The cymbals clash. Electric stringed instruments I still don’t recognize twang, drums rumble, setting up a vibration in my chastity belt.
The Roman girls throw overhead claps and dance. Long gowns flounce around many-hued legs, some long, some short and curvy, all smooth as marble.
It's like being at a toga party, but the gowns are richer and wilder – shimmering silks and printed cottons - and the girls actually do all chatter in Latin as they crowd around the bar where male slaves scurry to fill their drinking cups.
If you watch carefully, you'll catch a flash of steel beneath the men's short-hemmed tunics. Welded on steel neuters their groins, just as it does mine.
This is Aqua Sulis.
It should be the English town of Bath, but in this alternate Earth, both the Roman Empire and real chattel slavery flourish. The spa town is dedicated to Minerva, the virgin goddess, so that long ago it was decreed no penis should blight its streets.
When it became illegal to castrate a slave – in these days of universal Pax Romana, such men are no longer prisoners of war, but self-bonded for a fixed term of years – the city authorities instead "gelded" their much-needed male workers with steel cages.
Cunning tavern keepers quickly learned they could earn extra money by renting out chaste young men to visiting ladies who were less than chaste.
Then, a decade ago, the railroad connected Londinium with Aqua Sulis, and the Virgin Goddess's city became the fleshpot for debauched young women freed of parental control thanks to the Empire's belated industrial revolution.
Now, divorcees come in carriage-loads to wash away the stain of the one arranged marriage owed to their parents. More accurately, they have the marriage licked away by the tongues of slaves, willing or unwilling – they need not care which. And, if their failed alliance has left them loaded with anger, where better to shed it, but on the back and buttocks of an amusingly helpless male, who no doubt would be just the same as the despised ex-husband... were he not writhing under the lash.
Angry women, though, are the minority. For most, the attraction is more innocent. This is the place where families send their wayward daughters to take the waters so they can also take their pleasure and still return virtue technically intact, and the place where single girls and women come - in all sense of the word- because they can.
In this walled city, a Roman Citizen of the gentler sex can drink wine until the world spins, and weave a giggling path by gaslight back to her inn, with no thought of danger from stray males. Better yet, if she has a denarius or two, she can satisfy her every desire, with no risk of disease or pregnancy.
If this is not what nature intended for women, then it is surely what they deserve.
The music stops and this week's mistress sways towards me, red hair wild from the dancing, every swing of her hip a dripping with new sensuality. Without a word, she strides past and I follow her out into the warm summer night.
She turns off into an alley, then presses into wall and simply sheds her gown. Pale skin flashes in the moonlight. The darkness mutes her russet curls, but I know what to do. I kneel on the rough cobbles and crane my head back to kiss her vulva.
The music swells from the tavern, and her hands press the back of my head. My tongue parts her pubic hair and I taste salty sex.
Above me, she gasps, and the sound echoes inside my chastity belt, setting my penis throbbing hopelessly against its steel prison.