Wedding Night Challenge

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Name: Wedding Night Challenge
Date(s): 12 July 2004
Moderator(s): baranduin
Founder: lorie945
Type: fic/art
Fandom: Mary Renault
Associated Community: maryrenaultfics
URL: "Fic/Fanart Challenge" (MRF post)
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On 12 July 2004, baranduin (one of the moderators of the maryrenaultfics LiveJournal community) posted a challenge to members to either write a "wedding night fic" or draw an illustration of the same theme.

This was the first challenge posted to the community.


On 12 July 2004, tehta posted to the community a series of questions about aspects of The Charioteer that had puzzled her or that she felt needed some expansion or explication.[1] The second of these was:

* The night after the wedding: What do they do? Everything? I have this fairly convoluted theory that Laurie learned that he enjoys being a bottom, and that is (in part) the meaning behind It can be good to be given what you want. It can be better never to have it proven to you that you wanted it at all. and the sword-giving scene. But would that have been a normal thing for them to do, in those days?

The series of questions elicited 33 comments, including a long thread specifically focused on this particular question. The following is excerpted from this thread. It is therefore in the middle of a very active correspondence that the suggestion for a challenge was made by lorie945.

Oh, pooh. I can't leave #2 alone, either.

Strictly from a logistical point of view, it would be surprising if there had been penetrative sex that night. That requires supplise [sic] and preparation, and whatever hopes Ralph might have had as he headed to the wedding, I can't see him being that confident. Just my opinion. (It's one of my quirks that I don't like romanticizing the sex so that a first-time is perfect and wonderful for a guy who's never bottomed before.)


Have been babbling, will try to summarize:

I think the line could just mean that Laurie finally has to face up to enjoying sex, now that he's experienced it with love and admiration rolled into the mix.

— comment by lorie945, 12th-Jul-2004 06:30 am (local)

[...] Does anyone out there have any idea whether anal sex was an accepted part of gay culture in England in the 1940s? If so, would top/bottom roles have been more clearly defined back then? (I've heard that, in the United States around the same time, oral sex would have been much more common).

— comment by maggiehoneybite, 12th-Jul-2004 06:53 am (local)

[...] I think the generosity thing could just mean Laurie came many more times than Ralph. The oral sex thing, too, is a possibility.

Can anyone really see Ralph as a bottom? I actually think that sort of switching of roles is really hot, so I would love to... well, read about it, but given the lover/beloved roles imposed on them by the book it seems unlikely. [...]

— comment by tehta, 12th-Jul-2004 07:43 am (local)

Yes, I definitely read "generosity" as "oral sex."

Whee! Charioteer fic rewrite pretty much finished; you'll get it within the hour.

— comment by maggiehoneybite, 12th-Jul-2004 08:17 am (local)

Strictly from a logistical point of view, it would be surprising if there had been penetrative sex that night. That requires supplise [sic ] and preparation,

Not saying that they would have or would not have. I think some written examples would be necessary to make up my mind (if I could even then). Er, it could give you the imperfect first-time sex you like :-)

— comment by baranduin, 12th-Jul-2004 07:30 am (local)

I think some written examples would be necessary to make up my mind


Weren't you talking about challenges for the community? How about a "wedding night" challenge -- Alexander/Roxane (or Bagoas and his friend, and what was Hephaistion up to that night anyway) OR Laurie/Ralph. Someone has to be able to write some part of what went on that astonishing night.

Hmm. There's Lysis and his child-bride, too, or the angsty side of what Alexias did that night.

— comment by lorie945, 12th-Jul-2004 07:55 am (local)

That's an excellent idea. Would it be a "wedding night" or a "first time night"? Or either?


— comment by baranduin, 12th-Jul-2004 08:02 am (local)

The conversation in this particular post continued, not only with respect to tehta's second query but the others as well. However, the seed had been planted; and baranduin quickly moved to issue the challenge officially.


I’ve got a fic/fanart challenge here for folks – thanks to lorie945 for the great idea.

Write a “wedding night” fic. The fic does not necessarily need to include the pair that has been married. It should focus on characters impacted by the wedding, which could be the couple just married, or not. For example:

[series of five examples][2]

Alternatively, draw a picture illustrating the theme. I can imagine some but I can't draw for beans, but I know a bunch of you can :-)

Due date: Whenever you get it done, post it here.
Fic genre/length requirements: None – make it slash, het, gen, hurt/comfort, comedy, hothothot. Make it a drabble or a lovely long, lingering thing.

Let me know if you have questions -- something that I think I've said clearly is often not that way to others ...

— post by baranduin, 12th-Jul-2004 10:22 pm



  1. ^ "Charioteer uncertainties", post to maryrenaultfics by tehta on 12 July 2004, shortly before the challenge was issued.
  2. ^ In describing the challenge, Baranduin offered five examples of marriages that were drawn from various of Renault's books: Alexander's marriage to Roxane (The Persian Boy); Laurie's mother's marriage to Mr Straike, the night of which was the first time for Laurie/Ralph (The Charioteer); King Philip's marriage to Eurydike (Fire from Heaven); the Persian marriages of Alexander and Hephaistion (The Persian Boy); and Lysis's marriage to Thalia (The Last of the Wine).