When I went to Asia I lodged with a family at Pergamus, where I found my quarters very pleasant. This was partially on account of the convenience and elegance of the apartments, but still more so because of the beauty of my host's son.
I devised the following method to prevent the master of the house from thinking of me as a seducer: whenever the conversation at table turned on the abuse of handsome boys, I showed such extreme indignation and protested with such an air of austerity and offended dignity against the violence done to my ears by filthy talk of the sort that I came to be regarded (especially by the mother) as one of the greatest of moralists and philosophers! Before long I was allowed to take the lad to the gymnasium, it was I that directed his studies, and I that guided his conduct and guarded against any possible debauch of his person.
It happened on one occasion that we were sleeping in the dining hall, our amusements having rendered us too lazy to retire to our sleeping chambers. Somewhere about midnight I noticed that the lad was awake and so, whispering soft and low, I murmured a timid prayer in these words: “Lady Venus, if I may kiss this boy without his noticing, tomorrow I will present him with a pair of doves.”
Hearing the price I offered, the boy set up a snore. So, approaching him where he lay still pretending to be asleep, I stole two or three kisses. Satisfied with this beginning I got up early the next morning and discharged my vow, bringing the eager lad a choice pair of doves.
The following night the same opportunity occurred. I changed my petition: “O Goddess, if I may pass a naughty hand over this boy without him catching on, I will present him with a pair of the best fighting cocks ever seen.”
At this promise the child came nestling up to me of his own accord and was actually afraid, I think, that I might fall asleep. I soon quieted his uneasiness on this point and amply satisfied my longings (short of the supreme bliss) on every part of his beautiful body. Then when daylight came I made him happy with the gift I had promised.
On the third night I rose as before and creeping up to the rascal, who was lying awake expecting me, I whispered at his ear, “O Immortal Gods, if I may take from this sleeping boy the perfect pleasure of my dreams, I will tomorrow present the lad with a Macedonian stallion, the best to be had for money. But only on the condition he doesn’t feel a thing”.
Never did the stripling sleep more soundly! So first I handled his plump and snowy bosoms then kissed him on the mouth and finally concentrated all my efforts in one supreme delight. The next morning he sat in his room expecting my present as usual.
Well you know as well as I do it is a much easier matter to buy doves and fighting cocks than stallions, besides which I was afraid that so valuable a present might rouse suspicion as to the real motives of my liberality. After walking about for an hour or so I returned to the house and gave the boy a kiss and nothing else. Although by this breach of faith I had closed against myself the door of access so carefully contrived, I returned once more to the attack.
For, after allowing a few days to elapse, one night similar circumstances created just such another opportunity for us as before. I began the moment I heard the father snoring to beg and pray the boy to be friends with me again—that is to let me give him pleasure for pleasure, adding all the arguments my burning concupiscence could suggest. But he was positively angry and refused to say one word beyond, “Go to sleep or I will tell my father”.
But there is never an obstacle so difficult audacity will not vanquish it. He was still repeating “I will wake my father” when I slipped into his bed and took my pleasure of him in spite of his half hearted resistance. However he found a certain pleasure in my naughty ways for after a string of complaints about my having cheated and cajoled him and made him the laughing stock of his schoolfellows (to whom he had boasted of his rich friend) he whispered, “Just to show you I’m not like you, you can do it again if you want”. So forgetting all our differences I was reconciled to the dear lad once more and, after utilizing his kind permission, I slipped off to sleep in his arms.
But the lad was not satisfied with only one repetition and after a short while he prodded me awake, whispering, “Don’t you want to do it again?” The offer was by no means unwelcome, and I accepted with pleasure. Finally, after much panting and perspiration, I satisfied him then dropped back asleep, worn out with pleasure.
In less than an hour he was pinching me awake again: “Why don’t we do it some more”, he asked. Furious and exhausted, I was at my wit’s end. “Go back to sleep”, I cried, “or I’ll tell your father!”
Petronius, Satyricon, 85-87.