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Sex and the single Space marine


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#1 jbuck

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

Why don't Space Marines have chem-geld (if it's even available to them I missed it)?  Is it already assumed as their humanity so far gone that it's a non-issue?

While I could see automatic, total failure when trying to seduce a Black Templar, I could see someone having success against a Space Wolves.  They sure act like they'd still have manly urges (though I haven't read the SW novels, so it may be explained there).

Since some SM fall to Slaanesh, I can't see that it follows that 100% of all attempts to seduce a Space Marine would automactically fail.

 

On a related note (sorry for the eugenics...but I can't understand why 40K doesn't have eugenics) when someone has proven themselves worthy of being a space marine, they are removed from the gene-pool.  This seems like a poor idea.  In the grim-dark future of the 41st millennium, wouldn't you run breeding programs so your supply of "pure" aspirants remained flush?  Why wouldn't there be a nazi-esque breeding program to assure the "best" people (especially when you're trying to make Space marines)?  Why woulnd't you tell your new recruit to run down to the planet and get 15 or so women pregnant (here's a list of who we think will be a good match!) before you ship him and his genetic "perfection" off into space, never to breed again?



#2 Sanguinary Priest

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:09 AM

I actually add chemgeld and trained survival skill to space marines as starting talents/skills.  As for slaneeshi marines, they're seduced by the sensation of pleasure (which they generally don't get to feel with marines' constant training schedule) which isn't necessarily sexual.  The prototypical slaneeshi marines aren't grimdark versions of the band Gwar each with an armored giant phallus, but instead Noise Marines who turn any sensation into extreme pleasure (whose closest analog in normal humanity would be sex).  Could a marine who has already fallen to slaneesh develop an interest in sexuality?  Sure... but I don't see that specifically being the reason any significant portion of marines fall to the dark side.  You have to remember that marines live for hundreds of years, of which only maybe 8-10 years was as a normal human, frequently on a deathworld.   Sexuality simply isn't a language most of them speak.

 

As for the eugenics, remember that there are millions of planets in the imperium while only a thousand or two (since some chapters get their recruits from more than one planet) contribute a dozen marines each every few generations.  While they are effectively removed from the gene pool as you said, you're still talking about taking the cream of the crop from one grain of rice in a giant bowl.



#3 jbuck

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:35 AM

I realize that Slaanesh isn't all about sex, but neither is seduction. 

Though I guess the rules for chem-geld ARE all about sex. 

So, SM's aren't likely to be seduced by sexual pleasure, but power, fame, glory, relics, a groovy saxophone solo, etc. are all good?  If a SM is successable to just about every other human failing, I can't see why the pitfalls of love/sex are the only thing they're armored against.

 

reg. eugenics:  Chapters (excecpt for those similar to the Ultramarines) seem to take their folks from very, very, small population samples

Sure, there's hundreds of trillions of people in the Empire, but if you're only looking for perfect specimens on Baal or Fenris the size of the galaxy doesn't matter at all.  The marines aren't looking anywhere but at the few people on Baal healthy enough to breed.  Taking the 10 very best young males every generation is a terrible idea. 



#4 Goodwin

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:41 AM

I can't quuuiiite remember the Space Wolves Omnibus novel, but at least on Fenris don't they only take the fellow once he's died?  Ragnar and his rival and a handful of others all get drafted after they've maimed eachother.  Technically by then, they are already out of the genepool?

Ofcourse, that's only one planet and my entire post is based on things I barely remember.  Maybe that's how they solve the issue?



#5 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:45 AM

Find me an official reference that Marines are not interested in sex.

Don't worry. I'll wait.



#6 LockLock

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:50 AM

Plenty of warrior castes were eunuchs. Not that I subscribe to eunuch marines. Always assumed their sexuality's buried beneath tons of combat doctrines and righteous zeal.



#7 Charmander

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:02 AM

There are 101 posts on this already, so I won't go into detail here- I suggest you search the forums and you'll find a lot of the information.  There are almost as many posts about FSMs as this.  You can also find a host of topics on other forums as well.

In general though, the themes that come out of those discussions is that the existing, current, fiction is inconclusive at best on the topic.  The science behind it is also less than conclusive.

The key here is really to do what fits in your setting, with your vision of marines.  To many of us chopping off marine's nuts is the ultimate in emasculation, and see it as a pointless addition to the background ("Congrats on being selected to be a marine, I'm now going to snip off your favorite parts!").  To others it's a logical things to do when you have extra bits flopping about that really aren't directly contributing to the killing of the Emperor's enemies.

 

 



#8 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:04 AM

jbuck said:

reg. eugenics:  Chapters (excecpt for those similar to the Ultramarines) seem to take their folks from very, very, small population samples

Sure, there's hundreds of trillions of people in the Empire, but if you're only looking for perfect specimens on Baal or Fenris the size of the galaxy doesn't matter at all.  The marines aren't looking anywhere but at the few people on Baal healthy enough to breed.  Taking the 10 very best young males every generation is a terrible idea. 

It may also be entirely necessary. The early years of the Space Marines involved a lot of experimentation as each Legion developed their own methods of implantation, resulting in things like the Insanguination process employed by the Blood Angels, or the pecularities of the Canis Helix unique to the Space Wolves. These unique methods will in turn have also produced unique requirements when searching for candidates. With the number of Legions whose homeworlds were particularly harsh, dangerous environments, naturally hardy and physically capable breeds of men become more apparent and more prevalent - over generations, the population of a Death World will have evolved as a result of those best suited to surviving those conditions being most likely to breed. With numerous Chapters in millennia since favouring Death Worlds and Feral Worlds as recruiting sites/homeworlds, there may be some element of those worlds producing a disproportionately large number of potential Astartes.

Combine those early traditions with countless generations of new geneseed being grown from people from a limited range of sources, and it's likely that any given Chapter has essentially become genetically tied to the particular quirks of the people of a given world - certainly, there's evidence to suggest that the Space Wolves' geneseed can't stabilise and function properly outside of Fenrisian genetics (and even then, doesn't always stabilise, creating the Wulfen).

The Ultramarines are unlikely to have ever suffered this issue - their recruitment stock has always been the entirety of the Ultramar region, creating a much more diverse baseline genestock to select from, and thus reducing how closely tied their geneseed has become to particular regional variations of human genetics, in turn meaning that the Ultramarines geneseed is far more readily usable when creating new Chapters. Similarly, the Imperial Fists initially recruited from Terra (from whence the human baseline originated), and currently recruit from countless worlds across the Imperium (they're functionally fleet-based, and most fleet-based chapters recruit from multiple worlds), preventing that same sort of genetic 'lock-in'. It shouldn't be surprising, with that in mind, that the progeny of Roboute Guilliman and Rogal Dorn are the most numerous of Space Marines in the 41st Millennium.


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#9 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:35 AM

Charmander said:

In general though, the themes that come out of those discussions is that the existing, current, fiction is inconclusive at best on the topic.  

The idea of Marines having no sex drive is just fanon, and pretty boring fanon at that.

I'd go so far as to say most of these threads are just trolling Marine fans, or are born of a desire to take Marines down a peg or two. I don't think anyone really believes that eunoch Marines will be liked more than potent Marines by their fans.

And fully functional Marines are so much more fun. You have the joys of intercourse with a Marines enhanced physiology (shades of Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex http://www.rawbw.com...w/superman.html or the deleted scene from Hancock  ). You have high status Imperial women seeking out Marines in the same way Roman nobility would seek out Gladiators. You have breeding programs intended to avoid the genetic depletion mentioned in the OP (in which Marines must return to their homeworlds and liberally spread their seed among the populous in shades of the Gods breeding with mankind in ancient myth). You have specially reinforced Marine concubines built to stand up to Marine thrusting.

Marines need all the personality they can get, and trying to knock out one of the great drivers of human motivation just to make people like Marines a little less seems... selfish.



#10 Charmander

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:17 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

one of the great drivers of human motivation just to make people like Marines a little less seems... selfish.

^^This.  Sex is an integral part of our own experiences, and helps us identify with and relate to characters.  It also makes them vulnerable, which is another important hallmark of a heroic character (which No1 describes quite well in a different post).



#11 jbuck

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:05 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

Charmander said:

In general though, the themes that come out of those discussions is that the existing, current, fiction is inconclusive at best on the topic.  

 

The idea of Marines having no sex drive is just fanon, and pretty boring fanon at that.

I'd go so far as to say most of these threads are just trolling Marine fans, or are born of a desire to take Marines down a peg or two. I don't think anyone really believes that eunoch Marines will be liked more than potent Marines by their fans.

And fully functional Marines are so much more fun. You have the joys of intercourse with a Marines enhanced physiology (shades of Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex http://www.rawbw.com...w/superman.html or the deleted scene from Hancock  ). You have high status Imperial women seeking out Marines in the same way Roman nobility would seek out Gladiators. You have breeding programs intended to avoid the genetic depletion mentioned in the OP (in which Marines must return to their homeworlds and liberally spread their seed among the populous in shades of the Gods breeding with mankind in ancient myth). You have specially reinforced Marine concubines built to stand up to Marine thrusting.

Marines need all the personality they can get, and trying to knock out one of the great drivers of human motivation just to make people like Marines a little less seems... selfish.

 

Just to be sure...no trolling intended.  And I agree with everything here, which is partly why I was asking the questions.  I just like to know what the "official" line is.  It seems strange that with all the talk about the horiffic, grim-dark violence in 40K there's no official discussion of sex (not that I'm equating sex with horiffic violence).  I'd expect that from an American game, not a British one.



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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:59 PM

Hey - no sex please, we're British.

There is no official position. Most of the Marine fen still think girls are icky, so it isn't an issue. But those of us of more mature years (if not taste in entertainment and sense of humour) need not be limited by Games Workshops kid friendly ethos.

I happen to think there is Epically more entertainment to be had out of allusions to Footballers Wives/WAGs or homosexual relations between Marines than in duh huh Marines bits don't work.



#13 Siranui

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:52 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

The idea of Marines having no sex drive is just fanon, and pretty boring fanon at that.

It's really not. In thousands of pages of Astartes fluff and fiction, there are how many references to them 'getting some'? Or even insinuation, suitable for a younger audience?

That can't solely be attributed to the age of readers, given that there is plenty of references to other romantic interests; even homosexual ones.

Your line of reason sounds a lot like "well there's no proof that God *doesn't* exist; ergo he does."

Personally; if I were building supersoldiers, there's no way I'd let them still be interested in that kind of thing, with either gender. It's a distraction, and causes complications and for bad choices to be made. And Marines don't have time to combat jack.

 



#14 Lightbringer

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:33 PM

To some extent it comes down to "How human do we actually want the marines to be?" There are obviously two schools: the " Marines are actually not really that human any more" school and the "Marines are genetically enhanced humans, with all that entails" school.

Different writers take different views. The recent Space Wolves Codex had a marine making a pass at someone in the timeline section, for example.

I personally wouldn't ever want to take a strong, unfying stance on marine sexuality. Naturally, it will vary from Chapter to Chapter. One gets the impression that a lot of chapters suffer neuroses and issues that may be related to sublimated or suppressed sexuality...I'm looking at you Imperial Fists with your weird resin-swallowing, hardened excrement collecting antics. The World Eaters always struck me as having issues,too...anyone THAT angry tends to have some sort of underlying sexual problem.

Equally, some other chapters engage in practices so extreme that they seem to have left most aspects of normal humanity behind, whjich would logcally include sexuality. Look at the Iron Hands and their successors - one imagines they would regard sexuality as another disgusting fleshy concept to leave behind in the search for perfection.

I think the issue is best left wide open for individual writers to take a view on in relation to individual chapters, and indeed even marines within individual chapters.      



#15 bobh

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 03:40 AM

There is a very telling moment in one of the first Horus Heresy books where a female laments 'what a waste' in reference to an astartes she sees without his armor on.  It is not specific but it seems telling.  Marines simply have little interest or are incapable of sex.  As no 'sons or daughters' of astartes have ever been written about - made after one becomes a marine not before, its a common sense leap of faith that they don't engage in sex or are incapable of breeding true (either seems just as likely).  It is really a non-issue. 



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Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:24 AM

Siranui said:

It's really not. In thousands of pages of Astartes fluff and fiction, there are how many references to them 'getting some'? Or even insinuation, suitable for a younger audience?

 

Hey man. Nobody had sex in 40k before Ciaphas Cain. Does that mean commisars couldn't have sex?

I think a Cain style expose on what Marines really get up to could be greatly entertaining.



#17 Lightbringer

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:44 AM

AluminiumWolf said:

Siranui said:

Hey man. Nobody had sex in 40k before Ciaphas Cain. Does that mean commisars couldn't have sex?

I seem to recall there was some fairly steamy Astropath on Navigator action in the short story "Lacrymata" from waaay back in the early '90s... Those guys were making the beast with two backs (and three eyes in total) a long time before Ciaphas.



#18 venkelos

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 05:07 AM

On one level, it seems that so many people are constantly busy with so much combat that finding time for sex seems unlikely. So many worlds often appear like they are never-lulling war zones, where everyone is a fighter, and no one walks along the streets, running shops, and living "regular" lives that it seems the pop growth of the Imperium would only increase with the assimilation of another world. Female soldiers could also never have sex, since getting pregnant could take them out of combat (this is not true, of course).

I'm sure plenty of people find time for sex, and even the soldiers probably do some rotation of active troops, so that all of their men don't go crazy, or get ground down. During those lulls, they could also procreate. As for Space Marines, I like to subscribe to the theory that they are sterile, at least. I'd say everything works, but the monumental gene-therapy they have been exposed to has loaded the bolter with blanks. Otherwise, I could see that they have children who inherit their prior genetic code. One fact, I think, would be that so many people rarely see Space Marines. How many women will get the opportunity to breed with a Space Marine?

As for losing their great genetics, one would easily think that the Imperium, being so controlling and invasive, could also easily say that the Chapters "milk" their recruits, during their indoctrination procedures. There's a decent little bit of time prior to them becoming Space Marines, and while they are harvesting sample of other bits, maybe to store blood for transfusions, or tissue samples for organ cloning, they could also collect genetic materials from their candidates, and then fertilize women on their recruit worlds, keeping the genes strong and varied. Even if the Neonate fails to become a Marine, then his good genetics would live on past him, unless those genetics contributed to his failure.



#19 Siranui

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 06:12 AM

 Nobody got dirty before Cain? Not true: There are literally dozens of implicated relationships prior to that which don't involve Marines.

As to Eugenics; I think the Astartes consider that to be their job after induction, via geneseed. It is possible that there are large-scale eugenics projects which 'feed' some Chapters, though. Don't forget either: Eugenics isn't all about 'the guy'. The women are not taken out of the gene pool by recruiting, and I imagine female lines who produce men who go on to become Marines are much treasured in warrior societies.



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Posted 24 November 2011 - 06:33 AM

venkelos said:

How many women will get the opportunity to breed with a Space Marine?

 

A lot would want to though. Marines carry the blood of the Emperor in their veins. A chance at your own little demi-god, not to mention the opportunity to get really close to the Divine.

I like to think that Guard units have camp followers and sanctioned field brothels, even though they never get mentioned.

--

Like I say, before Cain would you have said Commisars had relationships? Why should Marines be any different?






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