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The Libertine's FriendHomosexuality and Masculinity in Late Imperial China$
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Giovanni Vitiello

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226857923

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226857954.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 08 December 2019

Male Beauty

Male Beauty

(p.15) Chapter One Male Beauty
The Libertine's Friend
University of Chicago Press

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.

Keywords:   male beauty, late Imperial China, homoerotic desire, homosexual relations, sexual roles, anal intercourse

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