India exercised an irresistible attraction to Britons in search of cultural dépaysement, adventure, spiritual enlightenment or the social advancement that colonial service could provide.1 Imperial authorities were much troubled about immorality among expatriates, and such after-effects of sexual encounters as venereal disease and illegitimate births. These concerns gave rise to legislation concerning brothels, and medical policies to treat disease. Officials nevertheless accepted that young soldiers’ and administrators’ desires would motivate them to seek sexual relationships. They thus tolerated female prostitution, including the establishment of camp brothels to cater to the military.2 Homosexuality, however, was a different question, and British law codes made homosexual acts illegal in India, though they did not forbid the close intimacy between men that might have a homosocial component.3 Colonial rulers also reacted against homosexuality among the Indian elite. Lord Curzon drew up a list of princes with homosexual tastes, which he blamed on early marriage: ‘A boy gets tired of his wife, or of women, at an early age, and wants the stimulus of some more novel or exciting sensation.’ Curzon sent one homosexual prince to the Cadet Corps to learn self-discipline, but then fretted that his influence might corrupt other young men.4 Despite such efforts, homosexuality did not disappear among either Indians or British expatriates.