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Feb
12th
2015

FoME Thinks Too Much: Pony Sexology and the Linseed Scale · 5:36pm Feb 12th, 2015

Well, since Bad Horse didn’t provide any story prompts today, it’s time for something based on popular demand (by which I mean it edged out another blog by a vote.) Here’s my take on the matter of pony sexuality and the bizarre multidimensional creature known as the Linseed Scale. I hope you like it, because this is probably the closest I’m ever going to come to writing clop.

Note that there are footnotes, so you may want to open the blog in two tabs and scroll down in one.

Feel free to ask questions about anything I missed, or explain your own viewpoint on matters where you disagree with me.

TV-Y Anatomy, or, The Pony Pudenda Perception Problem

Before we can begin discussing the issue of pony sexual psychology, we first need to acknowledge certain logistic complications. Namely, the featureless crotch phenomenon.

As the section header notes, this is a TV-Y show. Ponies may not normally wear clothes(1), but the target audience doesn’t need to see the inevitable result of habitual nudism. However, those regions definitely have some unseen features. We have repeatedly seen that ponies have both the need and facilities for excreting waste, and both “Baby Cakes” and Word of Faust make it clear that they reproduce in the usual mammalian fashion(2).

One could simply assume that the relevant regions would be present in the “real” Equestria and are left out from the cartoon because of the aforementioned rating. However, I don’t like Doylist explanations when Watsonian ones present themselves. As such, my headcanon for this is one of the universal applications of pony magic, much like the tactile telekinesis of “sticky hooves” and cutiesynthesis: the groinal veil.

The veil is an illusion that obscures the relevant bits when they aren’t in use. “In use” usually means either using the facilities or sexual arousal, though a pony can drop the veil through conscious effort. That same effort can also maintain the veil when it would normally be dropped.

Given the ability to maintain the veil, exposing oneself in public is considered a major faux pas. It’s also something of a puberty trope. Ponies don’t have a reason to learn the necessary mental exercises before that first round of glances and giggles. Colts have it especially bad in that regard.

Also notable is that in worldlines where the veil exists, it has been used as indisputable proof that all tribes of ponies have some degree of magic.

And yes, this headcanon adds a whole new layer of awkwardness during Tirek’s rampage.

Estrus: It’s Kind of a Thing

Now we confront the endocrine elephant in the room. With the exception of monotremes, mammals have hormonally induced fertility cycles. Thus, so do ponies, unless they lay eggs(3). To better understand that, we need to look at the two species ponies most resemble: humans and horses.

Sexually speaking, humans are weird in two respects: the menstrual cycle and unchanging sexual receptivity. Unlike most mammals, human females shed the endometrium rather than reabsorb it, and human sexual interest isn’t dependent on that cycle(4). The first peculiarity is seen in several primates and may be part of the evolutionary arms race between mother and fetus(5). The second? That may be a consequence of sapience, and with it, the need for entertainment(6).

Horses, meanwhile, have an estrous cycle triggered by increased sunlight, mating in the spring and summer. Mares are aggressive towards approaching stallions when not in estrus, receptive when they are, and “sexual behavior of horses” is now in my search history. Don’t say I never did anything for you people.

So, what can we conclude from this? Ponies are biologically closer to horses, so barring a very unlikely bit of convergent evolution, they probably have a estrous cycle. As many a story has noted, the seasonal influence on the fertility has interesting ramifications for Celestia and pony control over the seasons in general. Assuming Hearts and Hooves Day takes place around the vernal equinox, it could’ve originated as a time of finding viable mates.

Most importantly, given the number of episodes taking place in spring and summer, it can be seen that no matter how the pony fertility cycle works, it has a minimal impact on behavior. Sapience trumps hormones… at least, for mares. We see very little of stallions, and the one we see the most of, Big Macintosh, is a pillar of stoicism and politeness. Still, given the existence of a functional society that seems to have a great deal of gender equality, it can be surmised that ponies’ psychological proximity to humans means that any reactions to pheromonal cues are largely subconscious.

Given that psychological proximity, ponies may choose to have recreational sex. Obviously, that possibility isn’t going to have much evidence from the primary source, though the institution of marriage may imply some degree of social stigma for those who have sex out of wedlock. It’s also possible that they only have sex to procreate, but I’ve already made a lot of clopfic authors sad, and I like to maximize happiness when possible(7). Also, it would make pony sexology a lot less interesting. On that note, let’s move on to the Linseed Scale.

First Dimension: Gender

This is the area most familiar to humans, a zero-to-six linear continuum that goes from exclusively heterosexual (zero) to exclusively homosexual (six.) As noted, it’s a linear continuum, so non-integer values are both possible and expected. Those who think that there are only seven possible gender preferences misunderstand the scale, as do those who think that preference can be calculated to four or five significant figures. This is an abstraction of a nebulous and subjective concept; useful, but not the ultimate authority on the matter.

An individual’s position on the scale shifts over the course of life, especially during puberty(8). Most ponies even out somewhere around one. Magic can temporarily alter this, though doing so without a pony’s consent is punishable by a very heavy fine at minimum.

Second Dimension: Intensity

Like the first dimension, this is a zero-to-six linear continuum. Unlike the first, this goes from completely asexual (zero) to completely sexual (six.) The latter is purely hypothetical(9) without the use of certain highly illegal spells(10). The average baseline is three, and like any average, almost nopony actually corresponds to it(11). The Cloud Kicker of the Winningverse clocks in around five. Pinkie Pies can be found on every part of the scale, depending on their universe of origin.

Estrus, as noted, has minimal effect on this portion of the scale. Whether through a weak biological imperative, strong social stigmas, or pharmaceutical aid, mares aren’t going to lift their tails just because they’re able to conceive.

Note that sexual and romantic inclinations are not necessarily linked. Love and lust are related, but not inseparably.

Third Dimension: Tribe

Here’s where the scale gets complicated. Firstly, while this is called a single dimension, it is often modeled as a triangle, or even a tetrahedron. This is because of the second reason: tribal preference is considered not as a function of the attracted pony, but of the tribe that that pony finds attractive. Each tribe has its own unique physiological and magical traits, and thus its own unique set of desirable qualities. Depending on which metric or metrics a pony's subconscious uses, that pony will seek out romantic partners with wings, horns, or neither.

In days of yore, this preference was strongly correlated to the seeker's own tribe. There were exceptions, of course, but they were relatively rare. This innate division helped keep the pony tribes culturally separate from one another despite the interdependence that was the core of their survival as a species.

Discord changed that, as he did with everything. Between his careless, constant use of chaos magic and ponykind’s desperate need to perpetuate the species in the hopes of somepony seeing the return of reason, tribal preference was violently disassociated from tribe. The following centuries of tribe-melding peace, prosperity, and population growth have done nothing to change this trend. The egg of pony culture cannot be unscrambled(12).

Some attributes are universally attractive: cleanliness, healthiness, not being an asshat(13), and so forth. The following are the unique hallmarks of each tribe’s attractiveness. Of course, many of these qualities aren’t exclusive to those tribes, and those who exhibit another tribe’s beauty have an unique allure all their own(14). Also, while physical cues tend to come as a package deal, behavioral ones are much more variable, which is where the trianglular or tetrahedral models come in, with one tribe at each corner.

Earth Ponies: Those who seek out earth ponies look for signs of strength. Defined muscles and demonstrations of endurance are always favored, but this also applies to strength of character. Steadfastness, reliability, and honesty are all very attractive to these ponies. Thinness is incredibly unappealing; an earth pony who can’t keep herself fed has serious issues.
Applejack was one of Ponyville's most eligible bachelorettes even before the whole "Bearer of Honesty" thing. Pinkie Pie… well, wasn’t. Nor is she now. Stability is another big turn-on for the earth-attracted, and Pinkie is about as stable as astatine(15). A good friend, says the earth-attracted subconscious, but not a good partner.

Pegasi: Most ponies who don’t have this preference think that it begins and ends at wings. While wingpower, plumage quality, and similar considerations do comprise a considerable portion of pegasus beauty, they aren’t its totality. The size of the barrel is also an important consideration; a large chest indicates both strong flight muscles and good lung capacity. Aerodynamics are another; a streamlined pegasus is an attractive pegasus.
Confidence is the most appealing personality trait by far, but only when the pegasus can back it up. False bravado is dangerous in the deathworld that is untamed Equestria. Decisiveness, improvisation, and other demonstrations of quick thinking are also valued. Competition is one of the primary vehicles for pegasi to present themselves as desirable. On a somewhat related note, many athletes of all tribes prefer wings.
Rainbow Dash is sexy and she knows it(16). Fluttershy isn’t, at least going by normal pegasus standards, and she also knows it.

Unicorns: Contrary to many jokes, horns factor minimally into unicorn attractiveness. A chipped or cracked horn can be unappealing, and a broken one is often horrifying to other unicorns, but the appendage itself has minimal impact.
The most appealing physical cue for unicorns is thin limbs. Magic suffuses the unicorn body, telekinetically reinforcing the musculoskeletal system. In the early days of the species, this allowed unicorns to keep up with the earth ponies and pegasi of the herd. As a result, thin limbs indicated that unicorns had especially strong magic, able to compensate so much that their physical muscles didn’t have to develop very much. Of course, once unicorns realized that they found this attractive, they began adopting as sedentary a lifestyle as soon as they could get away with. Some believe this contributed to the development of the noble classes.
Both raw intellect and creativity are very appealing to those attracted to unicorns as well. Unicorn magic is an almost totally mental exercise, and thus mental acuity is a must. Twilight Sparkle and Rarity represent two sides of the unicorn beauty coin, the naturally beautiful intellectual and the cultivated, cultured beauty(17).

Chiroptera: Most ponies who are attracted to the bat-winged tribe are members of it. At least, that’s what they claim. As with pegasi, wing health is a major consideration for chiropteron beauty. Patchy or discolored wing velvet is a major warning sign. Less obvious signs include dark coloration and the size and thickness of ear tufts.
Attractive personality traits for chiroptera include protectiveness, circumspection, and a soft-spoken personality. It’s said that most chiropteran flirting occurs at frequencies most ponies can’t hear, and it’s sort of true, in the sense that a lot occurs in nonverbal communication. It takes a lot to gain a chiropteran’s trust, and even more so for one to feel amenable to romance. Once they open up, though, they reveal a startling amount of passion.

Crystal Ponies: The criteria of crystal pony attractiveness remain a mystery for now. Nopony has been able to convince the denizens of the Empire that sexology is a legitimate field of study, and thus none of them are willing to answer any questions on the topic. Analysis of crystal pony culture has been largely unhelpful as well; most artistic works were destroyed by Sombra.
What little has been collected indicates similarities to earth ponies. The question of refractivity’s role remains unanswered. The few works that survived Sombra usually depict especially refractive ponies, but they’re all made in crystalline media. The written works often refer to other ponies as “dull” and “lusterless,” but it is unclear if these terms carry a connotation of unattractiveness or are simply an observation of what would be seen as an unusual trait.

Alicorns: Alicorns have a truly uncanny beauty. Everypony agrees that they're attractive, though not necessarily for the reasons. Indeed, art depicting Celestia has a surprising amount of inconsistencies, as though she appeared differently to different ponies.

Polytribalism, an attraction to multiple tribes, and pantribalism, an attraction to all of them, are certainly possible. Indeed, the latter, while a small minority, seems to be slowly growing with each generation. Transtribalism, the feeling that a pony was born in the wrong subspecies, is also a recognized phenomenon, but has no bearing on tribal preference.

Fourth Dimension: Species

The last dimension of the Linseed Scale sees the smallest amount of variance, but still a nonzero amount. It generally isn’t plotted, instead simply indicating the species to whom the pony feels attracted.

Xenophilia is rare, but known to occur in all sapient species. Sadly, finding someone who reciprocates can be a struggle, especially for ponies. The neotenous anatomy of even mature ponies is often seen as infantile by other races, and as such, equinosexuality is among the rarest xenophiliae. Even when a compatible match is found along species lines, there is no guarantee that the two individuals will get along personally.

Most hybridizations are nigh-impossible without advanced magic, and most that occur naturally, such as mules, are sterile. There are only two known exceptions. The first, pegasus-griffin couples, can somewhat reliably produce hippogriff offspring that are themselves viable. Biologists theorize that their shared avian aspect permits this compatibility. The second, dragons, can crossbreed with almost anything. Few actually do, but given the sheer amount of diversity possible even between dragon siblings, they need to be able to overcome biochemical and magical barriers to reproduce at all.

1. At least, not in Ponyville.

2. Of course, Word of Faust also says that Equestria’s helium is supplied by pegasus flatulence. Remember that this is the woman who created Pinkie Pie.

3. This is not meant as a suggestion. Though if you choose to interpret it as one, note that monotremes don’t have nipples. They just kind of sweat milk out of designated areas.

4. Well, mostly independent. There does seem to be some kind of pheromonal or other subconscious signal at work, as indicated by Miller, Tybur, and Jordan’s ”Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus?” And yes, that is an actual paper determining the influence of lap dancers’ menstural cycles on their nightly earnings. Science!

5. See here.

6. On the other hand, we are closely related to bonobos, who have basically made an entire culture out of sex. Maybe it’s a primate thing.

7. As one of my old author blurbs noted, I satisfy values through card games and ponies.

8. Colloquially known as the Totibci Effect. (“This one time in band camp, I…”)

9. Though there are several groups on Fimfiction devoted to such hypotheses.

10. In most Equestrias, there hasn’t been an incident of such a spell in centuries. As such, the punishment is still rather medieval. Hot irons are involved.

11. σ 0.5 ± 0.1

12. The chief exceptions are cloud cities, which are still enclaves of pegasus culture. However, even here, a fair share of the population doesn’t find wings attractive, and ever more efficient cloud-walking enchantments are bridging this final gap.

13. Donkey haberdashers have a somewhat deserved reputation of being very ill-tempered.

14. A few ponies have a universally appealing je ne sais quoi that flies in the face of conventional tribal preference dynamics. Fluttershy is the most familiar example.

15. The most stable isotope of astatine has a half-life of 8.1 hours. The stuff just doesn’t want to exist.

16. Colt, look at that body.

17. Twilight still has no idea how many heads she turned back in Canterlot, or how jealous Rarity was of her when they first met. Meanwhile, Applejack thought Twilight was on the verge of starvation and tried to feed her as much as possible before the poor thing keeled over.

Comments ( 40 )

Assuming that ponies did at some point form herds, meaning they didn't always live in communities. Would different tribes meat different measures of fitness, would earth ponies have a role outside of being far more sturdy since accelerating growth would not be particulary useful given herds suggest roaming over a large area. As well as it might be difficult to follow the party pony path without a language for framework. Would a Pegasus manipulate weather on a frequent bases, or would they only clear weather that causes an imminent danger. Most of pony characteristics suggest a degree of putting down roots so to speak. So how would they be useful outside of a city.

This was actually very interesting, although it was mostly a semi-scientific reaffirmation of stuff I already knew / thought about.
On the topic of wings and such I'd consider it like this. "It's different / I've never touched it before"

Have you ever thought of making a study of Equestrian lexicon / idioms?

Actually, one of my assumptions regarding pony sexology is that they have a high degree of inter-species viability due to their inherently magical nature. If magic is, as assumed, present in the pregnant mother, it would be reasonable to assume there was some sort of evolutionary trigger that would cast a "genetic deformity correction spell" on the developing fetus at low power. While it would be difficult to reverse genetic defects at a later date, if the fetus was under constant correction from conception it would significantly reduce the possibility of abnormality. This could explain why the three tribes with such wildly distinct visual cues were able to mingle successfully, as well as why we don't see more unicorns with tiny pegasus wings or stubby-horned earth ponies. Obviously the system isn't perfect, the ponies that the Flimflams sold their miracle tonic to included some odd limb deformities, but with an inherent magical gene-scrubber the ponies would have a higher chance of survival.

13. Donkey haberdashers have a somewhat deserved reputation of being very ill-tempered.

This has taught me I am unable to aspirate water. I inhaled some while laughing and nearly spat it all over my poor laptop.

Very cool stuff and I'd love to see more of this.

I wonder if folks attracted to all pony types/ponies with that je ne sais quoi, are compared to the princesses. (long legs, defined nose, shapely figure etc)

Pegasi: Most ponies who don’t have this preference think that it begins and ends at wings. While wingpower, plumage quality, and similar considerations do comprise a considerable portion of pegasus beauty, they aren’t its totality. The size of the barrel is also an important consideration; a large chest indicates both strong flight muscles and good lung capacity.

It should also be noted that Thunderlane's got a cute butt.
At least, that's what I heard. I totally wouldn't know. Honest.

Very interesting. But genital veiling, while not a typical magic, is very present outside of MLP:FIM...

Headcannons accepted. In fact, I'd list you as one of my main cranial artillery munitions suppliers.:moustache:

2790883
Excellent question! Magic blurs the line between conventional evolution and memetic refinement, and as such even passive and innate magics can adapt much faster than purely biological adaptations. Much as the modern denizen of the first world seems adapted for city life, so to is pony magic, but both had to start somewhere.

Earth pony strength and endurance were an obvious boon to early herds. Their affinity for plants made them the best foragers and providers even before the Agricultural Revolution. (Indeed, that tradition still lives on to an extent; recall that Granny Smith's family were seed gatherers.) Once earth ponies started planting, they started focusing their magic towards catalyzing their crop, and vegetable catalysis became an intrinsic part of their magic in a matter of generations. The path of transcedence is a relatively recent development; philosophies delving into the true nature of existence require at least an oral tradition to work with, and the liability of a pony partway down the path was one nomadic herds couldn't afford.

Primitive pegasi generally only reacted to inclement weather rather than imposing their will on entire climates. They were also very helpful in making sure the herd never went thirsty. Given their aerial perspective, they also served as an excellent early warning and response system against many predators.

While pegasi were the shock troops and earth ponies the defensive line, unicorns were the heavy artillery. Magic wasn't refined or codified, but it was still effective, much as a stone hand-axe or arrowhead is still an effective weapon. Unicorns also gave ponies a head start on the way to civilization. After all, when you can create fire with your mind, the practical difficulty of using a bow drill with hooves becomes moot.

With civilization came specialization, and the tribes began their gradual drift into interdependent but separate cultures that would culminate in the coming of the windigos.

2790911
That seems like it would work better as a collaborative effort. I should see if the World-Building Alliance has a thread on the matter. I know they have one for racial slurs...

2790936
The thing is, a low-power genetic auto-correct kind of shoots evolution in the foot. After all, transcription errors are key to mutation, both good and bad. Gene expression, a layer of genomics we still don't understand all that well, would explain both the wildly distinct phenotypes and the "my great-great-great-great grandfather was a unicorn" effect. The potential for all tribes could very well be part of every pony's genome, expressed by a specific control sequence.
As for the hybridization, I figured it was a matter of magical mismatch. The pony tribes are close enough that a slight difference won't matter, but other variations would cause the mother's immune system to reject the developing fetus. Heck, humans can do that if the Rh factor doesn't match up. (Indeed, I wouldn't exist if we couldn't correct for it.)
... :facehoof: Darn it, I completely forgot about dragons. Given the amount of diversity they display, they need to be able to breed with just about anything. I'll go fix that.

2791084
Alicorns have a truly uncanny beauty. Everypony agrees that they're attractive, though not necessarily the reasons. Indeed, art depicting Celestia has a surprising amount of inconsistencies, as though she appeared differently to different ponies.

2791112
All sexologists agree that butt cuteness is one of the pantribal aspects of attractiveness.

2791115
It isn't, but entirely different realities are outside the scope of this discussion.

2791211
derpicdn.net/img/2014/3/21/581068/medium.png
Let me show you it. :pinkiesmile:

My headcanon is actually quite different for Rites. There, society has a variable for attractiveness that's arguably the most significant: Whether or not their traits are like Celestia's.

After a thousand years of rule by herself, being like Tia become very important. Long legs, light coloration, large wings, long horn, etc. For this reason, Fluttershy is seen as far more attractive than Rainbow Dash. (In the Rites canon the Mane 6 have different heights. At the point where the story is, they are, from shortest to tallest: Twi, Dash, Pinkie, Rarity, AJ, and Fluttershy.) She's lighter in color, less ragged from racing, polite, a long mane, long legs, etc. Hence, supermodel.

Twilight, not having her wings yet, is in the opposite position. She's short, colored in a dark palate, her horn is short, her mane is very dark and flat. She's considered UNattractive.

Rarity, however, is taller, has a longer horn, and has a very light coat. Her mane is dark, though, which counts against her.

So, yeah, I take a different route. :)

2791262

Given the amount of diversity they display, they need to be able to breed with just about anything.

As anyone who's played 3.5e D&D well knows! ("Half-dragon is a template that can be applied to any living, corporeal creature." Half-dragon gelatinous cubes, anyone?)

2791262
Let me know when such collaboration occurs. I would be happy to help.
:twilightsmile:

... Even though most of mine is the effect discussed in Stranger In A Strange Land. The Martian language doesn't have a symbol for the idea of war or hatred, and it's extrapolated that they do not do either. Which ends up being true. A Martian cannot hate something unless they understand it so fully that it's a part of them, and so they're as a result unable to do what we would call hatred. They also don't war, even though the asteroid belt was a fifth / tenth planet in whose population they felt a "wrongness" in, and after much deliberation they simply broke apart the planet. They almost did the same to Earth, but were narrowly stopped from doing so.

I take what's presented there, and say that a society either has a word or symbol in their language for an object or that object doesn't exist and vice-versa. Like... if you break down the idiom "fast, like a bullet", it implies that they know what a bullet as a projectile is. I've had people say "well what about bullet trains / etc?" to which I say the word bullet in bullet-train is to tell you at a glance that it's a train that goes... fast, like a bullet. And we've also had WoG that when Rarity said Rainbow won't look like a tank in her Gala dress, that she meant the tracked vehicle of war. So ponies at least know what a bullet and a tank are, as far as the weapons go. And then I've had people say "Well Celestia reigned in peace for 1,000 years, so they don't know what war is" and have seen numerous fics of ponies being appalled at the concept of warfare. To which I direct them back to the Exact Words said by the storybook Twilight is reading. It says "Harmony has been maintained ever since". Not that they haven't had scuffles / wars / famine / etc, but that the nation hasn't faced an XK End-Of-The-World Scenario like Nightmare Moon, Discord, Sombra, etc. It doesn't say anything about peace. Then while they're thinking about that, I direct them to It's About Time. Twilight's first reaction is to ask future-her if there's been an epic pony war in the near future. Implying that that is a thing that could happen. It also says that they know what the idea of warfare is.

Unrelated to lexicon providing evidence of things that they have, I have repeatedly pointed out various things we've seen in-show and expanded universe that say that the technological level of Equestria isn't what it's normally portrayed as in fanfiction. it's shown as pre-Industrial Revolution...
But I've found numerous objects and concepts that say differently. Allowing for differences in technological advancement due to necessity (ponies don't need cars because they can make a journey of 10-100 miles fairly easily, even under a load.), their society is post technological singularity, if not post-scarcity. One of the biggest of which is Adaptive Terraforming. Sure, on the deployment level it's just a pegasus using pegasus magic to push around clouds. But those clouds and the weather itself are manufactured. We're shown and told that Cloudsdale has a weather factory.
We've also seen in the background and in use by the characters machined and manufactured goods.
I also state that Equestria is a nuclear power. Something lent greater credence in the past (my past justification was the civil defense ("air raid") sirens in Secret of My Excess, and the NBC suits from Cutie Pox that're marked with nuclear hazard trefoils) by the existence of a pony in Trade Ya! with an atomic model cutie mark.
Electricity: Mysterious Mare Do Well. That's a hydroelectric dam, with a substation at the base that has Tesla towers.
Electric lighting: Too many instances to count of there being a sharp "click" before sudden illumination. I'd have to rewatch the whole thing, but I'm also pretty sure I've seen a flashlight.
Our current level of physics knowledge: We can levitate objects with SCIENCE, and a lab in London recently made matter out of light. Theory of special relativity- we go back to It's About Time. The equation on the blackboard is an actual time-dilation equation, which requires knowledge of Einstein's theories of special relativity. Also, Twilight uses a windspeed measuring device to calculate wingpower. That would require so much physics and fluid dynamics knowledge.
They're smarter / better educated than we are: They seem to use the proven method of smaller class sizes, and keeping the same teacher throughout schooling. If you can accept that that cutie mark age is roughly around the same time as a pony "matures", i.e. undergoes puberty (slight stretch. Mostly based on the fact that a pony with a cutie mark could conceivably at that point quit school and start a career based on what their special talent is, as I said in my fifty questions blog), then that places the CMC circa Call of the Cutie in about sixth grade, when your teachers divided you into boys and girls and gave you the awkward rundown of the next few years. If we can accept that at the beginning of the show they're 11-12, why is Cheerilee teaching them orbital physics [equation on the blackboard]?
Random technology: The Super-Easy-Cider-Squeezy is implied to be some sort of internal combustion vehicle. As are the parade floats. Can on strings is a nice visual pun, but it leads overthinkers like me to say wait a minute, that's just a low-tech telephone. We already know they have telegraphs, and telephones weren't that far behind. Modern projection movie theaters and projection equipment in general. Construction vehicles.

... Holy shit I just wrote way too much.

The Sunsetverse is filled with nom-standard ponies in differences between the tribes, only earth matches the "multi-verbal baseline". As such, the are some slight differences in what they find attractive.

Female unicorns find facial hair attractive. As such, Starswirl the Bearded is, quote, "the sexist genius in history", unquote, and that's just to the lesbians. Needless to say, anypony courting a female unicorn would do well to at least grow a mustache. Male unicorns on the other hand find long tails attractive, and as such some females (such as Raroty) have long and elaborate flares at their tail tips to draw the eyes to that area and make them look longer. In addition, both genders actually find a long horn less attractive, as it's often seen as compensation...for weaker magic.

Pegasi, having hair only in their mane and tail, they tend to be largely ignored beyond basic care by pegasi. Plumage needs to be shiny, glossy, properly coat the body, and be properly aligned to be considered appealing. Also, a pegasus is expected to be dynamic and emotional. Beyond that, not much is different.

Earth ponies are basically the same.

I really, really want to make a joke about ascribing to the Stork hypothesis in Equestria, but sadly Baby Cakes disproves that theory.

I like the bit about unicorns preferring that you demonstrate that you don't "need" physical muscle (and certainly valuing perceived delicateness has been a thing in some human cultures, mostly for young women). And the bit analyzing the Mane cast's attractiveness. The rest of the physical stuff was a little bit predictable sadly, not really covering much ground that doesn't feel like no brainers or that I haven't seen before. I guess the mental traits were at least were creative.

2791323 Ooh, but I really like that headcanon. Celestia's influence on society would be huge and widespread, including in ways she never would have intended. I would expect that to just be layered on top of existing metrics though.

So, wait. If Fluttershy isn't an "attractive" Pegasus, then why was she such a popular supermodel?

2791323
For this blog, I was thinking more about the "reproductive fitness" level of beauty than the "society's ideal" level. Plus, I'd think there would be a unique Uncanny Valley for those who do too good a job of resembling Celestia, to the point where thinking about that pony sexually just feels wrong. I do love your idea of Celestia's long reign having a lasting, massive impact on society, but I have difficulty with the concepts "eternal, benevolent ruler" and "primary sex symbol" coexist in a single character. (On the other hand, I suppose having a Celestia simulacrum could work for some ponies, having an approachable version of the ultimate beauty.)
One interesting thing to note is that the chiroptera believed that their standards of beauty were based on Luna's appearance and behavior. Once she was back to her usual boisterous self... yeah. If you thought the brony community was surprised, just imagine how the bat ponies felt about that first "Huzzah!"

2791400
The interesting thing there is that half-dragons get claw and bite attacks, wings, and a breath weapon. The really interesting thing is that they get a racial bonus to Intelligence. Depending on how the DM interprets that, it could mean an ooze with feats. Also, would a half-dragon cube be tinted the color of its draconic progenitor?

2791427
Or, to put it succinctly, Schizo Tech. Some of it can be handwaved as science fiction. (After all, we discuss androids and faster-than-light travel.) As for the rest, science doesn't function as a strict linear progression of discoveries. Moments of inspiration, missed opportunities, and accidents both good and bad can shape a civilization's scientific capabilities. Add in magic, and there's no telling what becomes much easier to do and what doesn't even get considered. (Earth pony traditionalism, for example, seems to have greatly retarded agricultural technology, and their magic has reduced the need for it.)

2791506
Looks like you were using text-to-speech software there. Still, I got the gist, and I love what you're doing with the Sunsetverse. The unicorn fascination with stylish hair is both novel and amusing, and the mental image of extra-feathery pegasi is fantastic. Just the sound of it makes me want to bury my face in your Fluttershy's chest. It'd be like hugging an equine Big Bird.

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The thing is, I have to start with the base material and extrapolate from there. There's only so far I can go, given what we've seen of each tribe's culture. I could say that pegasi are irresistibly attracted to giant fruit hats and earth ponies court each other with gifts of human fingernails, but at that point, I lose the tenuous connection to canon that lends some thin veneer of authority to what I make up.

2792635
See footnote 14. Fluttershy isn't a traditional pegasus beauty, but she does something for everypony. However, being Fluttershy, she tends to focus on the negative.

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That's what I had just said. D:
I mentioned necessity. :L

Let me just say that I wish Earth's version of the Kinsey scale was similarly extended. Tribe most likely is unnecessary/counterproductive/would get the whole thing caught in the mire of racial politics, but the sexuality/asexuality scale is something that a number of my friends could use right now as a replacement/extension of the binary "ace" idea, and xenophilia is something that I predict will become culturally significant within our lifetimes as we move into a shiny transhuman future. (Not to mention I'd score fairly high there myself.)

The post as a whole was great, but that part in particular earns you many Baxil Points, which are basically Horizon Points but also redeemable outside of pony context.

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Given that we've been the only hominids on the planet for about 40,000 years now, the tribal portion could definitely be dropped when applied to the real world. The fact that you think this should be applied there says a lot, though. Thanks for the extraequine seal of approval! :pinkiehappy:

For my thoughts:

On your first two points, I would direct interested readers to "Red," the first chapter of Biology: A Romance, my first attempt at a "rated mature" story over on my AugieDog account. No sexual activity happens till chapter two, though, so just reading the first chapter should be OK.

Mike

Are you perhaps suggesting that Fluttershy behaves rather like a bat pony when it comes to romance?

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... Accidentally, yes. I may need to work with this.

3303512
I'm helping! Also, this rather lines up with my headcanon that Fluttershy has batponies in her family tree. :pinkiehappy:

as do those who think that preference can be calculated to four or five significant figures.

It's continuous, there are an infinite amount of values! Ha... Haha. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Interesting look at things. I like the thought put into this and how it explains some events that happened in the show (e.i. AJ feeding Twilight to death).

Edit: All this headcanon is amazing. I don't particularly have a set idea of how things work in my head, so I can't really posit anything. However, this mesh of ideas is a fun read.

However, I don’t like Doylist explanations when Watsonian ones present themselves.

Thank you! Doylist explanations are worthless for worldbuilding.

Anyway, this whole blog was absolutely fascinating, and I give major props to you for it. It all makes sense when put together, and I find the ideas here appealing with regards to my vision of this world. I'll admit, pony sexuality isn't really something I give a lot of thought to, even as a storyteller, so whenever I've thought about this subject before, I've never really thought too deeply into the details. But this right here is very good.

Have you done many blogs like this? At 259 of them, I don't really feel like searching through them all to specifically pick out the others in this series, but if you do have them all linked somewhere, I'd appreciate you pointing me in the right direction.

3333507
Sadly, the only blog index I have set up is for the blogs where I make Magic: the Gathering cards out of pony episodes. The rest of the FoME Thinks Too Much Series is as follows:

Time Cylinder (How to make everything canon, if not in the same timeline.)
Chromelanin (How rainbow pigmentation works.)
Cutie Mark Cognizance (Can a pony not know what her cutie mark means? Written before "Appleoosa's Most Wanted.")

The following may also be of interest:

50 Headcanon Salute (A rundown of my headcanon, some rather obsolete at this point.)
FoME Boils Over: The Great Game and the Incandescent Miasma (Why Celestia shouldn't be portrayed as a political incompetent.)
Interseasonal Fridge Logic (An interesting series of parallels.)
To Rise Above (The path to party pony enlightenment.)
Headcanon: The Orders of Harmony (A way to honor the ponies who provided the Mane Six with the Keys of Harmony.)
Happy Decemberween (Symbolic analysis of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' Nightmare Night costumes.)

3333822

Thank you very much! I'll give all these a look at some point.

3333822

...Aaaaaand done! I left comments where relevant, as you no doubt already know. You have a lot of interesting ideas. And looking through your story list, I also see that I've favourited more of your stories than I thought, and that there are more still on my read later list. I think at this point you've earned a follow.

3318688 I wonder how many, if any, individuals are exactly Pi on the scale. :pinkiecrazy:

I always figured pony genitals were literally "innies" when not in use, folding inwards to become (visually) a crease in the fur at most. Stallions have a sheath, why not just take it a bit further? There's a near-legendary bit on how efficient a folding and closing bit of work the horse anus is, so giving Equestrian ponies a good storage option worked for me. (Bonus: It's protective of delicate reproductive equipment.)

It'd also explain why babies wear diapers in another sense. They don't have the potty training to keep their foalish bits not hanging out.

Word of Faust also says that Equestria’s helium is supplied by pegasus flatulence.

Citation, please.

adds a whole new layer

through removing a layer~

so do ponies, unless they lay eggs

D&D, another hasbro property, holds that pegasi do. Or, at least, it used to?

wings, horns, or neither.

or both (which biases one toward Changelings sooo hard)

Meanwhile, Applejack thought Twilight was on the verge of starvation and tried to feed her as much as possible before the poor thing keeled over.

That explains the bit in ep1 nicely.
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http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/File:AJ_%22where%27s_Stinky_Bottom%27s_Discount_Hat_Emporium%22_S6E9.png The show itself made an asshat joke, y'know~
4514875
So, snake-like.

4515128
Faust, uh…wow. :rainbowhuh:/:rainbowlaugh:

Having been directed back here by Plight of the Xenophile...the footnotes here are excellent and deserve to be easy to use, especially if you might direct people here again in the future. Please do the needful.

Namely, the featureless crotch phenomenon.

Damaged did a story that took that premise and ran with it in a very very silly way, have you seen it?

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Rubbed the Right Way. Ponies don't have those bits so they have to use toys.

it's funny
every personality trait mentioned in the Chiroptera segment matches Fluttershy to varying degrees
no wonder my chiropteron oc has such a massive crush on her(and in some timelines is in an actual relationship with her)

Note. https://derpiboo.ru/ is now depreciated.

And it's now "https://derpibooru.org/".

Stability is another big turn-on for the earth-attracted, and Pinkie is about as stable as astatine(15). 

Honestly Pinkie is very stable. Whenever you need her either as a shoulder to cry on, someone to hug, someone to listen, someone to teach you and even someone to be the voice of reason she's there. I would say she's even more stable and steadfast then Applejack. Applejack could break herself from working too hard and could push her loved ones too hard. Pinkie knows her limits and knows when not too push and when too push. But when it comes to herself Pinkie is emotionally unstable. She's a better rock for her partner but for herself she's almost crumbling sand. So I can see an argument she's unstable because she needs others approval for her own worth, but on the other hand she is a stable influence too others, random or not.
Just my thoughts on the earth pony attractiveness that turned into a diatribe about Pinkie Pie

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