When it comes to antagonists, let's just say that if you have ever played a game about Conan that has featured characters from the books, a few of them were "boy lovers". Conan was before political correctness when it was written, and while it was never a focus, Conan has a major amount of contempt for gays and "boy lovers", and while never descriptive a number of his enemies were supposed to have been weakened by such "civilized decadence". Of course in the video games they rarely even go as far as the stories (both canon, and very old non-canon) did, which wasn't very far. Like most heroes a lot of his enemies "almost get him" in one way or another (a trap or spell, if not a straight fight) so you really can't call them impotent (so to speak) for their orientation irregardless of what Conan might think.
Two words: Citation. Needed.
I'm absolutely stumped by Therumancer's statement. I can think of about three situations that might be construed as vague allusions to homosexuality:
- Thalis' gleeful whipping of Natala in "Xuthal of the Dusk"
- Tascela's suggestive lust for Valeria's youth in "Red Nails"
- A couple of naked slave boys on wine-pouring duty in "The Scarlet Citadel"
And that's it. Exactly zero examples, references, allusions or hints that Conan has anything that could remotely be considered "a major amount of contempt for gays and "boy lovers,"" nor that any of his foes could even be conjectured as homosexual, nor that homosexuality was some sort of result of "civilized decadence." That's not even getting into the fact that I can't recall a Conan game beyond Age of Conan that does feature antagonists from the stories, and even then, from what I can tell they aren't explicitly or suggestively gay. Seriously, am I missing something, guys?
What's even more bizarre is how our man says that this was before the age of PC, as if the public perception of homosexuality in the 1930s had anything to do with political correctness. See, here's the thing: up until the 1970s, homosexuality was largely considered a mental disorder. Think about that. For much of the 20th century, it was the opinion of the scientific community that homosexuality was as much a psychological-behavioural problem as anorexia, schizophrenia, and the multitudes of manias, philias and phobias. In the 1950s and 1960s, you got public service announcements like Boys Beware practically equating homosexuality with paedophilia and sexual predation.
This was made a quarter of a century after Howard's death - and you expect a 1930s Texan to think differently?
So to expect Howard to treat homosexuality as anything other than what not only society, but science considered homosexuality to be at the time - that is, a mental disorder, and anyone who practised what was termed sodomy was breaking the law - is simply preposterous. It's even more ridiculous than expecting him to produce strong female characters (even though he did) or sympathetic black characters (even though he did).
Perhaps he's thinking of one of the pastiches - Lagomorph? Charles? Morgan? - but even then, the first Conan pastiche wasn't around until 20 years after Howard's death. I wouldn't put it past someone like Carter, Moore or Perry. Perry had some weird stuff.
Oh, and Therumancer said "irregardless." That isn't a word.