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“Gay” Pashtuns, or Social Acceptance of Homosexual Behavior

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!!

Maybe I shouldn’t read Instapundit on days when I oversleep.   While I was eating my breakfast, I kept chancing upon posts which inspired me to pen three of my own (including this one).

This morning, Glenn linked an article that addresses an issue that has long fascinated me, particularly as it relates to the ancient Greeks, but also because it deals with the complexity of human sexuality.  The article considers the homosexual practices of ethnic Pushtuns in Afghanistan:

An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns — though they seem to be in complete denial about it.

The study, obtained by Fox News, found that Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually — yet they completely reject the label of “homosexual.”

Sounds a lot like the ancient Greeks where older men often took a younger man (really a teen) as a lover and sought to educate him while enjoying the pleasures of his body.

But, can we call them “gay”?

It is only recently in human history that we have considered the notion of sexual orientation as an immutable characteristic, with most people physically attracted to members of the opposite sex, a certain percentage (which may well vary across history and culture) are physically and emotionally drawn exclusively to their own sex.  To be sure, in the Symposium, Aristophanes was did articulate a view of human sexuality similar to the current notion.  But, his ideas didn’t gain much currency until recently.  In many cultures, when men had sex with other men, this recreation was just an extracurricular past time.  It did not define their sexual identity.

The Greeks of mythology and history, Achilles and Alexander, respectively, held up as gay exemplars, were anything but.  While each had a male lover*, neither steered clearer of the “fairer sex.”  Indeed, the Iliad begins with Achilles enraged because Agamemnon wants to take a nubile young woman away from him.  And while Alexander was alleged never to have been beaten save by his (male) lover Hephaistion’s thighs, he did succumb to Roxanne’s feminine charms.

Basically we’re just seeing, as our military has learned in studying the Pashtuns of Afghanistan, that acculturation very often helps determine our sexual behavior.  While widespread acceptance of the notion of sexuality identity is relatively recent in human history, acceptance of homosexual behavior is not.  Cultures may have dressed it up as something other than it is, as the Pashtuns seem to do, but it has been an ongoing aspect of human behavior for as long as our fellows have recorded our history and the deeds of their cultural heroes.

———–

*though some scholars contest the notion that Achilles and Patrocles ever physically consummated their love.

NB:  Fixed a meg-typo in the post as per comment #24 below.

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48 Comments

  1. I am totally unschooled in the whole arena of societal homosexuality, so please forgive me if I am asking a question with well known (by others) answers.

    What have anthropologists found in tribal cultures around the world in the past 150 years in terms of societal homosexuality?

    Comment by heliotrope — January 30, 2010 @ 3:54 pm - January 30, 2010

  2. It’s my understanding that Alexander’s marriage to Roxanne was one primarily of political nature. He a Macedonian and she from a conquered tribe. Indeed she did become pregnant, but the child did not survive. Hadrian had a wife, but his true love was Antoninus. Throughout history, it was expected (required?) for leaders to choose a wife for the reasons of cementing relationships between families, nations, etc., and to bear children.

    Comment by Man — January 30, 2010 @ 4:47 pm - January 30, 2010

  3. Interesting point, Man. On my pile of books to read, I have Everitt’s biography of Hadrian, so I’ll look into that. And we may never know if he really only preferred men to women, though with Alexander, there’s pretty strong evidence he like sex of all sorts with men as well as women.

    There’s even evidence that James I of England (VI of Scotland) preferred men, but may not have been averse to the women. And it could just be his contemporary defenders downplaying his preference for handsome courtiers and exaggerating his affection for women that has shaped the portrait we have today.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 30, 2010 @ 5:11 pm - January 30, 2010

  4. I think you’ll find the evidence is strong that Hadrian’s love for Antonius was genuine. After Antonius’ suicide in the Nile, Hadrian’s grief was profound. He named a number of cities after his dead lover. Marriage for romantic reasons, although not unheard of, was generally not universally common.

    Comment by Man — January 30, 2010 @ 6:29 pm - January 30, 2010

  5. Without getting graphic, several European friends have reported the Middle East as some kind of sexual carnival. Despite the risks, they all remarked the ease with which you could bed straight men there. They would never kiss, but would do pretty much everything else.

    The question that nags me: is that somehow better for gay men than the ghettoization that we have set up for ourselves here in the West?

    Clearly no one wants a wall dropped on them, but I have to admit there’s an appeal to a system where gay acts are simply subsumed into everyday life rather than a symbol of some ontological life choice.

    Best wishes,
    -MFS

    Comment by MFS — January 30, 2010 @ 6:56 pm - January 30, 2010

  6. Man, I do not doubt that Hadrian’s love for Antinous was genuine.

    But, did he consider himself exclusively attracted to men?

    MFS, good question.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 30, 2010 @ 7:03 pm - January 30, 2010

  7. Daniel, are you trying to say that the reason that homosexuality is more prevalent among pashtuns is that they may be direct decendants of some of Alexander’s greek soldiers?

    Comment by D. Willis — January 30, 2010 @ 10:50 pm - January 30, 2010

  8. How many consensual homosexual acts does a Pashtun need to perform before Western homosexuals will admit they are gay or at least bi?

    Seems like the dual standards thing might apply here, too…

    Comment by setnaffa — January 30, 2010 @ 10:51 pm - January 30, 2010

  9. This is NOT COMPLICATED.

    Islam makes it VERY difficult for young men in rural areas to learn anything about women or to develop as normal heterosexuals. Women are shunned and bargained for with male relatives and kept covered and interaction with them as youth is very regulated, even banned altogether for a number of years.

    I am certain the number of ‘I”m sure’ gays is no higher there than anywhere else. But any practice that is not disapproved of will grow wider over time, and the normal sexual development of a human being demands some sort of expression… without heterosexual expression in any other than a dim and depraved ‘permitted’ form, why would homosexuality not flourish as a practice? If you can’t see, talk to or touch a girl, why wouldn’t a boy have at least a glimmer of appeal to some?

    They are careful to distinguish between romantic love and sexual convenience; it doesn’t just ease their worry about their own manhood, it prevents them from falling afoul of islamic law.

    THis isn’t about ancient greece. They didn’t get banned from SEEING women in ancient greece. This isn’t cultural per se, it’s ISLAMIC.

    Yasir Arafat was gay, for heaven’s sake. It’s Islamic.

    Comment by Dave — January 30, 2010 @ 10:51 pm - January 30, 2010

  10. +1 to what dave said.

    This reminds me of the old joke about Montana — where men are men, and sheep are nervous.

    Or better yet, let’s go all on in non-PC — Q : Why did God invent women? A : Because sheep can’t cook.

    Comment by potemkin — January 30, 2010 @ 11:06 pm - January 30, 2010

  11. A veteran who was in Afghanistan, we used to joke that you did not test your night vision goggles at night on the ANA FOBs or you would be scared for life. One of my interpreters, who lived in the west for a while, said men had sex with other men, but were not gay, since women were for babies and not the equal of men; so you socialized with men and sex was social. Also women were considered as property and expensive. Another interpreter was saving his money for a “dowry” to pay to the bride’s parents. He was 17 and she was 13. He considered himself extremely lucky compared to contemporaries who could not afford a wife. Also the sexes are extremely segregated; I only met a few Afghan women compared to many village elders during shuras.

    Comment by b — January 30, 2010 @ 11:07 pm - January 30, 2010

  12. The only reason Roxanne’s child did not survive was because Alexander’s generals had him killed… and he was an adolescent at the time.

    Comment by Andrew the Noisy — January 30, 2010 @ 11:10 pm - January 30, 2010

  13. In ancient Athens, at least, sexual attraction of adult men for adolescent boys not only was considered normal, but actually formed part of the educational process in many cases. But sexual attraction between adult men was commonly regarded as perverse. There are abusive epithet, such as “katapygon” and “eurypygon,” for an adult man who accepts being penetrated. The basic assumption seems to have been that sex never took place between equals; it was dominance and submission, and submission was okay for a woman or a boy, but not for a man. Though there were some very attractive men who were not held in the usual contempt.

    This whole pattern is so different from what we call “homosexuality” that it seems misleading to call it that.

    Comment by William H. Stoddard — January 30, 2010 @ 11:12 pm - January 30, 2010

  14. I’ve read that among Pashtuns (specifically) an act of homosexuality, itself, isn’t considered unusual or deviant. They (Pashtuns) do condemn homosexuality, though. In essence, the sex act involves a plug and a socket. If you’re a plug, it doesn’t matter if your socket is a man, woman, or sheep: you’re OK. If on the other hand, you’re male and you choose to be a socket, you’re homosexual, and the Taliban would like to kill you.

    It’s also weird that when the Taliban was in power, there were photo studios which did serious business taking photos of these guys and retouching them. They’d be sitting smelling a flower, wearing tons of eye makeup and blush, and the photos would be retouched in a sepia-tone fashion that most gay guys here in the States would consider over-the-top. But they weren’t gay, remember that: the Taliban killed homosexuals (actually had a distinct method for executing them) and so no one wanted to be mistaken for gay when they weren’t.

    Just more weirdness from the Muslim world.

    Comment by DavidN — January 30, 2010 @ 11:31 pm - January 30, 2010

  15. Heliotrope, I’m far from being an anthropologist but I do remember from my limited studies of a few years back that behaviors that we may view from our cultural perspective as being homosexual are practiced by other cultures but are not considered to be homosexual behavior within that particular culture. For instance, in either New Guinea or nearby Melanesia, there is a tribe in which young male rites of passage have the young males taken off to a remote site where they are initiated into manhood by the men of a selected age cohort of the tribe. Part of the ritual of initiation to manhood is to have the men pump the youngsters full of semen repeatedly over the course of the initiation process. The purpose of this is to provide the young men-to-be with sufficient semen so that they, as men, also may father children of the tribe

    Comment by Joe Haskins — January 30, 2010 @ 11:38 pm - January 30, 2010

  16. Pashtuns have had this reputation for far longer than the 20th century. The “problem” isn’t “homosexuality”, it’s that Pashtun men have been taught from birth that women are unclean (and I mean that in the “unclean as sewage” sense). Certainly they recognize the necessity for procreation, but to them it’s an unpleasant duty (would anyone take pleasure from sewage?).

    Whatever your attitude toward sexual orientation, it’s unfortunate for the Pashtuns because it enforces a prejudice every bit as bad as forcing gays into closets.

    Comment by RebeccaH — January 30, 2010 @ 11:41 pm - January 30, 2010

  17. “acculturation very often helps determine our sexual behavior”

    So you are not of the school of thought that sexuality is determined from birth? Or is that the case with some people, but not all? Please expand…. Thanks.

    Comment by Miriam123 — January 30, 2010 @ 11:43 pm - January 30, 2010

  18. An Arab friend told me for children you need a woman, for pleasure a young man, for shear extasy—a melon.

    Comment by Don Meaker — January 30, 2010 @ 11:47 pm - January 30, 2010

  19. The real mess was childbirth. As to the military, it provided men with the ability to lay their sperm into localities that much admired ‘diversity’ without knowing it. In America, this came to the fore during the 1960′s, when 18 year old single men got drafted (against their free will). And, they found themselves in Vietnam. And, they brought home brides! This was the shocker! For Americans to absorb.

    While women impregnated became misshapen in body. And, many didn’t live through the experience. Which is what sent Greek men in search of subsitutes who wouldn’t become pregnant. And, so this ‘teenage male’ ideal was born. And, also bought.

    The big mischief of the Mideast. Irak. And, Afghanistan. Is where do the men go to access sex? Hmm? Allowing “gays in the military” isn’t a solution to the core issue. Men want to screw women. And, the locals won’t do.

    Comment by Carol Herman — January 30, 2010 @ 11:56 pm - January 30, 2010

  20. Interesting topic. I’ve read that as recently as a century ago, it was common in the West to regard the “homosexual” as the “screw-ee” and not the “screw-er”. That is, you could engage in sex with another man and not be considered queer as long as you were doing the penetrating. Peoples attitudes on this have varied widely by time and place. The Pashtuns are probably not that unusual in the big scheme of things.

    Comment by Jon — January 30, 2010 @ 11:56 pm - January 30, 2010

  21. “Islam makes it VERY difficult for young men in rural areas to learn anything about women or to develop as normal heterosexuals. Women are shunned and bargained for with male relatives and kept covered and interaction with them as youth is very regulated, even banned altogether for a number of years.”

    They also have polygamy, which makes it a neccessity to come up with reasons to keep the average Joe or Mohammad away from women.

    Comment by Jon — January 31, 2010 @ 12:00 am - January 31, 2010

  22. I remember taking an African history class in college (way longer ago than I would like to admit!) where we talked about an African tribe where the young unmarried men were expected to have sex with each other until marriage, and thereafter with their wife.
    If full compliance, then this offers pretty firm proof of virginity as well as paternity of resultant children.

    Comment by Karen — January 31, 2010 @ 12:24 am - January 31, 2010

  23. For ten years I was deciding refugee cases, and many claims were from men claiming that they would be perseucted because they were gay if they returned to Bangladesh, or Pakistan, or Iran, or Afghanistan.

    There is no doubt that gays were persecuted in those countries, executed even.

    There was also strong evidence, from western visitors and locals alike that sex with other men was commonplace, and went unpunished despite the law. Indeed, for most unmarried men male to male sexual contact was the only available sexual contact. Some of the western visitors remarked that almost all men were up for it, if the circumstances were right.

    It seemed that it was only the adoption of a western style openly gay lifestyle which attracted the attention of the law.

    A gay, but not cliched, colleague used to joke that even he thought execution was too severe a punishment for having a neat flat, draping a sweater over your shoulders and having a full collection of Brrbra Streisand.

    Comment by jack — January 31, 2010 @ 1:04 am - January 31, 2010

  24. I’m always puzzled by this assertion that “most people are attracted to people of their own sex.” Really? Has this ever been proven, or is it one of these theories like “everyone is bisexual” (to which it appears to be a close cousin) that seems like wishful thinking to me?

    [Oops, that was a mega-typo since fixed. Thank for catching that. I had meant opposite –Dan]

    Personally, as a heterosexual guy, I have to tell you I have never once looked at a guy and said hmmmm, I have to get me some of that. Never once. That doesn’t make me homophobic, either; it makes me absolutely straight, in the way that a man who’s never wanted to have sex with a woman would (I suppose) be absolutely gay. But why do some people have so much trouble believing in the existence of the former?

    Comment by jvon — January 31, 2010 @ 1:05 am - January 31, 2010

  25. Pushtun homosexual sex has long been known to Westerners. John Masters, who served in the Indian Army of the Raj and fought in a frontier campaign against the Pushtuns (called Pathans then) in the 1930s, noted this in his autobiography “Bugles and a Tiger”. He quotes an old Pushtun saying “A woman for business, a boy for pleasure, and a goat for choice.” He also noted one Pushtun song that began “There is a boy across the river with a bottom like a peach, but alas I cannot swom.”

    Masters also commented that tribesmen would put in for India General Service medals through the political agents the Raj assigned to their area after a frontier campaign. These were the medals the Raj gave to its soldiers for one of the small campaigns that were constantly going on in the Northwest Frontier Province (today’s Pakistan Tribal Territories). Masters explained their logic: They were also subjects of the King-Emperor and fought in the war that he had so thoughtfully arranged. Indeed, their participation was essential, since if they had not fought there would have been no war and nobody would have got any medals.

    The cultural assumptins of Afghans, and Muslims in general, are foreign to Westerners.

    Comment by Michael Lonie — January 31, 2010 @ 1:10 am - January 31, 2010

  26. Dave: Thank you for your thoughtful, historical correct and clear opinion. You are absolutely correct. If an Islamic male dares to even look at a female who is not related to him it could be deathly especially for the female. Islamic males seem to be raised to hate women… it is both sad and incredibly frightening.

    Comment by Jim O'Brien — January 31, 2010 @ 3:09 am - January 31, 2010

  27. William H, that’s what I’ve read as well.

    Miriam, great question, note I said acculturation determines behavior, not orientation. I believe our sexuality is either determined in the womb or shortly thereafter, but it is the standards of our culture which provides the parameters within which we can express it.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 31, 2010 @ 3:32 am - January 31, 2010

  28. I think it was in one of Master’s fiction books that he wrote about an Indian company that expelled two male lovers. The Indian commander said it wasn’t the act that was upsetting but it wasn’t fair for only two men in the company to be getting sex when the others weren’t.

    Now as for the Japanese, I’m still a bit confused. Apparently they separate sexual identity from the sexual act. In a business setting you can be a known as gay but it is considered offensive if you act like a flamer.

    For shear weirdness, from what little I’ve read, nothing beat the Spartans.
    On her wedding night the Spartan bride would get her head shaved and the bedroom would be left completely dark.

    Comment by toad — January 31, 2010 @ 4:34 am - January 31, 2010

  29. [...] thank to reader “Man” for inspiring this post with his comment to my piece on “gay” Pashtuns. Comments [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Was the Emperor Hadrian “Gay”? — January 31, 2010 @ 4:40 am - January 31, 2010

  30. “The question that nags me: is that somehow better for gay men than the ghettoization that we have set up for ourselves here in the West?”

    NO. Not just no, but HELL NO. Ask some service members – the widespread incidence of using boys for sex combines rather unpleasantly with the endemic corruption.

    You end up with boys, teenagers, and junion flunkies whose sole function day after day is the gratification of everyone else, whether they like it or not. The problem is particularly bad in Iraq.

    Comment by wtfo — January 31, 2010 @ 6:57 am - January 31, 2010

  31. I have some experience with restrictions on contact with women. I was in Navy boot camp for an extra long term due to circumstances (Kennedy assassination – Christmas holidays). By the end of my time there the guys in the shower started looking good. In a sexual way. I was never before or since attracted to men. I thought to myself. This is odd.

    So when the Pashtuns say they are not gay it may in fact be true.

    Comment by M. Simon — January 31, 2010 @ 7:50 am - January 31, 2010

  32. It is only recently in human history that we have considered the notion of sexual orientation as an immutable characteristic

    You mean you were not born that way after all?

    Oops. Don’t tell GLAAD. That kind of thing really pisses ‘em off.

    Comment by Paul A'Barge — January 31, 2010 @ 8:47 am - January 31, 2010

  33. For all we know the Pashtuns acquired this behavior from Alexander’s armies.

    Where the effect of Islam seems to be most pernicious (at least from the article) is in the creation of a poisonous view of women, such that a man did not want to have sex with his own wife because she was seen as unclean. This would appear to be having the effect of channelling expression of sexuality into a rather repressed and essentially degraded form of activity. One that precludes sexual behaviors from being an expression of anything other than self gratification, and one that reduces the other participant to nothing more than a tool for self gratification.

    Of course there is also the possibility that this individual really is essentially homosexual, and that the strictures of Islam are merely offered as a politic means of excusing his own fundamental lack of desire for women in general.

    Afghan version of the down low?

    Comment by ThomasD — January 31, 2010 @ 9:15 am - January 31, 2010

  34. “””
    Now as for the Japanese, I’m still a bit confused. Apparently they separate sexual identity from the sexual act. In a business setting you can be a known as gay but it is considered offensive if you act like a flamer.
    “””

    Seems to be a reasonable way of looking at things. You can keep your flat as clean as you like, and drop a sweater across your shoulders if you MUST, but you must absolutely NOT play show tunes in public.

    Comment by William O. B'Livion — January 31, 2010 @ 9:30 am - January 31, 2010

  35. There’s an old Afghan proverb — “A woman for duty, a boy for pleasure, and a goat for variety.”

    Comment by Joe Hooker — January 31, 2010 @ 9:36 am - January 31, 2010

  36. I wonder how much the homosexual sex is one of convenience or situational. I think sometimes, the sex is one that is specific to the situation-men on a long campaign with no women around-I can see where a culture would develop that might encourage older men and younger men, but with the expectation that at some point there would be a wife and children.

    I am not sure if engaging in same sex acts makes a person a homosexual-if homosexuality is about desire and attraction, then that doesn’t necessarily make or mean the man who has sex with another man in situation X is sexually attracted or desires sex with other men-it may be that in that situaiton sex with with men was easiest and safest.

    An interesting comparison might prison sex-in prisons sex among inmates is used in a variety of ways-to control (rape), to get protection (one guy agrees to provide sexual favors in exchange for protection), or to get some other desire met. But the vast majority of inmates in prison who have homosexual sex are sexually attracted to women, and when they leave prison they engage in sex with women.

    So I guess the real question is exactly what makes a person a homosexual-is it the act of sex itself, the desire, or which role a person prefers when having same sex relationships?

    And then or course there is the big question-where does bisexuality fit into all this?

    Comment by just me — January 31, 2010 @ 9:38 am - January 31, 2010

  37. Check out an article that was published in the Atlantic Magazine a couple of years back, titled “Kingdom In A Closet”. Talks about the rampany homosexual behavior in modern Saudi Arabia.
    About the Pashtuns- British anthropologists/adventurers like Sir Richard Burton had written a lot about homosexual practices amongst Pashtuns.

    Comment by Daniel — January 31, 2010 @ 10:03 am - January 31, 2010

  38. For those noting the Islamic angle, be aware that this part of the world became Muslim only relatively recently. For centuries it was largely Buddhist. (Note the large Buddha statues at Bamiyan that the Taliban blew up.)

    What I’m uncertain of is did this behavior predate the Muslim conversion of the area.

    Anyone know?

    Comment by Buzz — January 31, 2010 @ 11:12 am - January 31, 2010

  39. These people are so despicably ignorant, dysfunctional, and backward, it defies logic.

    From the article:

    “The U.S. Army medic also told members of the research unit that she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant.

    The report said: “When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, ‘How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.’”

    The Pashtun populations are concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the country. The Human Terrain Team that conducted the research is part of a military effort to learn more about local populations.

    The report also detailed a disturbing practice in which older “men of status” keep young boys on hand for sexual relationships. One of the country’s favorite sayings, the report said, is “women are for children, boys are for pleasure.”

    Well, if having to explain the reproductive process to a grown man is any indication, they don’t know much about that “women are for children” shit.

    In muslim “culture” women and girls are for raping and treating like doormats, too.

    More: “……U.S. forces should not “dismiss” the unique version of homosexuality that is actually practiced in the region “out of desire to avoid western discomfort.”

    Otherwise, the report said, Westerners could “risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture.”

    Yeah, let’s not discuss the “Western discomfort” at the gamut of unsavory Islamic-inspired behavior.

    Consensual sex between adults is one thing; hypocrisy, pedophilia, and misogynist brutality, are another.

    BTW: Mohammad wasn’t exactly tolerant of homosexuality:

    “If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Koran 4:16)

    On Sodom and Gomorrah:

    “We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you?
    “For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.”
    And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”
    But We saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind.
    And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!” (Koran 7:80-84)

    Instead of wasting money and effort on the “study” of quirky muslim sexual habits, convince them to treat their female population with respect. And while you’re at it, keep your focus on killing the muslim terrorist bastards we went over there to fight.

    Comment by SFC MAC — January 31, 2010 @ 12:20 pm - January 31, 2010

  40. “Gay” is a Western social and political identity, not a sexual orientation, and it was invented in the mid 20th century. Though I disagree with a lot of what Gore Vidal says, I love him because he’s such a magnificent bitch, and because I think he’s right about this: “There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.”

    Comment by IWood — January 31, 2010 @ 2:31 pm - January 31, 2010

  41. Adult Muslims worldwide have taken boy lovers for centuries. Nothing new here.

    If one wants an understanding of sexuality in Islam, one should read Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomes on the subject. Thoroughly bizarre and disgusting by Judeo-Christian standards. Much beastiality included.

    Comment by Rewrite! — January 31, 2010 @ 2:46 pm - January 31, 2010

  42. Actually, #35, the saying is “a woman to produce children; a boy for love; and a goat for ecstasy!”

    Anyway, sexual identity is a lot more fluid than our present meme allows: for example, Edward II of England certainly had at least 2 lovers (Piers Gaveston and Hugh le Despenser). However, he ALSO fathered several children by his wife (she wolf of France); as well as at least one illegitmate child; while Piers Gaveston also had several legitimate as well as illegitimate children. Ditto Hugh le Despenser. Now, “sodomy” was definitely one of the charges against Edward’s 2 male lovers. But I wonder if – given the times – and the heavily military society – homosexual relations were not a lot more common than we think (ie, the Pashtuns, and their definition of sexuality).

    Also, what are the women doing back in the household??

    Comment by heathermc — January 31, 2010 @ 3:49 pm - January 31, 2010

  43. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam includes poems praising the uranian love in a similar way to the greeks or Horatius. Khayyam was one of the closest friends of the founder of the sect of the Assasines in Afghanistan.

    Comment by JCM — January 31, 2010 @ 5:26 pm - January 31, 2010

  44. I think people are taking this a little too lightly.

    Muslims outlaw gays.

    Muslims express hatred and malice towards gays.

    Muslims oppress gays.

    Muslims kill gays.

    And it appears to be the rankest hypocrisy one can imagine, as homosexual acts are apparently common in the muslim world.

    One doesn’t have to look very hard to find examples of jihadis citing homosexuality as one of the reasons that terrorism is justified. I believe Osama bin Laden referred to gays in one of his calumnies against the USA and Israel.

    This is vile kind of cognitive dissonance.
    Think of it: millions of people with hatred and murder in their hearts towards gays, lesbians, but openly indulging in the very acts they condemn, and using bizarre logic to justify the duplicity.

    Odious.

    Comment by Ben M — January 31, 2010 @ 8:29 pm - January 31, 2010

  45. there is nothing here that is unique to afghanis, islam, arabs, new guinea, or ancient greece. there are PLENTY of men, worldwide and throughout history, who rationalize away their sexual relationships with other men.
    it’s so common that it’s only suprising that it comes as a shock to anybody.

    Comment by el polacko — February 1, 2010 @ 2:29 am - February 1, 2010

  46. Take a look at this:
    http://frontpagemag.com/2010/02/01/joseph-massad-at-ucla-gay-bashing-101/

    Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, lectured with nothing more than gay-bashing.

    This was on par with the thesis of Massad’s 2007 book, Desiring Arabs, which posits that gay sexuality among Muslims does not exist.

    Now, Pashtuns might not be Arabs, but they are Muslims.

    It is quite the read!

    Comment by Nan G — February 1, 2010 @ 5:18 pm - February 1, 2010

  47. Are you referring to the far-right fringes of US Evangelicals and fundamentalists?

    Muslims outlaw gays.

    Muslims express hatred and malice towards gays.

    Muslims oppress gays.

    Muslims kill gays.

    Well, Evangelicals don’t kill gays, but we all know what’s going on in Uganda under the leadership of US evangelicals. And reading a lot of those on the far right, it’s hard to believe they haven’t entertained the thought of killing gays. Fred Phelps, anyone?

    Also, most of the items on that list could have applied to the good old US of A not that long ago. No, we didn’t kill gays, but we outlawed “sodomy” and indeed imprisoned those found guilty thereof. That, combined with ostracism, blacklisting, marginalizing, bullying and occasionally beating with baseball bats and other horrors, and…. Well, you get the point. Gays are still beaten here by closed-minded thugs in the US, right now, sometimes fatally. It is nothing like the loathsome institutionalized hatred of some Muslim countries, an aberration as evil as their degradation of women. But it’s still a matter of degree, and people who live in glass houses….

    Comment by richard — February 1, 2010 @ 7:51 pm - February 1, 2010

  48. ” But the vast majority of inmates in prison who have homosexual sex are sexually attracted to women, and when they leave prison they engage in sex with women ”

    HELLO!

    Heavily segregated places such as prisons and military have homosexual acts because well it’s just easier to segregate on gender and for it to occur

    BUT get this …
    Usually it takes about 1 to 5 years for the ” segregation ” effects to wear off

    Now while I believe there ARE men whom are only attracted to women here is my belief

    95 % are heterosexual

    10 % are fully heterosexual as in 0
    Of these about 80 % are mostly heterosexual meaning a ” 1 ” and a few homosexual tendencies
    The 5 % are like 2 or 3′s on the Kinsey scale ( and I hate Kinsey btw )

    The other 5 % is the gay , lesbian and whatever community

    That is how I’ve experienced society

    Now thanks to the DEATH of the LEFT and of the RIGHT everything is INDEPENDENT =)

    And oh boy things are getting creepy :)

    Some are born great , others achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them

    That’s exactly how I view heterosexuality

    Now if you haven’t noticed it’s 2010

    2000 – 2009 ? Goodbye
    NEW DECADE

    And since the left is dying and the right is dying too and all is independent what is occuring to masculinity , . femininity , heterosexuality , moderation , balanced , excess and mixture

    A new thing is occuring

    You see I think homosexuality and bissexuality can influence heterosexuality in the 80 % ( and vice versa ) while the 10 % which is ” pure ” holding it’s feet ( heterosexuality in my/this case ) and the cultural effects as well

    Now since the culture is independent we have Christians , Hindus , Jews , Muslims , Atheists , Agnostics , Deists , Taoists , Buddhists and so on

    The common feature is marriage
    Marriage is for property , order , reproduction , monogamy and between one man and one woman

    I think what will happen is that marriage will NOT go gay and instead it will become private institution steered by conservatives

    It’s starting to occur

    Now since sexuality is going FAST into the ” private ” section in this new century then ” asexualization ” and ” sexualization ” is simultaneously occuring

    Basically this is what happened to me …
    Heterosexual then
    strong bissexual tendencies then
    strong homosexual tendencies
    then strong bissexual tendencies then

    BOOM!

    Asexuality
    No interest in either sex…

    And then heterosexuality having both asexuality and sexuality started to arise and I haven’t changed since

    I think my experience acounts for 80 % of the population
    Mostly heterosexual but with homosexual tendencies

    Now like I told you sex has gone into private zone
    Which is feature one

    On the other side over sexualization is going away and all that is left is almost like the Renaissance form of nudity and sex

    As in intelectually and emotionally
    You see sex as something normal and a quiet ” awe ”

    Artistic and quiet

    Tie this with marriage which is going private and not going

    - Private and annoyance at ” Hi I’m Ben and I’m gay ” or ” Oversexualization in public ”
    - Quiet artistic leanings at nudity and sex
    - Preservation of marriage
    - Mixture of independent cultures
    - The fact that most people are dealing in heterosexuality and trust me this is a strong factor in sexuality … even if it’s quiet this influences the culture a lot
    - Influence of homosexuality and bissexuality on the 80 % mostly heterosexual
    - The stagnant 10 % heterosexual

    Oh and David and Jonathan is EXAGERATED to be gay
    I’m a Christian and well David wasn’t gay

    He had encounters with various women , plenty of concuvines and he lusted after Bathsheba

    His greatest emotional love was NOT Jonathan but guess what … GOD

    Which is another thing I should say …
    Maybe God can also be a huge vehicle for it

    God fills the holes in people’s hearts
    In men’s hearts
    In women’s hearts

    In the human heart

    Now going back this is my sexuality
    I’m mostly heterosexual

    I despise oversexualization and pornography
    I’m waiting until marriage

    I admire the female form
    I admire the male form

    My sexuality is , yet it is not , yet it is
    That’s one of the ways I describe it

    Toodles

    Comment by My Sexuality — February 6, 2010 @ 3:03 am - February 6, 2010

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