Essay About Sexuality

Sexuality is a concept that is concealed from learning whether it be through textbooks, documentaries, or the media. Homosexuality is a more specific topic that people have come to tolerate but others still can not fathom. Homosexuality refers to the sexual attraction between members of the same sex, which is a word that has not been introduced until the late nineteenth century. Even though homosexuality was not recognized, its history is apparent. Homosexual relationships date back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Ancient Greek and Roman writers have explored aspects of homosexuality through significant customs and same-sex relations. Despite the varying opinions of historians and writers, homosexuality is a complex issue that has shaped history.
In ancient Greece, the most common form of same-sex relationships is pederasty. Pederasty is defined as a relationship type of a consensual nature between older and younger man. Pederasty was a respectable custom and the social norm for Ancient Greeks. The ideal pederastic relationship consisted of an esrates, an older man usually in his mid to late 20’s, and an eromenos, a younger male usually no older than 18. The erastes would have to win the eromenos over by showering him with gifts. The older man had to prove that his intentions were not only just sex with the young boy but establishing a relationship that was mutually beneficial. The eromenos was not to submit that easily and if he was pursued by more than one man he would have to choose the more righteous one . The older man was responsible for educating and protecting his younger companion while representing as a figure of wisdom and courage. Though it is evident that sexual favors were exchanged for teachings, penetration was avoided. The two men would engage in intercrural sex in which the penis would be placed between the receving partner’s thighs. Pederastic relationships were only temporary and ended when the eromenos reached adulthood.
Agathon and Pausanias are an example of a model pederastic relationship . We are introduced to the two men in Plato’s Symposium. Agathon is a young poet who is hosting a dinner party and Pausanias is his erastes. It was an ideal relationship being that there is a 10-year difference between the two and the relationship began when Agathon was 18. It was apparent that Agathon and Pausanias stayed together longer than it was expected in a pederastic relationship because no of the men had a wife or children. When Agathon wanted to settle to Macedonia to pursue his career as a dramatic, Pausanias traveled with him. Agathon and Pausanias represented a relationship that was somewhat out of the usual in Ancient Greece.
Plato’s symposium is a dialogue dedicated to the subject that the only type of true love is the love between two men .Plato was a prominent philosopher in Western tradition . He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle . Plato believed that the highest relationship would not involve sexual contact.In terms of pederasty , Plato veiwed that the the eronmenos undersrani would grow and he were to appreaicte beauty above earthly standards . In his Symposim , Aristphones tells a speech of human origin in which everyone was a four legged creature that Zeus had to cut in half . This led to each half trying to find their mate thus explaining the nature of human beings .Aristphones states “But they who are a section of the male follow the male, and while they are young, being slices of the original man, they have affection for men and embrace them and these are the best of boys and youths because they have the manliest nature. Through Aristophanes’ speech, Plato clearly demonstartaes the link of manlieness to homosexual desire.
Plato also proposed that an army were to be formed of same-sex lovers in his dialogue Symposium. Phaedrus thought that each man would fight hard to protect their lover .Plato stated “No man is such a crave that love can not imspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born “ The Sacred Band of Thebes would be then formed as an army of 150 pairs of gay lovers. The army was formed by feneral Gorgdias and the army was involved in battles of Lectura,Tegura, and Chaerochea.
Though Plato viewed pederastic relationships tolerable and significant, he would then take an opposing view. In Plato’s final work, the Laws Plato describes heterosexual intercourse as natural and homosexual intercourse unnatural. The Athenian character in Plato’s laws shows his disapproval of homosexuality by describing it as an enormity and a crime. Plato comments “Homosexuality is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects or powerful friendships or passionate love all of which homosexuality is particularly apttp produce .
Another writer who is believed to have referenced homosexuality is Homer . Homers Iliad has been a constant debate as to whether or not Achilles and Pathoculus were lovers .According to the Athenian society in 5 bc their relationship was the common pederastic one ,but others beleive it was a strong friendship between two war heroes .None the less it is evident that Homer potraus the relationship of Patroculus and Achilles as deep and menaignful . Achiles is tender towards Patroclus but arrogant towards everyone else. It is important to note that Homer never specified that the two were lovers ,but they were considered to be in the works of Plato,Aeschlus,and Aeschines.
Achilles and Patroclus are close companions in the fight against the Trojans . Achilles decies not to participate in the battle because he was upset at being dishonored but Agamenon .Patroclus ends up convincing Achilles to wear his armor to lead the Myrmidon army into battle. Patroclus unfortunately is killed in battle by Hector .The death of Patroclus causes a great amount of grief for Achilles ,but it becomes the main factor for Achilles’ return to battle.Achilles mourned Patroclus dead body by covering himself with ash and fasting . Through Patroclus death we see that Achilles shifts from an unbreakable warrior to a vulnerable character . Despite the gods warning Achilles that it would cost him his life , he has the sole intention of avenging Patroclus death by killing Hector.The bondd between Patroclus and Achilles represented an attachment that was common in Greek culture. Harmodius and Aristogetron, Damon and Pythias, and Orestes and Pylades were comrades who put themselves at risk for each other. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus also infuenced the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion .
Though there has been numerous friendships and relationships in which their depth of their love has been called in to question,there have been men that we were well known for being lovers .Among these relationships was the one of Harmodius and Aristogetion . Harmodius and Aristogetion where men whos story is covered in Thucdides history of the Pelopnessian war . Thuycides states “Indeed the daring action of Aristogtion and Harmodius was undertaken in the cosequence of a love affair which I shall relate at some length to show that the Athenians are not more accurate than the rest of the world in their accounts of their own tyrants and of the facts of their own history .”They are most known for assainating Hippacus, an Athenian tyrant and got their nicknames as the Tyrannicides. Thucidies describes Harmodius as a good looking youth while Aristogetion was a middle aged man of Athens .
Hipparchus was the tyrant of Athens who rose to power after his fathers death .Hipparchus was one of the most powerful men in Athens ,but not even his power could get him anything that he desired which was Harmodius. Hipparchus was attracted to Harmoduis looks so of course he made an advance towards him. Thucydides tells how Harmodies rejected Hipparchus and this angered Aristogetion causing him to plan an asassination . Hipparchus however still made advances towards Harmodius but was shot down once again . Dues to Harmodius rejection . Jipparchis humiliated his sister by stripping her the honor of being a basket bearer in the Panathetic Festival .
After this stunt , the two men plotted and were sure to assisntate Hipparchus and his brother Hipoias. Harmodius wanted to avenge the honor of sister and A chose to carry out this risky plan simply because of his love for Harmodius. The two became sucessful in killing Jipparchus ,but not Hippias . Ariestogiton and Harmodus were killed in the prcess as well . After the death of his brother Hippias establihed a more strict dictatorship but it was overthrown with the help of spartans in 508. Athens became a democracy under the reforms of Clestinenes .
Greece was not the only empire in which homosexuality existed ,as it did in Rome. In fact ,homosexuality took on a major role of society and of sexuality in general . In mordern times ,we like to associate sex with emotional attachement ,but the txomns considered this to be a casual day to day practice .In fact a common place for random male relations was the Roman bath house. A man in search for sexual activity would scratch his head with one finger to signal that he was sexually available . Even tohugh it was common sex wasnt spoken of in Rome. The Romans also didnt view homosexuality as a black and white concept , it was never a wuestion of gay versus straight . They had a more complex perspective in which the terminology was based on the social activity and status of the participants .
The Roman empire was a society that functioned under the control of men .A mans masculinaty would be based upon the concept of virtue which repersented self disciplien and the abiltiy to rule ones self or another Being that masculinaty was based on one’s ability to conquer ,any man who were to be penetraed would be considered as submissive. The man would fsce ridicule and shame by the public as submisson implied that he was weak. It made his entire sexual integrity come into question .
The Romans didn’t classify their preferences and sexual tendencies as homosexual or heterosexual .Gender was not a factor ,but it was social status. The Roman censors determined what rank someon belonged in society and usually removed individauls from the upper class for sexual misconduct. Same sex relationships aming the same social status was common and acceptable.Roman men were allowed to engage in sex with both genders. Even after he was married , he maintained relationships with other partners. These partners were refered to be the infamia which werre tne lower social class of slaves and prostitues . The lower social class also included actors gladitors and other enterntainers . The infamia werent allowrd to provide testimony on legal proceedings and receivd the samr punsihments as slaves .
Even though Roman men were allowed to have sex with the indames, it was only acceptable if he took on the domininat role . Men werent allowed t ohave sex with other men or the wives or children or other men . Roman men couldn’t have sex with another man’s slave . Slaves were considered to be property and sex with someone else slave required the owners permission. Homosexual relationships between Roman men did indeed exist even in the same social class, but were kept private becuase of the social rules when it came to that relationship .
Similar to the Greeksi,it was the norm for an older man to have a young lover . The Romans would eventually become tolerable to homosexual acts of adult men no matter the social status. Same-sex marraige was not far behind in which emperors would partake in these ceremonies .Nero was one of several emperros who married at least two men . Nero wed Pythogas in a formal ceremony that inclduded the charactersitcis of a classical marriage which were witnesses, marriage bed, torches ,and dowry .Tacitus, a historian who recorded the event ,even stated that Nero had sex with his partner in front of all his guests.
Nero also married Sporus, a free man ,after he ordered the man to be castrated in AD 67 . Sporus took on the role of the bride while Nero played the groom. After the ceremony ,the two lived together as husband and wife . Nero did wicked and immoral things during his reign as emperor. Nero was accountable for numerous brutal executions including the execution of his mother and capturing Christains and burning them in his garden as a source for light at night . Nero commited sucide in June of 68 .fs
Another emperor who was involved in same sex marriage was Elagabalus . Elagabulus came into power in AD 218 and married a total of five women . His desire for his wives seemed irrelevant compared to his fondness of men and boys . Elagabulus preferred to be the woman in a relationship and liked having his hair plucked out ,wearing make up and having his hair plucked . It is said that he offered his doctor a substantial amount of money if he could transform him into a woman . Hierocles,a blond slave,was the first husband of Elagabulus . The emperor liked to be called the wife, mistress,and queen of Hierocles .Elagabulus also pretended to be a prostitute in public or prostituted himself in the taverns or brothels of Rome .
Elagabulus also married Zoticus,an athelete from Smyrna, in a lavish display in Rome in which Romans celebarated the new union . Elagabulus also adopted a boy named Alexianus who would be crowndd as Ceasar ,only to try and assassinate him later . The Romans were used to their leaders sexual behavior and practices ,while others got tired of it . Elagabulus was murdered by guards ,beheaded and stripped of his clothing.His naked body was then dragged through the streets of Rome .Same sex marriage was subsequently prohibitted by the historic passage of the Theodosian code .
Hadrian was another emperor who fell in love with his Greek servant , Antinous. Antinous was very beautiful and Hardian fell in love with him making no secrets about his affections for the young boy . The relationship lasted for years as the emperor brought Antinous to royal ceremonies and state dinners . Hardian was married and expected to have a son to be an heir to the Roman throne ,but he didnt impregnate his wife ,so suspicions of homsexual activity arose . Hardian however managed to keep these susspicions and love life under wraps because he was such as good leader and kept the Roman empire together.
In the year 130 AD Antinous tragically drowned while he and Hardian were sailing on the Nile River .It is unclear as to whether Antionous death was intetnional or an accident .There are many different theories that explains Antinous death .Some say that Antinous may have threw himself in the water to end the relationship and save the emperors reputation from being soiled for being a homosexual .It could also be assumed that Antinous may have intentionally drowned to prolong Hardians life .The Romans believed that human sacrifice could extend the life of another .Hardian founded a city close to where his lover died and named it Antinopolis He wanted Antionous to be worshipped as a God and built up to 200 statues of his lover across the empire .
Early Roman critics and poets spoke about the practices of the emperors and of homosexuality in genreral. Juvenal wrote sixteen satires,but the second was especially significant . It provides an insight toward a certain kind of homosexual activity in Rome . Juvenal’s second satire attacked individuals who engaged in same sexual activity for hypocrisy . Juvenal states in his second satire “I hear high moral discourse from raging queens who affect ancenstral peasant views. These philosophers are hypocritcal becuase they conceal their passivity behind the mask of masculinaty and learning.”In the second satire , Juvenal does not demonize homosexual activity ,but the gender limits between male and female. He explicitly scorns Roman natives who he sees as frightfully womanly. Juvenal comends homosexual individuals who concede their sexual reversal since it was appointed by destiny and hence pardonable in light of the fact that it put them in a unique class ,eunuchs .
Homosexuality between women was viewed differently between men in Ancient Rome .Sexual relationships between women did occur ,but it wasnt recorded becusse to them sex involved penetration .The views on sexuality was primarily focused on one person being masculine so the women who engaged in homosexual activity were potrayed to participate in bodybuilding ,and drinking and eating in excessive amounts .The attitude towards homosexual women were generally negative in ancient rome .It has been recorded that husbands would go to the extent of mudering their wives after finding out they were involved in homosexual affairs .
The goddes Venus was honored as a representation of female to female love . The Greek writer Sapho of Lesbos wrote about her in her appearance as Aphrodite . According to legend , the virgin goddess Diana preferred the comoant of women she hunted in the woods and danced with her companions. In another legend, Jupiter disguised himself as princess Callisto and seduced Diana .King Minos also pursued Britomaris ,a nymph, but she managed to escape him by jumping into the ocean. Diana rescued Britomaeis from the sea and fell in love with her . Jupiter was known to have flings with mortals of both genders. He changed his appearance frequently ,sometimes male and female . 2019-10-17 22:24:06
Family is incredibly important to me, making this moment was one of my least favorite experiences. When I was in 9th grade, I was constantly distressed. I had a difficult time balancing my social life and school life. If I was too focused on school, then leaving my room wasn't an option, considering that I was always working. Going out or staying up late, prompted my grades to suffer. I realized that there was an issue around the second semester.
One night, around April, my family came over to my house for dinner. I had a considerable amount of homework; work that was assigned that day in school, and assignments that I had procrastinated. I had at least 2 assignments due for each class the following day. Instead of spending time with my family, I was all the way upstairs buried in a mountain of schoolwork. Wildly flipping through the pages of my textbooks with tears streaming down my face, I was immensely overwhelmed. While everyone I loved was downstairs, I was isolated in my room, listening to the echoes of familiar laughter and nostalgic game shows playing faintly in the background. I was as frustrated as someone who had just gotten their favorite television show spoiled for them.
Not only was I upset with my workload, but also resentful of myself for letting my work pile up for this long. I was missing out on important moments. I repeatedly licked and chewed on my lips until they were dry and cracked. I was called downstairs by my mom, being forced to take a break. Breathing out a heavy sigh, I lethargically trudged down the stairs. I said goodbye to my family as they walked out of the door. I headed upstairs to attempt to finish my work before the morning. Staying awake was difficult at that point. It wasn’t that late, however, all of the tedious assignments dragged the night on forever . I worked until at least 1am.
I was at my breaking point, knowing that I never wanted to feel this way again. Procrastination was something in the past. School and family are both significant, so I needed to take steps in making time for both. I made a schedule and promised myself that school would not be placed on the back burner.
I set aside time to focus on school, and times to focus on family. I stayed on top of my schoolwork. Assignments would be completed and help would be asked for. Pushing my work off gave a brief sense of relief, but in the back of my mind, I was constantly thinking about everything I wasn't doing. I started 10th grade with the new mindset that if I try, I can do anything . I have slowly improved. My moods have changed and some of my anxiety has slowly eased off. If I had realized anything, it is that life is all about finding a balance, and I have found that balance.
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