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The erotification of the figure has been equated through the syntax of bodily gesture, that the pain in the models face displays a feminine lack of vigour, perhaps similar to the pain or pleasurable face of being penetrated - and that his finger and body remain limp - slender - even languid. The way people perceive sex in this instance is not traditionally male, the boy is politely being implicated as passive or at least un-virile in their rendition of both pain and pleasure.

His body has never been truly perceived as female, feminine yes, but female - no. I’ve found it interesting that sex in this case has a mutual intelligibility with the willingness to engage or participate in the sexual act - man aspires to heavenly love but engages with sin through the seduction of the vessel, receptacle slut or bottom. He is seen as sexual, potentially promiscuous yet remains and had remained male. It perhaps useful to gauge Caravaggio’s portrayal of self and other as part of a grandiose cyclic meta-narrative in which the body is rendered sexual, and then within the context of

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Caravaggio: The Pleasure/Pain principle  

Caravaggio: The Pleasure/Pain principle  

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