‘Iconic gay image’: history of sailors and sex explored in Barcelona exhibition
Catalan city is hosting new show looking at relationships between men who spend their lives at sea
There’s rather more eroticism about it than there was reality.
Hmm, well, being so categorical might not work. But the RN was determinedly against such things. Even back in the Georgian Navy, when on land there were those couple of hundred death penalty crimes, there were really only two that the Navy really did – often that is, not just in the most egregious cases – hang for. Theft and sodomy.
The theft was because it was so disruptive of the necessary cooperation on board. Nothing breaks up a crew faster than not being able to trust after all. The sodomy, well, I’ll not ascribe a reason why. But facing a court martial for sodomy was more likely to bring that dangling from a rope than even mutiny was – mutiny, within certain accepted and known boundaries, being regarded as an entirely reasonable reaction to bad officers. Breach those boundaries and yes, viciousness followed.