How does Ovid express active (or lack thereof) feminine desire in Amores 1.5?

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Of all the Roman lyric and elegiac poets, Ovid probably has the most to say about the pleasures of love, as opposed to its pains. Amores I.v is one of his shorter poems, and is, even by Ovid's standards, unusual in being a paean to the joys of lovemaking, free from anxiety, jealousy, or fear. It is very much focused on the poet's own experience, however, and we have to guess at the feelings of Corinna, his mistress. This is partly because the second part of the poem is taken up with the details of her physical loveliness, all of which fuel his desire. Is he as attractive to her? We do not know, for the poet does not describe himself.

The only clue we have to Corinna's desires is the little he tells us of her attitude to lovemaking. She enters the room dressed in a loose, thin tunic. The poet says this was "a small impediment" (in Henry Riley's Victorian translation, generally literal, though sometimes prudish) and that she did not try to cover herself, then adds:

as she struggled as though she was not desirous to conquer, without difficulty was she overcome, through betrayal of herself.

The impression Ovid gives, in context, is that he thinks Corinna enjoys their lovemaking. It is she who seeks him out, while he is reclining on a couch. However, she feels she should put up a token resistance to his advances once they are on the couch together. Afterwards, they both recline, wearied. Corinna, like the poet, gave the impression of desire satisfied. Since we have only his perspective, we cannot be sure, but the Amores in general give a picture of consensual sexual affairs in which both parties are motivated by their desires. This poem fits that picture, though the woman's role, aside from seeking her lover out while he is resting, seems a fairly passive one.

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