Balance Of PaymentsbyNakod Apa©
This short extract from the memoirs of Evan Moore is provided for students as a study in economic opportunism.
Chapter 10 - THE ISLES OF HALCYON
That summer had been difficult. Firstly there was my internet company which, from its inception I had planned to sell once it reached an optimum size - but even so our parting almost seemed like having one's child fly the nest. Then there was my failing marriage. In my experience a divorce, however amicable, always leaves one with a sense of something lost - as I suppose there is. Thus, come the autumn, I was traumatized and in need of a sabbatical.
One evening - a drink or two taken in the yacht club - I expressed myself forcefully on the subject, whereupon John Hardstaff promptly offered me the use of his small sloop for a winter of solo sailing round the warm South Seas. It seemed the ideal restorative.
So it was that, having been casually cruising wherever my whim took me for close on a month, chance found me near the Halcyon Isles. I had not intended to call there. Indeed, I doubt if I would have been permitted entry given the taboo on visitors. However in the small hours of one morning I collided with a drifting tree trunk and sustained a damaged bow which required an emergency dash for the nearest land.
The Halcyon Isles, as any schoolboy (sorry that's not PC, it should be school person - no to hell with it - school-kid) knows, are to be found just downwind of Paradise, where they share its congenial climate of blue skies, warm seas breaking onto coral sands, light rain at night and temperatures rarely far from the prevailing eighty degrees. With plentiful fish, fertile fields and abundant fruit on the trees, the living is easy. They present a Shangri-La for dropouts, dead beats and drifters - for who has a soul so dead they wouldn't prefer to languish in the Isles rather than slave for the taxes, traffic, and takeaways offered by advanced economies? Which is why the islanders, to protect their way of life, have turned their backs on the world and adopted a strict policy of no immigration, no tourists, no traders. In short, no visitors.
But if they have turned their backs on the delights of civilisation how do they fill their idle hours? Who provides their entertainment?
Well what better than indulging natural desires?
The islanders themselves, though small in number, are noble in stature. The males tall, athletic and well endowed and the women - words are inadequate to convey their bounteous charms. It seems inevitable, in a climate where clothes are largely unnecessary and even when worn are kept to a minimum, that there is a vast proclivity to the gratification of concupiscence - coitus, cunnilingus and fellatio become, as they should be, art forms. Indeed a vindication of art for art's sake.
At least that was the way it had been until the Isles were struck by what scientists refer to as climate change. The blue skies and warm seas were still to be enjoyed, but the rains largely disappeared, parching the crops and leaving the islanders dependent on fish for their food. Not that I was immediately aware of this since I had other things on my mind.
As a shipwrecked mariner, I was given permission to stay for the time needed to repair John's boat, and since I had now become a legally authorized unfortunate, the islanders quickly showed their natural friendliness by suggesting that a good a place to lay my head would be the hut of a young widow.
I soon became aware that sleeping was to be a minor part of her hospitality. Indeed just a single night at Choo Mee's demonstrated that though, after three wives and several girl friends, I considered myself well versed in matters sexual I still had much to learn. In consequence I procrastinated on the boat repair while broadening my education and enjoying the sweet life.
Occupied with the boat by day and Choo by night the weeks passed delightfully until she unexpectedly announced that she would be leaving me for a period in order to perform her duties at something called the Festival of First Joy. She was carefully vague as to exactly what those duties were - something to do with novices I gathered - and was uncertain precisely how long she would be gone because, as she did explain, the Festival was held on one of the smaller islands in the group and sailing there, and back, depended on the winds being from a suitable direction.
Alone I found time hanging heavily. I didn't want to work too hard and complete my repairs, but what to do instead, and how to fill my evenings? Thus it came about that, after a couple of days, I acquired a drinking companion and learned to appreciate the bite of fermented coconut milk - though not as much as my acquaintance who, most nights, after a few too many drinks had led him to regale me with the Islanders' woes I had to help to his hut.
He complained that the warming of the globe was ruining their lives; their principal crops failing they needed to import food, but they couldn't pay for it; they had no trade, no exports, thus no balance of payments. Their only hope seemed to be to relax their rules and open the Isles to tourists, even though that would bring the drop outs and tidal tripper trash. They were trying to resist, but for how long could they hold out? I sympathized with their problem but, at the time, gave it little thought, being impatient for the return of my Choo.
She was away for nigh on two weeks and when she finally appeared she looked tired and exhausted. So weak that the first night back, while she easily emptied my brimming balls, it took all my skill and perseverance to bring her to a climax - a far cry from her normally insatiable self.
Afterwards I lay with her in my arms. 'Tell me all about it,' I said.
'This Festival of . . . what was it . . . First Joy?.'
'It's part of the coming of age customs of our boys and girls.'
'Yes, but why should it make you so weary?'
She was silent for a while - I'm still not sure if it was because she felt that I would disapprove - but eventually she said, 'It's to introduce the joys of sex to those who have attained their maturity in the last twelvemonth.
'But don't they already know?'
'One or two, but not the majority since they are taught to hang on to their virginity until the time of the festival when they are declared to have come of age.'
'So how does it work? Do they all have a big orgy and screw one another?'
'No, our widows and widowers, mainly the older experienced men and women, take them to bed one at a time and teach them; or those who are not past it do.'
'That still does not explain why you're so exhausted.'
'There are only a very few widows of an age to participate, and we can't just fuck each boy once. We need to show them different techniques, so that by the end of the festival they are truly men, capable of properly pleasing a woman.'
'And the girls? Are they also taken several times?'
'Of course, how else could they learn to fully satisfy a man?'
'So you've been doing a lot of fucking?' I was rather - no, very - jealous.
'Yes, about a dozen times a day.'
'No wonder you're tired. Well I can't compete with that. Still, whatever makes you happy.'
'Happy? No, none of us are. It's a duty that is put on us. We wish we could find some other way. We wouldn't mind the occasional session, but it's too much to continually have to endure their inexperience.'
I reckoned she was right. It's an odd man that doesn't prize the opportunity to deflower a virgin now and then, but all the time? Right then I didn't think on it as my balls were recharged and ready to resume the action; it was later while sleeping the sleep of the sexually satisfied that my subconscious attempted to relate one oddment to another. I awoke with a solution clear in my mind.
The basis of my idea was that while most men are content to merely fantasize about enjoying a tender innocent, and harvesting her maidenhead, there are many who are ready to put their money where their dreams are, and to pay a premium for the privilege. So, I reasoned, if we had a means of offering to a select few the privilege of initiating the island maidens (at a suitably a high price) it would both make a significant contribution to the economy of the islands and rescue the elders from their penance.
I mentioned it in passing to my drinking companion and, as I expected, the subsequent gossip soon took it to the attention of the chieftain and his advisors, who called on me to refine the details and to institute a scheme for the following year.
The Islands Council decided that the prospective visiting cherry poppers should be restricted to the one small island where the deflowering ceremonies were customarily held. There I had a two hundred room hotel hastily erected; a runway - just long enough for executive jets - prepared; and started a small marketing plan, targeting the world's millionaires. By late spring we were accepting reservations for the next Festival.
I decreed there would be two types of room - deluxe, where we guaranteed that each night a new virgin would be provided for the guest's entertainment, and standard, where the maiden was merely a novice, guaranteed to have been unused prior to the commencement of the festival.
Charges were set at a level that only the very wealthy could afford, but even so it quickly became apparent that demand exceeded supply; there being ample moneyed men who had no hesitation in paying the prices asked. By itself the project was set to make a significant contribution to the Island's balance of payments.
Two problems were foreseen. Firstly that our paying guests would be solely using the girls for their personal pleasure and thus any tuition was likely to be minimal, and secondly that we were only catering for a male clientele - what about the females?
Well the second was the easier to solve - we split the Festival into two, the first week or ten days being devoted to the initiation of the girls, the second to the boys. I had anticipated a lower demand for the second period and had accordingly set a lower charge, but was pleasantly surprised at the number of liberated women of wealth looking for a toy boy to train.
Eventually the tuition question was solved when a survey unearthed several public spirited men and women who said they would be willing to give the new adults additional tutoring providing, the task was spread over a period and not made too onerous.
Thus was born the Halcyon Academy of Erotic Performance.
Despite its success this, unfortunately, did not fully solve the fiscal problems afflicting the Islands. Since by now I was to all intents and purposes their finance minister, tasked to find a way to balance the books, I resolved to identify other means to plug the gap. The difficulty was that it appeared the only asset at our disposal was the Islanders' sexual prowess. How do you export erotic expertise? I had no idea.
Along the way I had acquired a hut of my own to use as an office, and a staff of three, one of whom - female - acted as my secretary-cum-assistant. She, during the celebration of her birthday, succumbed to a surfeit of the fermented coconut milk; had an accident; and took to her bed. They say every cloud has a silver lining; in this case it was true since the need to find a temporary replacement gave me another answer.
Selecting a wealthy country we set up an Embassy in its capital city which, in addition to an Ambassador, we staffed with a large number of cultural attaches - positions for which we selected the most attractive of our newly initiated females. We opened it in style with a cocktail party for the diplomatic establishment and leading politicians at which our cultural attaches were briefed to make it clear that they had few duties and were somewhat bored, but were available, at a reasonable hourly rate, to provide discreet personal services for reputable diplomats and legislators.
They soon found themselves unable to cope with the demand for their intimate services, and the size of the establishment had to be increased. It proved so remunerative that the opening of consulates in other major countries and cities was considered, but had to be dropped because of a lack of sufficient younger women to staff them. Indeed even the staffing of the Embassy itself soon became a problem since the girls hated the climate, particularly the colds rains and snow of winter, and drastic measures were required to keep their numbers up.
Ultimately we decided to copy the procedure of one well known religion which requires its members, on attaining their majority, to serve abroad as a missionaries for a year; thus the Chieftain decreed that each maiden should, upon completing her erotic education, serve for twelve months as a cultural attaché - by her efforts serving to keep the economy afloat and also promoting the gospel of free love.
This, of course, left a shortage of nubile females within the Isles themselves, much to the dismay of our younger me, for while some males could also be employed at the Embassy to service female diplomats and politicians the demand was, understandably, lower.
It appeared that while the finances of the Islands might at last be in balance, the service to the community the Islanders required of their young adults was not. To achieve equality would demand a temporary increase in the number of seductive females in the population which, even if achievable, was not sustainable year on year.
We speculated that a limited amount of selective, short term immigration might solve the difficulty. The new hotel being only required during the Festival we had spare accommodation for eleven months of the year. In addition we had a surplus of our younger men ready for practical sessions; so we decided to run courses in sexual skills aimed at attractive, nubile, foreign females.
This also proved a winner, it being most popular with wealthy magnates who sent their mistresses and bimbos that our trainers might develop their techniques. I am pleased to say that our Kama Sutra Degree became a widely recognized and sought after qualification, guaranteeing that any graduate would never be short of clients. Indeed many governments now make it a prerequisite for a woman's employment as an official hostess - though some also prefer applicants to have completed our advanced BDSM module.
It took me nigh on eighteen months to develop and prove the systems, but ultimately it was all up and running well. From an impoverished peoples the Islanders now had a surplus on their balance of payments - and no idea of what to spend it on. That was a problem they could solve themselves; for me it was time to move on.
The Chieftain having passed a decree making me an honorary citizen I had no need to leave. Indeed, I had inadvertently put down the deepest of all roots, Choo Mee having presented me with a delightful daughter. She had also announced that we might expect a son in a few months.
But I'm not one to live the idle life and, reluctant though I was to go, the cut and thrust of commerce called me home. I still referred to it as home, but really I feel that the Islands were now my main abode, and I make frequent visits both to see my offspring and to slake my desires in Choo Mee's adept arms - for I find that capitalist bimbos can no longer satisfy me.
When I announced my departure the Islands Council trumped me by conferring on me the Office of the Old Goat - which means I must at least return for every Festival, since it carries with it the requirement to perform the opening ceremony by publicly popping the cherry of my choice. Not that the honour really matters - I could have refused it - but I just couldn't pass up the privilege that goes with it of selecting any two maidens from that year's graduating class to exclusively satisfy my desires for the ensuing year. But more of them in the next chapter.