She prayed to to be united with him forever and the gods, answering her prayer, merged their two forms into one.
At the same time her spring acquired the property of making men who bathed in its waters soft and effeminate.
Hermaphroditos was a son of Hermes and Aphrodite, the gods of male and female sexuality.
According to some he was once a handsome youth who attracted the love of a Naiad nymphe Salmakis (Salmacis).
He clapped his hollow palms against his sides and dived into the pool and, as he swam arm over arm, gleamed in the limpid water like, in a guarding dome of crystal glass, white lilies or a figure of ivory. ’ she cried, and flung aside her clothes and plunged far out into the pool and grappled him and, as he struggled, forced her kisses, willy-nilly fondled him, caressed him; now on one side, now the other clung to him as he fought to escape her hold; and so at last entwined him, like a snake seized by the king of birds and borne aloft, which, as it hangs, coils round his head and claws and with its tail entwines his spreading wings; or ivy wrapping round tall forest trees; or, in the sea, a squid whose whipping arm seize and from every side surround their prey.
Atlantiades [Hermaphroditos] fought back, denied the Nympha her joy; she strained the more; her clinging body seemed fixed fast to his.
’ Her prayer found gods to hear; both bodies merged in one, both blended in one form and face.
As when a gardener sets a graft and sees growth seal the join and both mature together, thus, when in the fast embrace their limbs were knit, they two were two no more, nor man, nor woman--one body then that neither seemed and both.
The nymph of the well fell in love with him, and tried to win his affections, but in vain Once when he was bathing in the well, she embraced him, and prayed to the gods that they might permit her to remain united with him for ever.
The ancient artists frequently represented hermaphrodites, either in groups or separately, and either in a reclining or a standing attitude.