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Ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq - Iran)
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As soon as there are written records, some 5,000 years ago in the Near East, we find references to many of the sexual practices - homosexuality, male and female transexualism and transvestism, masturbation - familiar to us today, and masturbation is a central theme in the creation myths of Mesopotamia.
Iraq - up to 16th century

Persia - 17th - 18th century
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Although there are some frescoes depicting female nudes in private palaces of the Ummayads, in Persia, there are few surviving works inspired by Eros. We draws attention to the one significant cluster of homerotic images that center around court figures in Persian miniatures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

These depict overdressed and overrefined cup bearers, usually male, in artificial, lascivious postures. That these lovers locked in ardent embraces are somewhat genderless merely added to the point the artists were making. Some of these miniatures depict lovers sinuously entwined; others portray elegant drinking companions, known as zarifs, who were expected to be entertaining conversationalists.

Persia - 19th - 20th century
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