Homosexuality Before Homosexuality, Masochism Before Masochism?

While I am no expert, there is certainly a discussion to be had about the way labels can cause people to conform to the expectations of the label, and not just with regard to sexuality.

However, if you’ve never met or heard of two feminine women in a sexual relationship (“lipstick lesbians”), or aren’t aware of leather and bear culture, you need to spend more time on the internet.

The issue I suppose is that until larger cities with more mobile populations emerged, most people did not have much choice of lifestyle; the ones who escaped the standard lifestyle were the notable exceptions. Whether you were a peasant or the King of England (Edward II) the man was expected to marry and support a family so his heir could carry on the family holdings, and the woman was married off to someone and probably did not have much choice in performing her “wifely duties”. Whether they got more on the side was a detail in an otherwise straight life. The same was likely true in tribal life, with the exception that opportunities to find like-minded partners were probably fewer. The bit in Little Big Man points to an interesting issue - in a small tribal society every pair of hands willing to contribute something was valuable. Thus if someone wanted to act like the other gender, there was no hostility in some cultures to accommodating that… whereas expelling someone from the tribe was a liability - they could end up being a danger; and killing your own people was an extreme step.

In Classical Antiquity views on sex were very different - at least for men. Mutual frottaging was accepted, and penetrative homosexual sex was fine as long as you were the one doing the penetrating.

I’m not sure why. “Gay” doesn’t imply “not masculine” (for men) or "not feminine (for women).

I think it was a Scientific American article on AIDS many years ago that mentioned that Africans did not consider themselves as penetrator as “gay”, just the penetratee.

I don’t know how relevant this is but the Tudor era laws in England against sodomy were only used to prosecute adult males having sex with children or young boys. From memory there was not a single instance of an adult male being prosecuted for having sex with another adult male. Things began to change, I believe, during the Stuart era.

Depends on the stereotypes people are using. The whole gender thing is just a bunch of stereotypes, but the specific bunches change from place to place and person to person. There are people who refuse to believe in the existence of lipstick lesbians and leather gays, or even of lesbians who don’t like power tools and of gays who don’t suffer from limp wrists; their arguments when faced with evidence (such as, this conservative-by-Spain’s-standards [del]judge[/del]minister being gay and married to another man) are in the style of “those children are paid actors” conspiracy nuts.

After reading more of this thread, I noticed something interesting about that passage (though not in most English translations, including the KJB). Many Biblical scholars (and most more liberal ones) have pointed out for quite some years that this passage in the original is actually referring only to male receptive anal sex being an abomination. Not oral sex, frottage, or insertive anal sex between males.

This then is essentially the same position that Quartz described concerning Classical Antiquity. But perhaps that’s not surprising; I don’t know.

But in any case, we see once again the extreme ignorance of the conservative religious mindset: They don’t even understand what their own sacred texts actually say.

How so? ISTM that lying with a man as with a woman implies treating your male partner as if he were a woman, i.e. being the penetrator.

To mean what you say, wouldn’t “Do not lie with a man as if you were a woman” be a better phrase?

Well, for bestiality Leviticus 20 says both the animal and the male or female human participant were to be killed; not particularly concerned about roles.

The view that only the insertive act was to be considered an abomination (using the biblical rather than the modern definition, of course) was commonly held in the past, but I’ve read several professional biblical scholars reverse that in more recent time with quite compelling arguments based on both the original Hebrew text (including from the Dead Sea Scrolls), the contextual location of verse 22 (and 30), and careful sociological analyses. The reigning view among non-conservative biblical scholars is as I described it in my post: Only males on the receiving end (so to speak) were to be considered abominations.

I’ll provide a cite in a moment, but first I’d like to point out that the surrounding list of highly specific sexual acts that were to be condemned to one extent or another completely lacks *any *reference to male-male sexuality, not even those involving boys or even sons (it also excluded men having sex with their daughters, but that’s an different debate). The notion that the authors and editors of Leviticus 18 simply assumed everyone would just, ya know, *know *such acts were forbidden is completely ludicrous given the specificity of the list.

Now to my cite: I’d like to provide more than what follows, but virtually everything I’ve read on this subject are in paper books I have in storage and I don’t wish to plow through that morass. And the two I’ve found online are just abstracts, since I’d have to pay to possess them for quoting. But here ya go…

Who Is Doing What to Whom Revisited: Another Look at Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 Rather than quoting from both the original and the follow-up, I’ll just quote from the abstract of the latter:

Yes, I believe it would. But of course I don’t know how to back-translate that into the Hebrew of Levitcus’ milieu, and such plain English language would be considered uncouth by biblical believers, so perhaps it should be tarted up a bit. I leave that privilege to others…

Kinda sorta off topic but yet not so very far, If more of my fellow faggos (to use faggo Scott Thompson’s happy term) had followed that proscription, many more would not have contracted HIV & AIDS. That’s all I’m saying…

Except that I’m also saying that ostensibly scientifically gathered statistics indicate that nearly 50% of homosexual men (including myself) don’t engage in anal sex at all, a stat that no one I’ve spoken to about it has ever heard (or believed). But since the whole “ass thing” is what makes gay sex so gross to so many straight men and women, it deserves a much wider social presence, I believe. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the scientific article (if I recall correctly) that presented this information.

I also take this “position” of eschewing anal sex as very progressive socio-politically. After all, it is straight couples’ modus operandum to perform insertive and receptive sex acts. We faggos have a reputation for far more adventurous love-making than simply mimicking the default sexual behavior. Me, I enormously prefer frottage and other more “play-like” sex. After all, I find that – by far – the most extreme pleasure of sex is that near-complete subduing and dismissal of grown-up thoughts, worries, and all number of tragic matters that come with adulthood. vive la lack of différence! (with apologies to all French speakers everywhere…)

Edward II was a Plantagenet, 1307-1327. According to popular myth at the time, he was killed/executed by red-hot poker, in consideration of his alleged homosexuality.

I think perhaps the observation that sodomy was not illegal in early England says more about the state of the laws then it does about attitudes to adult homosexuality.

WAG: “Invert,” in English, was the most commonly used academic term in the 19th century.

The “masochism” part of OP is interesting and not addressed yet; the “homosexuality” part of course is now a well-beaten horse in general though and academia.