BEAR Magazine

Ancient gay sex

Abstract

The present article explores the sexuality in ancient Egypt. In particular in this article are presented the ways of concubinage (marriage, concubinage, adultery), the incest, loves of the pharaohs and of the common people, the freedom of choice in garments, the status of the hetairas and of the whores, the sexual perversions (male and female homosexuality, necrophilia, sodomism, bestiality, rape, masturbation, exhibitionism), the operations of the genitals (circumcision, excision, castration) and finally the level of knowledge in gynaecology, fertility, contraception and obstetrics that even today demands our admiration.

Legal position

According to the Criminal Code, homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Egypt , but other more general criminal laws are used to punish homosexual acts. In particular, anal intercourse is forbidden according to a conservative, majority interpretation in the Koran, while there are no statements about other types of sexuality and this therefore – at least in theory – gives a certain leeway.

Social situation

Socially, homosexual acts in Egypt are viewed as immoral and treated as a taboo subject. Here, however, a clear distinction is made between the active and the passive role; Homosexuality is usually only associated with the passive sexual partner, the penetrated person, whereas the active person is not necessarily viewed as homosexual. While homosexual acts were common in the past, but rarely discussed, in recent years they have met with increasing rejection because they are associated with the West. Relationships between same-sex couples are not shown in public in Egypt due to state persecution. Because of social ostracism, there are no laws protecting homosexual people or their relationships.

Although there are no criminal laws against homosexual love acts, people are arrested and sentenced. Sometimes penalties are revised later or the range of penalties reduced. In May 2001, police arrested several gay men in Cairo at a boat party on the Nile. 23 of the 52 defendants were sentenced to prison terms at the end of the trial. The sentence was reduced from three years to one year in most cases. Spurred on by international protests, 11 defendants were acquitted of errors on appeal on July 19, 2003 . Among other things, German politicians and the French president called on Egypt to observe the rights of homosexuals in this incident.

On August 28, 2003, a meeting point for gay men on the bridge was searched by the police by cordoning off both sides of the bridge, and 63 men were arrested.

In 2004, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch reported several hundred homosexual arrests in Egypt within two years. The number of unreported cases of arrests without charge is high and several hundred people have been tortured in this way, the organization suspects.

On December 7, 2014, at least 26 gays were arrested in a raid on a bathhouse in the capital Cairo. The men were charged with „homosexual debauchery“ but acquitted in January 2015 by a court.

In September 2017, after a concert by the Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou ‚Leila , whose singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay, there was a wave of persecution of homosexual men. Some spectators waved rainbow flags at the concert. Activist Sarah Hegazi was the only woman to be arrested.

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