You want me to tell you what was the most unexpected aspect of this new world, the one that most surprised me. I think it was when Dr. Samiris explained to me the sexual practises of this epoch.
You're probably not interested in my pre-history, it's pretty much the usual one. I always felt that the people who had themselves frozen were off-the-wall. I thought no human power would ever bring them back to life. Then I became incurably ill myself, without at first considering that a reason to pay good money for such a travesty. At some point in my last six months I must have reconsidered, otherwise I wouldn't be here. But the memory of what happened in the last half year is always irretrievably lost, so I don't know what made me change my mind. Probably the usual reasons, the thought that freezing is the only remaining option, the lack of anybody to leave my money to, or just plain curiosity.
In any case, at some point I woke up and was confused, didn't really grasp who I was or how I got here. I guess most awakeners would say the moment of waking up was the most astonishing thing, but in all honesty I can barely remember waking up. Everything was so strange and my memory couldn't hold on to the experience. Little by little I was brought to the realization of where I was and all the changes of the past few centuries.
Finally came the astonishing conversation I referred to above, when Dr. Samiris explained to me that it was time for me to decide whether I wanted to get ringed or not. As in all these conversations I was totally at sea at first. So she explained to me most men get a ring in their penis at age sixteen, some earlier, some later. She thought that I knew all about it, because of the prevalence of "piercing" during my previous lifetime.
She then showed me a picture of a penis with a ring through the glans. I asked her why in heavens name she thought I would voluntarily let people do such a thing to me. She was still astonished at my reaction since she seriously thought it had been a common occurrence already in my former life. She explained to me that there was scientific proof that such a ring dramatically reduces the chance of cancer, because of some acupuncture points in the vicinity, and that it increases the man's allaround feeling of wellbeing without affecting his potency. If anything his potency is increased. Also, I had no chance of finding a woman who would let herself be penetrated by an unringed man, since male sperm deranges the woman's vaginal flora and the metal of the ring helped to restore its balance.
She came up with various other reasons and advantages, but I really took them all as excuses and pretexts. She explained to me that only a ringed man counts as a full man who could seek out a woman to be his Mistress of the Key --- another phrase that as of yet meant nothing to me. She explained it like this: a ringed but still free male, a virgin male, looks for a woman who pleases him and begs her to become his Mistress of the Key, an act which makes him her slave. If she agrees, she pulls a metal cylinder over his penis in such a way that his glans and its ring hang out the far end. She fastens a lock through the ring and holds on to the key.
If they want, they can now publicly announce their status of Mistress and slave. Usually this is done at an engagement party. Some people keep it private. After the engagement the woman can permit the man to sleep with her without losing her honor.
"How can that be," I interjected, "as long as the man is wearing the cylinder and the lock they can't possibly sleep with each other."
"It's true that they can't make babies," Dr. Samiris explained to me. "But the man can still cuddle the woman, pet her, and bring her to the heights of ecstasy with his fingers, or his tongue, or in many other ways that his imagination prompts him to."
"But what man would voluntarily put himself into such a position?" I wondered aloud.
"Oh, the vast majority of them," she informed me. "While they are virgins, ringed but still free men, they can masturbate as much as they want, as much as their hearts desire. Many men enjoy this freedom to the utmost and reminisce about it in later life. But of course they don't get to see a woman's bosom, to say nothing of touching one, or get to become friendly with a woman or to lie with one at night.
"The yearning for these delights brings most men to the point of gifting themselves to a woman. True, gay people are an exception; some of them don't even get ringed. There also a few religious sects who are generally considered crazies. But even the gay ones generally do in the end pair off; one gets ringed and submits to being locked up, while the other one keeps the key. Homosexuals marry just like other people and many prefer to delay actual sexual intercourse until after marriage, just as heterosexual couples do.
"As a rule the man aspires to marriage with his Mistress of the Key, although there is no obligation on her part to marry him. She has the right to release him, and he can then look for another Mistress to lock him up. She has the right to destroy the key, or to pass it on to another woman, who then becomes his Mistress of the Key.
"A woman can only be married to one man at a time," she informed me. "But she can own as many slaves as she feels like, although it is considered déclassé for a man to give himself to a woman who already has slaves, unless he truly loves her. Once a man and woman are married, the woman may permit the man to complete an act of intercourse with her, at her pleasure, but she also has the right keep him locked up as often and as long as she wishes, even permanently. If a man resists, by forcing her to hand over the key or by refusing to let himself be locked up after intercourse, he is liable to punishment, often severe punishment. A man can get a divorce from his wife, but then he reverts to the status of her slave and she becomes his Mistress of the Key again, unless that is she is ready to give him his freedom."
Dr. Samiris took great pains to emphasize that all of this was voluntary. No man is forced to get ringed and no man is forced to gift himself to a woman. It is true that no respectable woman would sleep with a man who was not her slave, and a man who wants to sleep with a woman has no option but to gift himself to the woman as her slave. It took me a while to realize that "sleep with each other" did not necessarily refer to intercourse, as I had thought, but rather quite literally "lying together in the same bed." This dilemma is often the theme of literary works, especially of poems --- the contradiction between the urge not to be locked up and the urge to belong to a woman.
Most men hope to encounter a woman who will marry them soon after their surrender, one who allows them lots of sex. Women are accounted extraordinarily decent and gracious if they don't always or predominantly satisfy themselves alone, but give their slave or husband a chance to do so; if they marry their slave as soon as the betrothal interval is over; if the allow him intercourse regularly or or even just occasionally after marriage.
Terrifying to men are collectors, who have a yen to persuade as many men as possible to gift themselves as their slaves. Also what they call ice-queens, who never use, or even destroy their slave's key. But Dr. Samiris assured me that such things rarely happen.
The entire tale seemed to me to be incompatible with equal rights for the sexes. But Dr. Samiris was of the opinion that none of these customs were incompatible with equality between the sexes, since no one is forced to do any of it, and a woman has no power over a man whose key she possesses, apart from the fact that it was illegal for him to destroy her cylinder or her lock. In all other respects the man is financially, legally, and professionally independent of the woman; he can act or not act as he wishes, and he is in no way bound to obey her.
One of the consequences of this astonishing (to me) social order is a total agreement between men and women to avoid depicting near-naked women in seductive poses in advertising, whether on television, on billboards, or in magazines. In my previous life there was always a seductively smiling woman around, advertising something or other. Nowadays everyone, both men and women, think that it is too much to expose the locked-up men to these sights since they can't get release by satisfying themselves.
My own era appears to the people of this one as a strange and incomprehensible time of barbarity. It is an axiom to them that males are not capable of dealing responsibly with their drives and emotions, and so need the guidance of women who are the more responsible sex. When I try to argue the subject, they point to the myriad atrocities of my century, which are unknown in this day and age.
You might be interested to find out how I adapted to the situation I found myself in. At first I thought that I would never, never in my life, let myself myself be ringed. Getting locked up by a woman, a Mistress of the Key, was absolutely out of the question. But now I've gotten to know a woman, a friendly young woman, and fallen in love with her. She recently told me that she couldn't possibly keep on meeting me unless I accepted her as my Mistress of the Key. She has to consider her reputation. Did I really believe, she wanted to know, that she wouldn't give me my freedom if I couldn't stand being locked up or if we proved to be incompatible? Of course she'd release me, she assured me; did I think she'd go back on her word?
"The days are long gone," she went on, "when slave and Mistress almost automatically became husband and wife, when any other course gave rise to scandal and gossip. Times have changed and morals have become much looser. I myself had a relationship with a young man for two years, during which he was my slave, but then we realized we were incompatible, and of course I gave him his freedom. After enjoying his independence fully for a year he gifted himself to another woman. So he obviously didn't think badly of his experience as my slave.
"Why do you hesitate? Just because you grew up in another social system that forbids a man to gift himself to a woman? What can be dishonorable in the act of giving? It's so beautiful for a man to give himself to his beloved. Don't you love me?"
But then she made excuses for me; adjusting to a new social system must be hard for me. She recognized that my fate was a difficult one for me. She is still friendly, has a lot of patience with me and my old-fangled ideas....
[ Back to chastity fiction page ]
Page last updated 97-Dec-07 by: Altairboy@aol.com