genetic material into the child of another...perhaps a bit like the manipulation of Wolfrider blood to make it pure, or altering a human so they can live a longer life like an elf.

Elfpop, any opinions on this? the whole two females having a child with a healer's aid?

Rob

I just read an article published this month in one of London's more conservative magazines, in print since 1711. It presented a case for why encouraging youngsters to masturbate was a bad thing. It wasn't Victorian about it, really, but was amusing all the same for its reactionary assumptions.

It ended with this line:

"Hey kid, leave your bits alone — explore someone else’s."

The conclusively stuffy rejoinder in a stuffy old British Tory mag is all but unutterable here. To put that sentiment -- adolescents should be screwing, not wanking -- in a mainstream print market? In America? Hat for dinner!

Until someone does, of course.

This isn't to judge anything, just to point out that a message encoded to subtly subvert the psychosis of America's arbitrary, angry, often-religious moral "majority" may help break it, but is liable to end up meaningful only to its victims--and on its terms.

But your message speaks to everyone.




Tavie

Rob said: "Hey kid, leave your bits alone — explore someone else’s."

The conclusively stuffy rejoinder in a stuffy old British Tory mag is all but unutterable here. To put that sentiment -- adolescents should be screwing, not wanking -- in a mainstream print market? In America? Hat for dinner!


Wowwwwwwwww.
:-S

Teenage pregnancy? NO PROBLEM! @-)

RedheadEmber

Going to shamelessly jump in and talk about my favourite three-mating ship:

Lots of people (especially just after the Final Quest Special came out) theorised that eventually Korafay and Reef might recognize, to which I was completely:
"Noo! He's gonna three-mate with Sunstream and Brill and be a 'secondary daddy' to Korafay."
Thing is; to the elves one doesn't exclude the other. Reef could potentially three-mate with Sunstream and Brill, and help raise Korafay, and end up recognizing her later on.

Vaeri

O.o....when did Brill and Reef express any attraction to each other? as far as i know, Reef seems to have been twisted since before she was born....though Reef and Korafay could make a quite adorable baby.

it's almost a moot point since Korafay is fairly grown now...XD

RedheadEmber

Vaeri said: O.o....when did Brill and Reef express any attraction to each other?


My entire obsession with this comes from the 'birth party scene' were Reef is seen together with Sunstream and Brill, halfway holding Korafay.



Vaeri said: it's almost a moot point since Korafay is fairly grown now...XD


We can still get flash backs.

Vaeri

couldn't it be possible he's just really interested in the baby...?^^0 though who knows? and of course, when does fanshipping have to be entirely logical? XD

Embala

Vaeri said: O.o....when did Brill and Reef express any attraction to each other?


@Vaeri @RedheadEmber here...
http://www.elfquest.com/forums/discussion/3713/ask-elfmom-question-for-brill/p1
... sorta ...

Thornbrake

RichardPini said: We get away with such subversions because they are subtle. Ours is not a nuanced world, less so lately than ever, but it's been our mission, for going on forty years, to show all different kinds of love in the best, most appropriate fashion - for the sake of the story first and foremost. Because every reader takes away a different experience, we must tell the story our own best, honest way, and trust you - whether you're totally happy with the presentation or not - to see the glass at least half full.


Very true @RichardPini. But a big part of the point regarding depiction of same-sex relationships is that they are NOTHING like bestiality or pedophilia and shouldn't ever even be brought up in the same conversation. It's been a specific tactic of anti-LGBT religious right and other bigots to convince people that being gay is a deviant disorder -- something the medical community has long since rejected -- and get people to conflate these things to push LGBT back into the shadows of inequality.

So, yes, where it comes to Elfquest story elements that might possibly be interpreted as treading into bestiality or pedophilia, subtleness and great care are necessary and appropriate so you don't give the wrong impression that you're promoting these practices. Unequivocally showing a same-sex pairing in Elfquest in the same, tasteful, age appropriate (PG-13 at most) way that you've always shown sex and relationships in Elfquest is NOT something that needs to be hidden in the shadows, at least not in 2014. In fact, it's happily becoming the norm, judging by the presence of gay characters and couples in just about every new TV show, book series and comics -- including those aimed at youth.

And audiences are beginning to expect it and even clamor for it, including Elfquest fandom, judging by the number of threads on the issue right here in the forum. We of course all trust your and Wendy's judgement and comfort level on this issue and how you choose (or not) to deal with in Elfquest. But visibility is incredibly powerful and meaningful and many of us crave to see ourselves reflected back from the pages of EQ.

Ok, stepping off soap-box. This is an issue obviously that hits very close to home and about which I feel very passionate.

Vaeri

embala seems to have proven a point...XD a little odd Brill would considering "swirling twirling" with Reef when he was broken...and they join- wait a minute.....he was healed after she recognized! she has sex with Reef when she was pregnant?!! O.o..yup mind just got a little blown, though i am not sure why...

i always seem to get freaked out/weirded out about the wrong stuff...XD

but she does seem more over the moon for Sunstream than Reef, so...still not personally sure about the possibility of a trimating for them

Trollbabe

Coming in late here...

It occurs to me, an Elf who hadn't any exposure to human culture, would be confused by this discussion.

I am not even sure that Elvish language has words for: straight, homosexual, bisexual, polygamy, adultery, virgin, husband, wife, marriage.

Elves are biologically different from us, as well as culturally different from the humans that are their respective contemporaries.

They lack gender roles. Elves have "lifemates" and "lovemates", rather than husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends.

Even the Wolfriders live very long lives. One's lifemate could take off and spend a hundred years denning with someone else, and eventually come back to the original relationship.

The "lover's triangle" seems to be a rare occurance. Savah said she hadn't seen a challenge wand for centuries. Rayek's competition with Cutter for Leetah is depicted as a consequence of pride and selfishness. He would have outlived the mortal Cutter by centuries.

MrsGrizzley

My one big question is actually something that I don't see *happening* amongst Elves but I dunno and that's Transgender. How would the Elves react to the idea that a person can feel in their soul that they're supposed to be different from how their body looks?

The reason I don't see it happening amongst the Elves is because I think they have enough subconscious self-shaping that such an individual would "correct themselves" while in the womb. But for the humans? It's an interesting idea. Particularly since the Elves are, in rare occasions, adopting humans into their tribes.

Now, the matter of Ember's maturation as a maiden? I *like* the idea that it was all dependent on what *she* wanted. I love the idea that, for the Elves, Enthusiastic Consent is Everything. I do, though, like the idea that Elves don't *hide* their sexual natures from children. I remember a scene with a very young Tyleet talking about having seen Moonshade and Strongbow and the look the two exchanged... there was no shame in any of it. Not for the two enjoying each other, not in Tyleet having seen them, not in Tyleet's determination to tell the story of it at the next Howl.

That lack of shame is possibly one of my favorite parts of ElfQuest.

Trollbabe

My own humble opinion, of course, but I can think of a few ways Elves can change genders:

First, as you said, they could influence their own development in the womb, just as Ember "called the wolf-blood" to herself, choosing mortality.

Second, if they had the power to shape-shift, they could choose any gender they want, even hermaphrodite.

Third, if they had access to a powerful healer, their gender could be reversed. This would allow a male to become a life-bearer, for example.

Fourth, if it were just a matter of changing gender roles, they could choose to live as the opposite gender. This isn't as complicated for Elves as it is for humans. Among Elves that ride on an animal's back, clothing isn't all that different between males and females. Face-fur is peculiar only to elder Wolfrider males.

As far as the discussion of bestiality, I don't think the Elves have a word for that, either. When Cutter first hears about Two-Edge from the Trolls (in "Dreamberry Tales"), he reacts in disgust to the notion of interspecies mating. Yet he already knows that his ancestor was sired by a wolf.

Kimo spent several years in wolf-form, roaming around with Shuna's family. He may have fathered wolf-children during that time. I think that would be a good topic for fanfiction.


BTW Another topic for which Elves don't seem to have labels, is the before-and-after stages of a relationship: engagement, separation, divorce, widowhood. You're either a lifemate or a lovemate, or you're not. One reason for this simplification might be that so little of one's life is spent being pregnant, or raising a child or a teen. (Families are small - Rainsong and Moonshade were unusually fertile.) Being a widow does not put a dent in an Elf mother's economic independence. Everybody helps out. Emotional and sexual companionship is always available, just as Nightfall and Redlance provided for Cutter.

Vaeri

but didn't Leetah say, during the comic about her song, that she could choose how to shape the twins when they were in the womb, and the Ember demanded she be allowed to have wolf blood? so, not sure that really would count under a cub shaping themselves in the womb...

i think Cutter disliked the troll/elf hybrid just because trolls and elves have never really gotten along fabulously...they grudingly deal with each other. it'd be the same if he heard of an elf/human, before Nona and Adar, and then it'd still probably be a bit difficult..until Shuna. like if she was able to have children with Kimo now, Cutter probably wouldn't be all that bothered at all, and consider it yet another grandchild, as he did Shukopek.

and trollbabe, i am sooorrrry but you made me get the image of an elf woman begging a healer to give her facefur...XD dunno why but, whoot, bearded elf woman!

lunakat

First of all- regarding Reef... I think he was just included in the "celebrating baby" scene to show that he was accepted and integrated back into the tribe. He was welcomed and participated in the festivities.

Also- it's not that unusual to play with a baby. Everyone played with baby Skywise- remember? My sister has a baby- and, among our family and friends, there is an ongoing competition to hold him. We aren't all sleeping together.

Secondly... sexuality. I'm going to come in in defense of the Pini's concepts of love and sex. The most basic premise about that in Elfquest is that sex isn't wrong- unless it hurts someone. The elves don't really have taboos about sex.

Just to get it out of the way, and clear- the Pinis have already include bestiality. The Wolfriders are a product of bestiality. Timmain mated with a wolf to produce Timmorn. Every singled character that is descended from him is part wolf. And... he himself mated with wolves- which makes sense, since why would he discriminate, being half and half? So the Wolfrider wolf pack is part elf.

I imagine in the early days of the Hunt, wolf elves and elf wolves continued to mate with each other- as well as with full elves and full wolves. Why wouldn't they? Again, being so close to the middle of the mix.

So beastiality in Elfquest isn't presented as wrong- it's just presented as something that happened.

Now that that's covered... Elfquest doesn't equate homosexuality with bestiality anymore than it equates heterosexuality with bestiality. In fact, you might argue there is more of a correlation between heterosexuality and bestiality- since Timmain mated with a male wolf as a female elf... Leetah, as a full elf who is female, entered into a committed relationship with Cutter, a part-wolf elf who is male. That's heterosexual bestiality. Winnowil even talks to her about it and asks how she felt, knowing she was mating with a mortal animal- and if the Wolfriders continue to bang their beasts even now. (That makes Leetah cry.)

It is interesting to think about. Leetah, in mating with Cutter, was mating with a different species. She's consenting to have a physical and emotional relationship with a being that will live a much shorter lifespan than she- barring untimely death- and that thinks slightly differently. This would be like you having a relationship with something like a Neanderthal or Homo Erectus. It's almost the same- but not quite. Plus, you know that it's going to die at the age of thirty- how sad!

And yet, she enters into a union with this other being- and it's the central premise of the entire series.

All this is bestiality- and it's fully consensual among all parties. And there is nothing wrong with it in the context of the story.

So Elfquest isn't condoning bad things- like raping animals or children. It's creating a context where sex isn't a bad thing in and of itself... Whether something is right or wrong depends, in this world, fully on context. And that is the elf attitude toward sex.

This philosophy gets fully explored in how the elves approach flesh shaping. Flesh shaping is not wrong or right in and of itself. It's how you do it. Inflicting it on others- as Winnowil did to Windkin or Reef- is wrong. But there is nothing wrong with what the Wavedancers do in decorating their bodies. Taking away Skywise's wolf-blood or shape-changing Tyldak wasn't wrong- because both asked for it. But it was problematic. Both actions had repercussions no one considered fully at the time- and both Skywise and Tyldak tried, futilely to reverse their decisions. So that's the moral there- it's not right or wrong. But be careful. It matters how and why you do it.

Which leads us to transgender. I think elves could reverse their gender- sure. But is it necessary? Elves aren't as trapped in their bodies as we human beings are. The original coneheads were not attached to their physical forms at all. They changed them at will from one animal or plant form to another- and their median shapes were completely androgynous. I don't think they would have had an attachment to being male of female.

The current crop of elves obviously do have that attachment- and they are sexually dimorphic. But because they can link minds and leave their bodies- I think it would be less problematic to be a transgendered elf- and one wouldn't be stuck with the feeling that there is a disconnect between the inner and outer self... or even if there was, that it mattered so much. I also think there is probably no gender-based taboo in terms of how an elf adorns him/herself. And elves are pretty androgynous looking anyway. So a male elf who felt female could dress and act female- and it would be nbd.

RedheadEmber

lunakat said: First of all- regarding Reef... I think he was just included in the "celebrating baby" scene to show that he was accepted and integrated back into the tribe. He was welcomed and participated in the festivities.


Doesn't mean I can't ship it. ;)

Leanan

Trollbabe said:
Second, if they had the power to shape-shift, they could choose any gender they want, even hermaphrodite.


This actually happened - kind of. In 'Rogue's Curse' Winnowill's spirit took control of Rayek's body and reshaped it to be the perfect likeness of herself back when she was the Healer of Blue Mountain. Of course, her motives were not those of a transgender woman ( I think) , and it was not even her body to shape. But from this we know it could be done.

Trollbabe

Off topic, but I wonder, if Rayek had stayed in the Palace without Winnowill's influence, would he have grown taller?

Tam

I definitely think so, @Trollbabe.

Trollbabe

More of my ramblings...

The lack of "weirdness" feelings about certain relationships, is another part of being an Elf that distinguishes them from humans. The Elves have sexual histories that don't interfere with their day-to-day relationships.

Cutter, for example, was sexually involved with Kahvi. At some point, he probably had sexual relations with Rainsong and Woodlock. So if Ember were to ever have a child by Teir or Mender, Cutter would have had sexual relations with his grandchild's grandparent.

Cutter is chief of the Wolfriders, and has probably has sexual relations with every adult who isn't his next of kin. In a human organization, this is the equivalent of the boss sleeping with his entire staff.

Moonshade and Strongbow aren't exclusive. So when Moonshade challenges Ember, or Strongbow question's Cutter's judgment, they are having a quarrel with someone who has probably shared their furs. Then they probably go back to the same sexual relationships, once everything is resolved.

Rob

"would have had sexual relations with his grandchild's grandparent."

If this wasn't the norm on our world, none of us would be here :D

RichardPini

Vaeri said: ...and of course, when does fanshipping have to be entirely logical?


Heh.
Heh.
Heh.

Vaeri

.....elfpop, you have me scared now.

RedheadEmber

Vaeri said: .....elfpop, you have me scared now.


Is that anything new? I think he lives to scare us...

Vaeri

now i have a feeling, we may end up seeing a pairing in FQ that will throw our minds for a loop.

Trollbabe

"My, what big teeth you have... " Editors are supposed to be scary. Trust me, I'm a writer.

Dreamcat

I skipped through the thread, dunno if it was asked before, but someone pointed out that animals can´t consent to sex and therefore are out of question for elves. Now isn´t it that at least the Wolfriders´ pack can send to their bonds? I mean, it doesn´t take any complex thoughts to make it clear. Dunno if it´s common to join with wolfbonds, but at least I don´t see anything speaking against it (and actually always assumed it still happening), and since the furry part can clearly communicate a 'yes' or 'no' (which obviously isn´t the case in our world) I see nothing odd about it, considering their way of life. I mean, they "lure" humans, which also are another race and less close to them.

lunakat

@Dreamcat- I think that's why animals are out of the question for *us*... but, clearly, the wolfriding elves are a product of a high one sleeping with a wolf. So... yeah, I don't think they should have a problem with it. I think it was stated that Timmorn mated as much with wolves as he did with elves. I would imagine is early offspring were the same. Why wouldn't they be?

Dreamcat

Sure, @lunakat, but if the early Wolfriders did it, why shouldn´t the later generations as well? Granted, we´ve never seen a true half-wolf among the later Wolfriders but actual breeding seemed to work a little differently in the old days anyway. But we all know sex isn´t simply about breeding, and if it deepens a bond between two elves (may it root on love, fun or whatever), it can deepen the bond between an elf and wolfbond just as well and even the younger generations are still depending on that bond.

Vaeri

Dreamcat: Sure, @lunakat, but if the early Wolfriders did it, why shouldn´t the later generations as well? Granted, we´ve never seen a true half-wolf among the later Wolfriders but actual breeding seemed to work a little differently in the old days anyway. But we all know sex isn´t simply about breeding, and if it deepens a bond between two elves (may it root on love, fun or whatever), it can deepen the bond between an elf and wolfbond just as well and even the younger generations are still depending on that bond.


well why couldn't more Halflings pop up?! Timmain is still quite alive after all...*wink wink nudge nudge*

Night_Tanem

Didn't she start it when they were so few and needed to know more of the wolves in order to survive?

lunakat

I could see Timmain getting down. I mean- she probably had countless wolf mates, right? If not babies.

As for the current crop of Wolfriders- I think it's probably unlikely. They are probably far enough removed from wolves that it wouldn't be something that happens naturally for them. The earliest Wolfriders, however, were 2/3 or 3/4 wolf- and it probably wouldn't have felt unnatural- because they would have been so closely related to the wolves.

That's my guess anyway.

lunakat

Regarding Timmain- I always had the impression that she took on the form of a wolf to learn how to survive and to feed her people... but then got lost in the form. She forgot she was an elf. And she mated with the Alpha wolf- and, with some vestige of her elf self, instinctively used to her magic to create a baby. Timmorn was raised as a wolf- until she brought him back to the tribe to learn to be an elf... and I guess, so that they could learn from him. Then she disappeared.

Timmain pretty much became a wolf. Unlike Kimo- who just takes on the shape. Because she forgot she was ever anything else. Until she got back to the palace, and being there triggered something in her that helped her remember and change back.

lunakat

It makes a lot of sense. Why, if you know you are stranded somewhere- and you have found a lifestyle that allows you to survive and fit in, would you go back to being weak and not fitting in?

Dreamcat

lunakat said: As for the current crop of Wolfriders- I think it's probably unlikely. They are probably far enough removed from wolves that it wouldn't be something that happens naturally for them. The earliest Wolfriders, however, were 2/3 or 3/4 wolf- and it probably wouldn't have felt unnatural- because they would have been so closely related to the wolves.

Why should it feel unnatural now? Because wolves are no elves? Humans are no elves either, but luring them still seems to feel natural. Apart from their appearance, humans are in fact far more alien to Wolfriders than wolves. Not only in blood, but also in mind. Wolfriders share their lives and deep feelings with their wolves, they are no pets like our dogs. Hell, they even form a bond with one another like they do with lifemates and share their thoughts like they can only do with their own kin. And they´ve stated it before, wolves are seen as their kin. Considering this, the idea of current Wolfriders joining with wolves appears much more plausible than joining with humans (which we certainly know they did).

This idea may gross us human readers (and Winnowill ;) ) out so we may deny it, but it´s a core part of the Wolfrider concept, and like other things about their sex it doesn´t need to be shown to accept it happening.

Trollbabe

Lunakat makes a good point about Timmain getting lost in the "now" of wolf-thought. Kimo stays anchored in his Elf mentality as he accompanies three humans. He's also mortal, unlike Timmain, who spends thousands of years in wolf-form.

Timmorn was halfway between the two, and unable to shift from one shape to another. If he mated with wolves, he did so in his mostly-elf form. The Wolfriders seem comfortable with that.

This is not a difficult concept for humans. The idea of people mating with animals appears in human legends (Leda and the swan, South American jaguar people, the princess and the frog.) Also, if evolutionists are right about man descending from apes, than the first near-human would have had to mate with an ape.

I couldn't see the current crop of Wolfriders wanting intimacy with their wolves, of course. The Wolfriders are too biologically different from their bond-beasts, no matter how close they are in spirit. They step aside when a wolf is killed or driven out by the pack, but they will do all they can to save another Elf unless he is mortally wounded.

BTW We haven't yet seen any Elves emerge from outside of the known tribes, saying he or she is a descendent of the wolves that mated with Timmorn or Timmain. It could happen, though. I imagine someone with powers and personality similar to Teir.

Vaeri

i personally believe that if elfmom and pop plan on bringing in a new halfing...i say BRING IT ON!*ghetto accent*

cause seriously....how twisty would that be for the story?! XD and it begs the question...how would the palace affect such a child? would it even HAVE any effect?

lunakat

@Dreamcat- actually, it's not natural for elves to copulate with humans. If you paid any attention to the stories in which that happens *cough*littlepatch*cough*, you would recall that the elves and humans can't copulate. Something about their "bloodsong" being "pitched much higher" than humans can take.

RedheadEmber

Vaeri said: well why couldn't more Halflings pop up?! Timmain is still quite alive after all...*wink wink nudge nudge*


And so is :o3


lunakat said: Timmain pretty much became a wolf. Unlike Kimo- who just takes on the shape. Because she forgot she was ever anything else.


That actually has me wondering. If she (as I assume) had cubs during the 10,000 year period from the Crash until the Palace War, were they fully wolves?

Leanan

lunakat said: @Dreamcat- actually, it's not natural for elves to copulate with humans. If you paid any attention to the stories in which that happens *cough*littlepatch*cough*, you would recall that the elves and humans can't copulate. Something about their "bloodsong" being "pitched much higher" than humans can take.


If I remember right, Aroree was chosen to mate with Little Patch because she had taken pleasure with humans before. However, with Little Patch, she made some kind of mistake, saying afterwards she forgot their bloodsong was pitched higher. Mender has had intercourse with humans, with pleasant results for both.

Dreamcat

Trollbabe said: I couldn't see the current crop of Wolfriders wanting intimacy with their wolves, of course. The Wolfriders are too biologically different from their bond-beasts, no matter how close they are in spirit.

Too biologically different like how? Maye they are too different to breed, but I´m sure their equipment still matches. And about actually wanting it... To wolfriders, wolves are no animals, they are people. They respect their ways, but of course they´d do anything to save them (from troll pits for example). They refused to give up on even one to free Strongbow from Winnowill, stating there wasn´t any difference between elf and wolf to them.
Now, when you love people, it occurs that you desire them as well. I´m not saying everyone was mating with their wolves all the time, but it´s not off the table. Maybe one gets curious from time to time, or one has a deeper connection to his/her wolf, or there may be even horny wolves too (we all know the moments when dogs try to mount legs :D). When it comes to sex, it always it depends on the circumstances and personalities coming together. I´m just saying it may not be as unlikely as many of us might expect it to be since our taboos don´t apply to Wolfriders.

Night_Tanem

I don't think that elves that can not shift from elf to wolf would have sex with wolves but that's just my narrow view on things... They do love their wolves but love is more than sex...

Tavie

So, assuming Venka and Aroree and Two-Edge have been wandering the frozen mountains for the last couple of decades (possibly meeting up and chilling with some Go-Backs), it occurred to me the other day that it would be really cool and natural if Venka and Aroree became lovemates.

It's cold, you know? Gotta warm those furs.

I just can't figure out how Two-Edge would fit into this scenario, with all his angst and sort of weird Venka-fixation. Would he be cool with it? Join in?

Just wondering/fantasizing... ;)

Leanan

Thank you, Tavie! :ar! Now I'm totally shipping Venka/Aroree!

Trollbabe

Good question. How did life in the Palace affect Two-Edge?

lunakat

@redhead- Timmain does at least have grand kids that look fully wolf. They are the Wolfrider wolfpack and are descended from the babies Timmorn had with wolves. The early Wolfriders were 'the hunt' - and they looked and acted more like wolves. Eventually, I think, the ones who were more wolf just blended back into the wolf pack- mated with wolves- and produced offspring that were 'wolf' instead of elf. But they remained just a little bit elf... which is why the wolf pack can send and why some of them live abnormally long lives.

The BoTC anthology has a character that some chief meets - a black fell type wolf called NoName. NoName is too intelligent for a wolf, and he has shaper magic- so he keeps trying to morph himself into an elf like thing. But he can't really do it. And he can't think like an elf - he is too wolffish. He isn't one or the other, and he ends up crazy and internally tortured... Like Two Edge with the whole 'what am I?' question.

lunakat

So yeah- timmain probably had more elf/wolf offspring. But they were probably raised as wolves, mated with wolves and then died of mortality. And their children's children probably look fully wolf.

lunakat

And lastly - no doubt Venka and Aroree have gotten it on. They also have their pick of GoBacks to choose from.

RedheadEmber

Tavie said: So, assuming Venka and Aroree and Two-Edge have been wandering the frozen mountains for the last couple of decades (possibly meeting up and chilling with some Go-Backs),


They began their wanderings accompanied by the Go-Backs.

RichardPini

lunakat said: If you paid any attention to the stories in which that happens *cough*littlepatch*cough*, you would recall that the elves and humans can't copulate. Something about their "bloodsong" being "pitched much higher" than humans can take.


Not quite true. The "bloodsong" was higher-pitched than Little Patch could take. But don't rule out the possibility of either humans or elves who - for whatever personal reasons - are able and willing to adjust the "volume" to get closer to the other. When you get down to it (pun intended), it would be all and simply for the sake of pleasure.

lunakat

Okay- that makes sense. Sorry- the actual text of the story said "humans" in a general sense- so that's where I got that assumption from. But it makes sense that someone, probably the elf, could be a little more careful in tuning into the other party. Heck- Jinx manages it.

Tavie


They began their wanderings accompanied by the Go-Backs.


Right right that's what I meant

Trollbabe

RichardPini said: But don't rule out the possibility of either humans or elves who - for whatever personal reasons - are able and willing to adjust the "volume" to get closer to the other. When you get down to it (pun intended), it would be all and simply for the sake of pleasure.


Maybe Khorbasi was able to adjust to the Elves better than Little Patch, unless he is celibate.

I mentioned biological differences earlier. With the exception of Winnowill, I believe Elves engage in sexual intimacy for two reasons: pleasure and reproduction. In the beginning, reproduction was much more critical. Blending DNA with the wolves of the WoTM made sense, in terms of survival. I suspect there was a point at which there were no more half-Elvens among the Wolfriders, and the more Elvish Wolfriders lacked the instinct to establish bonds with the wolves that involved sexuality.

Humans have more reasons for sexual relations, many of which involve exploitation and abuse. With the exception the what-if story "Kings Cross", and anything I might have missed, Elves have sexual relations with humans on their own terms. Since Elves and humans can't breed (outside of a "what-if" story), that means pleasure.

RichardPini

lunakat said: Jinx


Jink.

I wouldn't be so persnickety about this if there wasn't another comic series actually called "Jinx." Besides, it's easy to remember, because she's named after what she does.

Dreamcat

@Trollbabe
You forget the aspect of curiosity, which I believe leads to interracial intimacy much more than the aspect of pleasure, not only in Winnowill´s case but also in Mender´s for example.

MultiFacets

I don't think Aroree ever actually slept with a human. She was curious about them, but I don't think that lead to sex until Little Patch.

Thornbrake

lunakat said: Timmain pretty much became a wolf. Unlike Kimo- who just takes on the shape. Because she forgot she was ever anything else. Until she got back to the palace, and being there triggered something in her that helped her remember and change back.


That's my understanding too. Which really negates the idea of bestiality.

lunakat

I don't necessarily think it does..