At the same time, the prostitutes themselves were considered shameful: most were either or former slaves, or if free by birth relegated to the , people utterly lacking in social standing and deprived of most protections accorded to under , a status they shared with and , all of whom, however, exerted sexual allure.
The sexual license and decadence under the empire was seen as a contributing factor and symptom of the loss of the ideals of physical integrity libertas under the Republic.
The , an tribe recorded in Greco-Roman sources of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, may have a name derived from this meaning.
The "coercive and exploitative" relationship between the Roman master and the delicatus, who might be prepubescent, can be characterized as , in contrast to Greek.
The treatment given to the subject in such vessels is idealized and romantic, similar to that dispensed to heterosexuality.
Several other Roman writers, however, expressed a bias in favor of males when sex or companionship with males and females were compared, including , , , and the poet , who often derided women as sexual partners and celebrated the charms of pueri.