The fountain of Geneva (2) --- Rome has erotic talent

 By Michael Ampersant

John and Alex, the (anti)heroes from Ampersant's Green Eyes, are being told the (antique) back story of the Fountain of Geneva---"the planet's most spectacular ejaculation." Hadrian, the visiting Roman emperor (117-138 AD), has to help the Swiss locals deal with a ravaging Nordic tribe, the Muttoni. And he does so in a circuitous way. He starts a school for erotic talent. Richard Zugabe, librarian of the city archives of Geneva, tells the story (go here for the first part).

“When I said that Hadrian kept his plan secret, I meant he kept his intentions secret; the facts were plainly recorded. He put an empire-wide call out for a reality show, "ROME HAS EROTIC TALENT."
Yes, like a modern reality show, but everybody spoke Latin in those days, so the call was for the primum proelium ego ingenium venereae.”

Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus (Hadrian)

“I-have-erotic-talent, roughly. You’ll see soon. The call was a big success, the emperor calls upon the youth of the nation, what do you expect, most Roman careers involved the casting couch. So he held his own talent show---even women were admitted in the audience---first to filter for physical features, then to identify sexual prowess, then to select the sensual few. Hadrian had a sensual soul, and he yearned for reciprocity.

These boys were not for one night, mind you; to complete the program they had to get laid for several months. His final selection comprised exactly fifty specimen of the finest proto-erotici ever gathered in one place.”

“Wow,” I say.

“No, let me correct. There were 47 youths from the contest and three of the captured Muttoni. The Muttoni had been added to the group. I’ll explain later.”
“These were just the preliminaries. The selection completed, Hadrian took off for a week, consulted with friends and advisors, and penned a training program. The original document survived, it constitutes the archival core of my research about the fountain. The program consisted of five sections. Section One is about seduction.

It was as plain to Hadrian as it is to modern consumers that the sheer physicality of sex is only part of the story. Anticipation is key.

So, each day, the sexual youths were to spend 20 percent of their time seducing each other—gestures, poses, words, murmurs, smiles, embraces—innocent, daring, obscene—learning and refining the language of erotic anticipation. Section Two, foreplay. I don’t elaborate, it’s obvious, magazines like Cosmopolitan talk about nothing else. No, wait. Let me mention the magic of touch. The chemistry of papillary contract. Hands as sexual organs. Skin as a sexual organ.”

He interrupts himself. “John,” he says, “When Alex touched your wrist, I knew.”
“He didn’t touch you.”
“I knew. Your reaction. I knew.”

Alex touches my wrist. We exchange glances.

“Third,” Richard continues, “the act, the Kamasutra part, positions, tricks---I hope I need not elaborate about the gag reflex---sperm-handling, the plethora of rimming techniques, anal gymnastics, very important, I hope you agree. Kissing, don’t forget kissing, French, Italian, honey-mustard…”

“Just kidding. Fourth, obviously, endurance. Everybody can play rabbit, the five minute show is for the illegally-aged and for senior citizens, professionals know how to fuck for hours on end. That’s the thing. Everybody loves a good fuck. And everybody would love to get in one more (fuck). But few know how to enjoy the fourth or fifth fuck in a row, how to regenerate, take a break and regroup. Regroup, that’s why group jerks are so refreshing, never underestimate the regenerative power of a group jerk. Dildoes, also important. How to relax on a dildo, how to take 15 inches of pure ebony wood to get your precious nerve endings under control. Or how to squeeze, really squeeze, for the last drop of cum. Lots of people don’t really know how to cum, how to channel yet another contraction, and yet another contraction. When you come”---he looks at us---“when you come, how many contraction do you get?”

“Ten to fifteen,” I reply.
“See, that’s it. You boys need to know, Hadrian routinely reached for thirty contractions, and his most talented pupil, a certain Mutinius Maximus, climaxed at forty-four. Very stimulating, forty-four contractions, especially when shared in real time. And the fifth section, you’d expect after-play now, I guess, whatever that means. No, the fifth section was about the chemical part, how to integrate sexual experience and aphrodisiacs, and in particular the potent, or mysteriously potent”—a look at Alex—“Megalopeos. How to use the stuff, develop a tolerance for it, how to push the envelope to new lustful heights.

Antinous (Madragone statue)

“The preliminaries completed, Hadrian assembled his hunky talent in a sacred ceremony and swore them into allegiance to Antinous, his late lover, who had been deified in the meantime and equipped with his own mystic cult. They were henceforth to be called Guard of Antinous (or Antinousians, for short) and outfitted with insignia specially designed for the occasion. Their crest, for example, would show Antinous and Apollo in an explicit embrace with Dionysus looking on (there was also an implicit version they could write home about). Three month of intense application lay ahead.

“There are a few pages in the archives that take the reader through an entire day of exercise, with Hadrian himself in the thick of it. Hadrian would have his 50 men lined up, no, not naked, of course, think seduction. And then he would, Alexander-style —you understand what I mean, Alexander-style…”

Alexander, inspecting

“Alexander the Great, during his campaigns, had his men lined up each evening, the entire army standing to attention, rows and columns of flexing, bulging muscle-meat, shiny skin reflecting the late sunrays, dangling swords, Alexander walking up and down the phalanxes, weighing options, until letting his hand rest on a shoulder, the shoulder of one of his fine men. Yup. The guy would know what it meant, of course, he was to report to the Commander’s personal grooming équipe, masseur, barber, manicurist, et cetera. They would prepare him for the night, oil him up, rub him down (there was no soap in those days), groom his pubes and other parts, anoint him in fragrances, lube him up, clothe him in the lightest Egyptian cotton of a night gown that would leave nothing to the imagination, no, wait, he would get a blow job first—well, yes, it sounds funny, but Alexander liked his partners tardy, and a spent ejaculation would help a young man to keep his cum back until the General gave the green light.

"The blow job was a highly coveted task among the wellness people—the army’s talent pool was deep, Alexander’s choice always exemplary. Fortunately, public sex was less frowned upon in those days. I’m not making this up, read Dover’s book, it was like French kissing in the park. Whoever was not directly engaged could watch—I like watching, don’t you, the fellatio part is always the best part—the turgid, rigidly-veined cock throbbing and undulating, the swollen cockhead teasing expectant lips, the preparatory slurps, the licks, the precious moment when the mouth locks onto the crown, the rotating bulge in the receptive cheek, the pelvis jerks, the deep-throating, the gags—I think I digress again. I’m not making this up. Alexander. Where was I?”

“Hadrian, Hadrian’s school.”

“Yes, right. So, Hadrian would inspect his Antinousians lined up and fitted in Praetorian garb---the spectacular helmet with a feathered, Cherokee-like crescent fitted to the top, the breast-plate of chased bronze molded to the perfect fit of toned pecs and rippled abs, the humble belt with a loop for the scabbard and a notch to rest the shield. With the belt coming off everything else would drop, creating a wealth of quick opportunities behind (or in front of) the bushes.

Hadrian and Antinous, British Museum

“Trained personnel would see to the maintenance of the bespoke outfits. Hadrian, by the way, had by now been in residence for several months. His entourage had grown considerably with the addition of specialists from all walks of court life, spokespeople, equerries, not to mention personalized assistants who would handle Antinousian emails.”

"Huh? Emails?"
“Just to see whether you are still with me. So Hadrian would now select one or more of his pupils, meaning they were to join him on a dais fashioned for group activity---tiger skins, couches, cushions, ancillary toys---but the account I’m referring to is about a one-on-one from the early days of the program.

"The elected youth, Anaximandrius, takes Hadrian’s hand---it is his task now to seduce the Emperor---and lead him to the dais. He invites Hadrian to recline on a couch, then unties his sword and hands it to his personal assistant. Next comes off the helmet.

Helmet of the Praetorian guard

"The now bare-headed youth tosses his hair---hair-tossing is so important---and then loosens the shoulder straps for breast- and back-plate. Now he unbuckles the belt. Everything drops. There he stands, naked, his genitals sparkling in the morning sun, and---apologies---the penis at rest. It was axiomatic that all Antinousians exert erection control at all times---unless they were given leave that is---the willing and unwilling of erections had been a crucial criterion during the talent contest. So, now, Anaximandrius wills his erection, gently, gently, the rod rising counterclockwise from half past five o’clock to one o’clock, expanding, bulging, the foreskin retracting under the pressure of the shiny glans (few people were circumcised in those days), until the whole thing stands to the emperor’s undivided attention, all of its splendid eight inches, the cock lips kissing the sunlight.

“The account I’m referring to mentions that the emperor had scheduled a penetration exercise for the morning, but life is short and the cock at hand was irresistible, so Hadrian invites Anaximandrius to come forward. The youth obliges and is welcomed by an advanced exercise in imperial deep-throating, his member going into Hadrian’s mouth, eight inches entering one for one until the ruler’s lips kiss his pubes and the imperial beard tickles the ball sack. Anaximandrius moans in a first gush of exquisite lust. Hadrian lets go, then applies himself again. Repeat. Replay. Anaximandrius fucks and moans. Hadrian receives and throats. The rhythm accelerates.

Antinousian tableware, Municipal archives, City of Geneva

“Meanwhile, the audience gets going. I talked about this already, the Antinousians were to control their erections unless given leave. On occasions like this, they had been given leave in advance, since, you understand, it was in everybody’s interest that nothing but honest arousal would guide the audience.

“Well, you can imagine. Belts had been chucked in the meantime, and youthful hands had taken control of youthful boners. The first Antinousians had already climbed the dais and circled around the fellatious pair up there, stroking their dicks in modulation with the imperial thrusts. A circle jerk. Yes, we talked about it already. Hadrian, who, as a wily administrator, had a knack for improvisation...Yes, Alex, what is it?”
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings, Richard, but how about the Muttoni?” Alex asks.
“Right, I’m digressing again. Perhaps I can share the details another time. You’ve got the idea, I think.

“The program finished on August 25, 133 AD, as scheduled by Hadrian’s astrologer. Astrologers doubled as astronomers in those days, and Hadrian had made sure that the program would end on the day of the moon’s first quarter (the moon is at half-moon then). There was an orgiastic graduation ceremony of course.” (A look at Alex.) “The Antinousian SWAT team was given four days of rest and then loaded onto newly furnished galleys and rowed along the length of the lake into the Valais.
“Let me backtrack briefly. The training program, I’ve only talked about the sexual part, but there were individualized lessons in one-on-one combat, horseback riding, and so on, and every member of the team had been given his own mount. When they set sail, additional galleys were provided for the horses and other wherewithal, including copious amounts of Megalopeos, the aphrodisiac.

The Valais, seen from Lake Geneva

“Late-August, the eternally-snow-topped Alps to the south, the gentle slopes of the Jura to the north, the deep-blue water of the lake glittering in the sunlight, a touch of gossamer in the air, the Antinousians holding hands and sharing the sights---quite a few of romantic liaisons had been formed in the meantime, you can imagine. There was an upset, though, literally, during the crossing, in that the passengers felt a sudden surge of the lake, and then heard the desperate cries of a galley slave who had just lost his penis. Yes, two galley slaves had somehow managed to abandon their oars and engage in a sexual act and the sudden swell had led to a regrettable jaw movement of the receiving partner. Snap. Galley slaves were not supposed to leave their position on punishment by death, but Hadrian was in upper-best mood and pardoned the penis-loser.

“The jaw-snapper was not the only person to lose his life that day, however. When the galleys arrived at the mouth of the Rhone river (the beginning of the Valais proper), a tsunami had hit the entire lake and killed a lot of people---not caused by an earthquake, the tsunami, but by a massive landslide. Hadrian, through a spokesperson, bestowed his heart-felt condolences upon the wailing survivors, signaled to mount the mounts, and led his team up the bank of the Rhone.

“You’ve never seen it, right? A flat but narrow valley, barely a mile wide, flanked by the two principle mountain chains of the Swiss Alps, rising almost four thousand meters from the valley bottom to the top of alpine giants like Jungfrau, Matterhorn, and Dom. Eternal snow talks to a brilliant sky---in late summer there’s a bluish sheen to the air, it’s unbelievable. The steep northern side is covered with vineyards producing a light, fizzy version of Chardonnay, locally called Fendant. The southern side rises more slowly along the fault line of side valleys, the Saas valley among them.

“The night is spent in Sedunum, now called Sion, the last outpost of Roman civilization, where prodigious quantities of the fizzy Fendant, the wine, are secured …yes, Alex?”
“Geneva, how was it called in those days?”
“Genava---almost the same, one vowel difference.”
“Thank you.”
“Also secured are prodigious quantities of Valais honey.

“Around noon next day they arrive at the Potemkin village of the Muttoni-catchers---no longer so Potemkin, by the way, due to the preparations for the Emperor’s visit. Hadrian summons the three Muttonis of his team and asks them to proceed immediately into the valley and communicate his urgent wishes to meet King Hrothgar Kodranson. Kodranson, you can figure, had been identified as the Muttoni’s chieftain by the captured Muttoni. Meanwhile, wine, honey, and the aphrodisiac are blended into a fortified concoction and filled into wineskins.

“Since Hadrian never revealed his intentions, I have to speculate a bit here, but it should be obvious that he calculated as follows. If this crazy tribe is reasonable enough, they will extend an invitation. Otherwise, a full-fledge invasion of the valley would be necessary. Hadrian wasn’t equipped for such an invasion, however, and the intensity of his preparations spoke of the conviction that his softer approach would work.

“It did work, of course, curiosity kills the cat. The three Muttoni show up with an invitation next morning. By return mail, the Guard of Antinous enters the valley. It’s more a crevice than a valley, the white-water Saas gushing down the gorge while the Dom, the Alps’ third-highest mountain, thrones over its western flank. Either side is thick with conifer forest, dark-green-light-green, dapper spruce, fir trees, larches. Squirrels frolic about. Paw-fishing bears dabble in the stream, birds of prey circle the sky. Think American West, version 1492. I’m sticking to our reality spectrum here; you can assume that the Antinousians saw other things as well. They saw traces of elves, nymphs, and other busybodies, evidence of Jupiter and Thor---theirs was an enchanted, spellbound age, the modern separation of physics and metaphysics didn’t apply (Caesar’s family claimed descendance from Venus, for example).

“King Hrothgar Kodranson gravely awaits the Emperor at the entrance to his settlement, his blondest, blue-est eyed, barrel-chest-est…you get the gist, I mean these oh-my-God people were lined up as honor guard while the rest of the tribe lurked behind the trees, fully-armed, just in case.

“Next to Kodranson there stands a younger man---Lars-Lars, we will learn soon---and Hadrian’s impression is that the pair just had a lover’s quarrel. Eye contact is being made Lars-wise, three times. The three Muttoni intermediaries dismount. At this point already---it’s amazing what split seconds can do to people---Hadrian thinks it wise to track the intermediaries movements and commit the forage place of their horses to his memory. Hadrian dismounts and presents his gift to the chieftain, yes, you guessed it, a golden statue of an Antinousian embrace, explicit version. Kodranson nods gravely, he gets the message. The ice is broken, consenting warriors unite.

“Hadrian’s people talk to Kodranson’s people. There will be a banquet, you understand, there are dietary requirements, and the fortified Fendant is strongly suggested as the default beverage of the evening. Meanwhile, Kodranson and his men have found time to let their eyes rest on the fine lads of the Antinousian Guard—nobody is interested in unnecessary delays. Hadrian is given a brief tour of the place and the drinking horns are raised.

“It’s clear, a bit of Megalo-Fendant does wonders to the Nordic libidos, and soon the entire tribe is engaged in a lust fest, which, given the lopsided numbers, typically involves one Antinousian at the center of multi-pronged alien efforts. Think Laokoon, explicit version. Not everybody is thusly engaged, though, Hadrian has positioned an equerry at the center of the proceedings, the adjutant being under strict orders to keep his penis at rest.

“Hadrian, the wily improviser, has grabbed Anaximandrius, pinched the lad’s butt, and introduced him as his personal lover to Kodranson. Symmetry now demands a one-on-one between the emperor and Lars-Lars.

“Talking symmetry. Both leaders observe decorum and assume their traditional role as dominant males. They penetrate the younger men from behind. It’s amazing---or perhaps not so amazing---what prodigious talent squared by Megalopeos can do. Kodranson has the best fuck of his life. There is Anaximandrius’s perfect de-contraction of the anal ring as he welcomes Kodranson’s prodigious organ. There are the calibrated sphincter contractions as the Nordic crown re-penetrates, playful at first, the contractions, then stiffening, forcing Kodranson to project more virility with each thrust, forcing him to feel---live---the pride of his erection. There is the perfect pitch of the Antinousian moans at each thrust (“uughh,” “oohh,”)---they reverberate in Kodranson’s loins, these moans. Megalo lust spreads through his body.

“Hadrian has his go at Lars-Lars, but opts for a personalized approach. We mentioned the magic of touch already. The two men touch. And there it is---Hadrian has experienced it before with Antinous---the touch that says it all, the mystery of papillary contact between humans that means: ‘we are made for each other.’ One minute into this and Hadrian has made up his mind: Lars-Lars is the new Antinous, the new love of his life. Hadrian penetrates, then holds still. The sun rises between loins. Hadrian-penis, Lars-body merge. Time slows down. They kiss.

“A while later they find themselves next to each other supine on the ground. Hadrian points at the full moon overhead (with hand and dick). And then there’s another touch, the touch that does it. Now! Both lovers cum, hands-free. Jizz gushes forth, loads spurt, jets of pristine man-milk reach the moon and the stars and beyond. The fount of Geneva---two fountains, in fact---is born, by analogy, or conceptually, or whatever.

Roman equerry
Museo dei Uffizi, Florence

“An eternity later, Hadrian says to Lars, ‘Come on.’ Both rise. The equerry’s hour has come (picture this guy being stuck like a wilted wallflower in the middle of all this…).

“Orders are quipped. Like one man, the Antinousians wither away. Hadrian leads the new love of his life to the spare horse of one of the intermediaries. They mount, and the perfect moon guides them down the valley. They arrive at the camp before sunrise. They are greeted by a lonely cock (I mean the fowl). Nothing is ever heard of the Muttoni again.”

(Continues here)

Michael Ampersant lives on the Cote d'Azur and writes laconic-erotic prose. His first novel, Green Eyes, was published recently by LustSpiel Books.


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