Exstase of San Sebastian

In the 1948 autobiographical novel, Confessions of a mask, Yukio Mishima describes his first masturbation, which occurred following the strong attraction towards a painting, found in a book by his father: Guido Reni’s San Sebastiano. The martyr’s body, young and attractive, has been identified over time as a queer icon, a stumbling block against the demonization and criminalization of the enjoyment of the body.

It is the hero who chooses with his own body to give his life for his own principles and who decides, without calculation, to pay the price for having dared to be himself.