It is a while since I had access to a copy of The Feminine Régime
. My impression was that it is decidedly the most "erotic" of the early Aristasian books. But it is also the book that stresses on several occasions that eroticism is best when not
consummated (naturally there is no hint of consummation taking place anywhere in the book).
This makes sense in the light of Lady Aquila's words:
...if eroticism had not a spiritual actuality, it would not exist. Aristasian philosophy, like your Plato, holds that maiden-eroticism is essentially a reflection of the Haiel'Sucri - as Tellurians would (once have) put it, the Divine Eros or Sri Kama.
for this is Plato's view exactly. While in popular modern usage, a "platonic relationship" is one where, for one reason or another, consummation is not involved; what Plato actually meant was a relationship that was
erotic in the higher sense but which directed that eroticism to a spiritual end, and not to material consummation.
Since marriage is a minority vocation in the Motherlands and Amity plays a much greater role we may wonder what part "eroticism" plays for many girls, and what I have heard is that there is a considerable amount of "courtly" love, that focuses on the adoration of blondes by brunettes without marriage or consummation.
This is perhaps something that should be written about more. I should love to see some fiction illustrating "courtly" relationships and how they fit in with other relationships.
One thing that I think is very important in all of this is that Aristasians do not accept the Animal Thesis
and therefore, unlike modern Tellurians, do not regard erotic attraction as an animal urge, having its primary end in a procreative act.
They see maidens as far more subtle and complex beings full of endless magical and romantic possibilities, while Telluria has increasingly reduced its view of maid and her myriad desires to a few simple, utilitarian functions.