Splitting Hairs


A libidigen, in short, is as close as you can get to the classical myth of an “aphrodisiac” or “love potion” without running headlong into the Coercive Substances Act and its painful consequences.

Certain substances once considered potential aphrodisiacs may be considered Class 0 Coercive Substances, of which the most prominent is ethanol. Class 0 substances are permitted for general use, since they are not true coercive substances; the aforementioned ethanol, for example, is a disinhibiter (while capable of lowering inhibitions, in normal doses, it does not create desires, nor cause the intoxicated to do anything that they did not have at least some volition to do in the first place). The categorization for Class 0 substances exists because overdoses of these substances may cause unconsciousness or inability to resist other forms of coercion, and the Empire considers it desirable to be able to charge those making deliberate use of these effects with pharmaceutical-mediated battery in addition to other applicable charges.

Genuine libidigens, however, do create desire (with or without creating corresponding capacity): the user of a libidigen wants to have sex. They are considered Class 1 because of this, and because the desire they create is both nonspecific and non-overriding; a Class 1 libidigen creates a desire for sex that can be overridden by conscious volition, and also does not cause its user to find anyone sexually attractive that they were not already attracted to. As such, they are permissible for use by oneself or with the explicit consent of the person to whom they are provided. Provision of them to anyone without their explicit consent is under Imperial law pharmaceutical-mediated battery and likely to also result in charges of rape1.

The mythical aphrodisiac/love potion, which induces overwhelming desire, and may direct it at a specific individual regardless of previous desire-state, would be classed as a Class 2 Coercive Substance, since these effects obviously violate individual volition. Substances in this category are deemed to have no legitimate purpose. Provision of these to anyone is considered both pharmaceutical-mediated battery and rape. Supply of these to anyone, in accordance with their function, will result in being charged as an accessory before the fact to the above.

The equivalent Class 3 substances which not only cause overwhelming desire but also impair volition to the extent that the user is unable to resist acting on this desire instantly and without restraint are absolutely prohibited under all circumstances.

– sidebar, The High Guide to Hedonic Pharmacology, Kanatar Guides

1. Note that under Imperial law, all attempted crimes are charged as if successfully carried through. Incompetence is not a mitigating factor.

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