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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...X-MAD-men.html


The Greek island of Lesbos may be inextricably linked to the idea of female homosexuality but in ancient times it was a notorious sexual playground for straight men, who found the local women irresistible.

In a new BBC documentary, former Apprentice star Margaret Mountford will reveal that the island was the Magaluf of its day, and a capital for sex tourism.

Professor Edith Hall from King's College London tells the programme: 'Lesbos had a very particular reputation for producing very beautiful women. They really were supposed to be the sexiest people in the entire Greek world.'

She added that, in the Ancient Greek world, the word 'lesbian' actually meant a woman performing an intimate sex act on a man.

Professor Hall also explained that the fact that Lesbos was closer to Turkey than Athens only added to the sexual allure of the women.

She said: 'They also had a very interesting accent which would have sounded almost oriental to the Athenians. They were nearer Asia so their Greek accent would have been inflected like that.'

Mountford then describes the island as 'the sex tourism capital of the ancient Aegean'.

The programme examines the life and legacy of the female poet Sappho, who lived on the island around 600BC. She was one of the great writers of the ancient world, and wrote poems which appeared to be declarations of love for other women.

As a result, both 'Sapphic' and the name of the island have now become synonymous with lesbianism although such usage only started in the 19th Century.

In 2008, residents of the island lost a legal fight to ban the use of the word 'lesbian' to describe gay women, arguing that the term violated their human rights and 'disgraced' them around the world.

In the documentary, Mountford travels to Lesbos to try to uncover the truth about Sappho's life. The poet is believed to have had a daughter, and Mountford explores the differences between the ancient Greek concept of homosexuality and our own.

Lesbos had a particular reputation for producing very beautiful women, the TV show will reveal

Lesbos had a particular reputation for producing very beautiful women, the TV show will reveal
Modern day comparison: The island of Lesbos was the Magaluf of its day and a capital for sex tourism

Modern day comparison: The island of Lesbos was the Magaluf of its day and a capital for sex tourism

Professor James Davidson said the willingness of the Ancient Greeks to embrace both male and female homosexuality may have been as much social as sexual.

He said: 'Societies are strange and societies do strange things. This is a really peculiar cultural phenomenon. Instead of Greek homosexuality, I think it should be called Greek homo-besottedness.

'It is always over the top. It is always so extreme.

'The whole phenomenon of Greek homosexuality for men and for women seems to be a kind of cultural and social institution.

'They are using it as a way of social cohesion to break out of family groups and to establish communities.

'Sappho was a phenomenon but any kind of genius still follows the culture of their time.'

Sappho: Love And Life On Lesbos With Margaret Mountford will be shown on BBC Four on May 6.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 03:38 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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'The whole phenomenon of Greek homosexuality for men and for women seems to be a kind of cultural and social institution.

'They are using it as a way of social cohesion to break out of family groups and to establish communities.



Sappho: Love And Life On Lesbos With Margaret Mountford will be shown on BBC Four on May 6.
Imagine that. Homosexuality, a choice, chosen for a cultural and social purpose.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 03:59 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

Homosexuality in Ancient Greece fascinates me. I haven't read shit about sexuality so what I'm going to say could be totally off but, judging from Ancient Greece and the animal kingdom where bisexuality is extremely common, what if men are subconsciously forced to repress their natural bisexuality? I mean if pretty much everyone in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome was bisexual... You can't force a homosexual man to do it with a woman because it just won't go up

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 04:14 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

Magaluf of its day

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 05:24 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

The Romans were, actually, somewhat prudish for most of their history.

Stories about orgies, bisexuality, homosexuality, incest etc. were actually usually hatchet jobs aimed at political opponents, often repeated by Christian proselytizers to point out the "evils" of pagan Rome.

IIRC, homosexuality in Rome wasn't particularly awful, but it wasn't something you particularly admired in your Senator either--more or less like catching him gambling, hanging out with hookers or drinking himself into a stupor every night. The ideal Roman leader was a dull family man with one wife who paid his taxes, kept his hands off the help (free or slave), went to the temple on the appropriate days and lived in a nice but not ostentatious house.

Of course, in Rome as in every society, there were brothels, pervs, homosexuals, etc. and places that openly catered to them (hence the famous porno frescos of Pompeii etc.) But that's like assuming that all of any city is like it's red light district.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 05:33 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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Homosexuality in Ancient Greece fascinates me. I haven't read shit about sexuality so what I'm going to say could be totally off but, judging from Ancient Greece and the animal kingdom where bisexuality is extremely common, what if men are subconsciously forced to repress their natural bisexuality? I mean if pretty much everyone in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome was bisexual... You can't force a homosexual man to do it with a woman because it just won't go up
Cunnilingus is a thing.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 06:04 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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The Romans were, actually, somewhat prudish for most of their history.

Stories about orgies, bisexuality, homosexuality, incest etc. were actually usually hatchet jobs aimed at political opponents, often repeated by Christian proselytizers to point out the "evils" of pagan Rome.

IIRC, homosexuality in Rome wasn't particularly awful, but it wasn't something you particularly admired in your Senator either--more or less like catching him gambling, hanging out with hookers or drinking himself into a stupor every night. The ideal Roman leader was a dull family man with one wife who paid his taxes, kept his hands off the help (free or slave), went to the temple on the appropriate days and lived in a nice but not ostentatious house.

Of course, in Rome as in every society, there were brothels, pervs, homosexuals, etc. and places that openly catered to them (hence the famous porno frescos of Pompeii etc.) But that's like assuming that all of any city is like it's red light district.
The only thing I know about homosexuality in Ancient Rome comes from its Wikipedia article, which is close to saying nothing really It does say this at some point:

Quote:
It was expected and socially acceptable for a freeborn Roman man to want sex with both female and male partners, as long as he took the penetrative role.
Citing this source: Amy Richlin, The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (Oxford University Press, 1983, 1992), p. 225.

I really don't get why Wikipedia allows this kind of thing if there isn't a direct link to that source.

The belief that man is an irresolute creature pulled this way and that by two forces of equal strength, alternately winning and losing the battle for his soul; the conviction that human life is nothing more than an uncertain struggle between heaven and hell; the faith in two opposed entities, Satan and Christ - all this was bound to engender those internal discords in which the mind, excited by the incessant fighting, stimulated as it were by the constant promises and threats, ends up by giving in and prostitutes itself to whichever of the two combatants has been more obstinate in its pursuit. Life isn't black and white, it's gold.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 07:20 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

That doesn't match up at all with what I remember from my ancient history classes.

There was certainly less of a stigma, but it was far from expected from what I remember. Of course, I took those classes 30 years ago, and scholarship does advance.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

Some claim that many of my perspectives are "different" because I set about being "contrary". Though I've often stated that isn't the case this thread provides a lighthearted example. My interest in the article and why I posted was about "The Greek island of Lesbos may be inextricably linked to the idea of female homosexuality – but in ancient times it was a notorious sexual playground for straight men, who found the local women irresistible." yet judging by the responses so far, most posters find that the least interesting thing in the article.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 08:17 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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Some claim that many of my perspectives are "different" because I set about being "contrary". Though I've often stated that isn't the case this thread provides a lighthearted example. My interest in the article and why I posted was about "The Greek island of Lesbos may be inextricably linked to the idea of female homosexuality but in ancient times it was a notorious sexual playground for straight men, who found the local women irresistible." yet judging by the responses so far, most posters find that the least interesting thing in the article.
Because it's just a desperate act of The Daily Mail to claim everything that's even slightly off of their 1939 idea of how the world should look like. It was never an issue. Lesbos has always been a predominantly heterosexual island. No one's ever denied that. Yet they still feel the need to emphasize it.

Do no harm, but take no shit.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 09:12 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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Because it's just a desperate act of The Daily Mail to claim everything that's even slightly off of their 1939 idea of how the world should look like. It was never an issue. Lesbos has always been a predominantly heterosexual island. No one's ever denied that. Yet they still feel the need to emphasize it.
Well, you have to take into account the mindset of the average Daily Mail reader.

It's probably shocking news to them.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2015, 09:15 PM
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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Well, you have to take into account the mindset of the average Daily Mail reader.

It's probably shocking news to them.
Guilty as charged
For gossip purposes only, of course

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2015, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lesbos wasn't about women getiing with women

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It was never an issue. Lesbos has always been a predominantly heterosexual island. No one's ever denied that.
Ummm . . . in this case don't blame the Daily Mail, blame me. I always thought that ancient Lesbos had been mostly about women getting with women. And I also thought "lesbian" had always been used with that meaning.

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