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.
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