History of Sex: greek and roman

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by B_New End, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    This is a huge can of worms, I know, but I also figured this was the best place to get some good discussion. Here it goes:

    A few weeks ago, I watched history of sex on history channel, (my favorite), and it said that in ancient Greek times, just about every boy was sent to a mentor at about age 14, and, for lack of a better word, molested by an older man.

    They also said that heterosexuality vs homosexuality was a non issue, to quote the show, it was like asking if you prefer baseball or basketball.

    What I find interesting, is the incredible stigma attached to molestation today, is almost directly opposite to bronze age, when parents would actually send their sons to be molested by older men. It kind of blew my mind actually, the idea that molestation, and the harm that comes from it, is largely social stigmata, a social construct if you will.

    Maybe this was the worst forum to pick, because I know this is a hotly debated issue, but it still makes me wonder about how different the world, and concepts of sexuality, could be.
     
  2. SpoiledPrincess

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    We're talking about a different age, kids were pushed into embarking on a sex life earlier then because the likelihood of their living to a ripe old age was less so life was often hurried along. In a time when female virginity was a requirement for a girl men didn't have as much opportunity for sex with women before their marriage, so there was also a tendency for homosexual friendships, which were more easily available, to prosper and to even be encouraged. Parents knew their boys were going to want to have sex so they pushed them in a direction which would bring some material or intellectual benefits.
    Molestation does harm children but when you say they sent their children to be molested by older men you're placing that in the context of our society, it was the norm there therefore it wasn't molestation and there was no stigma to it.
     
  3. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    I might have to fact check you on the virginity thing. Women also frequently engaged in lesbian sex, (although women from the island of Lesbos were actually straight, and one story was of a woman that gave a blowjob to every man i nthe room)... anyways.


    And that is what blows my mind. It harms them.... because of the stigma and shame attached to it. Its like saying black and white people shouldn't get married, because of the shame brought upon the children.

    I guess I am totally shocked there was a time that old men with young men was not considered anything but natural. I mean, when I heard about Plato and stuff, i assumed it was a hush hush scandal. It was not only common knowledge, but expected that you have sex with your mentors. So basially every great Greek known, had had homosexual sex, and probably a majority of them were indeed homosexual.
     
  4. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    I agree with SpoiledPrincess.

    I would also add that particularly for greek boys it was customary among their fighters that a mentor be given to them to teach them in all aspects of life passing down their wisdom, their fighting skills and their ethics.
    The Spartan army is the most renowned for encouraging gay sex with the belief that lovers would fight better on the battlefield if they were fighting directly alongside their loved ones so would be watching each others backs as well as their own and indeed this appears to have worked well as the Spartan army holds the title of the greatest little army in history, of course this is as much to do with cunning during the battle of Thermopolea where they lost due to being outnumbered but there were at least 8 roman deaths for each greek death during that battle so was it entirely skill or the incentive to protect their lovers that empowered them to give their all. The death of a loved one during the battle was believed not to weaken the lover left standing but to create a bloodlust which would make him instantly more aggressive.

    Essentially, the rules were different for that specific culture but it was never a universal thing as it is not now either. The rules regarding the age of consent varies widely among nations. Lets face it, if in some arab nations beastiality is not illegal does that make it right.
     
  5. Freddie53

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    First of all, it was a different culture. There was more to it than just sex. Though the older guy's job was to tain the young guy to be a man. In ancient Greece, many believed that man to man sex was the highest form of sex. Male and female sex had one purpose - to produce children.

    Also, they Greeks looked at boys likeing boys as a transitional thing as well. so a young man in his twenties taught the 14 year old all there is to know about how to be a man sexually and nonsexually. He was the young boy's mentor.

    Today, boys will talke to older guys about stuff they would never talk to Dad about. I guess maybe that had something to do with it.

    The older guy taught the younger guy HOW to have sex, not just molest him.

    The values were different then. Also the age of responsibility was different then then. We have chosen 18 in our time as some magical age. Guys 18 years and 21 days old charged with child predator for having sex with 17 and 354 day old. We are talking about only 33 days difference.

    Sex was OK several weeks ago when both were 17, but when the older one turned 18 everything changed.

    Look at 19th century America, girls were married off as soon as they filled out. That means as soon as they were will into puberty, they got married. Some at 13, 14 and 15. And they often married first cousins.

    Today we consider that wrong.

    My point is what is right and what is wrong concerning sexual issues? Are there realy eternal guidlines that NEVER change or are the fluid and change from culture to culture.

    If we condemn the Greeks for allowing a 14 year old boy to have sex with a young man in his early 20's, then we are also condemning the 13 year old girl for marrying the 21 year old guy who just built his house and is ready to get married. Is that molestation?

    In 19th century America, it wasn't. Today most people would say that it is.

    I am old enough to have known some of these people that got married so young. I know of a woman who married and was only 14. Her husand was 20ish, not sure. He had built the house and got everthing set up for house keeping. Now he was ready to get married.

    I doubt that he every kissed another woman or she ever kissed another man. They both lived to be will past 95. The oldest child was 80 when her mother died. The couple were happily married for seventy something years. I would have a hard time saying that the young man molested his wife at age 14.

    My point is it is difficult to judge other cultures in different times with different beliefs and technology with the same standards we use today.

    In our own culture we have such a divide of opinion. Example: A boy should not let anyone see his penis, even his dad or brothers. Some young guys are being taught that.

    Meanwhile, other boys are being taught that it is sissy to be modest in the shower, only a sissy gay would be shy taking a shower in front of other guys.

    Who is right in that issue?

    Also consider that very few ancient Greeks thought that homosexuality was wrong. Today, a siziable portion of our population is defintiely anti gay. And would say that a 14 year old girl who has sex with a 21 year old guy was not molested but a 14 year old boy who has sex with a 21 year old guy was molested. Issue designed to stir it up for sure.

    So, I suggest instead of judging the ancient Greeks, we might best do our research and learn the truth about what they did and didn't do. There is more than one story being told out there about pedaastery. I know I mispelled the word.

    Perhaps someone more learned than me can come forth with a better discription.

    The main thing I am saying is be slow to judge people living over 2000 years ago to the standards of 2009. Be fast in trying to understand how and why they had the standards they had and why they were changed.

    We just might learn something about ourselves and our culture in the process.
     
  6. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    [/QUOTE]And that is what blows my mind. It harms them.... because of the stigma and shame attached to it. Its like saying black and white people shouldn't get married, because of the shame brought upon the children.
    [/QUOTE]

    It is not the stigma and shame that harms them...i disagree with you on that....its the loss of innocence, the taking away of an individuals right to choose who they engage in sexual activity with. No adult should ever have the right to give away a childs virginity or indeed take it from them...this goes for non-penetrative sex acts too.
     
    #6 B_mitchymo, Jun 25, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  7. Freddie53

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    [/QUOTE]Usually it was not "OLD MEN" it was men in their twenties who had not yet married and were in the army etc. Then at about age 30 those guys foudn a wife to have children and settle down into a home. Some continued with gay sex and some didn't.

    Part of this was as another poster pointed out a job ofr the older guy to teach everything how to use weapons, defend himself, honor code of the day etc. It is doubtful that an "old man' is going to be doing that as he hobbles along with his cane.

    Unless of course you younger guys posting consider yourselves "OLD MEN"
     
  8. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    The documentary disagreed profusely. ;)

    I'm not judging, I'm just wondering, and also wondering, especially as attitudes towards sex continue to liberalize, if perhaps in the future, NAMBLA will be taken seriously. I mean today, it's ridiculed. But there was a time when admitting to having watched a dirty movie could mean social death, or even imprisonment.

    Also, I don't consider the term molest to be necessarily negative.

    ok. good point.
     
  9. KRUZKY

    KRUZKY New Member

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    Man, I think it is simply a social construct as long as there is no coercion by the older man. I'll be eternally grateful to the man (30 at the time) who helped me explore and appreciate my sexual self when I was 14.
     
  10. UpwardCurve

    UpwardCurve New Member

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    If you want to weigh the morality of greek and roman cultures, you have to keep in mind that these types of people actually worshipped violence and brutality in the colosseum... sex aside, that alone speaks volumes...
     
  11. gggg75

    gggg75 New Member

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    well,i'm greek and i can say that sex in ancient times was very liberal,was considered a free gift for all,nowdays,sorry but,after the midieval time and the power that have all the religions (DON'T,DON'T,DON'T etc) we feel like we are doing something wrong !!!!
     
  12. SpoiledPrincess

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    Bugger I've forgotten how to do quotes, but mitchy says that its the loss of innocence, the taking away of a child's right to choose who they engage in sexual activity with that damages them, at the time the op was referring to any girl we might think of as a child now (11, 12, 13) didn't, in most cases, have the right to choose who she had sex with, she was usually seen as a possession of her father's and he bestowed her in marriage where he saw fit. Again, I think it's a modern conception that equates having sex with loss of innocence, although girls weren't supposed to have sex before marriage this was primarily for more practical reasons, men wanted to be sure that any offspring were theirs, that the woman who was becoming their wife was an unspoiled possession, equating loss of virginity with loss of innocence is a biblical concept which wouldn't be applied in the Greek world, so I do think that shame and stigma plays a large part in the damage. In ancient Greece if you were a girl you weren't expected to be able to choose who your husband was, you weren't allowed the choice of who to bestow your sexual favours on, consequently there wasn't any mental damage, because it just wasn't conceived of in their society. In Totem and Taboo Freud said (I paraphrase) any society will seem incestuous to other societies, and I think the same is true of paedophilia, in the UK the age of consent is set at 16, in the USA it varies state by state, but any society/culture will view an age of consent lower than it's own as paedophilia.

    Although we're presented with this picture of ancient Greece where male on male love was idealised I don't think this is quite the truth, Plato's symposium is more or less a justification of homosexual love and for it to need a justification it can't be the ideal we're told it was, the Greek gods are primarily pictured taking female lovers (plenty of exceptions, but in the main they chose women) I think the picture seems to be more that homosexual love was something that was encouraged when men were young (in a subordinate position sexually and socially to their mentors), but that was thought of more as a stage men had to go through to become men like their mentors, and would revert to when they weren't able to be with their wives. There are instances in their literature of men loving men, but in most cases we're presented with men having women as their great love, Odysseus and Penelope, Paris and Helen of Troy, Perseus and Andromeda. When older men did enter into a relationship with a younger man there were quite firm rules about how it should be conducted, the younger man wasn't supposed to feel any desire for his older lover, I suppose it was seen as a fair exchange, he submitted to the older man's penetration, in return he received education, mentoring, a role model. The act of sex was seen differently to how it is now, the older man was penetrating the younger man who was in a subordinate position to him, just as he penetrated his wife who was also in a subordinate position so it was probably viewed much less as something to do with gender and much more to do with being penetrator or penetrated, superior and inferior.

    A bit of a waffle there which I really should have taken more time but its 8.30 am :)
     
    #12 SpoiledPrincess, Jun 25, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  13. cbrmale

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    I did a psychology thesis on sex in primitive cultures, which was enough to change my personal views on sex and monogamy for the rest of my life. I also gave up my religious beliefs, which is why we were set this topic. Nonetheless my studies were fascinating and enlightening, and I put a lot of what I learned to good use almost straight away. Many girls at that time wondered how I had learned such techniques.

    My studies did not cover Greece or Rome, but of other societies such as Africa, Tahiti, Native Americans and so on. In these cases when of age, typically girls and boys were instructed in advanced sexual pleasuring techniques and then encouraged to experiment with one-another. The age of initiation varied, but typically girls were younger than boys, but generally around 14-16 or thereabouts. However, because sex between adults often was not hidden, children experimented amongst themselves before formal initation. So in terms of age and sex, in what I studied it was rather complex. None of the societies we looked at in detail had any instances of adults with under-age children, and age barriers were strictly enforced, as were certain other taboos. Homosexuality happened, but was a fringe thing as it is with our society.

    Many years after my thesis and society has changed. We have moved away from Western-Christian prohibitions on sex and are now closer to what primitive societies practiced and enjoyed. Or at least we are in Australia.
     
  14. dreamer20

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    From jason_els biblical cock post:

    35

     
  15. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    Good post, yes, it gave me something to consider, i guess i find it quite difficult to see things in their historical context as i'm not well studied. Thanks for readjusting my thought :smile:
     
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