the most natural thing in the world


Warrior Eric

the most natural thing in the world


Hey Bill,

Not sure if you remember me or not but I wrote you back in October and you posted an article I wrote on sexual stereotypes. Anyway, today, I have to share with you my first "real" M2M experience that recently took place.

If you recall, I tried this sort of thing before a couple years back when I was feeling confused about my sexual identity. I thought I needed to pursue the homosexual experience in order to sort garbage out in my head. I was still physically attracted to women (and I still am), but the sexual M2M fantasies that I had since my pre-teen years had never been fulfilled.

Unfortunately, my initial experience was with a true bona-fide gay man who was everything under the sun BUT A MAN! In other words, he was more feminine and girly than anything else. When he tried to convert me through anal sex, I took off faster than a silver bullet. I swore I would never do that again.

But my M2M fantasies never went away. I still needed to have that experience. But, to be honest, I was scared to try it again. I didn't want a romantic relationship with another drag queen. Luckily for me, I recently found someone whom I was able to connect with on a true, manly level.

And you know what? It felt like the most natural thing in the world! There was no "dating," no verbal exchanges of words like "sweetie" or "baby." We were two grown men--we were "dude" and "bro." More importantly, neither of us wanted anything to do with anal sex. Although my buddy and I exchanged emails for a little while before actually meeting, our first encounter felt relaxed and impromptu. Did I mention how "natural" it felt?

Sadly, my new buddy has to move away. Such is the life of the military, and we wish we had done this years ago. But we plan to make the most of our time over the next couple of days and I still am grateful for the experience.

Hope life is treating you well, my friend.



Reply from:

Bill Weintraub

Re: the most natural thing in the world


Hey Eric,

It's great hearing from you!

Let's take a look:

Not sure if you remember me

Eric, of course I remember you.

or not but I wrote you back in October and you posted an article I wrote on sexual stereotypes. Anyway, today, I have to share with you my first "real" M2M experience that recently took place.

If you recall, I tried this sort of thing before a couple years back when I was feeling confused about my sexual identity. I thought I needed to pursue the homosexual


Eric, as you know we avoid using terms like "homosexual" because they're rooted in a view of sex between Men as deviant.

And that's not correct.

It's normal and natural for guys to have same-sex needs and desires -- and normal and natural for them to act on those desires.

And the most natural and Manly way for them to express those desires physically -- is through Frot.

So -- it would probably be helpful if you read and/or re-read Sex Between Men: An Activity, Not a Condition.

Because it's really important that you abandon those antiquated labels of sexual orientation, "gay" and "straight," "homosexual" and "heterosexual."


Because they make it appear that male-female is normal and male-male abnormal.

That's not true.

But if you believe it's true, it will affect your behavior in a variety of negative ways.

Once again, Sex Between Men: An Activity, Not a Condition is really important reading for all site visitors and for all Alliance members.

experience in order to sort garbage out in my head. I was still physically attracted to women (and I still am), but the sexual M2M fantasies that I had since my pre-teen years had never been fulfilled.


And -- just so guys know -- again, those sexual M2M fantasies and desires are normal and natural.

And for that reason, they don't go away.

You can't, for example, get rid of them through some sort of therapy.

Nor will they go away if you just ignore them or don't act on them.

We just had a post in Frot Club from a guy who's sixty and happily married and has kids and says he has a good life.

But he also says he's tried to deny his attraction to Men all these years and that denial hasn't worked.

And that's right.

The denial doesn't work because, again, the attraction is natural.

Again, it's part of being a Man.

Unfortunately, my initial experience was with a true bona-fide gay man


So again, there's no such thing as "a true bonafide gay man."

There are certainly males -- many males -- who identify as "gay" and who take on certain very stereotypical "gay" behaviors.

But that doesn't mean that "gay" has any reality in a biological sense.

who was everything under the sun BUT A MAN! In other words, he was more feminine and girly than anything else.


And again, his culture, which we call analism, encourages him to behave in those ways.

When he tried to convert me through anal sex,


As you know, Eric, we don't call anal "sex" because there's no genital tissue in the anus or rectum -- and in our view sex is about genitals -- not anuses.

So we call "anal" what it is -- anal penetration.

Because that's what it is -- penetration of the anus and rectum.

And, as those of us who used to identify as "gay" know, gay-identified males will ALWAYS try to "convert" you through anal penetration.

Because their culture tells them, over and over again, that "if it's not anal, it's not really gay"; -- and that "you're not really gay if you don't get fucked."

Those are core cultural values among these guys, who we call, and properly so, analists.

So -- it's not realistic to think that males who identify as "gay" won't do that.

Sometimes they'll tell you they don't care about anal;

but what we've seen time and time again in dealing with them is that eventually -- and "eventually" is usually just a few days -- they begin demanding anal.

Basically, no matter what they tell you, it's all anal all the time.

I took off faster than a silver bullet. I swore I would never do that again.

Good -- and that speaks well of you.

But my M2M fantasies never went away.


They won't.

And there's no reason that they should.

I still needed to have that experience. But, to be honest, I was scared to try it again. I didn't want a romantic relationship with another drag queen.


And unlike Bradley Manning, the US Army Pfc who leaked -- actually just gave -- all those state secrets to Wikileaks.

The inaptly named Manning, says The New York Times, identifies as "gay," and had a "boyfriend" who's a drag queen.

Before being deployed to Iraq, Private Manning met Tyler Watkins, who described himself on his blog as a classical musician, singer and drag queen. A friend said the two had little in common, but Private Manning fell head over heels.

And who wouldn't, given what lovable creatures those delightful drags are:

Of course, I don't really see how you can have a "boy" friend who's a drag queen, but, nevermind -- we have a lot more of this to look forward to in today's new, oh-so-"gay," army.

For example, did I mention that, according to the Times, Pfc Manning "lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables"?

Lady Gaga -- gay idol and model soldier

And which of the Lady's songs do you think he chose for that particular activity: "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich," "Money Honey," "I Like It Rough" -- or just, "Born This Way"?

Let's get back to Eric:

Luckily for me, I recently found someone whom I was able to connect with on a true, manly level.


And you know what? It felt like the most natural thing in the world!


Because it is.

The most Natural thing in the world.

Guys have been doing this since time immemorial.

But we happen to be living in a very distorted time when it comes to Man2Man, and that's because of an historical process we call "heterosexualization" --

and heterosexualization is what's created "sexual orientation," and the very UNnatural division of Men into "gay" and "straight."

There was no "dating," no verbal exchanges of words like "sweetie" or "baby." We were two grown men--we were "dude" and "bro." More importantly, neither of us wanted anything to do with anal.


And that's something you need to establish long before you meet.

And interestingly, I see more and more guys being very explicit about no anal in their Frot Club posts.

This is from a guy in California:

I am looking for someone around my age, between 44 to 60 who is NOT in to anal at all. Also, I don't want someone who was in to it at one time. I have never done anal and not interested in it at all and do not want someone with anal experience.

And this from Lee in Iowa:

I will not entertain any anal action of any kind, no exceptions. I am not interested in men that are interested in anal at all. I am looking for a "like minded" man.

So you have to be very explicit in your Frot Club posts, and when emailing with guys.

And this qualifier -- "I do not want someone with anal experience" -- I think is good and appropriate.

For one thing, anal is an exceptionally efficient vector for STD.

Males who do anal are far more likely to have had multiple STD and to harbor STI in the bodies.

It makes sense to avoid contact with those males.

And really, what we want to do is move the culture to the point where *any* experience with anal is unacceptable.

We want to swing the cultural pendulum a full 180 degrees, to the point where anal is throrougly denigrated and disparaged, and only the most pathetic of creatures would ever even consider doing anal.


Although my buddy and I exchanged emails for a little while before actually meeting, our first encounter felt relaxed and impromptu. Did I mention how "natural" it felt?


Sadly, my new buddy has to move away. Such is the life of the military, and we wish we had done this years ago. But we plan to make the most of our time over the next couple of days and I still am grateful for the experience.

Hope life is treating you well, my friend.



Thank you Eric.


Now -- Guys -- which is Eric and everyone else --

I don't want to rain on Eric's parade.

But we do need to talk about this:

There was no "dating"

I understand where Eric is coming from with that.

However, it's important that you date and court before you have sex.


Because that's natural.

What's not natural is the whole hook-up culture which is now pretty much universal but which evolved out of the highly promiscuous "gay" culture of the 70s and 80s.

And that culture isn't natural and it isn't healthy.


Strange as this may sound, Man2Man / male-male used to happen between guys who were --


Yes, believe it or not, guys used to be buddies and friends and comrades first --

and from that friendship and through that camaraderie there would develop --

romantic relationships, which included sex.

Now, let's backtrack for a moment because I know that some of you react poorly to the idea of "romance" between Men.

So -- we'll backtrack -- for just a moment -- and we'll leave out the word "romance."


Like I said, it used to be that guys would be friends or buddies or comrades, and male-male would occur naturally and spontaneously as part of their friendship.

They would feel a natural affection for each other which would lead to a sexual expression of that affection.

And that's very natural for Men.

And, yes, I know I keep using the word "natural" -- and that's because Man2Man is part of Nature.

Man2Man -- when it's Phallus-Against-Phallus -- is, as Frances says -- natural and organic.

But what's happened is that Men have been told that anything sexual between two guys = "gay."

And because "gay" is a trap -- a cage -- a box -- guys don't want to go there.

So they end up suppressing their same-sex feelings.

And then -- when someone like Eric -- or Omar -- acknowledges those feelings -- he's more or less forced to fall back on the internet to meet someone.

But obviously that's not the best way for that to happen.

God and nature intended for this to happen as an expression of friendship.

In other words, friendship first -- then a sexual expression of affection.

What goes on now is that guys have sex -- and then maybe they become friends and maybe not -- usually -- that is, 99.99% of the time -- not.

And that's really not good.

What about the "romance" part?

Well, and again, in our society, romance is reserved for a Man and a Woman -- or, maybe, for two gay-identified males.

But two MEN are NOT allowed to love each other.

What you guys need to see is that that's a stereotype which is VERY OPPRESSIVE of MEN.

Oh yeah.

Your fear of romance is actually a buying-into of a heterosexualized conception of male.

In which "real" male can only love female.

That's a lie.

It's also a very recent lie.

In his book Picturing Men, which is on the Heroes Reading List, Cal State Fullerton Prof John Ibson describes a romance between two nineteenth-century Men, one of whom was VERY famous -- Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.

Mahan was regarded as the "father of the modern American navy" and was the author of a tremendously important book, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, which in turn had a huge influence on President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy.

Think Panama Canal guys.

What is less well known, says Ibson, is

the extensive and highly romantic correspondence that Admiral Mahan carried on with a fellow officer, Samuel Ashe, letters documenting a relationship of forty years that had begun when both were Annapolis midshipmen before the Civil War.

In one letter, Mahan provocatively wrote: "I lay in bed last night, dear Sam, thinking of the gradual rise and growth of our friendship. My first visit ever to your room is vividly before me, and how as I went up there night after night I could feel my attachment to you growing and see your own love for me showing itself more and more every night."

"When you come to a question of sex," wrote the father of the navy on another occasion, "on the whole commend me to men."

No kidding.

And Ibson says

Before homosexuality was culturally conceived as a condition rather than simply an activity, there was perhaps less anxiety in the military, as in society at large, about the precise line between acceptable and forbidden degrees of closeness between men. Photographs of American military men from the Civil War through World War I document, as they must also have nurtured, an environment of even more intimacy than one sees in civilian photos of the same era.

And notice that Ibson makes a key differentiation between male-male "as a condition rather than simply an activity."

Those of you who don't understand what that difference is about need to read our Man2Man Alliance Policy Paper, Sex Between Men: An Activity, Not A Condition.

Again, it's very important, if you don't understand the difference, to read Sex Between Men: An Activity, Not A Condition.

So -- Alfred Mahan and Samuel Ashe had a relationship of forty years which began when they were midshipmen at the Naval Academy.

That was a Romantic Relationship.

Between two MEN.

Which began before male-male was conceived of as a condition.

Let me suggest to you ALL that your fear of male-male romance is grounded in your understandable dislike and rejection of that condition.

But the point to my work is that you can have the activity -- not just the sex, but the LOVE and romance too -- without the condition.

You needn't accept the pseudo-science of "gay" -- to love another guy.

Ancient Men -- who in terms of true Manliness beat modern males hands down -- didn't worry about a condition.

If they loved a guy -- they loved a guy.

So why shouldn't you?

Why let the analists and their grisly rectal fetish -- rob you of the LOVE of another MAN?

There's no reason to.

Anymore than there is to let the heterosexists rob you of it.

Or the religious fanatics.

You have the right to Love another Man.

Exercise it.

Use it.

Do it.

Don't run away from it.

Because if you do -- run away from it, that is -- you may find yourself, forty years from now -- or sooner -- regretting it.

If Love takes the form of another Guy -- then that's the form Love takes.

Reject it -- and him -- at your peril.

Now, on this site and in the Alliance we place a lot of emphasis on the ancient Greeks, and male-male among them was very structured.

There were a number of institutions which supported male-male, including, at Athens, the palaistra or wrestling school;

and the symposium, or all-male dinner party.

At Sparta, there was the agogé;

and the phiditia, which were all-male messes.

And those institutions nurtured male-male Man2Man romance.

We have no institutions like those today.

But we could.

I keep telling you to start Regional Chapters.

Regional Chapters would function as institutions.

Not, right off the bat, as powerful as the Greek institutions.

But you need to have some vision -- and a sense of history.

Which I do.

I remember when the "gay community" had nothing -- other than "gay" bars -- which were owned and run by the mafia.

That was about forty years ago.

Nowadays, every major city has an LGBT Community Center -- owned and run by the community.

And those have been around for a while.

You could have your own Man2Man centers -- we'll call them Man2Man Sanctuaries.

With eating clubs, sleeping quarters, gyms, training in Fight Sport -- even a Temple of Ares.

And all of it Man Space -- Nudity Required, no clothes allowed.

And even better than Man2Man Sanctuaries in the cities would be Man2Man Sanctuaries and Communities in the great outdoors.

This is from Plutarch's Spartan Institutions:

They always went without a shirt, receiving one garment for the entire year, and with unwashed bodies, refraining almost completely from bathing and rubbing down.

The young men slept together, according to division and company, upon pallets which they themselves brought together by breaking off by hand, without any implement, the tops of the reeds which grew on the banks of the Eurotas. In the winter they put beneath their pallets, and intermingled with them, the plant called lycophon, since the material is reputed to possess some warming qualities.

Intriguing, isn't it?

You could have something like that.

It wouldn't be identical -- but it could be along those lines.

You could have it.

You'd just have to work at it.

You don't want to do that.

You don't want to do anything.

You want to sit on the internet, jerking off to porn, and then when you can't laid in real life and/or Prince Charming doesn't come riding in the door -- you complain.


Won't get you anywhere.

You could also have what Alfred Mahan and his buddy Sam Ashe had.

But again, you'd have to work at it.

And that would mean changing the society.

You can't, I don't think, have it in society as it's now constituted.

You couldn't get away with it.

There'd have to be some significant cultural changes.

And that would require work.

But eventually the work would pay off for you.

In greater freedom to be yourselves, and to find the sort of Love you want and need.

For now, my advice to Eric is that he try to stay in touch with his new-found friend.

Even if the guy moves away, there are many ways of staying in touch -- and there are airplanes.

Because -- these sorts of relationships aren't so easy to come by.

If two guys find each other, and they're right for each other -- they need to figure out a way to keep what they've found and to nurture it.

Eric is right that Frot is "the most natural thing in the world!"

But the times we live in are most Un-natural.

And to preserve what is natural and organic between Men, is and will remain, a struggle.

Do you have a choice as to whether to participate in the struggle?


You have to live the life of your times.

And in sexual terms, you're living in a heterosexualized time dominated by a gay-straight dichotomy, which is false, and which is informed in its every aspect, by greed.

That's why the "gay" Pfc Manning, "in love" with a drag queen, was lip-synching to a song sung by a female "idol" and titled "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" -- as he stole state-secrets.

That's what you have to struggle against.

If you don't struggle against it, it will eat you up and swallow you down.

This too is from Plutarch's Spartan Institutions:

They were no less seriously concerned over their music and their songs. These contained a stimulus to awaken a spirit of pride and to afford an inspiring and effective impulse. Their language was simple and plain, consisting merely of praise of those who had lived noble lives, and had died for Sparta, and are now counted among the blessed, and also censure of those who had played the coward, and now, presumably, are living a tormenting and ill-fated existence; and therewith profession and boasting in regard to valour, such as was fitting for the different periods of life.

So there were three choirs, corresponding to the three periods of life, which were made up at their festivals, and the choir of old men would begin with this song:

Young valiant men long days ago were we.

Then the choir of men in the prime of life would sing in response,

And that are we; look, if you will, and see.

And the third choir, that of the boys, would sing,

And better far 'tis certain we shall be.

Moreover the rhythmic movement of their marching songs was such as to excite courage and boldness, and contempt for death; and these they used both in dancing, and also to the accompaniment of the flute when advancing upon the enemy. In fact, the law-giver Lycurgus coupled fondness for music with military drill, so that the over-assertive warlike spirit, by being combined with melody, might have concord and harmony. It was for this reason that in time of battle the king offered sacrifice to the Muses before the conflict, so that those who fought should make their deeds worthy to be told and to be remembered with honour.

So -- that may sound hopelessly archaic to you, but it enabled Men to live lives of nobility and valour.

In such a society, someone like Pfc Manning wouldn't have felt any conflict between his need for Man2Man and the rules of his culture.

To the contrary -- he would have chosen or been assigned a male lover at an early age -- and stayed faithful to him.

He would never have questioned his loyalty to Sparta and its Rule of Honor;

while a song which equated Beauty with Money would have been abhorrent to him.

One of the noble and blessed privileges which Lycurgus appears to have secured for his fellow citizens was abundance of leisure. In fact it was not permitted them to take up any menial trade at all; and there was no need whatever of making money, which involves a toilsome accumulation, nor of busy activity, because of his having made wealth wholly unenvied and unhonoured.

At Sparta, wealth was unenvied and unhonored.

And so it would have been for Pfc Manning also.

He would have equated Beauty with Valour.

Brave Beauty.

And he would have understood that Beauty isn't Beautiful -- unless it's Brave.

You guys think you can't have something like that.

But you can.

Cultures periodically go through convulsions of hedonism and greed and godlessness and immorality.

Athens did.

And then they -- or groups within them -- find their way back to the moral center.

And that's what you have to do.

If you'll begin working with each other --

and commit to doing not what's expedient but what's right --

you'll have what you both want and need -- in this life.

If you don't, you'll end up like Pfc Manning.

Not in every detail of course.

But the pull of the larger culture will be too great for you.

You won't be able to withstand it.

And you'll succumb to it.

Which means your choice is plain:

Fight -- or die.

Thank you again, Warrior Eric.

I'm glad you found someone.

Bill Weintraub

January 28, 2011

© All material Copyright 2011 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

Reply from:

Warrior Brian Hulme

Re: the most natural thing in the world


Hi Warriors

I don't won't to give you a Bible study but you may find these verses useful especially in connection to those "Religious Fanatics" and as you say Frot is a Godly and therefore natural thing; if it were not He would say so through scripture.

But He does want us to accept what He does SAY (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and one thing that is clearly stated is the LOVE between those two Warriors, David, and Jonathan as, 1 Samuel 20:17. But how great was that love? See 2 Samuel 1: 26 for the answer.

David and Jonathan is after all a story of the development of friendship to that of them being lovers and although it is not directly mentioned it is pretty obvious (at least to me it is) they expressed that love in the way men do, that is FROT.

With Warrior Love


Reply from:

Bill Weintraub

Re: the most natural thing in the world


Thank you Warrior Man Brian

And once again, guys, Warrior Man Brian gets the point -- and right off the bat.

"David and Jonathan is after all a story of the development of friendship to that of them being lovers"

And that's right.

David and Jonathan are two of the mightiest Warriors in the Bible, and they start off as friends.

There's a natural progression for them from being fellow soldiers and comrades to being Lovers.

And Brian's correct about God wanting us to accept what He does say, in this case about Love:

1 Samuel 20:17 -- And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

2 Samuel 1: 26 -- "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women."

And you can read all about that in Warriors or Sodomites.

Plus we have two more articles about D and J: When David was the butch and Jonathan his bitch; and David and Jonathan -- Kristof Agrees.

Finally, the idea that Man2Man Love is "more wonderful" than that of male-female is common in Warrior cultures, and wherever Men are at War.

Including among American soldiers in World War II, whose memoirs, says John Ibson in Picturing Men, starting with that of Douglas Allanbrook, bear witness:

Allanbrook's own most memorable friendship was with Leonard, a soldier who was killed "so soon after our arrival at Naples." Leonard had been a tobacco farmer before joining the army; nearly fifty years after Leonard's death, smoking a cigar could remind Allanbrook of his friend's voice. Indeed, Leonard's voice reverberates throughout Allanbrook's memoir, especially his unanswered beckoning to Allanbrook to join him as they slept outdoors on a December night in Italy. "He was cold; he wanted me. Together we would be warm," Allanbrook recalls a half century later. Although their association had other moments of closeness, regret over his failure to accept this particular offer of intimacy seems paradigmatic, the essential controlling emotion of the rest of Allanbrook's life: "I had not answered then and never would or could. Was that voice, calling out my name, to be forever the guarantor of my loneliness, the only permanence granted or even possible, even though it had no substance and no existence except as a source of infinite regret? Was love to be forever linked to what was no longer and perhaps had never been?" A sense of unrealized possibility permeates Allanbrook's memoir, as it surrounds so many of the images of men that were produced during the war.

Though no veteran's memoir equals Allanbrook's in its melancholy sense of unfulfilled promise, countless autobiographies by veterans speak of the utterly singular importance of comrades. The first chapter of novelist Robert Kotlowitz's haunting memoir, Before Their Time, is titled "My Buddies." Though he ridicules "the absurdly lugubrious lyrics of 'My Buddy' when sung by another soldier sarcastically," it is clear that his wartime associations shaped the rest of Kotlowitz's life with "the accumulated weight of sadness and nostalgia." To Samuel Hynes, a marine pilot during the war and later a Princeton professor of literature, simply no other group was analogous to a squadron -- an involvement that was clearly sexual, with a depth of commitment that exceeded that of "most marriages." Recalling that he and his fellow flyers had felt no longing for women, Hynes would wonder forty years later, "Were we living our sexual lives in bombing and strafing? Or in the comradeship of the all-male, committed life of the squadron?"


Even one of the least sentimental of all of the war's memoirs, E. B. (Sledgehammer) Sledge's gritty and gripping account of marine battles for Peleliu and Okinawa, With the Old Breed, celebrates the worth of comradeship. "War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste," writes Sledge, "an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades' incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive. But it also taught us loyalty to each other -- and love."

You can read more about Ibson and Picturing Men in AGOGE III: The Longing for Masculinity.

Once again, thank you Warrior Brian.

You're a true Warrior.


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It was my own innate understanding of the essentially Combative and Aggressive nature of Men, and my own instinctual relating of that to the testicles, which produced those fantasies and gave them so much power in my life.

In this Dialogue, written in the first century AD by Lucian but presenting an imagined conversation between the *sixth century BC* Athenian lawgiver Solon and a Scythian visitor to Athens named Anacharsis, we get some idea of what that training was like -- starting with Athenian kids, and then progressing to Spartan youth:

Anacharsis: And another thing, my dear Solon, why are those young men acting in this way? Look, some of them are grappling and tripping each other, others are choking their friends and twisting their limbs, rolling about in the mud and wallowing like pigs. But before they began to do this, I noticed they first took off their clothes, then put oil on themselves, and in a peaceful fashion took turns in rubbing each other. But now, experiencing some emotion I do not understand, they have lowered their heads and are crashing into each other, and butting their heads together like rams! And look! There is one who has just seized the other by the legs and thrown him down; then he flopped on him and did not allow him to get up, but shoved him down into the mud. And now he is finally twisting his legs around the other person's waist and choking him with his arm under his throat. The other is slapping him on the shoulder, trying to ask him, I suppose, not to choke him to death. They do not avoid getting covered with dirt even to save the oil, but on the contrary wipe it off, and smearing themselves with mud and rivers of perspiration they make themselves ridiculous, in my opinion, by sliding in and out of each other's hands like eels.

Others are acting in the same way in the open part of the courtyard. However, these are not in the mud, but they have this deep sand in the pit which they sprinkle on themselves and each other, just like roosters, so that they cannot break out of their grasp, I imagine, since the sand decreases the slipperiness and offers a surer grip on a dry skin.

Others also covered with dust are standing up straight and striking and kicking each other. See that one there! Poor fellow, he seems to be ready to spit out a mouthful of teeth considering how full of blood and sand his mouth is; he has got a blow to the jaw, as you can see for yourself. But the official there does not separate them and stop the fight -- at least I assume he is an official from his scarlet cloak. On the contrary he encourages them and cheers the one who struck that blow.

All around different people are all exercising: some raise their knees as if running, although they remain in the same place, and as they jump up they kick the air.

What I want to know is, what reason do they have for doing this? It seems to me these actions are almost insane, and there is no one who can easily persuade me that people who act like this have not lost all their senses.

[Solon explains that customs differ from one land to another. He then explains to Anacharsis what is happening.]

Solon: This place, dear Anacharsis, is what we call a gymnasion and it and is sacred to Lykeian Apollo. You can see his statue, leaning against a stele, holding his bow in his left hand. His right arm is bent above his head as if the artist were showing the God resting, as if he had completed some laborious task. As for those exercises in the nude, the one done in the mud is called wrestling. Those in the dust are also wrestling. Those who strike each other standing upright we call pankratiasts. We have other athletic events: we have contests in boxing, diskos, and the long jump, and the winner is considered superior to his fellows and takes the prize.

Anacharsis: These prizes of yours now; what are they?

Solon: At Olympia there is a crown of wild olive; at Isthmia, one of pine; at Nemea, one woven of celery; at the Pythian Games, laurel berries sacred to the god, and here at home at the Panathenaic Games, oil from olive trees which grow in the sacred precincts. What are you laughing at, Anacharsis? Do these prizes seem valueless to you?

[Solon explains the symbolic value of the prizes, justifies the pursuit of athletics, the education of the citizens. Then Anacharsis asks Solon to explain the government of Athens.]

Solon: It is not easy, my friend, to explain everything at once in concise form, but if you will take one thing at a time you will learn everything about our belief in the gods, as well as our attitude toward parents, marriage, or anything else.

I will now explain our theory about young men and how we treat them from the time when they begin to know the difference between right and wrong and are entering manhood and sustaining hardships, so that you may learn why we require them to undergo these exercises and force them to subject their bodies to toil, not just because of the athletic games and the prizes they may win there, for few of them have the ability to do that, but so that they may try to gain a greater good for the entire city and for themselves. For there is another contest set up for all good citizens and the crown is not made of pine nor of wild olive nor of celery, but is one which includes all of man's happiness, that is to say, freedom for each person individually and for the state in general: wealth, glory, pleasure in our traditional feast days, having the entire family safe from harm, and in a word, to have the best of all the blessings one could have from the gods.

All this happiness is woven into the crown to which I referred and is acquired in the contest to which these exhausting exercises lead.

[Solon goes into more detail about the training of young men and about the responsibility of the citizens.]

Solon: As for physical training, which you particularly wanted to hear about, we proceed as follows. When the boys reach an age when they are no longer soft and uncoordinated, we strip them naked. We do this because first, we think they should get used to the weather, learning to live with different seasons, so they are not bothered by the heat nor do they yield to the cold. Then we massage them with olive oil and condition the skin. For since we see that leather which is softened by olive oil does not easily crack and is much stronger, even though it is not alive, why should we not think that live bodies would benefit from oil? Next we have thought up different kinds of athletics and have appointed coaches for each type. We teach one how to box, another how to compete in the pankration, so that they can become used to hard work, to stand up to blows face to face, and not to yield through fear of injury.

This creates two valuable traits in our young men: it makes them brave in the face of danger and unsparing of their bodies, and it also makes them strong and vigorous. Those who wrestle and push against each other learn how to fall safely and spring up nimbly, to endure pushing, grappling, twisting, and choking, and to be able to lift their opponent off the ground. They are not learning useless skills but they get the one thing which is the first and most important thing in life: through this training their bodies become stronger and capable of enduring pain. There is another thing too which is not unimportant. From this training they acquire skills which they may need some day in war. For it is clear that if a man so trained grapples with an enemy, he will trip and throw him more quickly and if he is thrown he will know how to regain his feet as easily as possible. For we prepare our men, Anacharsis, for the supreme contest, war, and we expect to have much better soldiers out of young men who have had this training, that is, the previous conditioning and training of naked bodies, which makes them not only stronger and healthier, more agile and fit, but also causes them to outweigh their opponents.

You can see, I should think, the results of this, what they are like when armed, or even without weapons how they would strike terror in their enemies. Our troops are not fat, pale, and useless nor are they white and scrawny ... enervated by lying in the shade, simultaneously shivering and streaming with rivers of sweat, gasping beneath their helmets, particularly if the sun, as now, is burning with noontime heat. What use could people be who get thirsty and cannot endure dust; soldiers who panic if they see blood, who die of terror before they come close enough to throw their spears or to close with the enemy? But our troops have skin of high color, darkened by the sun, and faces like real men; they display great vigor, fire, and virility. They glow with good health, and are neither shriveled skeletons nor excessively heavy, but they have been carved to perfect symmetry; they have used up and sweated off useless and excess flesh, and that which is left is strong, supple, and free, and they vigorously keep this healthy condition. For just as the winnowers do with wheat, so our athletes do with their bodies, removing the chaff and the husks and leaving the grain in a clean pile.

Through training like this a man can't avoid being healthy and can stand up indefinitely under stress. Such a man would sweat only after some time, and he would seldom be seen to be ill. Suppose someone were to take two torches and throw one into the grain and the other into the straw and chaff -- you see, I am returning to the figure of the winnower. The straw, I think, would burst into flames much more quickly, but the grain would burn slowly with no large flames blazing up nor would it burn all at once, but it would smoulder slowly and eventually it too would be burned.

Neither disease nor fatigue could easily attack and overcome such a body or easily defeat it. For it has good inner resources which defend it against attacks from outside, so as not to let them in, neither does it admit the sun or the cold to its hurt. To avoid yielding to hardships, great vigor springs up within, something prepared long in advance and held in reserve for time of need. This vigor fills up at once and waters the body in a crisis and makes it strong for a long time. For the previous training in bearing strain and hardship does not weaken their strength but increases it, and when you fan it the fire burns stronger.

We train them to run, getting them to endure long distances as well as speeding them up for swiftness in the sprints. This running is not done on a firm springy surface but in deep sand, where it is not easy to place one's foot forcefully and not to push off from it, since the foot slips against the yielding sand. We train them to jump over ditches, if they have to, or any other obstacles, and in addition we train them to do this even when they carry lead weights as large as they can hold. They also compete in the javelin throw for distance. In the gymnasium you also saw another athletic implement, bronze, circular, like a tiny shield with no bar or straps. You handled it as it lay there and expressed the view that it was heavy and hard to hold on to because it was so smooth. Well, they throw this up in the air both high and out, competing to see who can throw the longest and pass beyond the others. This exercise strengthens the shoulders and builds up the arms and legs.

As for this mud and dust, which originally seemed so amusing to you, my friend, listen while I tell you why it is used. First, their fall will not be on unyielding dirt but they will fall safely on soft ground. Next, their slipperiness has to be greater when they sweat in the mud. You likened them to eels, but the facts are neither useless nor humorous: it adds not a little to strength of the sinews when they are forced to hold firmly to people in this condition when they are trying to slip away. Do not think it is easy to pick up a sweaty man in the mud, covered with oil and trying to get out of your arms. All these skills, as I said earlier, are useful in combat, if it were necessary to pick up a wounded friend and carry him easily to safety or to seize an enemy and bring him back in your arms. And for this reason we train them beyond what is necessary, so that when they have practiced hard tasks they may do smaller ones with much greater facility.

We believe the dust is used for the opposite reason than the oil is, that is, so that a competitor may not slip out of his opponent's grasp. For after they have been trained in the mud to hold fast to something which is escaping from them because of its slipperiness, they then practice escaping out of the arms of their opponent, no matter how impossibly firm they may be held. Furthermore when this dust is used liberally it checks the perspiration and makes their strength last longer and furnishes protection against harm from drafts which otherwise attack the body when the pores are open. Besides, the dust rubs off the accumulation of dirt and makes the skin gleam.

I should dearly like to stand one of those white-skinned fellows who live in the shade beside one of our boys who work out in the Lykeion, and after I had washed off the dust and the mud, ask you which one you would like to resemble. For I know that you would choose at first glance, without hesitation, even without putting either through any tests, the one which is solid and hard rather than soft, weak, and pale, because what little blood he has has been withdrawn into the interior of his body.

[Anacharsis then ridicules the idea that athletic training could be useful in war. Why not save your strength, he asks. Solon explains that strength cannot be saved like a bottle of wine; it must be constantly used.]

Anacharsis: I just don't understand what you said, Solon. It is too intellectual for me and requires a sharp mind and keen insight. But above all, tell me this, why, in the Olympic Games and at Isthmia and Delphi and elsewhere, where so many competitors, you say, assemble to see these young men compete, you never have a contest with weapons but you bring them before the spectators all naked and exhibit them getting kicked and punched, and then, if they have won, give them berries and wild olives? It would be worth knowing why you do this.

Solon: My dear Anacharsis, we do this because we think that their enthusiasm for athletics will increase if they see that those who excel at them are honored and are presented to crowds of Greeks by heralds. Because they are to appear stripped before so many people, they try to get into good condition, so that when they are naked they will not be ashamed, and each one works to make himself capable of winning. As for the prizes, as I said earlier, they are not insignificant: to be praised by the spectators, to be a recognized celebrity, and to be pointed out as the best of one's group. As a result of these prizes, many of the spectators who are of the right age for competition go away completely in love with courage and struggle. If someone should remove love of glory from our lives, what good would we ever achieve, Anacharsis, or who would strive to accomplish some shining deed? But now it is possible for you to imagine from these games what sort of men these would be under arms, fighting for fatherland and children and wives and temples, when they show so much desire for victory in competing for laurel berries and wild olives.

Furthermore, how would you feel if you should observe fights between quails and between roosters here among us, and see the great interest which is shown in them? Wouldn't you laugh, particularly if you should learn that we do this in accordance with our laws and all men of military age are instructed to be present and to see these birds fight until they are exhausted? But it is no laughing matter, for eagerness for danger creeps insensibly into their souls so that they try not to seem less courageous and bold than the roosters nor to give in too soon because of injury or fatigue or any other distress.

As for trying them in armed combat and seeing them receive wounds -- never! It is brutal and dreadfully wrong, and in addition it is economically unfeasible to destroy the bravest, whom we could better use against our enemies.

Since you tell me, Anacharsis, that you expect to travel to the rest of Greece, if you get to Sparta, remember not to laugh at them nor think that they have no purpose when they compete in a theater, rushing together and striking each other, fighting over a ball, or when they go into a place surrounded by water [known as Plantanistas, or Plane-Tree Grove], choose up sides, and fight as if in actual war, although as naked as we Athenians are, until one team drives the other out of the enclosure into the water, the Sons of Herakles beating the Sons of Lykurgos or vice versa; after this contest there is peace and no one would strike another. In particular, do not laugh if you see them being whipped at the altar, streaming with blood, with mothers and fathers standing by, not at all bothered by what is happening but on the contrary threatening them if they do not hold up under the blows, urging them to bear up under the pain as long as possible, and to be strong under this hideous treatment. To tell the truth, many have died in these contests, not thinking it manly to yield before the eyes of their friends and relatives while they are still alive, no, not even to flinch. You will see honors paid to statues of people like this erected at public expense by the state of Sparta.

~ translated by Sweet.

I will not entertain any anal action of any kind, no exceptions. I am not interested in men that are interested in anal at all. I am looking for a "like minded" man.