Sex in history, by Gordan Rattray Taylor

Sexual matters could, therefore, be treated without hesitation, in a way which has only been possible in Europe at a few periods.

The thought seems as fresh to us as if it had been written Yesterday, when Plautus laments in the Pseudolus:

The constant love we wear and share so near
Our fun and games and talking lip to lip
The closely strained embrace of our amorous bodies
The gentle little bites on tender mouths
The wanton pressure of tiptilted breasts —
Ah, all these pleasures which you shared with me
Are broken, wasted, ruined now forever.

In Greek literature, still more, there is much frank sexuality but little innuendo. The Greeks distributed their sexuality and were as interested in bosom and buttocks as in genitals. Not only was Ancient Greek one of the epithets for Aphrodite, but they even coined a special word for the coquettish movement of the rump. (160)

The Greeks seem to have been almost entirely free from perversion; in particular, Licht reports that he has been entirely unable to find any reference to sadomasochism We can only speculate how far this was due to the satisfying character of their social structure, which seems to have bred little frustration, and how far to the existence of institutionalised outlets for sadism in the worship of Dionysos. The Greeks did, of course, wholeheartedly accept inversion — or rather, they recognized that the sexual nature of every human being contains both homosexual and heterosexual elements. They devised a suitable institutional form for its expression, as we have seen and no doubt this was a major factor in the remarkable psychological health which they enjoyed. They had no fears of nudity, and their spontaneous enjoyment of physical beauty did not stop short at the private parts. Aristophanes feels no hesitation in observing that a boy, preparing for gymnastics, did not oil himself below the navel

“so that the first tender down bloomed on his privates as it were on fresh apples”.