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Advice from Pinkie Pie

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Rarity whipped her tail back and forth in excitement as she read the latest letter from her new coltfriend. Topaz Gleam had just moved to Ponyville from Canterlot, and if that alone hadn't been enough to catch the young fashion designer's attention, this new unicorn stallion was an up-and-coming jeweller, and they had spent long hours discussing the finer points of geology and gem craft over dinner, or on long walks through Ponyville's parks and meadows. He was charming and witty, not to mention handsome and wealthy, and unlike her disastrous date with the Prince, this stallion was actually treating her like a lady, even down to opening doors for her.

In short, Rarity had fallen head over hooves for this new stallion, and each day at work, she found herself distracted with thoughts of their previous date, or their next one. Joyfully, she slit open the envelope of his latest letter with her emerald-encrusted letter opener, and floated the paper in front of her face to read.

Dearest Rarity,

As always, the mere sight of your hornwriting fills me with joy and anticipation. I gladly accept your invitation to dinner at your residence tonight, and am most eager to experience your culinary skills. I look forward to a magical evening.

Your devoted servant,

Topaz Gleam

Rarity sighed blissfully and fell back onto her bed, feeling Opalescence jump onto her legs. "Oh, Opalescence, this is all so wonderful!" she gushed, pouring her heart out to the cat, who could obviously at least sense her happiness. "He's going to let me cook for him! I mean, I'm not a very good cook, but that's not the point! We'll have dinner, and I can show him my latest projects, and then we'll...


"Oh my."

Rarity lurched to her hooves again, re-reading the letter. Opalescence yowled and ran to her basket.

"I look forward to a magical evening."

Rarity read that sentence over and over again, her breath catching in her throat. "Opalescence, I think... I think he's going to want to... to... to have sex."

Opalescence mewed disinterestedly and rolled over in her basket.

Rarity paced around her bedroom, the letter now lying on her dressing table. She spoke out loud to herself as she paced, while Opalescence looked on, her ears perked forward in concern for her little pony.

"What should I do, Opalescence? After all, a lady never offers herself to a stallion before she's married, or at the very least engaged. But on the other hoof, that's really quite an outdated concept, and as a modern mare I should be able to make my own decisions about how I spend my evenings and with whom. But I don't want him to think I'm too forward. Or too frigid! But what will the other mares in town say? On the other hoof, what a mare does in the privacy of her own home is nopony else's business. But on the other... no, I'm running out of hooves! What should I do?"

The cat stared at Rarity blankly, until she trotted over and scratched under her chin with one hoof. "Of course you're right, darling. I should just do whatever makes me happy." She tilted her head to one side and mused on that thought. "But I don't even know what that is! I do love him, and it would be wonderful to make our night complete that way, but... if we waited until we were married, it would be even more special. What if it hurts, the way it does in my books? What if he's not very good?" She stopped dead in her tracks. "What if I'm not very good?"

The thought of embarrassing herself in her first time made her twitch with nerves. For all that she talked about stallions far more than any of her friends did, she had never actually been intimate with one. Her knowledge of matters of the flesh came almost entirely from her collections of novels and magazines, and she was wise enough to know that they probably weren't a very accurate reference.

"There's just so much I don't know, Opalescence," she sighed, throwing herself back down on her bed. "Things that I won't know until after I've done it. How am I going to make a decision when I don't know these things? I can't exactly go asking other ponies for help on this one!"

She stopped, and looked down at her hooves. "Of course I can. I have wonderful friends. I can ask them about anything. Even... that. Sex! I can say the word. Sex. I'm going to talk to my friends about sex, and they're going to give me advice about sex."

Rarity pressed her face against a pillow. "This is going to be the most embarrassing day of my life."

Rarity strode through the streets of Ponyville, looking for her close friends. It was still mid-morning, so she had all day to get this... situation under control. But where to start?

I don't think I can handle talking to Pinkie Pie about this, she thought to herself. This is a serious problem, and I need serious answers.

Well, as much as I hate to pay any credence to rumours, I do hear things about Rainbow Dash. What's that they say about the Weather Patrol? "They work hard, and they play hard"? Even if that's not true, she might be able to help me.

Rarity trotted towards Rainbow Dash's cloud home, watching the sky in case her pegasus friend was out working. There was no sign of Dash in the sky, though, nor was there any answer when she tugged the bell-pull dangling from the cloud. Sighing, she turned away. Rainbow Dash was probably having a nap on some cloud somewhere, and there was really no way she could find her at short notice.

Where next? she asked herself. Who can I trust to give me a straight answer?

"Well, howdy there, Rarity! Fancy seein' you all the way out here!"

Applejack waved and galloped over to Rarity, two baskets full of apples bouncing on her back. "To what do I owe the pleasure of your fine company on my little old farm?" Nearby, Big Macintosh was hauling old timber to use as firewood, while Granny Smith relaxed on the porch in her rocking chair.

Rarity gave Applejack an overly elaborate bow and dip of her horn, in playful mockery of both her friend and herself. "Why, Applejack, you know I would cross the length and breadth of your farm twice over merely to enjoy your charming presence, and hear your dulcet tones." The two friends shared a laugh, then Rarity sobered. "But truth be told, I am in need of advice."

"Advice? What in the world could you be needin' my advice on? I'm glad to help, but unless it's about apples, animal wranglin' or bakin', I don't see as I can help y'all."

Rarity lowered her head, finding it difficult to look her friend in the eye. "Well, it's about... stallions. You see, I have a date with Topaz tonight, and..."

Applejack tilted her head to the side, squinting at Rarity. "Let me get this straight. You are asking me for advice about stallions? You're the one who reads Clothes Horse and Canterpolitan all the time! I can't help you with clothes or makeup... maybe if'n you wanna cook for him I can help ya..."

Rarity shook her head. "Oh, no, it's not that... although a cooking lesson would be much appreciated now that you mention it. No, it's about a... more... intimate matter... physically speaking, that is..."

"Oh, you're talking about sex!" interjected Applejack helpfully, making Rarity blush and stare at her hooves. Alright, maybe I can't do this after all, she thought to herself. Still, the topic's been raised, I can see it through.

"Um... yes. Indeed. I'm not really familiar with the... that is to say, I have yet to... um..."

Applejack laughed softly and nudged Rarity's neck with her head. "Don't get your mane in a knot, sugar-cube. I ain't never 'um'ed or 'ah'ed either, it's no big deal."

Rarity returned the gesture, still blushing. "Oh, thank Celestia. Sometimes I worry that I'm the only vir... maiden left in Ponyville. But really? Never? I would have thought there were plenty of colts out here in the farming country who'd be happy to... assist you."

Applejack pursed her lips thoughtfully, resting her head on one hoof. "Well... there was this one colt, his pa runs a carrot farm a few miles from here. We met at the market one day and hit it off pretty nice, and he used to come around and take me out walkin'. Then one day he stopped showin' up, and the next time I saw him, he started avoidin' me as if he was afraid of me! Now why do you suppose he'd do that?"

There was a loud crack from behind Rarity, and she turned to see Big Macintosh bringing his hooves down on a bundle of thick tree branches, stomping them into kindling. On the porch of the farmhouse, Granny Smith cradled her pitchfork, using her mouth to run a whetstone over the tines to sharpen them to wicked points.

"I'm... sure I can't think of anything that would scare a colt off from seeing you, dear," said Rarity hastily. "So there's been nopony else special in your life?"

Applejack shook her head. "Sorry, Rarity. Wish I could help ya, but the only action I've been gettin' lately is from good ol' Doctor Hooves."

Rarity brightened at that. "Oh, you mean that brown earth pony who lives in the little blue box?"

"Actually, Rarity, that's what we call a 'euphemism' in these here parts? If you take mah meanin'?"

Rarity blushed once more and shuffled her hooves awkwardly. "Oh! Oh, I see. Well, thank you for... sharing, Applejack! I'd best be... going. I still have a lot of questions I need answers to before tonight. But thank you so much!" With that, she retreated back up the road, trying desperately to keep that last image out of her mind.

Rarity trotted back up the slope into Ponyville proper, shaking her head. I don't want to hear about anypony else's sex life ever again, she thought to herself. But if I don't, I might never have one of my own. I'm lucky to have five such close friends, so I should trust their advice.

She spied Sugarcube Corner in the distance, and hastily turned aside. Not Pinkie Pie, though. I can't handle another over-sharing conversation, and I don't think she actually knows anything that could help. That only left Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle, though, neither of whom Rarity would have picked as the most sexually active ponies in Ponyville. If only Rainbow Dash weren't so hard to track down! Perhaps she's up on a cloud with some fine pegasus stallion right now... alright, I really don't need to think about that.

Rarity looked up to see that her trot had brought her to the door of Ponyville's library, so she shrugged and knocked on the door. Even if Twilight didn't have much experience, she at least trusted her fellow unicorn to treat the subject with the appropriate delicacy.

Twilight was just sitting down to lunch when Spike answered the door. He smiled brightly for an instant when he saw her at the doorstep, then just as quickly turned sullen. "Twilight's in there," he muttered, gesturing with one claw towards the dining table, where Twilight was levitating a large book in front of her while munching on a plate of hay. "I'll be in the kitchen."

Rarity frowned as Spike trudged off, then moved to greet Twilight, nudging her friend's flank gently. "Good day, Twilight. I haven't upset Spike, have I? He's been avoiding me ever since I started dating Topaz."

Twilight looked up and smiled, floating her book over to her lectern and bringing up a second small bale of hay for Rarity. "Rarity, thank you for coming to see me! I've been cooped up in here by myself for too long. And don't worry about Spike, he'll get over it. I hope," she sighed, looking at the kitchen door. "Won't you join me for lunch?"

"I'd love to, dear, thank you so much!" said Rarity as she settled by the table. "I've been running all over Ponyville to get some advice from Rainbow Dash, but I can't find her anywhere. And then I went down to Sweet Apple Acres and back, but Applejack wasn't much help."

Twilight cocked her head thoughtfully. "I haven't seen Rainbow Dash all day either. I think this is her day off, too, so I can't think where she might be. Maybe I can help you, though?"

Rarity smiled awkwardly. "Maybe you can, Twilight. I'm seeing Topaz tonight, and, well... you're a Canterlot mare, you know how the world works. You've... been with a stallion, haven't you?" she asked, hurriedly hiding her blush behind her bale of hay.

Twilight neighed in surprise, dropping her hay back onto her plate. "What? Stallions? Me? Oh... of course I have! I'm not some recluse who spends all her time studying and would rather read a book than go on a date! Not at all!" Her eyes darted from side to side as she lowered her muzzle to her hay again.

Rarity breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, good. Then maybe you'd be so kind as to share one of your... experiences with me? I know it's a very improper question, but I'm not sure what to expect with Topaz tonight. Could you, perhaps, tell me what it's like?"

Twilight chewed her lower lip nervously, blushing. "Oh. Well, of course! What are friends for, after all? Well, there was one stallion... he was a unicorn, Sir Coppermane, he was actually from one of the noble families back in Canterlot." Twilight closed her eyes and smiled in reminiscence. "Our eyes met across the crowded ballroom at the palace. It was my first dance after my social debut, and I didn't think anypony would pay attention to me, being from a poor family and all, but he had eyes for only me. We danced all night – I was the envy of everypony in the room. Just before the stroke of midnight, we stole away to a balcony overlooking Princess Celestia's private garden..."

Rarity sighed along with Twilight. "Where he pressed you up against the railing with his muscular forelegs and mounted you, his lilac-scented breath hot in your ears? And then you lay together in the garden, and he groomed your mane with his teeth while he told you he loved you?" Rarity chuckled softly and nudged Twilight's nose with her own. "It's alright, Twilight. He's my favourite character too."

Twilight groaned and put one hoof over her eyes. "Oh, you must think I'm pathetic. The other mares at the School always teased me about being a virgin. You wouldn't believe how much attention some students pay to sex and alcohol and everything except studying! I just try not to mention it now, I don't want everypony in Ponyville thinking I'm just that sad, lonely, nerdy virgin filly, like they did in Canterlot."

Rarity shuffled around the table to lean her flank against her friend's. "Oh, Twilight, how could you think such a thing? I can't speak for the rest of Ponyville, but to me you're nothing but a wonderful, brilliant, warm and caring friend, and I know our friends feel the same way. I couldn't care less about your... history, so to speak."

Twilight looked up from the table, a tiny smile on her lips. "Really? It's so nice to hear that, especially from somepony as popular as you, Rarity. I've never felt as accepted as I do with you five. I don't know what I'd do without your friendship."

Rarity laughed. "You'll never need to find out, dear. You know, I do know most of the eligible young stallions around town. If you ever do fancy a date, I could find you a fine young gentlecolt at a moment's notice."

Twilight blushed again, but smiled at her friend. "I appreciate the offer, Rarity, but, well, I actually would rather read a book than go on a date. He would have to be a very special stallion to take me away from my studies."

"I understand, darling. And there's always Sir Coppermane, isn't there? Speaking of which, I didn't expect you'd be a Summer Moonlight fan."

Twilight grinned. "He's a guilty pleasure of mine. I have all of his novels, and he even signed my copy of Everfree Passion when I ran into him in the palace library!"

"Wait, Summer Moonlight is a stallion?" Rarity groaned and backed away from the dining table. "Wonderful. There's a stallion who understands mare sexuality better than I do. Thank you so much for lunch, Twilight dear, but I must press on. Maybe Fluttershy can help me, although I'm not going to hold my breath on that one."

Twilight waved goodbye to her friend, then turned her attention back to her books. She started to lift her latest textbook off the lectern again, then grinned to herself and set it back down again, instead levitating a slim novel from a row of similar-looking volumes and hovering it above the dining table. She took another mouthful of hay and settled in for an afternoon with a very special stallion indeed.

Rarity took several deep breaths to calm herself as she walked up the path to Fluttershy's front door. She felt reluctant to raise the topic with her shy friend, knowing how sensitive she was, but the afternoon was wearing on and she was becoming desperate. She resolved, however, not to press the issue if Fluttershy proved reluctant to discuss it.

She knocked on Fluttershy's front door and waited. A few moments passed without any sound from within, and then she heard a faint shuffling, and Fluttershy peered around the half-opened door. "Oh, Rarity!" she greeted her softly. "I wasn't expecting to see you today. Is everything alright?"

Rarity smiled at her friend, but wondered why she wasn't simply ushering her into her cottage as she usually would. Perhaps she was busy with some animal patients. "Oh, yes, everything's quite alright, I'm just looking for some advice, and I was hoping you could help me. About, um, stallions."

Fluttershy ducked her head, averting her eyes. "Oh, no, I don't think I can help you, Rarity," she whispered. "I've always been very nervous around stallions, you know that. I think Topaz is very sweet, though, and I'm glad he makes you happy. I'm sorry I can't help."

Rarity sighed softly. "It's alright, Fluttershy. It was a bit of a shot in the dark. I won't keep you from your work. I'll see you at the spa next week, if not before!"

As Rarity trotted back down the lane towards Ponyville proper, Fluttershy closed the door behind her with a sigh of relief, and Rainbow Dash looked up at her from her bed. "You know, Fluttershy, we could just tell her."

Fluttershy swallowed nervously. "Oh, no, I couldn't! I wouldn't want anypony looking at us, thinking... things! It would be dreadful, all that attention..."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Okay. It's up to you, Fluttershy."

Fluttershy fixed her fellow pegasus with a disapproving stare as she trotted back over to the bed. "What was that, pet?"

The cyan pegasus bowed her head and shrank back from Fluttershy as far as the ropes around her fetlocks would allow her. "I mean, it's up to you, Mistress."

"That's better," purred Fluttershy as she slipped the loop of her riding crop around a front hoof. "Now, my little pony... you're going to love me."

"All the ponies in this town are virgins!" fretted Rarity to herself as she hurried back into Ponyville. The sun was on its way towards the western horizon, so she only had a few hours left before her date, and after all this running around, she would definitely need a bath first.

Rainbow Dash must still be tied up somewhere, so whom else could she ask? One of the older mares of her acquaintance would be more likely to have the experience she needed. The Mayor was usually too busy for social calls, though, and even if she could bear the thought of bringing such a question to Princess Celestia's attention, Canterlot was too far away.

Sugarcube Corner came into view again as she made her way through Ponyville's streets. Rarity felt a pang of guilt for being unwilling to trust Pinkie Pie with her dilemma, but after the awkwardness of the day so far, she couldn't see such a conversation doing anything other than making her confusion and nerves worse.

But Sugarcube Corner also had Mrs Cake. Rarity had been to enough parties at Sugarcube Corner to get to know the proprietors fairly well. Cup Cake was patient and always had time to listen to the ponies she felt motherly towards, which seemed to encompass everypony up to and including Princess Celestia. And she had been married to Carrot Cake for as long as Rarity could remember, so she was bound to know enough to help her. She certainly couldn't think of anypony else who was likely to be able to. Rarity pushed open the door of Sugarcube Corner, her heart feeling lighter than it had all day.

"Hi there! Welcome to Sugarcube Corner, your number one place for all things sweet and delicious! How can I... oh, hi Rarity! What'cha lookin' for?"

Rarity forced a smile onto her lips and trotted in to greet Pinkie Pie, her urge to unburden herself to her good friend warring with her urge to shave her mane, swear a vow of chastity and join the Sisters of the Sun nunnery. "Pinkie Pie! How lovely to see you. I was... actually hoping to speak to Mrs Cake. Is she in?" She arched her neck and peered past her friend, trying to see if Cup Cake were in the kitchen.

"Nope!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie, dancing around to stay in Rarity's field of vision. "Mr and Mrs Cake are in Manehattan talking to suppliers, so I'm running the shop today! I'll be closing up soon, though, so if you want anything for your date tonight you'd better get it now!"

Rarity's heart sank. "Actually, I really wanted to talk to Mrs Cake about tonight. If she's not here, I'll... try somepony else, I suppose."

"Ooh! Are you worried about what you're going to cook for him? Because I can definitely help you with that!"

"No, Pinkie, my cooking's not that bad, really..."

"Oh!" Pinkie squeaked, bouncing over the counter. "Are you worried about what music to play for him?"

"No, Pinkie," Rarity replied with a sigh. "Listen, I'm really not in the mood for your guessing games, so..."

"Ooh, ooh, I know! You're worried that he's going to want to stick it in you and you won't know what to do!"

"Pinkie, I'm not... wait, what did you say?" Rarity took two steps backwards and tilted her head, peering at her friend as if she'd grown a second tail.

"You heard me, silly!" exclaimed the earth pony as she hopped forward and stuck her head directly in front of Rarity's. "He's going to be all 'Hey, Rarity, why don't we go to your bedroom and have some fun?', and you'll be all 'Oh, but I mustn't! I couldn't!', but you really do want to, otherwise you wouldn't be here asking me for advice about sex!"

"Pinkie Pie, I'm not asking you for advice about sex!" insisted Rarity, but then she sighed and hung her head. "But I should. You're my friend, and we've been through so much together. I should trust you when you want to help. Can you... help?" she finished, in a small voice. "Please?"

"Can I ever?" Pinkie squealed, bouncing over to the front door and hanging up the "Closed" sign. "I know everything there is to know about stallions! And mares! But Topaz is a stallion, so we'll stick to that for now. Come on!" she urged, nudging Rarity towards the stairs up to the loft.

Stallions? Mares? Pinkie Pie? thought Rarity as they climbed the stairs, moving past the familiar small party room into Pinkie's own bedroom, where she couldn't recall having been before. It occurred to Rarity that Pinkie Pie really didn't have a lot of living space to call her own, not compared to Fluttershy's roomy cottage or Rainbow Dash's home in the sky. Working and living with the Cakes must be confining for her high-spirited friend, no matter how much she loved her work.

"I must admit, Pinkie Pie, that I didn't realise you led such an... active social life." The absurdity of that statement immediately struck Rarity. "I mean, of course you have a lot of friends and throw a lot of parties, but I thought they were all, well... cake and ice cream and balloons sort of affairs."

Pinkie giggled. "Of course not, silly! Those are just the parties I invite you guys to! I wouldn't ask you to come to parties like the one I had last Wednesday, you'd just get embarrassed, and I wouldn't want that, you're my friend!"

Rarity blinked. "You said your party last Wednesday was so you could show your friends some new toys you'd bought."

Pinkie grinned and nodded, bouncing over to an open chest near her bed. She leaned in and pulled out an odd rubbery object, tossing it to Rarity, who caught it with her magic. "How very... intricate," Rarity ventured, regarding the object with a critical eye. "May I ask how this is used?"

Pinkie trotted over to her friend and explained, in detail.

"Really?" said Rarity, slowly. "How... ingenious. And this is something that ponies do? At your... other parties?"

Pinkie Pie nodded rapidly. "Mmhm! You should have seen me at work the next day, I could hardly stand up straight!"

Rarity lowered the toy into the chest gingerly, taking great care not to look at what else it contained. "I think I can get along without any... um... toys, Pinkie Pie. I just want to know what to do, and what to expect."

"Oh, I understand now!" said Pinkie, jumping up onto her bed. "You want to know about positions!"

"Positions?" squeaked Rarity. "Well, I suppose I was just going to... well... just sort of stand there, really. Isn't that how it's done?"

"Mmm mmm mmm mmm, hmm hmm hmm hmm, add a teaspoon of vanilla," sang Pinkie quietly. "Oh, Rarity, you just sit down there and let your Aunt Pinkie explain how it all works."

"And he's going to want me to do... that?"

"He might! Some stallions really like that. Others, not so much. Actually, some don't like it at all. Better wait to see if he asks."

"Is that even legal?"

"Weeell... I asked Princess Celestia about it, and she said that while it was still technically illegal, she didn't care about what I did in the privacy of my own home, but if I taught anypony else how to do it, she'd banish me and throw me in a dungeon in the place I was banished to. So, um, forget I told you about that trick, okie dokie?"

"And that's when Mrs Cake came in, and I had to tell her that we were practising for the Running of the Leaves. He sure did some running once she was gone!"

"... and I never did figure out where he got that royal guard uniform from, but he said I'd been a baaaad Pinkie and he'd haul me off to Canterlot if I didn't do everything he said." Pinkie giggled, sprawling on the bed next to Rarity. "That was a fun night, all right!"

Rarity's expression had oscillated between thoughtful and shocked all throughout the conversation. "This is all very..." Horrifying? "Fascinating, Pinkie Pie. And enlightening. I never dreamed there were so many different... ways of... making love."

Pinkie nodded excitedly. "There are! It's so much fun! So have I been helpful? Have I? Huh?"

Rarity opened her mouth to say No, I never want another stallion to so much as breathe in my presence ever again, but instead found herself agreeing. "You have, Pinkie Pie, and I'm very grateful. I think I can imagine what he'll do now, and I'll know what to do myself. I don't need to be nervous anymore." She sat up and ran a hoof across her mane. "But I still don't know whether I should do it at all."

Pinkie flopped across Rarity's hind legs. "Oh, silly, I can't tell you that!"

Rarity's face grew long. "You can't?"

"Nope! I can just tell you what'll happen if you do. Only you can decide if it's the right time!"

Rarity sighed and threw herself back down on the bed. "How can I decide, Pinkie?"

Pinkie Pie rolled over and nuzzled her friend's shoulder, her face growing serious. "You just have to follow your heart, Rarity. I can tell you that I have a whole lot of fun with all my colt friends and my mare friends, and I can't imagine going without that. But maybe you're more of a one-stallion mare, and that's okay too! If Topaz is the stallion you want to be with, then you should be with him! And you can have sex as early as you want, or you can wait as long as you want. I just know that you'll have a great time when you're both ready!"

Rarity sat up again and hugged her friend. "Oh, Pinkie Pie, you're right. Thank you so much for your advice. No matter what happens tonight, it'll be good for us both. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Oh, Rarity, I don't know what I'd do without me either. That would be weird! Now go get ready for your date, and remember everything I told you!"

Pinkie Pie watched from her window as Rarity cantered off to the Carousel Boutique, and grinned happily. "You have a great time, Rarity!" she said to herself, hoping that she'd given the unicorn enough to work with for one night.

Pinkie woke up with a jolt in the middle of the night when her tail started twitching. Startled, she looked up at the ceiling, expecting one of her lamps to fall, but none of them were lit, so the worst that could happen was a mess to clean up in the morning. She snuggled back under her blankets and closed her eyes, only to open them again as her nose started itching.

"Twitchy tail and itchy nose... oh no! That either means half-price apples in the marketplace, or a friend is heartbroken! I hope it's floppy ears next, and not twitchy front hoof!" She dragged herself out of bed and sat watching her hooves intently.

A few seconds later, her front left hoof began twitching.

"Oh, poor Rarity," she sighed, standing up and running to her chest of toys, rummaging until she found her Laughter necklace. The balloon-shaped pendant fastened itself around her neck as she ran downstairs, throwing things from the shop into her saddlebags. "She's going to need me more than ever after this. I'd better get over there right away."

"Leave me alone!" cried Rarity as Pinkie Pie knocked on the front door of the Carousel Boutique. "I vant to be alone!"

"Rarity, it's me, Pinkie Pie!" she called in response, hammering on the door again. "Please let me in!" She could feel her friend hurting, and hated to be apart from her any longer than she had to be.

There was no response, but the door glowed with a light blue aura and swung open. Pinkie ran through the boutique into Rarity's bedroom, jumping onto her friend's bed.

"Don't look at me!" Rarity shrieked, pulling her fluffy pink dressing gown tightly around her body. Her voice caught in her throat, and her eyes were red from crying. "I'm disgusting, you don't want to see me!"

"Rarity, what happened?" Pinkie asked as she tugged open her saddlebags. "Something went wrong, didn't it? You can tell Aunt Pinkie all about it. Look, I brought ice cream!"

"I don't want ice cream," Rarity mumbled as she levitated a spoon from Pinkie's saddlebags and started tucking into the ice cream. "I want to stay in here forever and never let another stallion see me again."

Pinkie Pie put a hoof on Rarity's shoulder and emptied out the remaining contents of her saddlebags onto the bed. "Did Topaz call you ugly? Is that what happened?"

"YES!" sobbed Rarity, burying her face against Pinkie's neck. "He said I was an old, ugly mule and he wouldn't have sex with me if I were the last mare in Equestria!"

Pinkie looked angry for a brief moment, then suddenly started to giggle. She fell back on the bed and laughed uproariously, rolling around in mirth.

"Why are you laughing?" shrieked Rarity, shaking Pinkie by the shoulders. "How can you possibly laugh when my love life is ruined forever?"

Pinkie Pie wiped away a tear of laughter and grinned up at Rarity. "He couldn't get it up, could he?"

"No, he couldn't!" Rarity cried. "He said I was so ugly he could never find me attractive or sexy, and now nopony will ever want to have sex with me! I'm going to be alone for my whole life and stop laughing!"

"Oh, Rarity," Pinkie gasped as she sat up. "That's the oldest excuse in the book! Some stallions will say anything rather than admit they can't keep up with a mare. You're not ugly, he's just a jerk."

Rarity snuffled into her handkerchief, then looked at Pinkie through red-rimmed eyes. "Really? That's... just something stallions say? And this is something that... happens to stallions a lot?"

Pinkie nodded. "Yep! I had a colt try that on me once, but I just laughed at him! I don't care if a stallion can't perform, there are sooo many other things we can do if he's creative, but blaming it on me just isn't okay!"

Rarity hugged her friend tightly. "So it's not my fault? Thank you, Pinkie Pie, that's just what I needed to know." She sighed heavily. "But my love life is still ruined. My first time having sex was a disaster!"

Pinkie giggled again, digging into the ice cream. "Well, duh! Everypony's first time is a disaster!"

Rarity blinked. "Really? It's not supposed to be a perfect expression of two ponies' love for each other?"

"Nope! Well, maybe it's supposed to be that, but it never is! I remember my first time, he was as clueless as I was. He was all 'Where am I meant to put my hooves?', and I was all 'Is that the right hole? I don't think that's the right hole,' and then I lost my balance and fell over and he fell on top of me, and then his mother came home early and then it got super awkward."

Rarity's sobs dwindled to a quiet snuffle as she listened to Pinkie's story, and she even managed a tiny laugh at the end. "That sounds dreadful, Pinkie Pie! How did you ever manage to try again after that?"

Pinkie grinned. "We laughed about it, Rarity! Sex is ridiculous! Ponies' bodies are just silly, and when you try to put them together it's double silly! Or triple silly. Or quadruple silly, like last Wednesday. Any more than that and it's just too silly to handle. We got better with practice, but when it didn't work, we just laughed it off and tried again another night. Or afternoon. Hey, I know a song about that, do you want to hear it?"

"No singing, Pinkie. I don't think my nerves could handle it. But thank you. I guess I'll just have to find a new stallion to... practise with. One who'll treat me like a lady no matter what his body does." She covered her mouth with one hoof to stifle a giggle. "Or doesn't do."

"That's the spirit, Rarity!" Pinkie laughed, and nudged a few items on Rarity's bed. "Hey, I brought some of my special records – you want to eat ice cream, listen to ridiculous porn and make out?"

"No," mumbled Rarity, shaking her head. She then looked from her friend, to the tub of ice cream, to the small stack of records sitting on her bed.

"Alright, maybe a little bit."