The Greenwood – Week-of-the-Blazing-Sun, 5th Cycle, Tuesday
Shuthuth the Elder is an ancient Treewoman of the Greatstump Clan, a renowned mathematician and my primary subject for this chapter.
Illustration 8.1 – Click image to hide/show clothing
Although the Treefolk of the Greenwood are essentially immobile, and never touch one another directly, they lead rich sex lives, particularly during the spring, or, as it is known in the Greenwood, the Flowering. Shuthuth explained to me that each flower is an exquisite and delicate sex organ in its own right, and to flower is to open oneself utterly to the Greenwood and to all other Treefolk. “Think of it as walking naked through a city,” Shuthuth told me, “and accepting each and every sexual advance made towards you, without hesitation or shyness. It is a beautiful and liberating experience.”
When the flowers open, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other animals are attracted to their pollen-rich centers. Stimulation of the stamens and pistils at the center of the flowers is immensely pleasurable for a Treewoman. “Bumblebees are my favourite,” Shuthuth told me. “Such a fuzzy, delicate touch.” The pollen is then taken away, and transmitted into the flowers of other Treefolk.
For Shuthuth, at least, the anonymity of this sexual interaction is an important element of the eroticism: “I love not knowing where my pollen might end up. Maybe it will fertilize an ancient gnarled Treeman or a supple young sapling. We all share pollen around here. It’s all a little incestuous, I know, but that’s the Greenwood for you.”
Pixies often lick pollen and drink the nectar from the flowers of Treefolk, and I asked Shuthuth if she considered this a form of xenophilia. “Of course, my dear,” she replied. “All living things are sexually entangled, especially here in the Greenwood. Without xenophilia, we Treefolk would not be able to have sex at all.”
With Shuthuth’s permission, I took my clothes off and climbed up into her branches. I had expected her bark to be rough, but I found it beautifully smooth against my skin. There is a deep and primal playfulness in climbing a tree, and I found myself giddy and laughing as I straddled her limbs and hung upside down by my legs. I rubbed Shuthuth’s pollen onto my finger, my breasts, my cheeks and then I ran naked through the Greenwood to find another Treewoman with whom to share it.