Queen Esther & the Power of Sex

by Susan M. Block, Ph.D.

Like many Jewish hedonists, my favorite holiday of the Jewish year is & has always been Purim, the Jewish Mardi Gras. Halloween with Humentashen. The Purim Story, the Book of Esther, also called the Megillah, is filled with sex, seduction, exhibitionism, sexual harrassment, sexual teasing, feasts, parties, political intrigue, the awful spectre of genocide, lots of post-op transsexuals (eunuchs), & Esther--a shrewdly sexual heroine who rescues her people from a fate worse than Bosnia, armed with nothing but her smarts & her sex appeal. It's an incredible story. According to archaeological findings, it's probably also a true story. It's also an extremely relevant story in light of all the inter-ethnic, interracial, inter-religious violence going on in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa, & right here at home.

So I'm taking a moment to tell you my own erotic exotic version of the Purim Story, and if you'd like to take a moment to read it, please continue. You might want to grab your Bible, so you can check out the source (the Book of Esther is right between Nehemiah & Job). Grab your vibrator too. Grab your sweetheart. Grab yourself. Enjoy.

The Story of Esther begins with a great feast, the climactic week-long banquet in a festival that's lasted 180 days--that 's 6 months of partying (& we think if we go all weekend, we're being decadent). King Ahasuerus, who rules 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, is the man behind this Mother of All Parties, filled with lots of eating, drinking & carousing, as the best Old Testament parties are. And "on the 7th day," says the Bible, "the king, merry with wine" calls for his wife, Vashti, "with her royal crown, in order to show the people & the princes her beauty".

Now in Hebrew School, I learned "with her royal crown" really means "wearing nothing but her royal crown." See, I said this was a sexy story. But Vashti is feeling prissy & refuses to parade her naked self before the king & his royal party animals. If she could've sued him for sexual harrassment, she would've, but they didn't have lawsuits back then; they didn't even have lawyers then, tho they did have Judges, of course.

So the king kicks Vashti out of the palace; some translations say she's executed which, I always thought, was a rather drastic punishment for refusal to strip at a drunken party, but I also never sympathized with Vashti, a sex-phobic prude with no zest for exhibitionism (one of my favorite fetishes; also Ahasuerus'--the horny old despot.

Now, with Vashti, the Mother of All Party-Poopers, out of the picture, Ahasuerus needs a new queen--a virgin. They were into that then--the virgin fetish. A lot of guys are still into the virgin fetish, until they have to deal with a real virgin. My advice to Virgin Fetishists: Get a nice experienced lover who likes to pretend she's a virgin, & you'll have great virgin-style sex, probably better than sex with a real virgin.

But, Ahasuerus doesn't have me or anyone else as a sex therapist (they didn't have sex therapists back then either), & he wants a virgin. So he holds a Greater Babylonia Beauty Contest where all the hottest virgins in his kingdom compete to be queen. There they were, rows & rows of jailbait, all decked out, panting to be picked...

I remember getting all decked out to compete in a Hebrew School Esther contest. Winning & getting to play Esther was the height of my prepubescent exhibitionism. Too bad the kid playing Ahasuerus was two years younger & five inches shorter than me...

Anyway back to the Bible: Enter Mordecai the Jew, who enters his teenage cousin Esther into Ahasuerus' virgin contest, encouraging her to bat her lovely virgin eyes, but keep a lid on being Jewish. Even in these days before Michael Milken, it was not cool. It's never totally cool to be Jewish; non-Jews are always suspicious of Jews. Actually, everybody's suspicious of somebody; that's one reason I'm telling this story. So Esther's Jewish, tho she's no JAP. She's pretty down-to-earth, but she's hot, she's "comely" as the Bible says, & the king gets all excited just looking at her, & he gives her a prime position in the royal harem, where she's bathed & beautified with ointments & perfumes for six months (hey, those Babylonians out-Japped the Japs).

Then Esther "goes in unto" the king. That's the Bible's way of saying they have sex. And she gives him the best head he's ever gotten in his life. (Just kidding; the Bible doesn't say she gives him head; I'm doing a little free interpretation here. But hey, Ahasuerus falls madly in love with her after just one night, so I figure it must have been a hot night).

Anyway...he crowns Esther queen, & holds another big bash. The Bible's pretty coy about exactly what Esther does there, but I bet at some point, she strips down to her crown. I mean, that's the king's fetish, & Vashti's downfall...so...I can just see Esther belly-dancing naked on a pedestal above crowds of drunken revellers drooling at her comeliness. Go Esther! But make no mistake: Esther's go go, but she's no bimbo...She's about to get into some heavy stuff...

See, all this time, Mordecai's been hanging around outside the harem (can you blame him?) & he discovers two eunuchs. These are sort of Biblical post-op transsexuals--literally guys who have been castrated--y'know, eunuchs! So, Mordecai overhears these eunuchs plotting to kill the king (eunuchs are such shameless creatures). And he tells Esther who tells the king, who has the eunuchs hanged (they sure didn't have a lawyer) & has the event entered in his Royal Diary.

Then, Ahasuerus promotes one of his princes, Haman the Agagite (a Hitler-wannabe BCE) to be his right-hand man. All the people bow down to Haman, except Mordecai who's Jewish & doesn't bow down to anybody except God, & maybe his accountant, but certainly not this Haman character. Haman's mad. He vows to kill not just Mordecai, but all the Jews, & all their accountants! And, since Haman's now the king's pet, he uses the king's royal seal to issue an edict that all princes in all provinces prepare "to destroy, to slay, to annihilate all Jews, young & old, women & children, in one day, the 13th day of the month of Adar, & to plunder their goods." His excuse? He tells the king that these people are "different...so let them be destroyed." The old ethnic cleansing routine. The 8-letter word is "genocide".

Oh, I know, this story isn't so sexy anymore. Well, life isn't just a barrel of orgasms, darling.

So: Mordecai roams outside the harem wailing "Oy vey! They're gonna kill us! Worse, they're gonna clean out our bank accounts", & one of Esther's eunuchs comes out (there were a lot of these eunuchs running around, I think mainly to give the women pleasure without impregnating them, which was the king's thing...hm, not a bad little institution; every woman in the harem gets her own personal human safe sex toy..). So, Mordecai gives Esther's eunuch the big bad news & tells him to tell Esther it's up to her to change the king's mind about this genocide thing.

Esther's worried. And scared. Because even tho they didn't have lawyers then, they had laws. And according to law, anyone who approaches the king without being invited is executed on the spot, unless the king holds out his golden scepter. Now, even tho Esther's queen, she's fairly new on the job, & she wasn't invited to see the king, so according to law, she could be killed--instantly.

Mordecai don't want to hear from laws; remember: Mordecai don't bow down to nobody. He reminds Esther, "The lives of all Jews (yours too) have been condemned. You might think you're assimilated & can pass for Babylonian, but Haman's henchmen may not agree. Besides, maybe you were blessed with your "comeliness" for a nobler purpose than just keeping a horny king happy & getting your feet rubbed by a eunuch." Whoa, talk about inflicting Jewish guilt; Mordecai does a number on our girl Esther. But guilt like that is good. Guilt over sex is usually dumb guilt. Guilt over not saving people's lives is generally good guilt...

So, shivering in her sandals, Esther goes to Ahasuerus, & the guards start to take her away for execution, but the king sees it's his favorite exhibitionist, his comely Esther, & he holds out "his golden scepter" & saves her. I always considered this a very phallic image: the king saving Esther by holding out this long hard golden scepter.

Now, don't get too excited; Esther doesn't deep-throat it or anything. But the Bible does say she "touches the tip of his scepter." That's pretty hot--touching the tip. And the king gets all excited. He falls in love with Esther all over again. He just loves the way she touches his tip. He says he'll give her anything she wants. But Esther doesn't spring the big request right away. She's cool, she's cunning. She knows how to turn a man on & on...

She says she wants to give a private dinner for the king & Haman. Ahasuerus is excited; he's also a food fetishist. He calls for Haman, who shows up all proud of himself for wangling this intimate invitation to dine with the king & his hot wife.

Esther entertains like a great geisha, & when the king is drunk, well-fed, & well-shtupped, he asks Esther again what does she want? He'll do anything for her. But Esther doesn't tell him what she really wants, not yet. She teases him, plays her potentate like an instrument. She asks him & Haman to come back the next night for another dinner.

Ahasuerus leaves in a state of extreme erotic agitation. It's like he's got royal blue balls. Meanwhile, on his way home, Haman runs into Mordecai who still won't bow down to his Royal Assholickness. Haman's so mad he can't wait until the 13th of Adar to hang Mordecai. He builds a gallows right in his own front yard, & gets up early to see about obtaining Ahasuerus' okay to hang Mordecai that day. But...meanwhile, back at the palace, Ahasuerus, still in a horny tizzy over Esther's teasing, can't sleep. He couldn't turn on the TV (they had plenty of eunuchs, but no TV's). So he has one of his eunuchs read to him from his Royal Diary. Remember when he made the entry about Mordecai turning in those other eunuchs & saving his life? Well, that's the entry he hears, & he decides he's got to honor this Mordecai fella in some way. At this point, Haman strides into the palace, hell-bent on getting Ahasuerus to let him hang Mordecai now. But Ahasuerus, being king, speaks first: "What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" he asks.

Haman, arrogant little prig, stops mid-stride, assuming Ahasuerus is talking about him & suggests that "such a man" be given the king's robes to wear & the king's horse to ride while one of the king's princes rides before him thru town proclaiming his honor.

Ahasuerus loves the idea, & commands Haman to do just that...for Mordecai the Jew. Haman's totally humiliated; he feels worse than a freshly castrated eunuch! He obeys--he has to, he's a company man--but he's fuming...

That night, Esther throws the dinner party of her life--lots of wine & sex & sweetmeats--that has the king down on his royal knees again, like some submissive CEO with his mistress, begging her to tell him what she wants.

But she's a cool mistress, that Esther...I remember the night I first told the Story of Esther to Max. I was telling it in bed, in an even sexier way than I'm telling it now. So..at this point, with the king down on his knees begging Esther to tell him what she wants, Max got down on his knees begging me to let him go down on me. Actually, I was on my period, but neither Biblical prohibition nor bodily squeamishness stopped my Max. He dove right for it, smearing his face with the blood of my affliction & the juice of my affection...mmm...I tried to continue my Bible-reading, like: "Okay...Lessee...the king...mmm...the king asks Esther what she wants...oooh...that's soo nice...she wants...oh Goooddd...she wants him to suck her clit--"

"No," Max said, "that's not in in the Bible."

"Yes," I said.

"But something tells me the king is not giving Esther head while she tells him what she wants."

"I don't know," he said, "she's a powerful woman. She could tell a man to do anything anytime."

Then he went back to licking me, slowly, sensually, & I felt an entire Bible story raging in my loins, the armies of menstrual pain battling the armies of sexual pleasure for control of the temple, my body. It was close, but pleasure overtook pain, & I relaxed into Max's mouth, & picked up the Bible in an erotic trance. No one was there but the two of us, yet I felt as if the king's great feast was going on all around us. All the princes were watching as I lay in the royal bed, as two eunuchs held my legs apart for the king to devour me. All the princes stroked their sceptors, as I writhed & recited the story:

"What is your petition, Queen Esther?" begs the king, "It shall be granted you. What is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled."

Then, when she knows she's got him by the testacles--when she knows he'd buy out Bloomies for her, if there had been a Babylonian Bloomies, Esther makes her request: She asks for her life & the life of her people. And the king says "For you, Esther, no problem!" Just like that--genocide reversed...

Amazing--The power of a sexual woman. Amazing, how downright heroic this ancient exhibitionist teenager turned out to be.

Now, of course, the king wants to know who would destroy the people of his Esther. Ooh, Haman's in deep doo doo now. Slowly, dramatically, Esther points to Hamen. The king's in shock; Haman's his main man. The king steps outside to think. Haman's freaked. He gets down on his knees to beg forgiveness from Esther (what a woman, that Esther, royal goyim on their knees before her, one after the other). Haman's literally falling all over Esther's lap when the king walks back in & assumes the worst. "Will he even assault the queen in my presence?" he bellows. And within moments--no lawyers, no trial, no questions--Haman the Aggravating Agagite, is taken away by eunuchs (more eunuchs!) who hang him on the very gallows he , revokes the Jewish genocide edict, & the 13th day of Adar becomes a day of "gladness, feasting & holiday-making," & getting drunk, as it still is, the holiday of Purim.

And that, my darling reader, is the end of the story. Hopefully it'll inspire youAdar becomes a day of "gladness, feasting & holiday-making," & getting drunk, as it still is, the holiday of Purim.

And that, my darling reader, is the end of the story. Hopefully it'll inspire you to read the Biblical version yourself. Hopefully, it'll inspire you to get drunk--that's what you're supposed to do on Purim! Hopefully, it'll inspire you to find ways to use your own sexual powers to create peace in your life & in your world.