The Paradox of "Natural" Heterosexuality with "Unnatural" Women
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This essay examines the debates between advocates of heterosexual and pederastic love in Plutarch's Amatorius, Achilles Tatius 2.33-38, and the Lucianic Erotes. The heterosexual side condemns pederasts for "unnatural" practices, drawing on Platonic and Stoic precedents. I shall demonstrate that the opposition between "natural" heterosexuality and "unnatural" homosexuality predated even Plato, with its roots in the physis vs. nomos opposition of the Sophists. For their part, the pederasts portray the heterosexual obsession with "nature" as bestial, and present their own preference as a mark of advanced cultural evolution, drawing upon a strain of Greek anthropological theory.