Roman Sex is important

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Originally posted 2023-08-29 17:04:28.

Why is Roman sex so important, even today? And I don’t mean a knee-trembler up a dark alley in Milan with a hot tranny. I mean the model of sex and sexual behaviour which was central to Roman life. Why is it still important?

Roman Sex
Completely gratuitous snap of a hot tranny you might actually meet in Milan.


Western societies are essentially based on a Graeco-Roman model, with some aspects leaning more towards the Greek and some the Roman. Sex, despite centuries of Christianity, remains broadly Roman.

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Roman sex
Aphrodite. Fresco at Pompeii.

Sex is far more important to society than many believe, especially today. Sex is the basis of the family, the clan, the tribe, the nation. Our culture is based on a Gaeco-Roman model, so should Roman sex not be the basis of it? This is not to denigrate love, which is the highest of human emotions; but the fact is that our societies and cultures are based on the need to make and nurture babies, and for that, we need sex. Love and sex are closely intertwined and not easy to separate, anyway.

The Greeks defined five types of love, two of which we would recognise as erotic.

1. Eros – Erotic love, love of beauty
Related to the modern Greek “erotas,” Eros speaks to sexual passion and intimate love…it speaks to erotic desire, (but) it also speaks to the spiritual recognition of beauty in all its forms. Beauty is a feminine expression, which is why it is so important to true transsexuals as well as women, while the male form is ‘sublime.’ This love is closely linked to erotic desire.

2. Philia – Friendly love, love between equals
A concept developed by Aristotle, Philia refers to a virtuous and loyal love, a love between friends—an affection amongst equals. This might be ‘brotherly love’ or the feelings soldiers have for each other. This is not an erotic love.

3. Storge – Familial love, empathetic love
Storge references affection, empathy, and—in some interpretations—a dependent sort of love. So, love for a parent or clan. Storge can also refer to a love of country. This is not erotic.

4. Philautia – Self love
This can be both positive and negative. If it becomes excessively narcissistic, it is negative, but positive qualities like self-esteem and courage are also based in Philautia. This can definitely be erotic and in this, the individual eroticises his or her own body or self. This is implicated in conditions like Autogynephilia (love of the self as a woman) and Autoandrophobis (love of the self as a man.)

5. Agape – Unconditional love, altruistic love
Agape is a term for pure, altruistic love. It may refer to a charitable form of love—a high form of affection that includes a love of a deity or numinous being. This is an abstract form of love, not dependent on physical presence. Italian philosopher and priest Thomas Aquinas describes Agape as “to will the good of another.” This is not erotic.

From an article by Jennifer Gold

Notice that some of these types might not be associated with one another. For example, although eros does often develop from philia, a sexual ‘pass’ at a friend may cause serious issues; and clearly, mixing eros with storge is taboo in most cultures — although it too, does happen.

roman Sex
Priapus, he of the eponymous member. That says ‘eponymous,’ not ‘enormous.’ Although it was, the archetypal Dick Almighty.

Not all sex is for the purpose of making babies. In humans, more than any other animal, even our close relatives the Dwarf Chimpanzee or Bonobo (Pan paniscus), sex satisfies many other needs. It is a kind of social glue that directly binds societies together through direct interpersonal relations but also indirectly, through bonds brought about by the existence of families, which in humans can be hugely extended.

Dr Diana Fleischman, of the University of Portsmouth, published findings in November 2014 that strongly suggest that both women and men naturally indulge in same-sex activities far more frequently than is often thought.1

Dr Fleischman said,

‘Humans are among a group of animals who have sex for many reasons, not just to reproduce. Reasons can include pleasure, a reward, a way of saying ‘please be nice to me’ or exerting dominance.’2

1 Fleischman, D.S et alia. Testing the Affiliation Hypothesis of Homoerotic Motivation in Humans: The Effects of Progesterone and Priming.. Archive of Sexual Behaviour. 2014

2 retrieved 27/11/2014

It’s reasonable to suggest, then, that sex is indeed more than the matter of reproduction and that being the case, our attitudes towards it are important.

The Roman sex model can be identified in cultures all over the world. This includes many which were never under the influence of Rome itself or of its successor cultures, for example, Japan.  Indeed it might be that we may look to those areas which have been influenced by Roman ideas, especially via the Catholic church, but that does not explain the others.  It looks more like the Roman model is a representation of a universal one, which is dominant — by a long way — in our cultures.

Roman Sex
Goat, anyone?

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Roman Sex and its consequences

The very concept of ‘egalitarian’ sexual behaviour would have made the Romans choke with laughter. Roman sex was all about dominance: nailing a another person. It showed your power over him or her and since there is no procreative power in coitus between males or between females, this form of sex becomes entirely a power-play. In fact, there is evidence that the Roman men did not find the physical pleasure of sex particularly stimulating, it was rather the power and control it gave them that they loved. They seem to have thought that taking pleasure in dominating another was masculine, while simply submitting to physical pleasure was feminine and so, beneath a man.

The Romans did not look at people in terms of sexuality, but in terms of sexual roles. So long as a man was only ever the penetrator, and never the penetrated, he was still considered strong and masculine. But in the eyes of the Romans, if a man was on the receiving end he was adopting the role of the woman, and was reviled as effeminate.

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Roman Sex

Sorry, boys, you’re fucked.

The Roman sex model remains dominant across the planet, yet is largely ignored in the Benighted West today. Being a man is defined by penetrating, being a woman by being a mother. Males who are penetrated are ‘not-men’ — not men, certainly, but not women either, because they cannot be mothers. This applies whether their penetration was voluntarily accepted or forced; a Roman man should have fought to the death to protect his anal honour, so to remain alive afterwards was itself a condemnation.

Because sex was generally framed in this dynamic of dominant and submissive roles, which carried social implications and ramifications, power differentials were baked into the fabric of sexual life. A man with status had a lot of license to engage in sexual liaisons outside of his marriage with anyone who held a lower place in society. In fact it is generally the most powerful people in Roman society who have the longest list of varied exploits and specific fetishes. Even wealthy women are reported to have had sexual appetites for lower-order men like dancers and gladiators.

While Roman girls were a protected group, their virginity to be preserved at all costs, this did not apply to Roman boys, even free ones. If they were willing to have sex with a man — which would normally mean, allowing the man to anally penetrate them — then Roman culture had nothing to say. This was because, as Sir Richard Burton said, the Romans drew no distinction between boys are girls in their youth — meaning that a boy could be a girl to man when actual girls were taboo. However, most sex between males in Rome was between free men and slaves.

Roman sex
Our Roman would have felt quite at home here.


Why does all this matter today?

Well the first point to note is that the West is out of step with practically every other culture in the developed world. This began in the 1960s and the situation has only become more extreme. Modern feminists and LGBT+ apologists aggressively promote a different belief system. But this different system has absolutely no provenance.  It was conceived only sixty years ago and remains a post-war, Western, read US American, phenomenon.

It would be rash to insist that the West’s problems and its likely collapse are all due to the way we regard sex, but the possibility must be considered. If society is based on a solid framework of social identities and hierarchies, which have been shown to work over thousands of years, isn’t upsetting them a risky venture? The modern West has existed for around seventy-five years, since the end of World War Two; Rome endured for over a millennium. Roman Sex is still going on.


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Roman sex was the right kind of sex — and it still is

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