Monday, March 26, 2012

Manlove Monday - Kayla Jameth

Zeus with an erection seducing Ganymede
Greetings fans! Welcome to IRM. Today we have a post from Kayla Jameth about Greek Love. Lets listen in to see what she has to say!

Greek Love

Pederasty, one of the social institutions of ancient Greece, is central to my story. Pederasty is a mentor relationship between an older male aristocrat and a youth of the same class. The relationship was more about instruction in the arts of being a nobleman and less about the sexual aspects. "Greek love" is not what most people assume it to be.
intercrural sex
"Greek love" is not even Greek in origin. The practice first developed in Crete where it coincided with the youth's coming-of-age when the young man began his military training and induction into the cult of Zeus. The youth, known as erômenos or beloved, was usually in his teens. Some sources say as young as thirteen, but most believe starting at between fifteen and seventeen years of age. The relationship usually ended when the young man reached his mid-20s; although, it could continue until the man was 30 in some cases.
Alexios is eighteen, a little old, but what can you do with modern mores? We all know that boy has been active for years, but I'm not allowed to comment on that. So there will be no reminiscing with Galen about his youthful escapades. That's probably just as well, Galen would want to kill him by the time he got done listing all the skirts he has lifted!

erastês kissing his erômenos

The older man, known as the erastes or lover, could be as young as his early 20s, but was often in his 30s. Not quite a May/December relationship, more of a Daddy/Son situation in today's terminology. With the Spartans, that was literally how they defined it. He was the youth's mentor.
erastês courting his erômenos
King Lykos is one of the kings invited to Alexios' coming-of-age celebration as a possible father-in-law/mentor. Lykos is a mature bear of a man with confidence in spades, exactly the kind of man a youth would chose to be his mentor. He is in his late 30s, powerfully built with body hair and a beard. He and Alexios hit it off right from the start, much to Alexios' father's disgust.
The erastes courted the youth, not unlike modern couples, with gifts; however, there was one significant difference. He would fondle the young man's cock while grasping his chin, forcing the supposedly modest youth to maintain eye contact. Maybe the ancient aristocrats had a better grasp on the true way to another man's heart.
Pederasty was intended as a way of linking individuals and family lines without requiring a marriage. It was networking at its most basic level, allowing the influence of the older man to smooth the way for the untried youth. The pair was expected to continue to be close once the relationship ended.

Zeus (erastês) and Ganymede (erômenos)

The sexual aspects of the relationship varied. Most were sexually active to one degree or another in a society that was culturally bi-curious. Intercrural sex, where the erastes thrust between the creamy thighs of his erômenos, was the norm. This preserved the masculinity of the erômenos and kept even the straight youths from feeling ill-treated.
erastês and erômenos dinning together
Mirroring the mortal world, almost all of the Greek gods have male lovers. Most of them had multiple male lovers. Apollo's love affairs with men were often short lived. Hyacinth, a prince of Sparta, was killed by a jealous god. Cyparissus accidentally slew a deer, pederastic gift, given to him by Apollo and was turned into a cypress tree in his grief. Leucates threw himself to his death when Apollo attempted to carry him off.
The myth of Zeus and Ganymede is one of the few instances of a god loving a mortal man that ended well. Zeus in the form of an eagle abducted the beautiful youth and took him to Mount Olympus. Once there, Zeus made the young man immortal and kept him as his cup bearer.
Alexios finds himself being offered to Apollo and doesn't know if he will survive the experience.

Blurb: The mature King Lykos has a sexy confidence that turns Alexios' head. Seduced by Lykos, Prince Alexios discovers a world of men he's never known before.
Meanwhile his slave Galen has gotten tired of waiting in the wings. He sets out to woo Alexios and win his heart.
Even Apollo can't leave Alexios alone. The young prince finds himself pursued by a god and in danger of a perilous love.
How will Alexios follow his heart when he unwittingly wins the favor of a god? Can Alexios escape the fate of Apollo's past lovers and have the man he wants?

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Alexios' father, still red-faced and with fists clenched, followed him into his room and glared at his slave Galen until the young man left. Demetrios twitched the mantle covering Alexios with contempt, almost as if touching the offending garment sullied his hand.
"Explain to me why my son comes back to me in Lykos' care, wearing another man's mantle? I'm sure the other kings want to know as well!" His voice took on a dangerous quality, "Don't play the wanton and act like you're already his."
Alexios jerked his head up, thrumming with restrained anger. "I am a prince of Dicaea! I belong to no one!"
"See that you keep yourself that way. I intend for you to make a marriage alliance. Whichever of those men becomes your father-in-law will have the mentoring of you." His father stalked to the door before turning. "I expect you to compete with the other youths at the games for your coming-of-age."
Feeling like a prize bull being offered to the highest bidder, Alexios tore the mantle from his body. He stood in no more than he would be wearing when he competed. Alexios realized his father not only wanted him to show his prowess, his father also wanted him on exhibit for the other kings.
"The alliance means so much you don't care if you have to put me on display to get what you want?"
"This alliance is more important than your wounded sensibilities. A betrothal will offer us the support we need to expand. A prince's loyalty is to his father. You will obey me in this!"
In spite of his father, his cock filled as he envisioned being on parade before Lykos and the other men. The fantasy of their eyes watching every move his body made gave rise to a shivery feeling at his core. Would they only have eyes for him or would they compare him to the other oiled bodies competing with him for the laurel? Would the victor also become the prize in some fashion?
The blood left Demetrios' face. "That...that man...excites you, doesn't he? Keep away from Lykos!" his father stuttered with a burgeoning air of alarm.
The dismayed man staggered through the doorway. He shoved past the slave standing in the hall, without thought or seeming awareness of his surroundings. Galen bowed to the king and kept an eye on Alexios' father as he stormed down the corridor.
Alexios still stood in openmouthed shock when Galen reentered the room, trying to fathom what his father's outburst had been all about. Bemused, Alexios wondered why his father wanted to keep him away from Lykos. For a moment, he had thought his father was jealous.
"Never mind him. He's not angry at you."
The air cooled his heated skin as he searched for a tunic to cover his nakedness. Galen reached past him to pick up the garment first. His arm brushed against Alexios' sensitive skin and a shudder ran down Alexios' frame.
Alexios turned and caught the look of surprise on his slave's face. Galen's carefully schooled his features to exhibited polite interest, nothing more.
Alexios gazed at the slave with speculation, contemplating what he knew of the man. Galen saw to all his needs, often before he realized he wanted something. The young man served him with such devotion Alexios had never been forced to rebuke him. In fact, Galen went to greater lengths than necessary, certainly more than duty required. He never wondered about the depth of Galen's dedication before. Why was Galen so diligent?
Taking the chiton from Galen's hands, Alexios replaced the garment on the chest at the foot of his bed. He feasted his eyes on the hale and comely slave. He had intended to slake his lust in one of the slave girls, but his own slave stood before him. Maybe he didn't need to go in search of someone else.
"Do you know what to do with this?" He gestured at his engorged cock.
An enigmatic mix of emotions washed across the young man's face. Distaste, hope, and despair jumbled together to distort the handsome features. Without a word, Galen slid to his knees and his hand stretched out to Alexios' cock.
About Me:
A knight and a former princess, Kayla Jameth now spends her time writing m/m romance. A true Renaissance woman, she has done everything from cross stitch like a proper lady to welding with the best of them. An eclectic life has left her with a unique understanding of the world inhabited by men and an appreciation for the difficulties faced by men in m/m relationships. It is her devout wish that her experiences translate into a richer telling of such tales. A minor in classical history left her with a special love of ancient history, especially during the classical period.