(originally taken from my FIMFiction
I would start from the assumption that most ponies are straight, or at least bisexual, since they seem to have a human-like family structure with the major exception that ponies seem to leave home for good younger than is common in 21st-century America (but not younger than was common in the America or Britain of 1850-1900, which had a comparable technology to Equestria). In general, the Ponies seem to fall in love and get married (generally to members of the opposite sex, though there is at least one possible
same-sex couple in canon), and have children mostly in wedlock. Since there is no evidence of any medical technology (or magic) which would enable same-sex procreation, it probably either doesn't exist or only exists on a very high level of their capabilities.
[Addendum: it's occurred to me that there is probably a sex-changing spell, because Twilight bluffed Trixie with the claim to have one, but that it's fairly high-level magic. So I guess at least the Major Alicorns could use it].
Their culture seems sexually restrained compared to that of early 21st-century America, and I would guess that their society is more "traditional" in the sense of having less casual sex (note though that even in the 19th century pre-marital sex was very common between engaged
couples, or couple close to a formal engagement). They are, however, very romantic and sentimental about love and affection (possibly in part because "friendship is magic"). There is no sign that they are "puritanical" in the sense of considering sexuality between those actually in love to be bad.
We should keep in mind possible biological differences. Humans are unusual among animals, even among sapient animals, in being in a constant state of potential sexual arousal. Most animals, including actual equines, have either a monthly or a yearly estrus cycle, during which time they are extremely receptive to sexual advances. Real horses have a slightly-shorter-than monthly estrus cycle. As the Ponies are very obviously not
real horses, and probably not even in the genus equus
, they may have whatever sort of cycle the writer wishes. Also, as the Ponies are not only fully-sapient but actually civilized
, it is very improbable that they go mad with lust during their estrus cycles and simply mate randomly -- even real
horses have stronger emotional preferences than that!
One obvious clue is that the Ponies have an actual romantic holiday (their equivalent of Valentine's Day) called "Hearts and Hooves Day." It is extremely likely that this holiday coincides with some sort of yearly peak in their monthly estrus cycle. Since horses carry their young for about a year, if Hearts and Hooves Day takes place toward spring, this would mean that there would be a surge in births during late winter / early spring.
This is significant if we imagine the pre-industrial predecessors of the Ponies. Before they had steam power, enabling adequate heating of homes and the transport of foods to areas where there were shortages, the winter would have been a very rough time for foals. Those foals born at the end of winter and start of spring would be born when their mothers were once again able to obtain food, and then would have most of a year to grow before the next winter. This would very definitely aid their survival.
One obvious aspect of Pony culture is that they seem to be considerably less aggressive and vicious than modern humans -- though they are far from perfect: we've seen at least bullies, scoundrels and snobs of various kinds in various canon episodes. We haven't seen actual organized crime, though there very well may be brigandage in the wilder areas. I imagine Princess Celestia would not long tolerate any organization in her society willing to perform murder for hire or in the routine pursuit of their business, and with her abilities, it would not be hard for her to suppress such serious malefactors.
The Ponies being generally nicer than humans would make it easier to have "free range children" (the most obvious example in canon being the Cutie Mark Crusaders), as they would be much safer from sexual and other forms pf abuse or harm than would be the case in our society. Remember that even in our
society, we allowed children to run around essentially unsupervised when not at school until the 1980's, and that this sort of thing goes in cycles.
Another implications of their being nicer might be that they might
be willing to accept variations of love that 19th-century America and Britain found repulsive, particularly homosexuality, bisexuality, and various forms of polyamorous marriage. I've noticed that most fanon assumes this despite the complete lack of evidence for this in canon: I suspect that the fanon is actually right
here, especially because it's the sort of thing that in canon "dare not speak its name," thanks to commercial considerations.
Thus there's nothing, in my view, to prevent any particular members of the Mane Six being gay or bi. It's unlikely for statistical reasons that all of them
would be so oriented -- though one should remember that the Mane Six are not
just six random mares -- they are Celestia's champions chosen to channel cosmic forces against evil, and each one of them has in canon
what amounts to low-level (and in Twilight Sparkle's case not
so low-level) superpowers. This could cut either way: for all I know, wielding the Elements of Harmony and becoming Fire-Forged Friends has given them all massive lesbian attractions to one another!
They would, however, have to behave with "discretion" (whatever that means in their culture). Merely being lesbian or bi might not be seen as shocking: publicly mating in the middle of the town square would probably be considered at least tasteless. And there is absolutely no way they are not
celebrities (unless you assume that Celestia imposes absurdly ironclad censorship in Equestria): they've not only saved their country and perhaps planet 3-4 times already by my count, but have repeatedly
been seen rushing into danger or assuming leadership in various crises.
This means pretty much what it would in our
world. It means, for instance, that if Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy walk down Main Street openly cuddling and kissing, there is a very good chance that this will wind up in every gossip rag from Canterlot to Las Pegasus. Unlike in 19th-century Western societies, this might not be viewed as terribly shocking, but it would
get noticed and talked about. And I suspect that Fluttershy, for one, wouldn't want it to be, because she's ... well ... shy
. (This was one of the reasons she didn't like being a fashion model).
Rainbow Dash acts very butch, and she acts a bit lesbian (or bisexual -- note that in canon she's shown some sort of attraction to male Wonderbolts, but it's not obvious whether it's romantic, friendly, hero-worshiping or some variant of all three). There's strong hints of some sort of history of mutual feelings with Fluttershy, and there's the whole almost slap-slap-kiss-kiss thing with Applejack. So -- maybe.
On the other hand, RD also acts emotionally rather immature for her likely age and job responsibilities, and it strikes me as possible that she doesn't have
any serious romantic attraction to anyone
. It also may be that she [i]does[/i] but is totally inept at any display of softer emotions. It's even possible that (as some people imagine) she is sexually promiscuous. IMO she'd be the most likely member of the Mane Six to be willing
to have casual sex, because she's so "masculine" in many ways.
[Addendum: I've somewhat changed my mind on the plausibility of RD's promiscuity. RD's dislike of "mushy stuff" is more an unwillingness to show
her feelings than a lack
of such feelings, and she doesn't seem sufficiently capable of the act of emotional detachment necessary for casual sex. She would probably be deeply hurt if somepony had sex with her and then treated it as nothing special -- though she'd also probably be afraid to show it. However, her impulsivness
would put her in danger of falling into exactly such a scenario].
Fluttershy seems to regard RD in some sort of sexualized manner, or feel that RD regards her
in some such manner. But, well, she's Fluttershy
, so even if the show was willing to go that route, it might be a while before we ever found out. If Fluttershy was
romantically-attracted to someone, that pony would have to make the first move: otherwise she would just blush, stammer and hide behind her own mane. I'd say there's a decent chance she's lesbian, or at least bisexual, if only because she probably finds most stallions even scarier than she finds most mares.
Applejack, despite her fairly butch attitudes, doesn't seem to be particularly lesbian or bisexual. I've simply never seen her display any sexual attraction toward anyone
. The most I've seen her do is dance
with a stallion (and I mean public folk-dancing, not romantic slow-dancing). Given her personality it's quite plausible that she isn't willing to get romantic (let alone have sex) until she's sure
she likes that somepony that way, and that it will be serious and long-lasting. She's Honesty, after all.
Pinkie Pie is ... well ... Pinkie Pie. I have no idea to whom or to what
she is sexually attracted ... if she has
sexual feelings, which is far from obvious. She parties a heck of a lot, but this mostly involves her bouncing all over the room, greeting and hugging everybody
, and eating and drinking lots of sweet stuff. She has in-canon never been paired even tentatively with anyone
. The PonyPOV idea of her being a survival from a lost timeline that didn't have
sexual reproduction (the G3 verse) is surprisingly plausible where she is concerned. It is
canon that she has genuine equine emotions, but mostly at the level of a filly rather than a full-grown mare.
[Addendum: FWIW she obviously comes out of a very puritanical family by Equestrian standards. OTOH in reality people often revolt against such upbringings and go out of control rebelling against them when they have the chance to leave. OTOH (remember, Ponies have four hooves), throwing constant parties is a form of rebellion. OTOH, her family accepted
[ at least the first
party she threw (though I suspect she may have had to go it on her own if she immediately started throwing constant
parties ... Wow. That was run-on. Now I feel like Pinkie.]
Rarity has in-canon been romantically attracted to at least two males (Prince Blueblood and Spike, though the first ended the first time she had to spend much time with him, while she probably doesn't act on the second because Spike is an underaged member of a different species) and has been shown to have at least one possibly-romantic friendship with another (Fancy Pants). She is also an outrageous flirt -- but only with males. So I think she's straight. Note, however, that the nature of the game she plays with most males means that she wins by getting what she wants without
having sex with them, while the male she seems to love the most is an incredibly-inappropriate mate for her. So I don't know that she actually has sex with anyone
[Addendum: At least one person has pointed out to me that Rarity just views Spike's attention as a coltish crush. Sure, and that's why she wouldn't act on it now
, but I also see her in
canon doing things to encourage
it, and Rarity does not act blindly in matters of the heart -- under the whole melodramatic emotional display, Rarity is highly intelligent, logical and even ruthless
compared to the rest of the Mane Six. And she views displayed emotions as ways to manipulate others (I'm sure she knows, for instance, that her friends have seen through most of her emotional posturing and continues it with them as a form of teasing and entertainment).
[Would you want
to -- as a cruel game -- lead on a dragon
(whom has morphed into an Economy-Sized form twice so far in canon) whose adopted big sister is one of the most powerful mages in Equestria and the known favorite of the ruler of the land
? Now, none of the parties named are particularly vindictive sorts, but aside from the fact that two of the ones named are her friends
, one would think that social climbing would dictate quite the opposite
strategy. Also, I've never seen any sign that Rarity is cruel -- at least to those who have done nothing to merit cruelty from her.
[It strikes me as far more likely that Rarity genuinely finds Spike attractive on some level but is confused by her own emotions.
Spike's love for her is pure and intense, and this has been proven in-show by its ability to override his normal draconian instincts. Rarity is complex: on the outside, there is a definite veneer of romanticism covering cynical calculation, but under that cynicism she is truly
very romantic. And who with a warm heart could not
love the tale of Beauty and the Beast
Twilight Sparkle spent most of her life as an extremely asocial person: the only males she seems to have spent much time around were her father, brother, and adoptive younger brother. She very recently
crushed on Flash Sentry -- a crush that (notably) began when she was in humanoid
[ form (probably of a race having a human-like constant sexuality, too). There's no evidence in-canon that this crush has lasted since that brief flustered moment when she got to see his Pony analogue. I would say that it's extremely likely that Twilight has no
sexual experience -- I don't even know if she's ever had a real kiss
. I do think that her sexual orientation, such as it is, is probably straight, since we've never seen her have any
sexual attraction at all to females of any
[Addendum: And I write this in full
awareness of what I'm doing in the Twi/Luna fics I've been posting. Let's just say that giving characters good
reasons for internal emotional conflict makes great drama, though it is arguably less fun from the POV of the characters involved in it].
The writers do seem to like dropping Under the Radar hints about the sexual attractions of the characters, far more so than in most such shows, so I wouldn't assume that nothing
will come out. After all, in canon we've already had one wedding
and one foaling
, involving two different couples, so we shouldn't assume that this is bound by the extreme limitations of most shows assumed to be "for children."
Tags: essay, mlp