Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ancient Western History for Rowdy Faggots

In the beginning, there was Gilgamesh, the Sumerian superhero. He was a strong, courageous man-god with a perfect body. He met his match in Enkidu, a wild nature boy civilized by sex with a female prostitute. (Honest! That's how the story goes.) Gilgamesh and Enkidu fought and fought, but neither could win. So, they became intimate friends, and went on to fight demons together. Their story is our first homoerotic myth, as well as the world's first great epic.

The Western love of the strong male body continues with Pharaoh, clad only in waistcloth and headdress. In statues, his toned arms, chest, and "V" torso literally express his power over Egypt. He would not be out of place in our gyms.

The ancients took human sexuality for granted, and the Greeks were no exception. In fact, they practically institutionalized homosexuality. They left us beautiful sculptures of young men and homosexual pottery art that rivals the images on our porn websites.

"What is Rome?" the movie Gladiator (2000) asks, as we admire Maximus (Russell Crowe), as well as other characters. Rome is war and sex. It transforms the Greek worship of naked male Olympic athletes into rougher, yet still erotic, gladitorial combat. Today, Greco-Roman sports culture is alive and well in America. We encourage guys --regardless of their sexuality-- to study and admire male athletes.

So, we're nothing new. When we work out, when we enjoy porn, when we help our boyfriends, when we engage in muscle worship, when we test each other's strength, we're continuing a long, glorious tradition. We're sons of the ancients. Everyday, even in small ways, we make them proud.

Photo Credits:
Gilgamesh Grabbing a Lion 1 -- Assyrian sculpture at the Louvre in
Pharoah Menkaura and Queen Khamerernabty II 2 -- Egyptian
     sculpture circa 2530 BC at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts;

Orgy (Detail) 3 -- Ancient Greek Plate from the Fifth Century BC at
     the Louvre in Paris;
Russell Crowe as Maximus 4 -- Gladiator. Dir. Ridley Scott.
     DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures, Scott Free
     Productions, and Red Wagon Entertainment, 2000.

Text © 2008 Masculine Gay Guys

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