What is it with Greek pederasty?  How could this be a thing, the widely accepted practice in classical Athens (at least) of an adult man taking an adolescent boy under his wing and into his bed, providing an education into the culture, social world, and politics of the city in exchange for sexual favors?

I’ve given two posts on it to this point, and in this one I want to reflect on what it was all about – at least what one particular of it was all about.  My question:  Why were adolescent boys seen as particularly beautiful – rapturous – and desirable sex partners, apparently far more then women, even among men who were heterosexually active, including with their wives ?  Some of us today (who know a lot of teenagers) just don’t see the attraction.  But reading the ancient texts, it’s pretty clear that at least among the Athenian social elites, it was not even much debated:  Of *course* boys are greatly to be (especially) desired, sexually.   Not just to one older fellow or another, but, apparently, to a wide swath of the culturally elite.  (And to the non-elite as well?  There’s no way to know.  Our sources only come to us from elites writing about elites).

Let me say at the outset that

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