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Monday, February 14, 2011
Love (and Sex) in the City
The City has a holiday analogous to our Valentine’s Day, celebrated in the winter month of Gelid. Hearts’ Day, or Lovers’ Day, has its origins in ancient, pagan fertility feasts, and is a time when wise thaumaturgists know the powers of the eikone Doll are at their strongest. Her manifestations walk the earth, manipulating the lives of humans to induce love--or at at least lust or passion.
People who don't directly interact with Doll, tend to commemorate the day by exchange of heart-shaped cards and gifts with their sweethearts. Male adventurers, like chivalrous knights in stories, are known to vow to win some prize or achieve some great deed for their inamoratas. No doubt the tendency of adventurers to imbibe in large quantities contributesd to this behavior.
Prostitution is illegal in the City and in most places in the New World, but that doesn’t stop it from being commonly practiced. Higher class prostitutes tend to employ thaumaturgical or alchemical aids to enhance their appeal, and the pleasure of their clientele, particularly those of exotic tastes. Some of these enhancements are extraplanar in origin, coming from the lust laboratories (and sometimes the pain dungeons) of the Hell Syndicate.
Unwanted pregnancy is, of course, a concern. The usual barrier methods of contraception are known. Purely biochemical female contraception is understood in theory, but is at this point not feasible. Alchemical or thaumaturgic methods exist, but their use is nontrivial as the dosage must be varied based on astrological influences and the like, so failure rates are high.