The Plains of Ji – Week-of-Washing, 5th Cycle, Sunday
When referring to the anatomy of Centaurs it is tempting to fall back on old-fashioned, anthropocentric terminology and describe them as “composite beings,” who possess a “Human part” and “horse part.” Of course, a Centaur is no more “part human” than a Human is “part Centaur” (and mutatis mutandis for a horse).
Be that as it may, Centaurs refer to themselves as composite beings 1, and the distinction between their “two parts” is deeply entrenched in their culture, especially their erotic culture. This does not diminish the anthropocentrism of the terminology—it is merely evidence of the extent of Human hegemony over Centaur society—but it does necessitate tortuous circumlocutions if we are to describe Centaur anatomy in politically correct terms. I want this book to be readable and widely accessible, and so I will reluctantly use the old, outdated terminology throughout this chapter, with the understanding that it is used provisionally until a more a progressive vocabulary comes into being.
Every Centaur has two complete sets of genitalia—a humanoid set and an equine set. Each are found more-or-less where you would expect, with the human set located right at the point of transition into the horse body. The human genitals are often left out of classical depictions of Centaurs, and even some modern textbooks are bowdlerized in this manner. In such depictions the human waist transitions directly into the horse’s breast. In actuality, the Human part extends down between the horse’s shoulders, and the point of transition is roughly analogous to the human perineal region 2.
Centaurs have four different sexes. A “stallion” has a male human part and a male horse part; a “mare” has a female human part and a female horse part; a “gelding” has a male human part and a female horse part; and a “ridgling” has a female human part, and a male horse part.
Illustration 10.1 – Click image to hide/show clothing
Horatio Hmenem, my main subject for this chapter, is a young gelding. He 3 therefore possesses a human penis and an equine vagina. Curiously, it is considered taboo for the human genitals and horse genitals of two Centaurs to come into sexual contact. This is a kind of intraspecies bestiality taboo, and reinforces the idea of the Centaur as a human-animal composite.
Although Centaurs derive pleasure from both sexual systems, as a general rule the horse genitals are used for reproduction, while the human genitals (which are not associated with the Centaur reproductive system) are used for erotic relationships. A typical heterosexual gelding will therefore procreate with stallions, form erotic relationships with mares, and do either (or both) with ridglings.
There is a small and highly controversial group within Centaur society who argue that the sexual boundaries imposed on the Centaur body are a product of Human culture and are not an authentic representation of Centaur sexuality. Horatio is a prominent historian and influential member of this group. He has found evidence that the intraspecies bestiality taboo did not exist before Humans came to the Plains of Ji. He describes the movement as an effort to “decolonize” Centaur sexuality, and considers the taboo a form of oppression. According to Horatio, the idea that you can engage in bestiality with another member of your own species is simply incoherent.
Horatio’s primary lover is a mare named Braya Highmane. “During sex I stroke both of her vulvae, I lick both of her clitorises, I use my penis to penetrate both of her vaginas. Why should this be obscene? We are both Centaurs. We are both adults. Why should their be parts of our bodies that are off-limits to one another?”
Interestingly, Braya does not stimulate Horatio’s vagina during sex, as both she and Horatio identify as heterosexual. I asked if this ever causes him frustration, as his vagina is beyond the reach of his own humanoid hands. He explained that he and Braya have another occasional lover—a stallion named Kulor Brashash—who attends to him in this manner: “He penetrates my vagina with both of his penises. Each has its own size and shape, each is wonderful in its own way.”
Horatio and Braya allowed me to watch them making love. It was a tremendous privilege, and was very beautiful to watch. I must admit, however, that witnessing this “decolonized sex” triggered my own hang-ups about bestiality. Horatio’s upper body and penis appeared so human, and Braya’s rear appeared so equine. I had to remind myself that Centaurs are neither humans nor horses—they are unique beings in their own right—and gradually I began to shake off my cultural prejudices and view them as nothing but two beautiful, sentient creatures exploring the full range of erotic possibilities offered by their anatomy.