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THE STATUS OF THE COURTESAN

Throughout history, men have wanted more sex than has been available to them. Academics call it the sexual deficit. And throughout history women have wanted access to power and security. And societal structures in every culture in the world has historically denied women power. People under thirty have little concept of how shocking it was when Margaret Thatcher became the first female leader of a great economic power. Now of course, it is unremarkable – except in America. Through history women´s access to power and security was through men. And through the power that sex gave women over men.

The Status of the Courtesan

No wonder then that to be a courtesan would have been a great achievement providing at least for some time comfort and luxury in a harsh world. Courtesans often had children with their lover ensuring in a lot of cases that they had status and a longevity of relationship and some even became wives moving up in society. Often though not always even after the gentleman moved on a bequest would be made to the lady. It was far less transactional and cut and dried than, say, the life of even the most high class escort working in modern day London, New York or Ibiza. Though some things do not change. In historical times being the acknowledged financially supported mistress of a powerful man would vastly improve her finances if not her status. High status courtesans would be chased and were highly prized individuals sometimes moving from lover to lover seamlessly. From Roman courtesans through Japanese Geisha to the court of Louis XV, sex, beauty and intelligence was how women gained and wielded power.

These ladies has a well established place in the pecking order and a recognisable place in society. They sold beauty and skills and were well reward for it. The high end courtesan has not disappeared but they are still about. Now everything has a price and nothing has value and so although human nature has not changed our attitude to it has. And call me old fashioned if you like, but I am not sure that everyone being so damned hypocritical and politically correct about the reality of human sexual desire and the basis of sexual and emotional attraction is a good thing.