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Old 03-25-2013, 06:44 PM   #41
Bêthberry
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There were cases of American Civil War veterans taking wives as recently as the 1930's, and the man who owns the company that my father works at is probably ninety years old and has an eight-year-old son. That being said, I don't think that the Istari would have come to Middle-earth with sexual desires. Such desires could become a distraction from their mission, and I don't think that the Valar nor the wizards would have set out without thought for that.
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I guess that would come back to what you were talking about with Bethberry, and with which I agree, as in, by no means would I want to diminish any sexual desires among older people, but generally it probably isn't as common or as strong, and with this I would say that the Wizards were indeed not of "that cathegory" and so their distractions would come from different hobbies, interests, and so on. Especially if you take into account that they were in the position of having an entirely new world to explore, literally.

I think it is probably not too remiss to point out that in the human species there are differences in the development of sexual appetites of the sexes, with women peaking much later than men. In medieval literature (Chaucer comes to mind) the elderly who still pursue sexual appetite are ridiculed, but that is a cultural value rather than normative behaviour.

[must go find something I want to reply to Aganzir now, so will edit this later.]
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:03 AM   #42
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I think that there are two forms of incarnation:

A "biological" incarnation, where the ainu actually forms a body that has a complete organ system. This is the form of Incarnation that the Istari, Melian and also the Umaia in orcform (Boldogs) went through. These Ainur actually became human, elvish (or orcish) in form (and dependent on nourishment and sleep), but can now also reproduce with other true incarnates (i dont think that two incarnated ainu could reproduce).
I guess that this form of Incarnation is much more limiting for the innate Power of the Ainu and that Ainur that incarnated in such a way could be much more easily killed than an Ainu that incarnated himself in the other way. It also seems that they did not to do it entirely out of free will: the Istari had to because it was a requirement for their mission, Melian did it out of Love for Thingol and to conceive, and the Boldogs probably because they lacked the Power for mightier Forms or where maybe forced by Melkor in order to procreate with Orcs.

A "unique" (for lack of a better word) incarnation where the ainu creates a wholly new and original form for his spirit that acts more like a "biological machine" than an actual body. It could either lack an organ system, or have an organ system that is much more complex than that of the incarnates or animals. I think the bodies of the Balrogs and the incarnated Sauron where of this kind. If the bodies of the Balrogs were completely "biological" (like for example a human body) they would have burnt to death a long time ago. Ainur like that are probably also much harder to kill, because you cant just stab them in the heart (there might be no heart, or there are three hearts! everything is possible), the opponents actually had to destroy or somehow "break" the "form". They are also less (if at all) dependent on nourishment and sleep. I guess that Ainur that incarnated in such a way were also physically a lot stronger and could better project their innate Power because they (rather voluntary) chose and created a form that completely suited them, but they probably couldn't conceive or impregnate other incarnates because they would not have been "compatible".

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Old 07-20-2014, 07:42 AM   #43
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A "biological" incarnation, where the ainu actually forms a body that has a complete organ system. This is the form of Incarnation that the Istari, Melian and also the Umaia in orcform (Boldogs) went through. These Ainur actually became human, elvish (or orcish) in form (and dependent on nourishment and sleep), but can now also reproduce with other true incarnates (i dont think that two incarnated ainu could reproduce).
I don't know about the ultimate legitimacy of Boldog, since that's HOME stuff, but the incarnations of Melian and the Istari are certainly more bound to the physical world than their Maia brethren.

The Istari, as you say, were housed in actual bodies, which they could not forsake without "dying", as a consequence of the nature of their mission in Middle-earth.
In their case, reproducing with any of the Children of Ilúvatar was not only contrary to their mission, but could also have had serious consequences.

Melian's embodiment was indeed voluntary, and I see it as a parallel with Arwen's later situation with Aragorn.
In order for the immortal Melian to be betrothed to a "lesser" being in Middle-earth, she had to bring herself to Thingol's level, so to speak. She took on basically thelife of the Eldar, though I think it rather unfair that after Thingol's death she was allowed to simply head back to Aman and "dwell on her sorrows".

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I think the bodies of the Balrogs and the incarnated Sauron where of this kind. If the body of the Balrogs were completely "biological" (like a human body) they would have burnt to death a long time ago. Ainur like that are probably also much harder to kill, because you cant just stab them in the heart (there might be no heart, or there are three hearts! everything is possible), the opponents actually had to destroy or somehow "break" the "form". They are also less (if at all) dependent on nourishment and sleep. I guess that Ainur that incarnated in such a way could also better project their innate Power because they chose and created a form that completely suited them, but they probably couldn't conceive because they would not have been "compatible".
I think Sauron's (and the Balrogs') embodiment was required in order to have the maximum effect on the physical world in Middle-earth. . The appearance of their forms seems to be mainly connected with the state of their inner spirit. Sauron, until the destruction of his body in the Fall of Númenor, was able to appear fair and noble. But after he returned to Middle-earth after the Fall, he only looked terrible and evil. His spiritual state had become consumed with hate and a lust for domination, which could have been reflected physically, and maybe too the Valar took steps to deny him the ability to look less threatening, and so make it harder for him to deceive Elves, Men, and Dwarves ever after.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:04 AM   #44
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I dont think that Melians Incarnation in elvish form was all that voluntary: she was madly in love (goodbye free will and clear thinking) with thingol and incarnated herself for him, and in order to conceive.

Why do you think it unfair that she was allowed back to Valinor, why should the Valar prohibit her return? She didnt do anything evil as far as i know. You could say that she was abandoning Doriath ... but her Husband was now in Valinor (Halls of Mandos) so she was probably torn but ultimately decided to follow Thingol and await his re-embodiment. It is a bit questionable, but i can understand her.

"Sauron, until the destruction of his body in the Fall of Númenor, was able to appear fair and noble. But after he returned to Middle-earth after the Fall, he only looked terrible and evil. His spiritual state had become consumed with hate and a lust for domination, which could have been reflected physically, and maybe too the Valar took steps to deny him the ability to look less threatening, and so make it harder for him to deceive Elves, Men, and Dwarves ever after."

Sauron was chlothed until the destruction of Numenor, he only became incarnate AFTER his beautiful form was destroyed in the downfall. I dont think the Valar had anything to do with the change of his form. Its more like a general law in Ea that the form somehow reflects the spirit, and evil beings, after some point, were no longer able to "mask" their true nature and character.

Of course, some kind of body (or "clothing") for the spirit was necessary in order to manipulate the physical world, thats why most of the Ainur appear "clothed" in order to interact with the incarnates and the world. But i´m speculating about two different forms of incarnation not clothing. I think its obvious that a merely clothed Ainu would not be capable to conceive or impregnate incarnates (wether elves, men or orcs). I guess it could have been possible for Melian to have some kind of sexual intercourse with Thingol while being clothed, but i think she had to be fully incarnated in order to conceive.

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Old 07-20-2014, 11:40 AM   #45
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I dont think that Melians Incarnation in elvish form was all that voluntary: she was madly in love (goodbye free will and clear thinking) with thingol and incarnated herself for him, and in order to conceive.
Well, I wouldn't think she was given no choice in the matter when it came to being with Thingol; only that she was given a mandate that she become truly embodied in oder to do so.

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Why do you think it unfair that she was allowed back to Valinor, why should the Valar prohibit her return? She didnt do anything evil as far as i know. You could say that she was abandoning Doriath ... but her Husband was now in Valinor (Halls of Mandos) so she was probably torn but ultimately decided to follow Thingol and await his re-embodiment. It is a bit questionable, but i can understand her.
I don't know, it just seems like Melian had it all: the bliss of a long term sojourn among the Children in Middle-earth and a simple return to the Undying Lands afterward. She just seems to have had it both ways.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:21 AM   #46
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Sex is, after all, an integral part of marriage.
I take it you've never been married.
Oh dear....

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Melian just seems to have had it both ways.
did Thingol know about this?

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that Sauron was Morgoth's mate yet....

(like Morthoron, I'm having a hard time taking this thread seriously)
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:32 PM   #47
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I am resurrecting this thread because I love it and it's my baby and I can't let it die. My ideas have changed since I originally posted this and I feel like I should add something.

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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that Sauron was Morgoth's mate yet....
Okay, I'm putting the idea out there about Sauron being Morgoth's (um?) concubine? Lover?

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I just noticed this. Is it a metaphorical statement? Surely it is well-established that Sauron was never just a big floating eyeball. Nonetheless I can't think that Sauron, whose first fixation was Order and later simply hatred for those who appeared to obstruct his vision of Order, would have had much interest in anything sexual even at his most incarnate level of spiritual degradation. Sauron seems to me to have been an obsessive person, who in the Third Age at least had two overriding goals: the conquest of the West of Middle-earth and the recovery of the Rings of Power (and especially, of course, the One Ring). He does not strike me as the kind of person who put those fixations aside for the sake of his leisure.
After Sauron's physical form was destroyed, he was not a giant eyeball but, well, I imagine him as being just energy at that point. He still has a will and opinions, but it's not like he can act them out. I guess he's mostly like a ghost in physicality.

Anyway, I agree with you about Sauron being obsessive. He always struck me as being so totally focused on dominating the world, that he didn't care a bit about anything else. Perhaps he used sex as a way to dominate his subordinates when he was still Morgoth's right hand man. But I still view Sauron as being too busy with the whole megalomania thing to be bothered with the relationship or even physical part of sex.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:54 AM   #48
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But I still view Sauron as being too busy with the whole megalomania thing to be bothered with the relationship or even physical part of sex.
That makes me think of Bored of the Rings, which had Sorhed (Sauron) and Schlob (Shelob) being the parents of "nine strapping wraiths".

Really though, why would Maia want or need physical relationships? They weren't necessary from a biological perspective. Maia were only "guests" in Arda, not part of it (Melian is a special case: her being smitten with Thingol was plainly something fated to happen: she had no will in the matter).
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:33 PM   #49
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After Sauron's physical form was destroyed, he was not a giant eyeball but, well, I imagine him as being just energy at that point. He still has a will and opinions, but it's not like he can act them out. I guess he's mostly like a ghost in physicality.
Which time losing his body do you mean?

He kind of made a habit of it.
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:47 PM   #50
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That makes me think of Bored of the Rings, which had Sorhed (Sauron) and Schlob (Shelob) being the parents of "nine strapping wraiths".

Really though, why would Maia want or need physical relationships? They weren't necessary from a biological perspective. Maia were only "guests" in Arda, not part of it (Melian is a special case: her being smitten with Thingol was plainly something fated to happen: she had no will in the matter).
Why would the Valar? Yet they did. Or at least had spouses.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:55 AM   #51
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Why would the Valar? Yet they did. Or at least had spouses.
Spouses, yes. Relationships? Obviously. Some seemed to have the need for companionship to (I shudder to say it) "complete" them. The physical side is what I question though. I would posit that physicality was even a "base" concept for them (hence Morgoth's "evil lust" for Lúthien).
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:10 AM   #52
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The physical side is what I question though. I would posit that physicality was even a "base" concept for them (hence Morgoth's "evil lust" for Lúthien).
I agree. I wish I could find that quote about the difference between Valar marriages and those of the Eruhíni, but maybe I just imagined it...
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:49 AM   #53
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Which time losing his body do you mean?

He kind of made a habit of it.
Haha, you're right. He really did.

I don't have the Sil here to reference right now, but I believe that none of the valar had children, and the only maia to have a child was Melian. Was childbearing even possible for these beings?
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:07 PM   #54
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Was childbearing even possible for these beings?
I would say any of the Maia would have been capable, but would have had to have emulated Melian in taking a 'real' body along the lines of the Children of Ilúvatar: material, needing nourishment, water, and sleep; and able to be 'killed', ala Saruman.

That does mean the Istari could have sired children, and so could Sauron, since his physical form was tied to Arda.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:32 PM   #55
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The various creatures of Melkor are almost entirely said to have been birthed from couplings with Incarnate Maiar and lesser beings. In reality, it seems very difficult to address certain issues such as: how did dragons arise? Glaurung "grew" as time passed, and therefore seems to have been a real Incarnate, and Smaug was similarly a "young" drake at some point. All of these imply aging. But as Tolkien says multiple times in the Myths Transformed essays, Eru would never allow Melkor to create life by giving his creations fëar. This was done for Aulë only because of his purity of heart and the goodness of his purpose and obedience to Eru. Melkor has none of these traits, and yet he is able to create many many races that clearly have independent thought and function when his Will is not moving them, as the dragons of later ages after his banishment prove. How then are these Incarnate beings (clearly in possession of fëar) existing? The only explanation is that of Melian, the Maia who procreated with an Incarnate and produced a viable and powerful offspring. Tolkien clearly thought about this most in terms of the Orcs (cf. the Boldogs) but the principle applies to the dragons, werewolves, trolls, and vampires of the legentarium as well. Melkor can corrupt existing animals (made by Yavanna or Orome or Vana) as is said in the story of the beginning of days: "...became monsters of horn and ivory and dyed the earth with blood." Thus, by corrupting some existing creature of Middle-earth and mating them with a truly Incarnate Maia, there could be a viable race of beings with thought and "free-will" after the measure of the Eruhini.

All of this brings me back to the idea of sex. I agree with many in the thread that the Valar did not procreate, since they were not bound to their bodies. They assumed Fanar only, in order to interact with the Children. Their "marriages" are not chiefly of the body, but of the sublime union of spirit with spirit in intrinsic one-ness: the very Catholic ideal of what the supernatural side of the sacrament of marriage is (as Tolkien knew well). As others have said, the more the Valar enjoy the "fruits of the earth," the more they become bound to it. This idea is actually tied up in the concept of the Valar growing "old." In the Prophecy of Mandos it is said that "When the Valar grow old" Morgoth will return. If they are immortal beings the only way in which they might age is by being bound to the physical Orma of Arda more closely. This comes (as many of you have pointed out) by prolonged inhabitance in a truly Incarnate form. Melian and the Istari (as well as the Boldogs and first dragons/werewolves/trolls/etc.) must by necessity have been fully Incarnate, as they were only released by death and the union of their bodies and their ability to procreate is intrinsic. The Valar merely presented a fana to the Incarnates who saw them. fana literally means "cloud" and the very idea of its immateriality is inherent in the name. They were not true Incarnations, as Melian and the Istari were, and thus had no bodily need to perform functions. Sex is the very foundation of biology, and so if the Valar did indeed partake of it with one another, they must have done so extremely sparingly, lest they become bound to the physical realm too much.

Morgoth clearly did this, as he INcarnated himself and poured his "begetting" power into many creatures and beings. This seems to imply that he himself was the literal father of many of his corrupted races, and in this act of "dissemination" (which literally means spreading the seed) he became bound to the earth. His lust for Luthien can then be explained by the rule of the body over his spirit, which was a symbol of his downfall. Sexual desire is not evil, even in an Ainu, as Melian demonstrates. However, lust for domination of another through sex without love is an evil in this world, and Morgoth fell victim to that.

Sauron, however, never had to "beget" races of beings. He changes his form so much throughout his existence that it can clearly be seen to be a fana, and not a true Body. Thus, he would not have been ruled by the bodily desires of Morgoth. His "lust" happened only after his "begetting" of the Ring, which was his greatest act of engaging with the physical realm on a spiritual level. The Ring is Sauron's sex-drive, and thus he has no need for actual sex.

The bottom line is: the Valar could have sex, but probably didn't because of the binding to the terrestrial world that it brings, but may Maiar certainly did (and not all of them evil, as the Skinchangers, talking ravens, and the Great Eagles exist independently of the Maiar).
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:08 AM   #56
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Tolkien writes in the Silmarillion that the Valar out of curiosity emulated the elves and "clothed" themselves in bodies like them, they even created a language (Valarin), they ate and drank, all things they definitely did not need, purely out of curiosity. If the Valar went so far in emulating the children (at first out of curiosity, to better understand the children) then i don't think that it is a stretch to assume that they also tried sex. But since the Valar were only clothed and not incarnate (like, already mentioned, Melian, Sauron in the third Age or the Istari) they would not have been able to become pregnant and could only perform the physical act. Also I don't think that two incarnate Ainu could get children, in order to get children, the other Party has to be a non-Ainu.

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:09 AM   #57
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Sauron, however, never had to "beget" races of beings. He changes his form so much throughout his existence that it can clearly be seen to be a fana, and not a true Body.
Sauron was only merely "clothed" until the downfall of Numenor in 3119 S.A.. After that he became fully incarnated i.e. he had to construct a new body and was completely tied to that particular form like one of the incarnates. Were it not for the One Ring Sauron would have "died" during the Battle of Mount Doom in 3441 S.A. (And one could indeed argue that for all intents and purposes Sauron did actually die during that battle, at least his body ceased to function and his spirit had to depart from it).
The question remains what kind of body Sauron actually had. Was it an actual biological body like a human or elven body, or more like a biological Machine? I would argue that Saurons incarnate form was a unique construct, Isildurs statement that the Body emanated extreme heat seems to suggest that - a human or elven body (like the Istari or Melian possessed) would have burned to death if it experienced heat like that.

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Old 11-03-2017, 07:41 AM   #58
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I would argue that Saurons incarnate form was a unique construct, Isildurs statement that the Body emanated extreme heat seems to suggest that - a human or elven body (like the Istari or Melian possessed) would have burned to death if it experienced heat like that.
This is arguably similar to the bodies of Balrogs with their flaming hair, and thus something of a recurring demonic trait. Perhaps Úmaiar manifested approximations of human bodies piloted by their fëar rather than the real thing; this might be supported by the fact that they could also be taller than would be biologically feasible, Sauron being "of more than human stature", for instance.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:25 PM   #59
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As far as Sauron is concerned, I think we can safely assume that sex as a one-on-one encounter between consenting partners was completely alien to his personality. I mean, what is sex without trust, vulnerability, opening up to the other? Sauron being the control freak he was, I suppose he'd have been horrified at the notion of handing control of the most sensitive parts of his hröa over to a partner. This is not to say he would have been above using the sexual desires of others as a means of manipulation, as long as he could control and dominate them. (What really went on between Annatar and Celebrimbor?)

Speaking of control makes me wonder about those Ainur who merely clothed themselves into humanoid fanar rather than being fully incarnate. Since their 'bodies' were to them means of self-expression (or, in the cases of Sauron and his like, deception) that could be freely chosen and changed at will, we'd have to assume that any bodily functions they engaged in (such as eating, drinking and, you name it) were also completely subject to their will, wouldn't we? While this may seem enviable at first glance, I find myself wondering whether they were even able to experience spontaneous excitement, pleasure and climactic release as we do. In other words, if their desire to emulate the Children led them to attempting sexual intercourse, did it actually feel like the real thing to them or was it just a gymnastic pantomime that tragically missed the point?
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:44 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
Speaking of control makes me wonder about those Ainur who merely clothed themselves into humanoid fanar rather than being fully incarnate. Since their 'bodies' were to them means of self-expression (or, in the cases of Sauron and his like, deception) that could be freely chosen and changed at will, we'd have to assume that any bodily functions they engaged in (such as eating, drinking and, you name it) were also completely subject to their will, wouldn't we? While this may seem enviable at first glance, I find myself wondering whether they were even able to experience spontaneous excitement, pleasure and climactic release as we do. In other words, if their desire to emulate the Children led them to attempting sexual intercourse, did it actually feel like the real thing to them or was it just a gymnastic pantomime that tragically missed the point?
My belief is that the more closely bound to their physical body a Ainur became the more they were subject to "biologial" impulses and experiences.

So Sauron, by this reasoning, would be more subject to this than practically any other Ainur.

However, I still can't wrap my mind around his personality (as we have evidence of it) having any interest at all in this sort of thing.

I think he would find it tedious and icky.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:13 PM   #61
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I still can't wrap my mind around his personality (as we have evidence of it) having any interest at all in this sort of thing.

I think he would find it tedious and icky.
I think Sauron (and Saruman's) thoughts on sex could be reflected by the conscious breeding of Orcs to achieve specific physical traits, such as large stature, exceptional sense of smell, etc. Sex was merely a means by which to obtain more slaves.
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