Cooperation xB Societal Behavior | Sexual Practices and Culture
Regarding practices surrounding intercourse and Cooperation xBs' "sex positive" in a post-Collective life
The Cooperation xBs of Ohniaka III are, by far, one of the most polite cultures I have encountered when approaching the topic of sexual intercourse, and are certainly one of the most candid. In summary, perhaps it is due to the inherent value placed on the paradoxical "shared, yet individual experience," and "experiencing life's sensations through a unified, yet singular existence" as a society. But their frankness and unabashed lack of apologia for their own satisfaction of physical recreation lends sex to be a rather widely accepted, celebrated, and positive interpersonal activity of self-discovery.
Common Misconceptions, Cultural Context
As a precursor to the rest of this entry, I will inform the reader that it is in poor, infantilizing taste to assume that xBs (and by proxy the Borg Collective) are inherently ignorant to sex. By their own repetitive admission, the Borg have assimilated thousands of sapient species' "biological and technical distinctiveness;" this, therefore, also includes those species' methods of intercourse, understanding of gender/relationship dynamics, and those cultures' approach to sexuality. As I've been informed by Cooperation anthropologists and philosophers, the crux of any perceived "ignorance" from an xB regarding sex is related to a personal reckoning between the instilled information of the Collective, and what the xB themselves may find preferable and something they wish to pursue.
Nothing, however, is without a beginning, and the Cooperation's roots of a sex positive culture did not manifest from thin air. The following is from an interview with an anonymous Progenitor, upon my questioning how a population of ~1,200 xBs were left to this journey of self-discovery and gleaning between "data and desire" after Cubesfall during their 10 year seclusion:
"In the months after stability came to our community, there had been... murmurs, spreading throughout Cube 5219’s survivors. As our implants fell from us in heed of organic bodily systems reasserting themselves, so too did physical needs begin to emerge alongside our newly-forming identities like long-dormant seeds. These murmurs encompassed... well, everything: urges, desires, attractions, bodily phenomena- 'utilize your imagination,' as they say." "We had libraries of information regarding sex stored in our minds; we were not ignorant as to what these physical happenings were. But we were painfully so initially trying to act upon those desires- our exo-platings’ cumbersome natures notwithstanding. Therefore, it was decided very early on that it was better to discuss these sexual desires freely and openly. For we referenced previous civilizations’ usage of conservatism towards sex and its limiting of discussion and information, and found the philosophies rather inefficient and damaging to the self. Honesty and communal discussion made for a great illuminator; for not only our community’s sake, but also the individual with regards to sexual manifestations." "As I recall discussing with a dear friend 23 years ago, 'It would not be wise to limit our understanding of sex because of our own inexperience.' We could not fear sex, because then we could have feared the others who had experienced sex. And we did not want that. Not after what we'd been through."
It possible that xBs find the relation to other bodies in a sexually satisfying way a form of conquering Collective-instilled dysphoria, doubt, and perceived physical dysmorphia. As I've been told by my co-writer, there is something rather powerful in “reclaiming” and discovering one’s own sexual identity, alignment, preference, and comfortable stewardship of their own, ever-developing bodies. Theories on how various species could impact xBs’ sexual compulsions and libido notwithstanding (i.e.: a prolonged observation of a Vulcan xB’s sexual drive vs. the demands of the “Pon Farr” phenomenon has been recommended to allot further scientific study), they are all unified by their common physical attributes of formerly being a part of the wider Hivemind- a concept that, inherently, does not despise the idea of connection to greater sensations and an even greater conscious.
While romantic infatuation and commitment remains a very lofty, precious, and apotheosis-level societal treasure among xBs, typical approaches between xBs begin with a simple, cordial declaration of the other party’s attractiveness, compatibility, consent, and orientation to see if the other(s) would be interested in further sexual activities. The most common phrases I have observed (and been told) are “I find you pleasing” and “I believe I would find you further pleasing somewhere else,” or some other incorporation of the word "pleasing" that has woven itself into popular lingo and social cues. For the newly-Reprised xBs still trying to find their social graces months after emerging from the Reclamation Project and Cooperation's sexual education resources, “you are attractive to me, would you like to have intercourse” is a phrase that's not too farfetched, and it's one have seen rejected with polite smiles from older, more-ripened xBs who may not prefer sexual intercourse by way of their own orientations (or accepted from other, freshly like-minded xBs).
Ohniakan bathhouses amidst their healing, regenerative waters are common places where these platitudes are exchanged, but can be exchanged anywhere from a living block's quarters lounge bed or on the emerald coasts of the Capitol City. Kink, unique sexual subcultures, and orgies are also made possible by these accepted advancements or community postings, and are well-managed, communal activities that cooperate with pre-determined supervision by a group and recreational structure as any “sporting event.” These gatherings are hosted not just in the dark nor discussed only in hushed, fearful whispers, but instead held in beautiful chambers and hauntingly beautiful, brutalist suites. To my Junction minder and I’s great amusement, it's been discovered recently that some residents and a small handful of visitors to Ohniaka III have begun sardonically nicknaming the events as "Borgies."
While these platitudes and actions are blunt, they are verbalized chances for the initiator to declare their intentions that align with the frankness of xBs as a whole, confessed either verbally or over exchanged PADD messages. Upon further reflection, it feels almost necessary to state the casualty with which this exchange are had, as many discuss this as unabashedly as a human would over a coffee date. Rejection, therefore, is not taken with personal laces of malice or ill-boding, and is rather a pleasant acknowledgment of differences between the involved parties: circling back to the celebration and valuing of individuality throughout all xB culture.
Medical Highlights, Factors
With a medical healthcare system so ingrained into the population thanks to the Reclamation Project's eternal work and presence within xB society, contraceptives and intercourse-aligned/STD-preventative medications are freely available to the public. xBs also have the advantage of downloading information of how best to prevent STDs and determine interspecies' chemical compatibility (or whether or not conception could be a byproduct from the parties' copulation regardless of species). Should xBs choose to initiate a Tether during intercourse, it is a factor that must be occasionally minded for the health of involved parties: both in regards to how long parties may remain connected, or if the mind is willing to enter the headspace that a Tether requires.
This section regarding xB intercourse shall end with words from Consultation Junction Horus. I myself am not an xB, and merely peer into their world for our own education and a striving to understand others and uphold Starfleet's desire for connection across worlds. It would be far more fitting, then, to have an xB discuss what makes this form of connection for them so poignant, and his words encapsulate it far better than I ever could.
There is a phrase I have heard employed from human metaphor: the concept of “touch-starved,” and upon further studies of its meanings I have not found another phrase to so aptly associate xBs as a people and society. We are separate, above all else, and yet we yearn for connection. We are one in ourselves, above all else, and yet we are many- at a constant divide for individuality and cooperation between others who share our kinship and trauma. Be it physical, verbal, or emotional investment, premeditated interaction with specific individuals tells us more about ourselves, and how deeply we can fathom being known for who we are rather than the commandments of a Collective declare us to be.
Touch is key. Its very nature is personal intent, and it is spiced with personhood's uniqueness and the instinctual desire of want. Touch, to an xB, is the pinnacle in all sacredness and preciousness. In your relations with Reclaimed, if you are to touch them and interact with them on a physical level, you must pay mind that you should not cheapen a beautiful meal of touch with fleeting casualness. To us, touch is a warmth that melts the icy cold of the Collective: a warmth that sends devastating cracks throughout its barren, unfeeling hull. It is a beautiful paradox— to be lost as a person in something so vast as a concept, that you become that very collective experience itself. When fed well-intended touch, xBs are not merely “no longer starved;” rather, they become a fire more radiant than any star could ever burn, infinitely fueled by the warmth you have decided to give them.
Our bodies are self-shaped temples — lovingly and laboriously built with tools we've Reclaimed from our Oppressors — and your respect paid to these vessels are what help fill them with the holy nirvana of perfection our societal captor so dearly sought.