Lesbos Paradiso Book Cover (Alternative) I am told that, back on planet Earth, the island of Lesbos in the Mediterranean Sea was at one time given over as a haven for those women who prefer the company of other women, not just socially but as sexual companions too. Lesbos is supposed to have been the birthplace of the ancient poet Sappho, whose life and works have come to represent the way of life we espouse here.

Now, back on old Earth, there are a great many strictures in our society on what constitutes acceptable behavior, at least in public. The general guideline is to avoid offending anybody's sensibilities which means, in the main, that all public behavior is extremely formal and inhibited and well-mannered. Or, as I had come to find it, as stifling and as tightly-constrained as an old-fashioned Victorian corset.

Of course, it is possible to find some relaxation from these limitations, in private situations. But there is so little real privacy, with recording devices being so small and hard to detect, and the risk that one of your discreet friends and lovers turns out to be rather less discreet after all.

I have always been attracted to the female form and, since in this age no woman - or man, for that matter - need appear anything other than fit and beautiful, I grew up in a world which was full of attractive people which were apparently forbidden to me.

Oh, of course, I found ways, now and again, to indulge the passion that I found in myself, but it was always furtive and sordid. Inevitably, rumors and then more concrete evidence of my hidden life began to emerge and I found myself on the fringes of the social order: not punished, exactly, but ostracized from polite society - meaning almost all of it.

So I made my way here, to the space habitat known as Lesbos Paradiso which has for some centuries orbited the gas giant planet Paraneuvo in the Pavane system. Here, the planets perform a slow and stately waltz around their star and, perhaps as an unconscious echo, the people here live a slow and rustic life modeled on millennia long past.

The habitat is a cylinder two hundred kilometers long and perhaps thirty in diameter, rotating about a central axis to provide the impression of gravity. There are two end-caps: one is solid and opaque - its fifty-meter thick bulk contains most of the machinery which runs the habitat. The other is transparent: a single slab of pink crystal which allows the light from the distant star to enter, reflected by the array of focusing mirrors.

We all live on the inside of the cylinder's surface, which is landscaped in a pleasing facsimile of a Greek idyll, with groves of olive trees and oranges and lemons, craggy heights and low white-painted buildings. Apparently, creating a proper sea was too much of an engineering challenge, but there are pools of clear cool water in many places and a large lake of fresh water to give the proper seaside effect.

My new home is a bucolic retreat for residents and visitors alike, a lesbian retreat and haven for those who wish an uninhibited naturist way of life. Most people affect a pastoral lifestyle, living and sharing with their nearby friends and neighbors, although of course the fully interconnected and networked nature of modern technology is available to those who wish it.

When I arrived, Lesbos Paradiso had come as such a shock, a complete revelation: its atmosphere of openness and sharing and uninhibited sex had seemed the antithesis of everything I had experienced back on old Earth. I gained acceptance and love in the kind of embracing atmosphere I felt I had been seeking my whole life.

The trouble was, I wondered if I had lost something too.

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