The Gehennese feel no horror of, nor even revulsion against, homosexual acts. A person who is known to indulge in them suffers no social stigma, and is not even thought to be unusual. Indeed, beautiful youths are widely admired and much courted by Gehennese men of fashion. Adolescent crushes on older people of the same sex are likely to be consummated, and people who actually prefer the opposite sex will often have homosexual affaires to gratify a whim or oblige a friend. Homosexual behaviour is very common among ephebes, but most men gradually abandon it as they get older, especially after they marry. The proportion of the population which remains homosexual throughout life is no higher than in our society.

Male homosexuality is associated with many great warriors and culture heroes, is compulsory in several elite military units (see Aotos and [[[Sacred Band]]), and is officially encouraged in others and sometimes among ephebes. The idea is that soldiers will not abandon their lovers on the field, and that each man, upholding the honour of two, will fight with greater verve than is normal. Where these units enjoy particularly high regard, men whose basic inclinations are heterosexual will join for glory and social standing. Often these men indulge their preference for women, and excite the jealousy of their official lovers. Because this is bad for discipline, heterosexual activity is sometimes forbidden to members of such units.

See Jolian, bisexuality and sexual mores.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.