Here's an interesting quote from Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia by Jean Bottéro that adds to my blog rants on sexuality in ancient times (p.123-124):
Before I continue let me just say that "professional homosexual" is unfortunate wording, making it sound as though homosexuals do nothing but have sex all day and that some even go professional. [Pause for laughter...] Within the greater context of the paragraph though, the author is talking about prostitutes as a whole, some of which happen to be homosexual.
"Since homosexual love was perfectly tolerated in the land, provided that it did not harm anyone, it should not be surprising to see professional homosexuals here, as if to balance the 'religious' prositutes mentioned above, the assinu, the kurgarru, the kulu'u, and even, on occasion, the kolû, who had rather a bad reputation in this regard, although we do not really know why. Nor do we know under what conditions they expressed their profession or their duties. But we occasionally see them dressed as women, holding strictly feminine accessories (such as a spindle) in their hands in addition to manly weapons, as if to point out their sexual ambiguity, and taking part, at least in honor of Ištar, in ritual, ambiguous, or lascivious dances. They were not, however, firmly integrated into the clerical corps, and their specific designation referred above all to their condition and to their way of making love."
Putting aside the risky wording, Jean mentions three terms in the Babylonian language referring to specialized types of prostitutes. John Barclay Burns from George Mason University published in The Journal of Religion & Society the article Devotee or Deviate with more detail on what exactly these terms meant as part of a larger explanation of sexuality in Ancient Israel and the Old Testament:
"Sources from Mesopotamia testify to the existence of male cult figures whose sexuality was confused or liminal and who engaged in various sex-related practices. One text refers to the sinnišānu, literally, 'woman-like,' who went into a tavern and agreed to divide his earnings, presumably with the tavern-keeper. Taverns were permitted places of resort for prostitutes of both sexes. The assinnu was a member of Ishtar’s cultic staff with whom, it seems, a man might have intercourse, whose masculinity had become femininity (Erra IV 55-56; CAD, A: 341). The effeminate kulu'u, not a zikaru, a 'real' man, and the transvestite kurgarrû sang, acted, and danced in the worship of Inanna/Ishtar. The kulu'u was certainly regarded as a male prostitute in the saying, amat LU kulu'u u: ha-rim-ti URU, “the word of the male or female prostitute of the city” (CAD, K: 529, 557). W. G. Lambert argued that there was a fair amount of evidence for a cluster of male types notorious for their femininity and that they served as prostitutes. One of these, the assinnu, lacked libido, either from a natural defect or castration (152-53). M. Nissinen pointed out that the cuneiform signs used for assinnu were UR.SAL, 'dog/woman,' evidently an insulting designation (32). Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the cognate Akkadian word for dog, kalbu, was ever employed as a metaphor in this precise context."
And thus we come full circle by ending it off with Old Testament sexuality. The picture above is old religious art portraying the so-called "Whore of Babylon" as it was written in the book of Revelation, a symbol of decaying morals. As we can tell by this wording alone, there was a sense of moral supremacy in regards to sexuality throughout the biblical scriptures and a constant war between misunderstood foreign moralities and their own. Sound familiar in the modern day?