Viewing the Symposium as an apologetic work provides a useful perspective for grasping its literary and thematic unity, as well as explaining some of its tensions and contradictions. Xenophon offers a portrait of Socrates which shows his excellent character, his social skills, and his great wit. He also addresses the usual charges of poverty and misery, sexual wrong-doing, and religious innovation, as well as addressing indirectly Socrates’ trial and execution. The effort to deal with some of these issues, especially the charge of sexual wrong-doing, is complicated by the contradictory values of Athenian society, and by the contradictory ‘charges’ laid against Socrates. On the one hand Xenophon affirms Socrates’ innocence of fornication with the young men of Athens. On the other hand, he affirms Socrates’ success in seducing young men, and the great erotic satisfaction he gained from his encounters with them, even using the atmosphere of a drinking party to offer delicate admissions about Socrates’ behavior with young men. Rather than seeking a consistent, theoretical account of Socratic eros, Xenophon offers a seductive portrait of a complex personality who was himself a master of self-presentation or pimping.