Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage



Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


With the advent of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and several television programs here in the UK dealing with the subject matter of the Ancient Olympic Games, I was wondering about the incidence of frottage and cock to cock grinding action during the wrestling and pankration events in the Games.

As I cannot pretend to be anything like an expert on this subject matter, I was curious to know if frottage and cock to cock action were in fact an integral part of the combat sports of wrestling and the pankration (and to a lesser extent boxing). Whilst I am aware that the object of these contests was to defeat the opponent (and in the case of the pankration, as brutally as possible it seems), the athletes surely must have been incredibly aware of one another's genitals as they fought, especially if locked in such holds as the full nelson, bearhug, full body press or hand to hand test of strength.

Whilst strenuous effort usually has the effect of reducing the possibilty of erections during a contest, I was wondering if the wrestlers and pankratists ever did fight fully erect in their heated struggles, especially whipped up by the excitement of the crowds who would surely have appreciated such a spectacle. One of the recent programs showed a few seconds of pankratiasts (wearing loincloths) rolling over like fighting cats on the ground crotch to crotch and I cannot see how they could have failed to be stimulated by such a situation (as surely the crowd must have been too).

I realise that the Greeks trained naked in the gymnasia and even practiced wrestling in mud (the keroma) and were extremely used to seeing male genitalia but I have always wondered whether the desire to bond as well as to fight was present in these athletic events.

Do any of you guys have any thoughts on this ? Andrew1964 is I know a great fan of this kind of action as are so many others here,so maybe some of you will be able to enlighten me !

Happy rubbing brothers, and for anyone who wants a session in London between warriors,I await you !



Bill Weintraub

Re: Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


Thanks Graham.

Graham has been a consistent and terrific contributor to this site -- his story, The Jungle Match is one of the best we have.

We've often talked on this board about the complex relationship between sex and aggression, and certainly that must have been present during the ancient games.

But whether such was ever visible to the spectators we don't know.

Moreover, the Olympian Games and its brother "sacred crown" competitions, the Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games, were only four of a myriad of competitions held each year -- Poliakoff, whose book is on the reading list, says that by the Roman era there were over 300 such "Greek" competitions.

So ancient atheltes were constantly in training for and competing in these nude contests.

And most competed in all three: wrestling, pankration, and boxing.

In other words, there were a lot of opportunities for guys to get hard while fighting nude.

But the accounts of the fighting Poliakoff provides -- and his book is the definitive work -- make no mention of eroticism between athletes.

Which isn't surprising, since Poliakoff, like most writers about athletics of his era, is notoriously silent about homosex.

It's a silence which is deafening, given the ubiquity of homosexuality in Greek life.

And that's what I want to draw your attention to.

For if you watch this year's Olympics, it's important for you as guys into Heroic Homosex to understand what you won't be seeing or hearing about:

Nudity in athletics; and homosexuality.

Yet such were crucial to Greek society from roughly 776 BC through 323 BC, the period known as "The Greek Miracle," when so much of what became Western civilization, including rational inquiry and democracy, was first formulated.

And nude athletics and homosexuality continued to be prominent features of Greek life after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and well into the Roman era.

Here's how the authoritative Oxford Classical Dictionary, not exactly a radical publication, describes ancient Greece:

Early Greek society soon acquired distinctive features and institutions, which continued to be important in classical times and later. Among these were athletics and religiously based athletic events like the Olympian games; the gymnasium, which provided training for both athletics and its elder brother, warfare; the symposium [or all-male mess], at which aristocratic values were inculcated; and homosexuality, which was related to all the other phenomena just mentioned.

The writer leaves out nudity in athletics, which appears to have been instituted about the same time as the Olympian games themselves.

But the Greeks considered nudity in certain circumstances, particularly athletics, as the mark of the civilized man.

As they did male-male affection.

Indeed, they thought both were characteristic of not just the civilized, but the *free* man.

As I say, I doubt that the color commentators will mention that the people who originated the Olympics competed nude, and that virtually all had same-sex lovers.

Or that they believed that same-sex unions were vital to the political freedoms they cherished.

Yet that's the truth.

For more on this, and for information you're unlikely to find elsewhere, take a look at our section on The Greeks, particularly Hoplites! and the Pyramid of Homosex, Nude Combat, and The Warrior Bond.

Plus the many articles, especially those in the Agogé series, which are listed in the Heroes Site Guide.

Bill Weintraub


Re: Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


Thanks very much for the response Bill.

Michael Poliakoff was on a couple of the recent programs about the Ancient Greek Olympics, and as you so rightly say, he made no mention at all on the sexuality of the wrestlers, which I found very strange. Maybe the program makers felt that they could not really explore this aspect of the games, though they did mention that the gymnasia and homosexuality seemed to be inseparable and that most men took young lovers.

Personally, I don't see how this link in the games could have been ignored - it must have been a crucial element in the struggles that took place. In my own experience, it is very hard to wrestle naked with another man and not bond with him. I can only guess to an extent imagine what must have been going through the minds of the naked wrestlers and pankratiasts as they faced one another, but they cannot possibly have been oblivious to the genitals of their rival, especially knowing that they would lock body to body and almost certainly cock to cock. Maybe it was so commonplace that it was just natural and they became desensitised from the contact.

I have odered Poliakoff's book over the net so will be intrigrued to see what he has to say about the sports, bearing in mind that he totally ignores the homosexuality. I am sure it will make a fascinating read, but even so, I would still prefer to travel back in a time car and spend a while in Ancient Greece watching and taking part in the sports.

Anyone care to accompany me on that trip ?

Bearhugs to you all

Roman (Graham)


Re: Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


I fully agree with what Roman write in his posts and I recommend him to read Poliakoff's book, the best (and the only?) on this subject. But that book was written in 1987, so it's about time someone write a updated version of male to male combat in the ancient world! The current Olympic Games in Athens seems to be exactly like the previous edtions, they have nothing to do with the ancient games, just alluded to briefly during the opening ceremony (some athletes, a couple of them wrestling, were white-painted on the whole body to remind us of the classic statues). Homoerotism in sports, especially in fighting sports, is still taboo: Too much money at stake (sponsors, professional success, etc.) and very little courage to speak openly. We have only our fantasy (and very few books and movies...) to keep those times alive.


Re: Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


Thanks vey much for those words of wisdom Andrew - and I agree that it is high time another book was written on this subject. Poliakoff's book has now arrived (along with a couple of others on Ancient Greek sports including the pankration), and whilst Bill has said that no mention is made in the book of homosexuality between athletes whilst competing, it is surely the great unspoken thing !!!

I have read that the pankration was the most popular sport of all at the Games and was considered the greatest - and I cannot believe that this was not unconnected with the maximum naked body contact in these contests and the open display of naked muscles under stress as well as fully aroused penises during the heat of the struggle. It must surely have driven the crowds crazy watching this and matches then were fought to exhaustion and one man yielded to another. Whilst this may well have meant fast and furious action at the start, I have no doubt in my own mind that some matches must have contained a highly erotic phase with heavy cocks and balls rubbing together as the two naked men strained.

Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but somehow I doubt it. Do any of you guys have any thoughts on this subject ?

Thanks once again for your contribution Andrew - our minds operate in exactly the same way !!!!

Bearhugs to you all and happy rubbing


Bill Weintraub

Re: Greek Wrestlers / Pankratiasts and Frottage


Thanks Andrew and Graham.

We have several accounts from fighters on our site of being erect during fights, including my lover Patrick's true-life story The Inquisitor.

Patrick's pankration-style bout with Paco was fought in public in front of their wives, among other people, and both men were erect in the closing moments of the contest.

Of course, the men had shorts on and those erections weren't visible to the public.

But Paco and Patrick sure knew they were there.

And that was a brutal fight.

Now to be clear about the Greeks, they didn't approve of erections in public, or any sort of public sexual display, and they did set great store by self-control.

But so does our culture.

And the fact is that in our culture guys get boners, in public situations where they're not sanctioned, all the time.

Because guys, and particularly young guys, have only so much control over their erections.

So I don't think your fantasies are in any way out of line.

re Poliakoff: He doesn't speak of homosex at all.

That's a tremendous omission.

To write about the Greeks, and in particular Greek athletics, and in particular Greek combat sports, and ignore homosexuality, is, in my view, culturally if not personally pathological.

To be fair to Poliakoff, it's not altogether surprising given the date of publication.

But should he ever revise the book, he has to make some mention of homosex, or face the critical consequences.

Because every historian today agrees that homosexuality was one of the defining characteristics of ancient Greek culture.

The same is true of the Olympics.

The modern Olympics continues to be a great shining lie, which does violence to its ancient Greek heritage and to men's sexuality by pretending, in essence, that its athletes are eunuchs.

They're not, they have sex, and if they're men, they have male same-sex needs and desires which many of them act on, and which even more of them would act on if they understood how common and normal those desires are.

To compensate for Poliakoff's and other commentators' deficiencies, and to tell the truth about the Greeks, I've written a pictorial essay called Xystarchy: Nude Combat Sport in the Ancient World, full of pictures of Greek athletes, Greek warriors, and Greek homosex.

Ck it out guys and remember


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