Catullus, Ovid, Seneca the Elder, Martial, Pliny, Apuleius – in Imperial Latin literature we find many texts which deal with the question of whether erotic poetry allows any conclusions about its author. Usually, the authors apply the so-called lex Catulli arguing that, while the poems might be lewd, the poet himself has decent morals. In my paper I want to analyze and compare such literary apologiae showing that they are more diverse than is commonly recognized. In order to do so, I will analyze how the relation between the apologetic speaker – usually identified with the empirical author – and the speaker of the erotic poetry is depicted in each case. As I will show, the apologetic strategy never consists in depicting erotic poetry as purely fictional, thus differentiating clearly between the speaker of the erotic text and the empirical author. Rather, the relation between the speakers is modelled as one of gradual convergence: the ego of erotic poetry and the ego of apology have some characteristics in common while differing in others. Depending on the context of the utterance and the composition of an author’s complete oeuvre, the texts vary, however, in defining the similarities and differences. Thus, we encounter very different types of apologetic speakers.