Amy asks a question that might be of interest to the readers of this blog:

In the old greek language is there a difference in usage of words in saying,
a man that sleeps with a boy? – a man that sleeps with a young man? – a man that sleeps with a man? – a man that sleeps with a male prostitute?
Or are all the same word? – And, what is the difference between pornos and malakos, since both can be male prostitutes, but there must be a difference since the words are different.

Dear Amy, I don’t think there existed such elaborate distinctions. There was a distinction between erastis (lover) and eromenos (the one who is being loved), describing a relationship usually between an adult and a boy, which was normally not a sexual one, but just a closer friendship and guidance. There was also the word kinaidos about a passive homosexual.

Pornos means essentially someone who doesn’t respect his/her body, making of it an object of lust, while malakos means someone who yields to various urges without examination, usually unable to suffer the hardships that some decisions may require.

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