Young man meets woman
In a sexless
Do they still attract?
On a distant desert planet in a galaxy far, far away, one young traveler, a boy—thirsty after days of little (and now no) water, meets another young traveler—a girl not so thirsty after days of ample water and at this point close to her destination.
Why is boy a boy and why is girl a girl?
On this planet a boy is a boy in that only a boy-kiss can make another boy or a girl split (amoeba-like) in two and so propagate the race of desert crossing, adventure-seeking boys and girls.
Let’s define kiss in this context. This is a spiritual race, and a kiss is much more than lips on lips (or forehead or hair or hand or foot or take your pick), it is a sudden invasion by the boy spirit into the body of the other boy or girl, a gushing a breeze a wind a settling of storm suffusing the body and by extension the spirit as well of the other, a lovely sharing of everything so intense and so embracing that the other now, atom by atom, cell by cell begins the joyful dance of replicating him- or herself. This is a slow process. Four full circles (ovals, actually) round the distant (reddish) sun, will culminate in a new boy (or girl) stepping out of the existing ditto to double the number of him or her. The copy (bad choice of words, I now, but it is true—in other words, the newly minted boy or girl is an exact copy of the original), usually takes a brief look at the original and seeing him- or herself mirrored laughs at the joy of creation and saunters off in search of his or her own adventure.
Age. No such thing, the copy is the same age as the original; probably because there’s no time on this desert planet, not as we know it anyway.
Death. No such thing either. No one dies here, or—let me clarify this—everyone lives for so long (tens and tens of thousands of trips around the sun) that death seems quite absent.
Overpopulation. Logically speaking, that should be the case, eventually, but very, very eventually. The creator made only two, boy and girl, and these two have slowly, over millennia replicated to a small tribe of identical boys and a small tribe of identical girls. They’re scattered over the whole (very large) planet in search of adventure and only occasionally run into each other, and if one of them is a boy, chances are that a kiss might ensue and four years later there’ll be another one looking for adventure.
At the current rate of population growth, the planet will not see its first city for another eight billion years. So, overpopulation? No.
Also, it should be said, kissing is a very civilized and polite thing. No such thing as a rape-kiss on this planet.
“Would you like to be kissed?” is usually the question.
“No,” is usually the answer.
“Okay,” is usually the answer to that.
“Any good adventures lately?”
And so it goes… All very civilized and polite.
So, is this desert encounter a sexless equation?
Yes and no.
Replication is a joyous thing, but also rather long and tedious, which is why the answer is usually no, making the equation sexless in all respects. Also, everyone (though there are hardly enough of them to qualify as an everyone) is usually on an adventure (or looking for one) and don’t want to disrupt it or give it up for replication (the official term).
Should the potential kissee, however, be between adventures, or (usually the case) have never replicated before and might view it as an adventure, then and to that small degree there might be the attraction involved with looking forward to growing a copy and so, yes, a flirtive glance or two might be cast in one direction or another, but that’ll be the extent of it as far as attraction goes.
This is a very peaceful planet.
They’re all vegan (there are no animals to kill—well, a few birds fly about, but they are all too large to ever consider killing if the notion of ending a life could ever occur to these boys and girls, which it cannot).
They’re all terrific runners.
They’re all terrific walkers (when they don’t run).
They’re not very good sitters (bores them).
But here’s the point: when boy meets girl its much, much more like traveler meets traveler or adventurer meets adventure.
So, in this case, “You look thirsty,” said the girl.
“I am,” said the boy. “Do you have any spare water?”
“I do,” said the girl. “Here,” handing him her canteen.