At the same time, sexual activity with women was not barred (for either party), and once the boy came of age, both were free to seek other wakashū lovers.
In The Tale of Genji, written in the early 11th century, men are frequently moved by the beauty of youths.
In one scene the hero is rejected by a lady and instead sleeps with her young brother: "Genji pulled the boy down beside him ...
During the 17th century, these men (or their employers) sought to maintain their desirability by deferring or concealing their coming-of-age and thus extending their "non-adult" status into their twenties or even thirties; this eventually led to an alternate, status-defined shudō relationship which allowed clients to hire "boys" who were, in reality, older than themselves.s long forelocks, their most salient age marker, in kabuki plays; intended to efface the sexual appeal of the young actors and thus reduce violent competition for their favors, this restriction eventually had the unintended effect of de-linking male sexual desirability from actual age, so long as a suitably "youthful" appearance could be maintained.
These activities were the subject of countless literary works, most of which remain to be translated.
Nanshoku relationships inside monasteries were typically pederastic: an age-structured relationship where the younger partner is not considered adult.
The older partner, or nenja (念者"lover" or "admirer"), would be a monk, priest or abbot, while the younger partner was assumed to be an acolyte the relationship would be dissolved once the boy reached adulthood (or left the monastery).
The other option is that one will eventually go for a Uriah Gambit.
Note that the conflict does not create serious problems when dealing with worse enemies — that is Divided We Fall (which is often enough also polite). For the romantic version, see The Masochism Tango and Belligerent Sexual Tension.
Young kabuki actors often worked as prostitutes off-stage, and were celebrated in much the same way as modern media stars are today, being much sought after by wealthy patrons, who would vie with each other to purchase their favors.
Male prostitutes and actor-prostitutes serving male clientele were originally restricted to the wakashū age category, as adult men were not perceived as desirable or socially acceptable sexual partners for other men.
In addition, both parties were expected to be loyal unto death, and to assist the other both in feudal duties and in honor-driven obligations such as duels and vendettas.