The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-01-2012, 06:23 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
How did Anal Sex and the Greeks get Associated?

Snickers aside, why are Greeks and Anal Sex so closely associated? Is it a homosexual reference or something practiced by straights too?

As a culture do they prefer that form of sex?

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-01-2012 at 06:24 PM..
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-01-2012, 06:32 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 22,447
It is a homosexual reference. The basic idea is that the ancient greeks didn't like women much and that sex with them was mainly for procreation. Ancient greek men had a culture that encouraged male bonding to the fullest extent possible including male on male sex. They weren't gay. They just valued men that much and were extreme misogynists in general...or so the common historical meme goes.

I took Ancient Greek history in college. The did have a male dominated culture in general but we didn't spend much time on anal sex practices. I am not sure I am buying it based on what I believe about innate sexual preferences but that is the standard line.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-01-2012, 06:52 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
The master speaks:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-homosexuality
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-01-2012, 07:44 PM
Springtime for Spacers Springtime for Spacers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Well they did leave behind rather a lot of art of this NSFW type
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-01-2012, 08:01 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Springtime for Spacers View Post
Well they did leave behind rather a lot of art of this NSFW type
"Oh, what interesting china! It looks like young men playing leapfrog!"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:00 PM
Steken Steken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Snickers aside, why are Greeks and Anal Sex so closely associated? Is it a homosexual reference or something practiced by straights too?

As a culture do they prefer that form of sex?
PREFERRED, dude. Preferred. A long, long time ago.

See, the "Greeks" we're talking about here are the Ancient Greeks, not the guys you see rioting on the evening news.

Just making that clear.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:55 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
It is a homosexual reference. The basic idea is that the ancient greeks didn't like women much and that sex with them was mainly for procreation. Ancient greek men had a culture that encouraged male bonding to the fullest extent possible including male on male sex. They weren't gay. They just valued men that much and were extreme misogynists in general...or so the common historical meme goes....
Umm, no offense, but I would say that not liking women much and encouraging male bonding to the extent of male on male sex is pretty much the definition of gay.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:29 PM
BigT BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
I seem to remember someone pointing out that the actual common practice in Greek was not anal sex, though, but more between the thighs or similar. And that, even amongst modern homosexual men, anal sex is not as common as people would lead you to believe.

Oh, and the only argument I've seen that the Ancient Greeks really weren't gay is the idea that homosexuality requires the practice to be between adults, while the Greek practice was between an adult and an adolescent, a form of pederasty rather than homosexuality.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:57 AM
Steken Steken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Umm, no offense, but I would say that not liking women much and encouraging male bonding to the extent of male on male sex is pretty much the definition of gay.
When we say that the Ancient Greeks "didn't like" women, we mean that they actually considered women inferior beings.

And no modern definition of "gay" includes misogyny.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-03-2012, 03:51 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 16,114
You invent the map, no one remembers.

Invent the thermometer it doesn't raise any heat.

Create democracy, the world doesn't care.

But you fuck one Greek guy up the ass.........
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:54 AM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
You invent the map, no one remembers.

Invent the thermometer it doesn't raise any heat.

Create democracy, the world doesn't care.

But you fuck one Greek guy up the ass.........
*Heh*

That is the answer I was waiting on!

Thanks!

Q
__________________
My Dementia Blog is at http://wheretobud.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-03-2012, 09:36 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 22,848
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Umm, no offense, but I would say that not liking women much and encouraging male bonding to the extent of male on male sex is pretty much the definition of gay.
No it's not. Sexual orientation has more to do with attraction than action, and there's no evidence that Greek man weren't attracted to women.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-03-2012, 09:45 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 48,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasimodem View Post
*Heh*

That is the answer I was waiting on!

Thanks!

Q
Did you hear about the Greek boy who ran away from home? He didn't like the way he was being reared.

He went back though. He couldn't leave his brothers behind.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:35 PM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
He couldn't leave his brothers behind.
It works better if you punctuate it thusly: brother's behind.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:35 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 48,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire Human View Post
It works better if you punctuate it thusly: brother's behind.
Only if you wanted to make it a dirty joke disparaging Greeks instead of an anecdote.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:50 PM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steken View Post
When we say that the Ancient Greeks "didn't like" women, we mean that they actually considered women inferior beings.
That covers a large amount of humanity until very recently and a lot of it nowadays... you say it like they were the only ones ever.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-03-2012, 03:53 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Al Sharpton On Greeks (Ancient)

Rev. Sharpton did hold forth on the ancient Greeks:
Quote:“White folks was [sic] in caves while we was building empires.... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

Rev. Sharpton (with his usual good humor and erudition) really gets the point across!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-04-2012, 04:08 AM
Steken Steken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
That covers a large amount of humanity until very recently and a lot of it nowadays... you say it like they were the only ones ever.
Didn't mean to imply that the misogyny of the Ancient Greeks was somehow exclusive to them.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-04-2012, 06:00 AM
mbh mbh is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,760
History Laid Bare: Love, Sex, and Perversity from the Ancient Etruscans to Warren G. Harding by Richard Zacks contains a chapter in which the author recounts looking through old court records from the 18th and 19th centuries.

He found records of English women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "French style".

He found records of French women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "Italian style".

He found records of Italian women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "Greek style".

So, it seems that those decadent easterners always get accused of preferring the back door.

I once subscribed to a listserv thread, in which a group of Greeks, and a group of Turks, spent page after page after page arguing about whose ancestors were the most enthusiastic pederasts.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:30 AM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
What nationality wanted to do it "doggy style"?



Q
__________________
My Dementia Blog is at http://wheretobud.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-04-2012, 06:53 PM
notfrommensa notfrommensa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasimodem View Post
What nationality wanted to do it "doggy style"?



Q
Labrador Receiver
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-05-2012, 01:29 PM
gatorslap gatorslap is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I seem to remember someone pointing out that the actual common practice in Greek was not anal sex, though, but more between the thighs or similar.
Yes, it's called diamerizein. Between the thighs was the most common male-male sex act in Ancient Greece. Anal sex was not favored, though of course it did happen.

Quote:
And that, even amongst modern homosexual men, anal sex is not as common as people would lead you to believe.
This is true, but not in favor of the thigh-sex preferred by the Greeks. I've never met anyone who claimed to be into that (queer male here), though I hear it's popular in India or something.

Anal sex is certainly more popular amongst modern homosexual men than it was in years past, even more recently. Not long ago I read an interview with an elderly gay man in which he recalls a time when anal sex was socially disfavored by the gay community, and men who preferred it were derided as "brownie queens".
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:46 AM
Calimach Calimach is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
You are quite right, not only was it not favored, it was detested by civilized Greeks. Aesop had a fable mocking buggers as shameless, Aeschines called them "brutal and uncultured," and Aristotle classified buggery as a neurosis akin to eating dirt.

If you want "chapter and verse" citations you are welcome to read my article on the topic, just search for "How the moderns pinned anal sex on the Greeks" and my name. It specifically addresses how this unfortunate association between Greek culture and this behavior came about. It is a very old association, going back to the days of the Greeks, and likely it is based on a combination of factors.

First, not all Greeks behaved in a civilized manner with boys, some were abusive and violated their boyfriends. Secondly, Greek culture came under attack from a new religion out of Asia, called Christianity, and puritan arguments were one of the weapons used against the Greeks. Thirdly, the Greeks were one the first cultures to haver the courage to discuss this practice, so even though they almost unanimously denounced it still the association remained.

I liked your comment about "brownie queens." That is worth researching.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:59 AM
CandidGamera CandidGamera is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
I blame Aeneas.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:05 AM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
the thigh-sex preferred by the Greeks. I've never met anyone who claimed to be into that
Dry humping is like this, and it's fun enough that we've all done it.
Oiling up some boy and using his thighs like a fleshlight is fairly ingenious.
Almost like fucking a woman, without all the bleeding, bitching, and babies.

ETA- Greeks had foreskins, too. So maybe they didn't need the oil.

Last edited by aNewLeaf; 07-10-2013 at 08:06 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-10-2013, 09:56 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
History Laid Bare: Love, Sex, and Perversity from the Ancient Etruscans to Warren G. Harding by Richard Zacks contains a chapter in which the author recounts looking through old court records from the 18th and 19th centuries.

He found records of English women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "French style".

He found records of French women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "Italian style".

He found records of Italian women filing for divorce, on the grounds that their husbands wanted to do it "Greek style".

So, it seems that those decadent easterners always get accused of preferring the back door.

I once subscribed to a listserv thread, in which a group of Greeks, and a group of Turks, spent page after page after page arguing about whose ancestors were the most enthusiastic pederasts.
To my reading of OP, this is the closest reply.

These thread posts, and Cecil's piece, are discussing history (granting for the nonce that an obscurely cited self-cite is relevant). The OP is one of historiography, the study of how history is written; that is, the history of history, how historical "truths" are decided upon.

All the posts are interesting. I'm interested in when and how and by whom such an association began generally. Perhaps more interesting is why.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:19 AM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
"Bugger" is from "Bulgarian," specifically the Bulgarian religious sect Bogomils. They weren't massacred with the same blood lust as the Cathars, just buttsecks-slandered more thoroughly.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:26 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by aNewLeaf View Post
Dry humping is like this, and it's fun enough that we've all done it.
Oiling up some boy and using his thighs like a fleshlight is fairly ingenious.
Almost like fucking a woman, without all the bleeding, bitching, and babies.

ETA- Greeks had foreskins, too. So maybe they didn't need the oil.
"Fleshlight" is good.

I like that your post is vers libre.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 07-10-2013 at 10:30 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:27 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
But, do ancient zombie Greeks prefer men?
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:57 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
But, do ancient zombie Greeks prefer men?
It gives the power to turn undead a whole new meaning.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 07-10-2013, 11:06 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
How did Anal Sex and the Greeks get Associated?

When a daddy Greek and another daddy Greek love each other very much...
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 07-10-2013, 12:39 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
But, do ancient zombie Greeks prefer men?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Panda View Post
It gives the power to turn undead a whole new meaning.
Take it seriously. Ask and the Net giveth.
Stupid paper (full at cite), worth it for epigraph-with-cite:
Greek zombies (final draft)
Jan Sleutels
Faculty of Philosophy, Universiteit Leiden, PO Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands, jan@sleutels.com

ABSTRACT This paper explores the possibility that the human mind underwent substantial changes in recent history. Assuming that consciousness is a substantial trait of the mind, the paper focuses on the sug-gestion made by Julian Jaynes that the Mycenean Greeks had a "bicameral" mind instead of a conscious one. The suggestion is commonly dismissed as patently absurd, for instance by critics such as Ned Block. A closer examination of the intuitions involved, considered from different theoretical angles (social constructivism, idealism, eliminativism, realism), reveals that the idea of "Greek zombies" should be taken more seriously than is commonly assumed.

[Epigraph of essay]
It was so quiet that I heard
An ancient Greek zombie.

It was so quiet that I heard
My brain think in class.1
1. From: ‘If You Had Super Ears', by John, pupil of Y3/4 at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Primary School (Rainhill, Merseyside UK). Posted on the Internet as part of the school's poetry project; see http://www.st-bartholomews.st-helens.sch.uk.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 07-10-2013 at 12:41 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 07-10-2013, 12:53 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorslap View Post
...
Anal sex is certainly more popular amongst modern homosexual men than it was in years past, even more recently. Not long ago I read an interview with an elderly gay man in which he recalls a time when anal sex was socially disfavored by the gay community, and men who preferred it were derided as "brownie queens".
Who was it who said "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job!"?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 07-10-2013, 01:02 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
FTR, I emailed the school of the author of the epigraph. NB: I refer to this thread as a "genial semi-scholarly discussion." Yeah, that sounds right. Should be the standard line which GQ mods use when they tell people what they mod.

SPOILER:

The spreading fame of lines of poetry by one of your students

You may find the following two citations interesting.

The first is here, standing highlighted as the epigraph to a scholarly paper:

http://jan.sleutels.com/teksten/zombies.pdf

I found this paper [and] cited it in a genial semi-scholarly discussion. I cited it really only to draw attention to the lines written by that student:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...php?p=16459807


I am sure the boy's creativity reflects well upon the quality of your school and the fine education and talent of all your pupils.


Best wishes,
[name redacted]



ETA: What do moderators tell people what they do? Eg, stranger runs into Colibri at a cocktail party: "Do anything on-line to keep you occupied?"

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 07-10-2013 at 01:04 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-10-2013, 01:22 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorslap View Post
...
Anal sex is certainly more popular amongst modern homosexual men than it was in years past, even more recently. Not long ago I read an interview with an elderly gay man in which he recalls a time when anal sex was socially disfavored by the gay community, and men who preferred it were derided as "brownie queens".
Of course, now too opinions differ.

See these excerpts from a perceptive, funny, and witty essay by Stephen Fry on homosexuality, sodomy, and homophobia. Unfortunately I do not have the original cite. However, Fry has mentioned this subject on other occasions.

Excerpt from cite:
My own view is that most homophobia, if one wants to use that rather crummy word, has almost nothing to do with sex.

"But have you any idea what these people actually do?"

Self-righteous members of the House of Commons loved standing to ask that question during out last parliamentary debate on the age of homosexual consent.

"Shit-stickers, that’s what they are. Let’s be clear about that. We’re talking about sodomy here."

Oh no you aren’t. You think you are, but you aren’t, you know.

Buggery is far less prevalent in the gay world than people suppose. Anal sex is probably not much more common in homosexual encounters than it is in heterosexual.

Buggery is not at the end of the yellow brick road somewhere over the homosexual rainbow, it is not the prize, the purpose, the goal or the fulfillment of homosexuality. Buggery is not the achievement which sees homosexuality move from becoming into being; buggery is not homosexuality’s realisation or destiny. Buggery is as much necessary condition of homosexuality as the ownership of a Volvo estate car is a necessary condition of middle-class family life, linked irretrievably only in the minds of the witless and the cheap. The performance of buggery is no more inevitable a part of homosexuality than an orange syllabub is an inevitable part of a dinner: some may clamour for it an instantly demand a second helping, some are not interested, some decide they will try it once and then instantly vomit.
FTR, to me the effective persuasiveness of his argument--and that he has to make such an argument to the vast majority of people which has not thought it through his way--proves to me the exact opposite of his opening statement.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 07-10-2013 at 01:26 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-10-2013, 11:32 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
Chicago Savant
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
The Greek and the Italian were arguing about whose culture was richer.

"Sex was invented in ancient Greece, you know" said the Greek.

"Yes, that is true," said the Italian. "But the Romans introduced the practice to women."
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:20 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 11,457
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
I once subscribed to a listserv thread, in which a group of Greeks, and a group of Turks, spent page after page after page arguing about whose ancestors were the most enthusiastic pederasts.
You don't say who was arguing for what.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-11-2013, 04:36 AM
mbh mbh is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
You don't say who was arguing for what.
It started out as a perfectly rational discussion of medieval history. Then a member of one group accused the other group of preferring little boys. It then became a very erudite argument, with each group citing various medieval sources to document how perverted the other group's ancestors were.

It was quite entertaining, for the first dozen pages.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:14 AM
Daylate Daylate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
How do they separate the men from the boys in the Greek army?

With a crowbar.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.