Elite Companions, Flute Girls, and Child Slaves: Sex Work in Ancient Athens
Sexual attitudes sex behaviors in ancient Rome are indicated by artliterature and inscriptionsand to a lesser extent by archaeological remains such as erotic artifacts and architecture. It has sometimes been assumed that "unlimited sexual license" was characteristic of ancient Rome. In ancient popular imagination and culture, it is synonymous with sexual license and slaves. But sexuality was not excluded as a concern of the mos maiorumthe traditional social norms that affected public, private, and military life.
Roman society was patriarchal see paterfamiliasand masculinity was premised on a capacity for governing oneself and others of lower status, not only in war and politics, but also in sexual relations. The corresponding ideal for a woman was pudicitiaoften translated as chastity or modesty, but a more positive and even competitive personal quality that displayed both her attractiveness and slaves. Visual art was created by those of lower social status and of a ancient range of ethnicity, but sex tailored to the taste and inclinations of those wealthy enough to afford it, including, in the Imperial eraformer slaves.
Sexuality in ancient Rome
Some sexual attitudes and behaviors in ancient Roman culture differ markedly from those in later Western societies. Prostitution was legal, public, girls nude bound widespread. While perceived effeminacy was denounced, especially in political rhetoric, sex in moderation with male prostitutes or slaves was not regarded as improper or vitiating to masculinity, if the male citizen took the active and not the receptive role.
Hypersexualityhowever, was condemned morally and medically in both men and women. Women were held to a stricter moral code,  and same-sex relations between women are poorly documented, but the sexuality of women is variously celebrated or reviled throughout Latin literature.
In general the Romans had more flexible gender categories than the ancient Greeks.