Chapter 8 Did (Imaginary) Cinaedi Have Sex with Women?

In: Searching for the Cinaedus in Ancient Rome
Author:
Kirk Ormand Oberlin College

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Abstract

This chapter considers the question of whether or not the Romans imagined cinaedi as a category of individuals defined, in part, by their lack of interest in engaging in sexual activity with women. It argues that although the Romans assumed normal men could be interested in homoerotic as well as heteroerotic encounters, one defining feature of the cinaedus was an exclusive preference for homoerotic sex. It argues further that this assumption operates independently of the use of cinaedus as a reproach for men who are not, in fact, thought to be cinaedi.

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