why are there no male gods of love and beauty


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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It seems to me that in most Campaign Setting there are no male gods of love and beauty. "why" this seems to be a major stereotype that males
can't embody love or arent beautiful in someway


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You mean besides Jude Law?

... I suppose you could add Eros (Cupid).


As I recall, Dou-Bral shared Shelyn's portfolio with her until he decided that the G rating just wasn't for him. So to speak.

Thematically speaking, I would guess that it has to do with a lot of love-and-beauty deities taking inspiration from Aphrodite of Greek myth (although Greek conceptions of Aphrodite weren't always necessarily a positive thing, but I digress).


I am more fascinated by Inanna and Ishtar, who were not only love goddesses but also war goddesses.


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In Norse myth, Baldur's portfolio included beauty and charm.^^

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Bardess wrote:
In Norse myth, Baldur's portfolio included beauty and charm.^^

But the actual Deity of Love was the Goddess Freyja.


Sissyl wrote:
I am more fascinated by Inanna and Ishtar, who were not only love goddesses but also war goddesses.

All's fair in love and war, they say.


Isn't Arshea ambigiously gendered?

could be a dude.


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Isn't Asmodeus the god of love and beauty anyway?

Spoiler:
Love of self certainly.


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"Greetings! I am the god of cuddles and chiseled hunk-ness!"

nope, doesn't have the same ring as "of love and beauty"...


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Template Fu wrote:
"Greetings! I am the god of (...) chiseled hunk-ness!"

Isn't there a god of hunkness on Golarion? What's his name...


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Kurgess?

Dark Archive

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For Golarion, I think Zou-Bral fit that role, until he got all goth-ed up and changed his name to Zon-Kuthon.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm just gonna go for the gusto here...

I think it's because rpgs are usually design by men and a sexy goddess of love is more appealing.

Liberty's Edge

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My guess : it is rather common these days that a woman filling a traditionally male role is quite ok (and even positive). However, a man filling a traditionally female role is very often met with derision.

Because the traditionally male roles are still very often considered as being somehow superior to the traditionally female roles :-/

Grand Lodge

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The black raven wrote:

My guess : it is rather common these days that a woman filling a traditionally male role is quite ok (and even positive). However, a man filling a traditionally female role is very often met with derision.

Because the traditionally male roles are still very often considered as being somehow superior to the traditionally female roles :-/

You've got it spot on.


It would be an interesting challenge.
A male love god could be a noble cavalier/prince type (good), or the king of incubi (evil). Intriguing. I half want to stat him.


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This was basically Dou-Bral's job. He and his sister Shelyn kind-of shared that portfolio until he went crazy and became Zon-Kuthon.


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Note that Aphrodite was primarily the deity of fleshly love, i.e. marriage in the bedroom, procreation, "falling in love," seduction, and so forth. As such she was considered very powerful and respectable by the Greeks, but they were always concerned about falling into shameful behavior because of her influence. In particular, the Trojan War does not put her in the best light, as she is both manipulative, and also arrogant enough to engage in battle against the soldiers of more martial deities...

The Greek deity of attractive love is Eros. The story of Eros and Psyche is literally about the marriage of attractive emotion and the aware mind/soul; when Psyche looks to closely at Eros's nature, she loses his affections.

Some versions of Zeus, such as Zeus Velchanos, are depicted as a handsome youth. Hermes/Mercury is definitely a beautiful god, though not a loving one; his love is for the arts. Apollo was sometimes popular as a patron of chaste male love.

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To answer the OP, because women are better looking than men.

But as others have pointed out, antiquity has plenty of examples of male love deities, although they generally take the form of male fertility deities. Zeus, Dionysus/Pan, Adonis, and Priapus come to mind.


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RJGrady wrote:

You mean besides Jude Law?

... I suppose you could add Eros (Cupid).

Giggilo Joe would be the avatar.

Liberty's Edge

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I think Kofusachi is sort of a love god, though he mostly seems to be associated with happiness in a more general sense.

In the real world, mythological figures embodying love and beauty do seem to be disproportionately female cross-culturally, though a quick search of Wikipedia indicates that Kāmadeva and Yue Lao are noteworthy love-gods in India and China, respectively.

Silver Crusade

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Charlie Bell wrote:
To answer the OP, because women are better looking than men.

Matter of taste.

SirUrza wrote:
I think it's because rpgs are usually design by men and a sexy goddess of love is more appealing.

I beg to differ.

Liberty's Edge

Joe M. wrote:
Charlie Bell wrote:
To answer the OP, because women are better looking than men.

Matter of taste.

SirUrza wrote:
I think it's because rpgs are usually design by men and a sexy goddess of love is more appealing.
I beg to differ.

Good point. I, for one, think that Abadar is pretty cute. :)

Scarab Sages

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Arshea is the Empyreal Lord of love and beauty, and is androgynous-gendered. While it's not mentioned in his portfolio, Cayden Cailean grants the Love and Lust domains, as does Kofusachi, whose description mentions that he's taken numerous gods and goddesses as lovers. On the evil side, there's Socothbenoth, the demon lord of "perversion, pride, and taboos," who splits the lust-as-sin aspect with his sister Nocticula.

Overall, the deities who possess the Charm domain are pretty evenly split gender-wise. There are fourteen in total, with six (Bolka, Calistria, Nalinivati, Shelyn, and the Green Mother) being explicitly female, seven (Belial, Cayden Cailean, Droskar, Kofusachi, Norgorber, Socothbenoth, and the Lantern King) being explicitly male, and one (Arshea) being explicitly androgynous. That's actually slightly more male deities. Droskar and Norgorber seem more focused on the manipulative aspect of Charm than the Love/Lust ones, so they might not count, but that's still only one more female than male.


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Erisana Liaomei wrote:
Arshea is the Empyreal Lord of love and beauty, and is androgynous-gendered.

Arshea's portfolio is freedom, physical beauty, and sexuality.


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I always liked this Reaper mini. So I painted him an unearthly red and wrote him up in my old campaign as a god of beauty and vanity. No love, but plenty of lust.

He was served by an army of succubi.

Sovereign Court

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It's cultural. Modern Western concepts of femininity and masculinity are so ingrained that designing a male god of beauty and earnest love could spark a complicated discussion. There are many classic examples of such gods, but the Golarion setting has a very Western pop-culture fantasy sensibility: big demons, big boobs, big explosions and lots of spiky armor. Paizo's staff is refreshingly game when it comes to sexuality and gender politics, but I don't think their intent with Golarion was to reinvent the genre. And right now that genre is comfortable with goddesses (not gods) of love and beauty.


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Reminds me. I had a character once who was male but was also a inter dimensional guardian whose love for his wife gave him his power. So encouraging, promoting, and protecting love became one of his raison d'etres.

On related note if things go for my character in our WotR game that I think they might he might end up becoming a male god of love.


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RJGrady wrote:

Note that Aphrodite was primarily the deity of fleshly love, i.e. marriage in the bedroom, procreation, "falling in love," seduction, and so forth. As such she was considered very powerful and respectable by the Greeks, but they were always concerned about falling into shameful behavior because of her influence. In particular, the Trojan War does not put her in the best light, as she is both manipulative, and also arrogant enough to engage in battle against the soldiers of more martial deities...

The Greek deity of attractive love is Eros. The story of Eros and Psyche is literally about the marriage of attractive emotion and the aware mind/soul; when Psyche looks to closely at Eros's nature, she loses his affections.

Some versions of Zeus, such as Zeus Velchanos, are depicted as a handsome youth. Hermes/Mercury is definitely a beautiful god, though not a loving one; his love is for the arts. Apollo was sometimes popular as a patron of chaste male love.

According to Plato, there actually were TWO goddesses called Aphrodite: 1) "the motherless daughter of Uranos", goddess of spiritual love, and 2) the daughter of Zeus and Dione, goddess of physical love. In the same way, there were two Eros or Cupids.

And yes, Eros is a great example of a male love god. Another one is the Hindu Kama (but the tantric aspect of Shiva is pretty sexual too).


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Bruunwald wrote:

I always liked this Reaper mini. So I painted him an unearthly red and wrote him up in my old campaign as a god of beauty and vanity. No love, but plenty of lust.

He was served by an army of succubi.

The mini actually looks like he's based on Graz'zt the D&D demon prince served by succubi. Graz'zt was an 8 foot tall ebony-skinned humanoid with a wavy-bladed bastardsword. (The Google Image Search for Graz'zt actually returns a picture of that mini among the results.)

The mini has plantigrade feet though, and Graz'zt is usually depicted with digitigrade or unguligrade feet.


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This is a question I've often asked, myself. Also, why aren't there more beautiful fey-like creatures, like the nymph, who identify as male (That's why I liked Bestiary 4's Fossegrim so much, by the way)? Why the Succubus (female-identifying demon) is a seductress, subtle and shrewd, while the Incubus (male-identifying demon) is a violent rapist?

The answer I've arrived to is two-pronged - One, like said above, beauty and love are considered feminine endeavors in the modern world and, while women in masculine endeavors/aesthetics are rightly lauded (See: Iomedae), men in feminine endeavors/aesthetics are not.

Two, the way contemporary Western culture sees polytheistic Pantheons is dominated by late Greco-Roman thought. Aphrodite was a Love Goddess, Are a War God and so on and so forth, and those archetypes still have a lot of influence in pop culture. One has just to distance himself from ancient Greece, however, to see that love/beauty/sex was in no way a exclusively female province - Balder, Aengus, Kamadeva, Adonis, Xochipilli, Siebog... And that's without including gods more associated with fertility and sexuality, like Freyr or The Dagda, or beings like Zephyrus, the West Wind.

Golarion has Dou-Bral, but he's specifically a relic from a past we've never actually experienced, so I'm not sure he counts. Still, with figures like Cayden Cailean, TsukuyomiTsukyio and Kofusachi, it's still way ahead of other settings in that aspect.


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If I'm not mistaken Apollo also had beauty and art in his portfolio.


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Demons are cultural concepts, i.e. Mainly based on the PREJUDICES found in culture. Succubi are temptation incarnate, the concept of the woman who uses her beauty and wiles to get what she wants from men. Incubi are the predatory man who takes what he wants from women. As such, they fit beautifully. Note that in medieval lore, succubi and incubi were the same creature that could shift genders. There are also ideas of succubi being the direct cause of sex dreams, as a way to tempt the faithful.


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Patrick C. wrote:
This is a question I've often asked, myself. Also, why aren't there more beautiful fey-like creatures, like the nymph, who identify as male (That's why I liked Bestiary 4's Fossegrim so much, by the way)? Why the Succubus (female-identifying demon) is a seductress, subtle and shrewd, while the Incubus (male-identifying demon) is a violent rapist?

Don't forget satyrs. I always consider the Pathfinder satyr to be representative of the male sexuality aspect among fey creatures.


Sissyl wrote:
Demons are cultural concepts, i.e. Mainly based on the PREJUDICES found in culture. Succubi are temptation incarnate, the concept of the woman who uses her beauty and wiles to get what she wants from men. Incubi are the predatory man who takes what he wants from women. As such, they fit beautifully. Note that in medieval lore, succubi and incubi were the same creature that could shift genders. There are also ideas of succubi being the direct cause of sex dreams, as a way to tempt the faithful.

Yes, I know all of that. My point was just to demonstrate how our current culture fits male and female sexuality in neat little boxes, as part of a larger point about "why there are no male deities of love and beauty". Male sexuality is aggressive, violent, gross. Beauty and love deities are always female because only female sexuality is subtle and alluring.

Which bridges the point to the satyrs - While I like Satyr and their Good counterparts, the Fauns, and have created some great stories around them, they are friendly, boisterous, even a bit overwhelming - but they are not irresistibly beautiful like the nymphs. Beauty is a decidedly feminine portifolio. Or at least, current Western culture thinks so.


Well, male drow, right?


I suppose we need a "Mr. Divinity Contest" to determine which male deity of the pathfinder setting gets the blue ribbon and cup :)

I can't see Asmodeous doing great in the talent competition, the judges just aren't going to be excited by the ability to make a contract

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Ridge wrote:

I suppose we need a "Mr. Divinity Contest" to determine which male deity of the pathfinder setting gets the blue ribbon and cup :)

I can't see Asmodeous doing great in the talent competition, the judges just aren't going to be excited by the ability to make a contract

I'd split it. For the ideal of physical perfection it would be Abadar. His obsession with the platonic ideal could easily include himself, being the the ultimate specimen of a civilized man. The perfect landlord, husband and citizen.

For something more lustful, romantic and Dionysian, Cayden Cailean could be the unofficial god of cuckolding. It could be a common joke that a woman's, um, 'virtue' is her "little starstone".


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Ridge wrote:

I suppose we need a "Mr. Divinity Contest" to determine which male deity of the pathfinder setting gets the blue ribbon and cup :)

I can't see Asmodeous doing great in the talent competition, the judges just aren't going to be excited by the ability to make a contract

I'd wager that he can play a mean fiddle.


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Ridge wrote:

I suppose we need a "Mr. Divinity Contest" to determine which male deity of the pathfinder setting gets the blue ribbon and cup :)

I can't see Asmodeous doing great in the talent competition, the judges just aren't going to be excited by the ability to make a contract

Slander! Asmodeus is a man of wealth, taste and many, many talents, not the least of which is the fine art of fratricide. Surely, that must count. It's in the rules, which he himself penned.

Now, myself, I'd give that honor to Lord Tsukyio of teh Dragon Empires. I mean, his basic raison d'etre is being a perfect consort. Plus, a a moon/night deity, he's bound to have all that dark, brooding and soulful nature that's so attractive.

There's also Kofusachi. I mean, he's not exactly your Mr. Universe model, but if the man managed to create a veritable harem of gods and goddesses, there has to be some mojo on him.

Silver Crusade

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"My name is Lord Tsukyio, I put the Sensual in Consensual."


Hurray! You have uncovered sub-textual sexism in Golarion!
It isn't all that big a deal...they already got rid of the openly misogynistic 'good' deity, and racism among the 'good' deities and heroes is still far, far more prevalent than any other negative quality.

Anyways, you could pretty easily insert a deity resembling Eros/Cupid into your game.

Mavrickindigo wrote:

Isn't Arshea ambigiously gendered?

could be a dude.

I really hope not: there are far too few gender-queer/non-traditional-gendered characters in most fantasy settings. I hope one of the few ambiguously gendered gods in the game stays that way. We aren't as well represented as males or females...


According to greek myth, satyrs ARE the male version of nymphs.


Yet where Nymphs are Chaotic Good, Satyrs are Chaotic Neutral. Do I smell sexism?


Considering some of the methods satyrs were said to have used to slake their lusts, I'd say Chaotic Neutral is the charitable interpretation - they could just as well have ended up as the Fey version of incubi.

Nymphs could certainly get people into trouble, but the stories about them tend to be a tad less rapey.


I know, but that's not what I was getting it.

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Selk wrote:
For something more lustful, romantic and Dionysian, Cayden Cailean could be the unofficial god of cuckolding. It could be a common joke that a woman's, um, 'virtue' is her "little starstone".

I am so stealing that for my Calistran bard!

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137ben wrote:

Hurray! You have uncovered sub-textual sexism in Golarion!

It isn't all that big a deal...they already got rid of the openly misogynistic 'good' deity, and racism among the 'good' deities and heroes is still far, far more prevalent than any other negative quality.

Anyways, you could pretty easily insert a deity resembling Eros/Cupid into your game.

Mavrickindigo wrote:

Isn't Arshea ambigiously gendered?

could be a dude.

I really hope not: there are far too few gender-queer/non-traditional-gendered characters in most fantasy settings. I hope one of the few ambiguously gendered gods in the game stays that way. We aren't as well represented as males or females...

Good deities and racism?

Please expand on your comment. I am intrigued.


xavier c wrote:

"why" this seems to be a major stereotype that males

can't embody love or arent beautiful in someway

Cayden was going to have that portfolio but he was too hungover to get out of bed and file the paperwork.

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