Berhem’s two husbands
Tem 20, 2022 // By:analsex // No Comment
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The Mitri people depicted in this story are fictional, though fraternal polyandry (brothers sharing a wife) is still practised in highland parts of Asia today, particularly Nepal and Tibet, and the practice was probably much more widespread in ancient times. It is a rational cultural response to the problem of subsistence agriculture in mountainous terrain, where the land requires labour-intensive cultivation. I have used Kurdish names for the Mitri characters, and some Kurdish anatomical terms, though I’m aware of no evidence that Kurds ever practised polyandry in pre-Islamic times. No disparagement of the noble and brave Kurdish people is thereby intended. The world has given the Kurds far too much suffering as it is. The religion depicted here is a sort of syncretic semi-paganised folk adaptation of Zoroastrianism, pretty far removed from orthodox Zoroastrianism.
The belief that a child could have multiple fathers (partible paternity) was part of a number of pre-modern cultures. This is generally assumed nowadays to be biologically impossible, but in fact it is possible, albeit rare. If a woman has sexual intercourse with two men in quick succession, or simultaneously as in this story, it is possible for sperm from each male to fertilize two different ova. Normally this would lead to heteropaternal fraternal twins. But sometimes one of the fertilized ova merges with the other, a phenomenon called ‘chimaerism’. The merged embryo then will grow into a child who has the genetic material of two different fathers.
All sexually active characters in this story are above the age of eighteen. No animals were harmed in the making of the story. May contain nuts. Moose’s nose wiped by Bjorn Irkestom. Perfumes by Je Suis Gizella.
Setting: a village in western Asia, circa 400 CE.
Supper is over now. My husband Sirvan clears away the bowls, placing them in the hearth embers to be cleansed by fire, while my other husband Diyari and our boys, Hozan and Rebaz, take the food remnants out to feed to our pigs. I quietly nurse our little daughter Vahar, then put her to bed. Now Hozan and Rebaz are ready for bed, and we sing them the song of Anahita and the River. When they drop off to sleep, I take my husbands’ hands and lead them to our bedroom. This is my favourite part of the day, when Sirvan and Diyari lie with me, holding me between them, making me cry out with pleasure, filling me with their seed, falling asleep on either side of me in a warm triple embrace. I thank Anahita for my husbands. I am a fortunate woman.
I am Berhem daughter of Hetaw, of the village of Gonshi, by the Zankri river. We are Mitri. We worship the goddess Anahita, and the spirit of the fire, Ormazd. Yes, I have two husbands, they are brothers, is that so surprising? Among our people, when a woman marries, the custom is for her to take not just one man, but also his brothers. We call this a ‘common marriage’, for the brothers share their wife in common. Some women in our village have five husbands! But I am content with my two.
The Huns and Parthians, with whom we trade (when they are not robbing us), call us Mitri a backward people. They say a woman must marry only one man. Though among them a wealthy man may take several wives. The woman may lie only with her one husband — or so the men believe; what the Hunnish and Parthian women get up to when their men are not watching them, I can only speculate. I ask you, how can they call us backward? Are they not the backward ones? Everyone knows that a single man cannot satisfy a woman, though one woman can easily satisfy several men. I keep my two young husbands well satisfied, I can tell you. What, after all, is the purpose of marriage? If it is to breed children as fast as possible, then I will grant you the Huns and Parthians have it right. But we think the purpose of marriage is so that every woman and man, and every child they conceive, are well loved and well cared for. So the law of Ormazd teaches us. And the Mitri common marriage best ensures this.
There are practical reasons for common marriage as well, outside of what goes on in the bedroom. If every man had to go out on his own, to find his own wife, to set up a separate household with her, why, there would be chaos, there would be be too many children, we would all starve! Our land is mountainous and stony. It takes several brothers working together with their wife to cultivate a family’s holding. If the holdings were all broken up, a bit to each brother, none would have enough land to scratch a living. But together, my husbands and I have a good field of emmer wheat, a smaller field of barley, an orchard of olive and pomegranate trees, and a flock of goats and sheep, some pigs, plus a good spring from which to water it all. And as a woman, I have rights to pasturage in the village’s common lands. My husbands are good workers. We and our children never go to bed hungry, and we have enough left over to share with those less fortunate.
Some Mitri women, of course, do not welcome the embrace of a man. They prefer the love of other women. These woman often bahis şirketleri choose to live with each other as couples, or sometimes larger households. I do not really understand how they pleasure each other, but these women seem happy enough. They may adopt children that other families cannot care for. But there are not so many of these woman-only households that brothers cannot find wives, here in Gonshi or in other Mitri villages.
What if a Mitri man prefers the embrace of other men? He usually marries a wife along with his brothers, and works along with them for the prosperity of their household, and the raising of their children. But he does not lie with his wife. He is free to lie with other men as he pleases.
Who is the father of my children? Why, both my husbands, of course. If two brothers work together to press olives, is the oil not the result of both their labour? Should the product be attributed to only one of them? So it is with the begetting of a child, when both brothers lie with their wife. I can see some of Sirvan’s traits, and some of Diyari’s, in each of my children. Surely they were formed in my womb from both my husbands’ seed. Anyway, my children are loved and cared for by all of us. What else matters?
Jealousy? Mitri men are not jealous of their brothers. They are brought up sharing everything, and so when they grow to manhood they naturally share a wife. It is not as though I could choose one man from this family and another man from that family and expect them to live together, sharing me. Then there would be jealousy of course. With brothers it is different. Well, sometimes there is jealousy, if a woman is foolish enough to play favourites among her husbands. There was a case like that here a few years ago. The woman grew angry towards one of her husbands for some minor reason, and closed her thighs to him, while she lay with his brother. This continued for many nights. The aggrieved husband moved out of her house. There was much anger and bitterness on all sides. The village grandmothers talked long and hard to that woman. Her heart softened, and she wooed her husband back. She learned her lesson, I think, to be a good wife to both her husbands.
Both my husbands are very dear to me, and they know this. They know I have oceans of love for both of them.
My life was not always so fortunate. Both my fathers were killed by Avar raiders when I was three. I myself received a sword cut in that attack that left a long scar from my jaw to my forehead. The Avars are slavers. My fathers died protecting me. The village lost seven children that night, and four other men were killed. The loss cast a pall over our village for years. Some whose children were taken grew bitter with grief, they seemed to hold it against me that I had escaped enslavement, while their children had not.
When I became of age, not many mothers would consider giving their sons in marriage to a girl with a disfigured face. I was married to a man named Zengo son of Ajda. He had no brothers. He had sojourned for a few years among the Huns, and had come back with a chest of Byzantine gold coins and a string of fine horses. This wealth made my mother’s eyes light up, though he must have got it through raiding with the Huns, which is contrary to the law of Ormazd. I was not pleased to marry him, for he treated me with little kindness, even when courting me, but my mother felt I would get no better offers.
I tried to be a good wife to Zengo, but he lay with me seldom, and never with any enjoyment — for either of us. He gave me no child. He took to drinking heavily, and to gambling, in the Parthian towns to the east. The work of farming our holding he left to my mother and me. Within a couple of years, the gold coins and horses had all been drunk and gambled away. Then, Zengo vanished as well. We heard that he was living among the Huns again. I did not mourn his loss.
My mother Hetaw, who had never recovered in spirit from the loss of her husbands, began to slip into madness. For days at a time she would lie still, saying nothing, with a look of deadness in her eyes. At other times she imagined the Avars were attacking again, and she screamed with terror. Caring for her took nearly all my time. We lived, barely, on what we earned from our olive harvest, plus we rented out our wheat and barley fields to our neighbour Avzen daughter of Fidan, and her husbands. Then my mother died, and I was alone.
If it had not been for the friendship of Avzen, my life might have kept spiralling downward. But she gave me a generous rent for the fields, and after Hetaw’s death Avzen often invited me to eat with her family. She became like an older sister to me. I lost my gauntness, My body grew plump and womanly, like Avzen herself. I began to smile and laugh more often.
One evening, Avzen and I were drinking wine at my house. At a certain point, she grew serious. She spoke of her two sons reaching marriageable age. She said her family had come to depend upon the harvests from my fields. Would it not be in everyone’s interest for me to put the bahis firmaları arrangement on a permanent footing, by marrying her sons. I nearly choked on my wine. Avzen’s boys, Sirvan and Diyari, well, I had become like an older sister to them. I watched over them when Avzen and her husbands were occupied. I teased them. They played pranks on me. Well, that was when they were boys. I had to acknowledge that they had recently grown into fine young men. Beautiful young men, in fact. Marriage to young men like them seemed beyond the hopes of a women like me. Usually a wife is the same age as the oldest or her husbands, or younger. I was ten years older than Sirvan, twelve years older than Diyari. I thanked Avzen for her generosity, but I was far too old for them, I said. And surely her sons would object to a wife with a disfigured face.
Avzen reassured me that the marriage was very much the boys’ idea. Though she had been thinking along similar lines herself. She made me promise not to be upset, then told me that, some months previously, her sons had been searching for a lost goat when they came upon me bathing at my spring. They were concealed by a thicket of junipers. They retreated before I noticed them. After that, Avzen giggled, they no longer thought of me as their annoying older sister. The sight of my heavy breasts and fat bottom had quite captured their imaginations. She overheard them whispering to each other reverently, longingly about me. Avzen pried the story out of them. As for my facial scar, it did not put them off them in the slightest, they had grown up seeing it, it was simply a feature of my face to them. And I was not yet too old to bear a fine crop of grandchildren for Avzen. Her sons eagerly wanted me as their wife. And she wanted me as a daughter-in-law.
At first, I was mortified at the thought that Avzen’s boys had seen me naked. But I recognised that they had done nothing disrespectful — I was the one bathing outside. (It is so much easier and more pleasant in the summer to bathe by the spring than to lug all that water indoors and bathe in a tub.) Then the idea took hold that these beautiful young men actually desired me … it was so new and wonderful, my heart soared. The prospect of a wonderful new life opened before me. How could I not welcome this gift? How could I not desire them in return? Yes, I told Avzen, I would take her sons in marriage.
The wedding night
A few days later, the village magus blessed my threshold as Sirvan and Diyari stepped across it as my new husbands. The boys’ fathers, Egid, Khebat and Hedi, helped us tidy up after the wedding feast, after the other villagers had gone home, then they left me alone with my young men. I had barely exchanged a half-dozen words with Sirvan and Diyari since their mother and I had agreed to the marriage. I supposed that Sirvan, as the elder brother, would take me to bed now, and Diyari would have his first turn with me the following night. But I was so much older than both of them: they seemed to be waiting for me to take the lead, to do or say something. So I said the words that my mother had taught me to say on my wedding night to Zengo: I want to be a good wife to you. To both of you, my husbands, I added. They both replied eagerly, breathlessly, that they wished to be good husbands to me, they would do anything to make me happy, they wished only to please me. I looked into their eyes and I saw love there. Earnestness. Gentleness. Vulnerability. Eagerness. Lust. Well, Avzen had assured me that this is what I could expect from her sons, but I still was stunned. And thrilled.
Come here you two, I said, crooking my finger and smiling at them. I had no clear plan for what would happen next, but they began embracing me, kissing me, both at once. I began to weep. My scar is not hideous to you? I asked. Ssh, they answered, you are beautiful, Berhem. You are lovely. They held me tightly between them, kissing my scarred face, kissing my mouth, kissing my ears and neck, and it felt the most natural thing in the world, to be embraced between their firm, warm, muscular bodies. For the first time since I lost my fathers, I felt safe.
I also felt very wet. My heart was melting with love for both these beautiful young men. I could not choose one of them to lie with me, and send the other away. I took both husbands to bed with me that night, and so it has been every night since.
This seems only natural to us. Consider: I have two breasts. My husbands each have a mouth. And when they each take a breast in their mouth and lick and suck on my nipples, both at the same time, I am in ecstasy, I melt with pleasure and contentment. The pleasure is not merely doubled, it is seven-times-sevenfold greater. Why should one breast go neglected, my pleasure diminished? Why should one husband be sent away to sleep in the outer room, with no breast to comfort him?
Similarly, I have two hands. My husbands each have a beautiful kir between their thighs, a perfect hand-warmer for me. I love how they grow hard and hot in my hands. Why should one hand be left empty, unwarmed? Why should one husband kaçak bahis siteleri go to a cold bed in the outer room, his kir uncaressed, unheld?
I have only one quz, of course. But there is room in it for two kirs. After they have made me quite wet, I lie on my side, one husband in front and one behind me, and they both slide their hard man-horns into me, filling me up so tightly, thrusting into me like eager billy-goats, sometimes together, sometimes with alternating strokes, till I shudder and cry out with pleasure, held securely between their firm bodies, completely immersed in a warm bath of husband love, as they gratefully spurt their seed in my womb. Why should my quz go half-empty? Why should one husband’s kir be sent away, unsheathed, unsatisfied?
As for my qun, I enjoy it when my husbands play with it, touching or licking it. But it feels strange and uncomfortable to me to have a kir in there, though some women apparently love it, prefer it even. My husbands and I much prefer to have both kirs in my quz, side by side. That way, both their seed can reach my womb. Both husbands can make me conceive. It seems more … brotherly.
The houses of our village are not so far apart: sounds carry.
One day, a few months after the wedding I was approached in the village market by my neighbour, Rounak daughter of Ashti. Her manner was shy but persistent. She asked polite questions, about my health, the health of my husbands, Finally I guessed what she was after. You want to know how I lie with my husbands? She nodded, blushing. So I explained to her that with us there is no turn-taking, there is room for two in my quz.
I envy you, Berhem, said Rounak, that sounds delicious. But I have three husbands, where would they all lie? I answered: while the other two are inside you, your mouth is free. I am sure you can imagine how to use it. And afterwards the third husband can sleep between your legs, with his head resting on your nether beard. Rounak giggled naughtily. By then, a half dozen women were gathered round us, listening in.
What Berhem suggests is making me wet, tittered Zerya daughter of Evin, blushing. And if I know my husbands, it will please them too. Sleeping arrangements in my house will be different tonight!
Another neighbour, Srousht daughter of Artin, shook her head. A harmonious marriage, she said, requires each brother to ignore the fact that the others also lie with their wife. To pretend that she only does it with him. How can he ignore it if it happens right in front of him? Why must Berhem rub their faces in it? This will only provoke trouble.
I answered: Srousht, do you think Aza and Hawre cannot hear you perfectly well in the bedroom with Hemin, when they are sleeping in the outer room, and vice-versa? I can hear you, Srousht, from three houses away! Why this pretence? Would it not be better to be honest, and let each husband know that he is fully loved, whether you lie with them together or one at a time?
Then I saw that Sazan daughter of Alai was among the group. Sazan is one of the oldest women in the village, the weightiest voice among the grandmothers. She now said: Berhem daughter of Hetaw speaks wisely. When a grandmother of Sazan’s stature gives her opinion, that is the end of the matter. Srousht did not presume to argue back.
Sazan continued, You must join me for a cup of wine some evening, Berhem. The grandmothers failed you, in your troubles with Zengo and your mother’s illness. I am sorry for that, we must not let such a thing happen again. But you have overcome your adversity, Anahita has blessed you, and now you have two fine husbands, and a child on the way. I would like to know your thoughts better, daughter.
For a grandmother to confer such honours on a woman like me was unprecedented. My status in the village shot up dramatically. As did my mother-in-law Avzen’s.
From the sounds that carried at night among the houses of the village, it seemed that more and more households were abandoning the turn-taking custom.
Berhem’s family grows
I gave birth a few months after this to a healthy, beautiful son, Hozan. Rebaz came along a year and a half later, equally beautiful, but much louder! Hozan grew into a serious, quiet, kind-hearted boy. Rebaz is more talkative, more light-hearted, but he idolizes his brother, following him around like a puppy. Hozan in turn watches protectively over Rebaz, delighted to have such a loyal follower, an audience for all his great deeds. Cut from the same block as their two fathers. Two years after Rebaz, I bore them a sister, Vahar. I love my sons, but little Vahar has a special place in my heart. I want to be a much better mother to her than Hetaw was toward me. Vahar is beginning to speak now, she holds out her little arms and says, Mama hug! or Papa carry! Soon she will wean herself. I miss having a baby to care for. I hope I am still young enough to conceive again. Sirvan and Diyari are certainly giving me plenty of their seed each night! Often they wake me in the night to give me a second or third measure. Or I wake them. My love for them, my desire for them keeps growing deeper and stronger. I thought I loved them on our wedding night, but in truth, I barely knew them then. My love then was just a tiny new-sprouted seed. Now it is a great tree.
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