Iphis and Ianthe prints

Ianthe did not suspect that Iphis was a girl

Ianthe is beginning to feel attracted to Iphis, but she does not know that Iphis is a girl. If she did, would it make any difference? (Print number 3.)

For some, perhaps yes, for others, no. Friendship (in Ancient Greek, philia) is not the same as erotic love (eros), but they can blend. Is it better if eros and philia are separated? Perhaps you would agree that sex without friendship is like dessert without dinner: good at the time, but it leaves you feeling a bit empty and maybe a bit ill afterwards.

What about friendship without sex? Of course few would want to sleep with all their friends. But sometimes the one attraction leads to the other. Does it make any difference if it happens to two people of the same sex? If so, why?

The image of Iphis is taken from a Greek vase painting of a rather boyish girl holding a mirror.

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