Male Beauty

in The Libertine's Friend

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780226857923
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226857954 | DOI:
Male Beauty

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This chapter, which examines the conception of male beauty in late Imperial China, discusses key terms to clarify the conceptualization of homoerotic desire and the connoisseurial criteria of male beauty current during this period. It explains that normative homosexual relations in the late imperial period were a cross-age and cross-class phenomenon where the younger partner was usually a servant or a prostitute while his patron was a member of the decent folk. In this relationship, the relative sexual roles of the partners were fixed. The boy played the receptive role, while the older partner played the insertive role in anal intercourse.

Keywords: male beauty; late Imperial China; homoerotic desire; homosexual relations; sexual roles; anal intercourse

Chapter.  17182 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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