The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
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LEGEND TO ILLUSTRATIONS
  CONTAINS X-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS R-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS G-RATED IMAGES
COMMENTARY
  ~000 Introduction
I - THE YOUNG SCHOOLBOY
  ~001 Arrival at Caelian Hill
  ~002 Life at the Paedagogium
  ~003 Monsters and Heroes
  ~004 The Private Baths
  ~005 The Soaps of Cyprias
  ~006 The Treachery of Gryllus
  ~007 Assurances and Endurances
  ~008 The Demise of Trenus
  ~009 The Surprise Inspection
II - THE COURT PAGE
  ~010 Little Donkey
  ~011 Whispering Hope
  ~012 Epigrams for Antinous
  ~013 Books from Maltinus
  ~014 Little Signals
  ~015 Promotion
  ~016 Juvenalis IX
  ~017 A Frothy Idea
  ~018 Evening on the Riverbank
  ~019 Across the Leagues
  ~020 Unprecedented Access
  ~021 Winged Mercury
  ~022 Dinner Guest
  ~023 Causes of Nausea
  ~024 New Pupil
  ~025 Wax, Soap, and Wool
  ~026 Four Daughters
  ~027 Vitalis Atones
  ~028 Futures and Histories...
  ~029 The Triumph of Desire
  ~030 An Image of Antinous
  ~031 The Ride From Rome
  ~032 The Villa at Tibur
  ~033 The Ride To Rome
  ~034 Praeconina
  ~035 Foolish Carisius
  ~036 The Christian Texts
  ~037 Married Pleasures
  ~038 In Tibur, Alone
  ~039 The End of Corinthus
  ~040 Turning Tables
  ~041 A History & Fantasy...
  ~042 A Sad Collection
  ~043 Rafts in a Raging Sea
  ~044 Rome, Home and History
  ~045 A Caravan of Monologue
  ~046 On Favorinus
  ~047 The Flesh of a Metaphor
  ~048 Disquieting Thoughts
  ~049 Purple Reign
  ~050 The Heart of Numidia
  ~051 Stables of the Palatine
  ~052 Hadrian's Deprivation
  ~053 Transcripts and Categories
  ~054 In the Wake of a Paradox
III - THE IMPERIAL FAVOURITE
  ~055 Father of the Country
  ~056 The First Night with Hadrian
  ~057 A Place in the World
  ~058 Hard Resolution
  ~059 Announcements...
  ~060 Keeping Company
  ~061 The Stallions' Ride
  ~062 The Tour Begins
  ~063 On the Isthmus
  ~064 On Grief
  ~065 The Eleusian Mysteries
  ~066 A Playful Wager
  ~067 The Delights of Athens
  ~068 On Receiving
  ~069 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~070 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~071 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~072 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~073 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~074 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~075 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~076 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~077 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
IV - THE SEARCHING SOUL
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~087 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~089 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~090 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~091 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~092 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~093 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~094 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~095 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~096 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~097 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~098 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~103 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~104 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~105 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~106 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~107 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~108 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~109 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~110 Epistle Coming Soon
Phallic Amulets

A Frothy Idea

Lysicles

Servilius was very proud of himself. He announced to his dormitory that Hadrian had taken him in the baths, and that the Emperor was very pleased by him. Some of the boys were quite jealous of the Emperor’s attention, while others dismissed it as a natural occurrence for one who found himself in the role of Regulator of the Waters. Regardless, Servilius was quite elated by his “intimacy” with Hadrian and made sure to let everyone know it. You can easily imagine that his behaviour did not endear him to many. I suspect that even Carisius may have been put off by it – perhaps not so much by its annoying quality as by the envy that it fired in the boy’s heart.

For my part, I nevertheless feel quite secure at having been so obviously promoted into a position that was created just for me. It’s quite evident now – to all – that Hadrian is watching me. Despite this, I’m somewhat surprised to discover that I feel no anxiety at the fact that he has not yet expected me to open up my body for him. I suppose the reason for this lack of worry is that I imagine it will occur sooner or later, and thus do not fret about the exact date of its arrival. I believe, too, that the other boys can observe this quality of patience within me. They can readily witness my emotional steadiness, as well as my refusal to play the political games or exploit to my benefit the Emperor’s budding favour. And, even as I continue to isolate myself in order to write these letters, it is clear by now that very few of the boys hold for me any disdain in doing so. In fact, they are even beginning to celebrate me as “the literate one.” Thus, Carisius, although still a bother, is suddenly far less of a nuisance than I had at first imagined he would be, for somehow my name and my face is emerging among the Gelotiana as one that ought to be respected.

Truth be told, the source of my greatest anxiety is Mordanticus, even though – thank Zeus – our relations seem to have normalized to that same point where they were before his dinner invitation. I have seen him only a handful of times – the latest was to hand him my previous letter, which he promised me would be dispatched immediately. So perhaps I over-reacted. I cannot tell. As of now, I feel as though I am simply ambling through my days, at once extremely content and disturbingly unsettled. How shall this be interpreted?

Some days ago I found myself in the baths, eavesdropping on the conversation of several other boys – including Servilius. They were on the other side of the room, and he was talking (yet again) about his experience with Hadrian: how the Emperor had scraped him gently with the strigil until he glistened, and then took him quietly from behind. “Did he say anything to you?” asked one of the boys. “Nothing,” replied Servilius: “He commanded me to be silent, and I complied.” I found this description to be particularly illuminating, since it was clear (to me, at least) that Hadrian enjoyed his mental pleasures as much as his physical ones. I surmised that, over the course of our several months here, Servilius must have gradually revealed himself to possess little more mind than a bird's, and thus greatly reduced Hadrian’s attraction to him. Yet despite this, one must always allow for even the purest form of animal lust, and in this regard I can understand why the Emperor would have indulged himself: Servilius has considerable physical beauty to boast of.

Naturally, place a bunch of naked fellows together in the baths, start them talking of sex, and it will not take long for them all to harden and laugh of it. And so they began to pleasure themselves, racing to see who would spit first, and creating in their midst a considerable froth. It was lucky for them, I mused, that they had been using oil and strigil, for had they used soaps, the lather would have thickened so fast it would have obscured them each from each other!

And that’s when the idea struck me – to use soap on the coat of Hadrian’s horse, Epeius. I imagined that his mane would glisten, and that the subtle scent of perfume that wafted up from him would be quite pleasing to the Emperor’s nose. I quickly finished my toilet and then dressed, making plans to go and re-visit with Cyprias. I dashed to the stables, and quickly dug up the tiny box that I had hidden in Epeius’ stall – it contained all the money I had managed to save while at the Gelotiana (and it certainly wasn’t much). I reckoned that it would afford me three bars of soap, at most.

And then off I flew toward the fading bustle of the market, where I imagined Cyprias was preparing to close up his shop for the evening. I arrived just as he was emerging from the building and preparing to lock his door. Although the man recognized me, he had forgotten my name, and so I reminded him that it had been Gryllus who brought me well over a year ago. His face lit up then, and he swung open the door and ushered me inside. I told him of my plan to wash the emperor’s horse with soap, and he marveled at the audacity of it, for it was something that none, to his knowledge, had ever considered. He locked the door so that none would bother us, re-lit the lanterns, and then together we explored his shop, inhaling deeply at the vast array of possibilities. I eventually settled on a soap that smelled mildly of rosemary. Cyprias approved my choice, suggesting that it was prudent of me not to overpower the Emperor’s nose with such a novel experiment, and that a subtle scent was far superior than one that announced to all of its presence.

I reached into my satchel and emptied its coins into my palm, asking him how many bars the bronzes would buy me. Cyprias considered then. “Why should you be so quick to buy a multiple of bars? Would it not be better to start with just one, and ensure that the Emperor is happy with your idea?” I felt foolish then for not thinking so logically as he, and agreed that his advice was very sound. “How much, then, for just the one?” He smiled at me and told me to put my money away. “For the horse of Hadrian,” he said softly, “I daresay I can afford to present a single bar most happily as a gift.”

I thanked him most sincerely and prepared to depart. But he asked me if I would stay with him a little longer and enjoy the pleasures he was eager to provide. Seeing as how Cyprias had just given me a gift, I felt it would be callous to refuse him, and so I agreed to let him have me. He guided me toward the back of his shop, where the lamp-light did not reach quite so well. And there, in the dimness, kneeled down before me and took me into his mouth. I confess the experience to have been relatively mundane, and although I enjoyed myself, I was far more reflective than sensual. I am at an age, I thought, in which I can draw the attention and admiration of my elders with hardly any effort. And why should I deny them? There are other boys at the Gelotiana who are attractive in their own right, who take great pleasure in denying their admirers any access to their bodies. But this seems to me cruel and coy. In my view, if a man is considerate and gentle, kind and attentive, clean and mannered, why should he not be rewarded with what he desires? Is it so difficult for me to indulge him, especially when there is, quite often, the promise of pleasure for myself as well? These are my thoughts, Lysicles, and I hope they do not offend you. Perhaps the Roman air has affected me somehow; the cosmopolitan mores have far too successfully infiltrated my head and altered the perception of myself according to the expectations of an impending career as a page. To be sure, after my experience with Mordanticus, and, more substantially, in response to the musings it has inspired with respect to Juvenalis, I have come to realize that the act of a very friendly sex is hardly cause for shame or worry. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that the anti-sexual ranting of conservatives, codgers, and fanatical Christians is quite likely the product of some misguided and misinformed thinking, never to be taken seriously.

Cyprias swallowed me completely and stood up. He was very grateful, and I noticed that he was still erect. And so I asked of him, “What do you wish from me?” He did not understand, thus I clarified: “My hand, my mouth, or my backside?” At this he was genuinely pleased, but was forced to confess that he had not yet in the last three days had occasion to bathe. I laughed at that, for it was a very ironic statement, coming from a man such as he, who sold soaps! He laughed too and agreed, and then reaffirmed that he would not subject me to his body when it was not clean: tonight, he would pleasure himself alone. I thanked him for his consideration of me. And then he made me his offer: “Come to me, Antinous, whenever you wish for a bar of soap. Your price will be set not in coin, but in the time you set aside to spend with me. And I promise to make my body acceptable to you, that together we may enjoy ourselves without shame.”

Was this not the very same treatise I had composed for myself while stretched upon his tongue? I agreed, for he was obviously a good man and I wished to keep him for a friend. He sent me on my way then and I returned to the Gelotiana just after dark. Tomorrow I shall wash Epeius with soap, and see what comes of it! A.

 
Optimythic
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