On Erfworld, things which seem to have no practical function can perform a symbolic function. For example, Gobwin Knob has a "bank", which is simply an empty building. By occasionally stepping inside this "bank", Parson can "inspect" the "bank", which makes Gobwin Knob's economy more productive.
Since there is no pregnancy and there are no babies in Erfworld, heirs are popped, Nookie also seems to have no practical bearing on poppingWoT-4047518. However, it may serve an important symbolic function. According to Parson's discussion with Maggie, it would seem that the technical act and, erm, "Tools" involved are much the same.
Known Nookie Pairings
- Jillian Zamussels and Prince Ansom
- Jillian Zamussels and Vinny Doombats
- Wanda Firebaugh and Stanley the Tool
- Sizemore Rockwell and Uhura
- Artemis and Prince Forthewin
While Nookie serves no biological functions, it may be considered to serve social functions like with bonobos. It has also been speculated that it can influence the traits of a popped unit when an heir or noble unit is involved. Namely, Jillian and Vinny's involvement is speculated to have a bearing on the personality/temperament of the FAQ Heir currently in production.
There certainly appear to be real emotional attachments associated with these pairings, as evidenced by the complexities of the relationships between Wanda, Jillian, Ansom, and Vinny. However, it is unclear how deeply these emotional bonds run, and it may depend on the individual. That said, there have been multiple cases in which "love" and nookie coincide, and those conflicting emotions, particularly when combined with the ability of ruler, warlord and caster units to exercise freewill, may have changed the outcomes of engagements (Wanda not croaking Jillian at the Tower of Efdup, or Jillian's capturing Ansom at the Expository Bridge).