An Illustrated History of Greek Pederasty
In this chapter, Robin Osborne reexamines what Kenneth Dover called “intercrural intercourse.” Following Dover’s lead, scholars have constructed a history of Greek homosexuality in which penetration was taboo and instead older lovers enjoyed only intercourse in which their pleasure came from rubbing their penis between a boy’s thighs. This has been taken to support a model of sexual behavior in which penetration and power stand at the center. Osborne argues instead that intercrural intercourse is a modern fantasy. On the basis of a close examination of the corpus of relevant images, he makes the case that the scenes should be read not as literal representation of some curious homosexual ritual, but as ways of exploring the nature of homoerotic desire. The point of these pictures is not to show what was visible in life, but to find a visible way of allowing the viewer to fantasize about men’s homoerotic pleasures.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.