A History of Courtesans In South Asia — How Colonialism lead to the Degradation of the Lives of Prostitutes

 Ghazala-Javed

Ghazala Javed, popular Pashto singer killed in 2012 by her ex-husband

—–

I recently submitted an essay about the history of Courtesans in South Asia. It’s quite lengthy, but I thought it would be of interest to those interested in how notions of gender and sexuality changed dramatically with regards to modernity. Here is a brief summary of some key issues:

1. Notions of gender and sexuality in Non-Western parts of the world were quite relaxed and fluid compared to today’s context. 

2. Colonialism projected European discourses of gender and sexuality onto the world and posited prude Victorian morality as ‘superior.’ These discourses were adopted and internalized by many leaders of the non-West. 

3. To understand the ‘strict’ norms of sexuality in certain parts of the non-West today, one must look at how colonialism changed former notions of gender and sexuality. 

My own interest in this topic was sparked by common stereotypes that I hear about men from South Asia or Islamic parts of the world. More often than once, I encounter white-European clients whom are often quite shocked when I tell them that my lovers of the past and present have been Muslim men — they become more shocked when I tell them that I prefer men from my own culture, or similar backgrounds. The common thing I hear is, “But don’t Muslim, or brown men, treat their women terribly? I usually giggle slightly and say something along the lines of, “My dear, that’s not true. There are good and bad in all people” And then, if they are interested to hear, I give them a little history about how the Western media is obsessed with portraying the non-West (namely Muslim-majority countries) as oppressive, especially towards women. It is an unfortunate reality that many people have accepted incorrect discourses (constructed stereotypes) towards certain cultures, which has inspired myself and many others to challenge this narrative.

I started my essay by talking about the 2012 murder of a popular Pashto singer, Ghazala Javed, and how her death can easily fall into the widespread “Oppressive Brown/Muslim Man” narrative. Ghazala was killed by her ex-husband, allegedly on the grounds that her career as a mujra, a combination of both singing and dancing, was considered morally shameful for a woman. Yet contrary to popular Western narratives, female entertainers like Ghazala Javed, historically more broadly known as courtesans, were once held with cultural significance and social esteem in many parts of South Asia. Ghazala Javed was of Pashtun descent, an ethnic group in Pakistan and Afghanistan, more recently known for their affiliation with the Taliban. Pashtuns, in particular, are often stereotyped for their rigid control over women, which became more pronounced with their association with Taliban fundamentalism.

The media’s portrayal of certain Islamic/South Asian cultures as cesspools of male violence against women is an ongoing trend, a continuation of Orientalism. In 1978, professor Edward Said wrote Orientalism, in which he argues how knowledge of the non-Western world, the Orient, was imagined through a Western lens. Western writings about the Orient, which Said called Orientalism, were presented as objective knowledge — meaning, they were presented as factual. In reality, however, European Orientalist writings about the Orient were shaped by dominant European ideologies, such as social Darwinism. In Orientalist writings, cultures of the non-West were viewed as static, or unchanging, and essentialist, meaning peoples of the non-West were all essentially the same. The framework of Orientalism helps to show how dominant Western stereotypes about women in South Asia do not depict the reality necessarily. Many stereotypes today about the non-West stem from colonialism, which portrayed peoples of the non-West as ‘inferior’ and thereby valourizing the West as ‘superior.’ Such stereotypes had a powerful effect, and manifested in various forms of colonial rule. In essence, colonialism irreversibly changed the roles of men and women in colonized parts of the world. It is particularly interesting to note how colonialism changed notions of gender and sexuality in colonized parts of the world. For this post, I will focus on how colonialism degraded the status of the esteemed courtesan. 

Tawaif

courtesan-palace

Depiction of Courtesans relaxing in the kotha

South Asian Courtesans Before British Colonial Rule

Prior to high noon of British colonialism, courtesans were esteemed in the sense that they were able to attain wealth, exercise power and hold status in society independently of male control. The memoir of the Lucknow courtesan Umrao Jaan, provides one insight into the life of courtesan before and after the establishment of the British Raj in 1858. Historian Veena Talwar-Oldenburg attributes how Umrao Jaan’s elevated lifestyle coincides with testimonies of other courtesans of the early colonial period. As Talwar notes, courtesans constituted a matriarchy, where they were able to run their lives, thereby subverting patriarchal norms that existed outside the kotha. The kotha, or female apartments, were spaces where females held authority, where they could exercise their agency over men, such as clients, musicians, male servants, etc. Many courtesans were highly skilled in Urdu and Persian literature, kathak dancing, singing and various other arts. In many parts of precolonial India, the arts of the courtesan were highly praised and patronized by the wider society. For instance, a courtesan was not only courted by men, but courtesans were also summoned by women to perform at weddings, ceremonies, etc. From these snap-shots, it seems courtesans were not simply sexual objects with no significance, but were instead valourized as artists, offering an amalgam of entertainments beyond just sex. The historical role of these women is in stark contrast with their fate after colonial rule and independence.

courtesan

From 1858 onwards, British colonial rule fundamentally changed the social fabric of South Asian society. Many British narratives expressed the urgency to bring ‘civilization’ to uplift Indians from their alleged primitiveness. The very idea of ‘civilizations’ stems from social Darwinist theory, in which cultures were ranked on an evolutionary scale. In this European ideology, Europeans were ranked at the top as racially ‘superior’ whilst peoples of non-West were considered primitive, backwards, inferior, uncivilized. The British often posited their ‘superior’ treatment of women as a justification for their superiority. In British colonial India, the British expressed ‘humanitarian’ agendas to ‘uplift’ Indian women from ‘barbaric’ cultural practices, such as child marriage, polygyny, and the esteemed courtesan tradition. If these practices were deemed ‘inferior’ then it indirectly was juxtaposing the British Victorian womanhood as ideal. Such colonial discourses were influential in the 19th century, because the British had the imperial power to assert their dominance on a global scale. Said’s framework of Orientalism, however, shows another dimension to British narratives of ‘protecting the brown woman.’ Many European discourses were strategic in denouncing cultures of the non-West, as stereotypes were powerful ideological tools to maintain imperial interests. In other words, in order to gain support for imperial exploitation of the South Asia, the British had to portray their missions as ‘humanitarian’– to bring ‘civilization’ to people of the non-West. While social Darwinist ideology is dismissed as pseudo-science today, it is important to note how influential such stereotypes would become when pertaining to gender. In the mid-19th century onwards, Indian male nationalists, fearing to fall behind on the so-called evolutionary scale, were keen to show that their women were ‘civilized’ along British ideals of womanhood. The ‘ideal’ Indian woman became redefined along the lines of Victorian morality — she was now domestic, chaste, and hailed as the ‘Goddess’ of the house. This new ‘ideal’ woman was in conflict with former notions of gender, especially for the courtesan, whose livelihood gradually became constructed as ‘immoral.’

courtesan-languishing

Oil Painting Depiction of an Elegantly Attired Courtesan

This new ‘ideal’ woman, projected by British colonial discourses, became internalized and promoted by Indian male nationalists from the 19th century onwards. These new gender ideals also became institutionalized, and resultantly had dire implications for courtesans. One major blow to courtesan tradition was the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act, a British law that mandated state regulation and control over the bodies of courtesans, subjecting them to mandatory testing, thereby reducing their agency and reducing them to what the British envisaged as a common prostitute. The 1864 Contagious Diseases Acts were propagated to protect women from sexual diseases, but it also indirectly functioned to stigmatize ‘unregulated’ sex as ‘unhygienic,’ thus giving prostitutes a stigma of being ‘dirty.’ In 1892, the Anti Nautch Movement was another aim to stop the courtesan traditional, and had wide support by both the British and educated Hindu elite who collaborated with the British. In 1893, in The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood, a British missionary named Mrs. Marcus B. Fuller dedicated an entire chapter to denounce the ‘nautch’ tradition and endorse the Anti-Nautch Movement. In her words, she described nautch girls (courtesans) as “rich, beautiful and very attractive, besides being witty and pleasant in conversation; and they are the only women that move freely.” Ironically, this description she gives of courtesans is what she considers immoral, or “disgraceful” and overall, a danger to social harmony. It was during the late 19th century when prostitutes became posited as ‘The Great Social Evil’ by European missionaries and moralists. Clearly, Mrs. Fuller was an advocate of colonial ideals of ‘ideal’ womanhood. Interestingly, she posits the clients, or patrons, of courtesans, as victims of the courtesan’s seductive power and thereby men are “wasting” their money on these women. Mrs. Fuller’s account was not out of the ordinary, as even British men related to her view. In 1851, the infamous British explorer Richard Burton wrote about courtesans whom thrived in Sindh, and like Mrs. Fuller, he seemed quite displeased at the social esteem given to these women. Accounts like Burton and Fuller echo the prevailing Victorian discourse of gender and sexuality that ‘ideal’ women should be chaste, domestic. Indian male nationalists, keen to prove they were ‘civilized,’ often supported campaigns against courtesans too. In effect, laws and campaigns to regulate women’s bodies gradually lead to the degradation of South Asian courtesans. Despite crackdowns, however, the courtesan culture continued to exist, yet now marginal, criminalized and stigmatized due to new colonial realities.

European critiques of South Asian culture were not without protest. In fact, many nationalists saw reviving their cultural traditions as a form of anti-colonial protest. While the courtesan represented elements of traditional culture in South Asian society, revivalists, however, seldom embraced the once noble courtesan tradition. One would assume being anti-colonial would mean rejecting the colonial gender discourses that were projected onto South Asia, yet ironically anti-colonial discourses were often propagated by Western-educated Indian elite, who’s views were heavily fused with European ideologies. Hindu revivalists, for instance, often wanted to revert back to an imagined ‘pure’ ancient Hindu past, and European notions of what it meant to be ‘pure’ heavily influenced their modern interpretations of ‘purity.’ Because the recent courtesan tradition was associated with elite Islamic culture, Hindu revivalists often discredited acts from the Islamic period as not part of the ‘pure’ Hindu past. Even Mahatma Gandhi adopted this flaw; he was determined in his anti-colonial stance, yet was not keen on the courtesan tradition. Tula and Pande explain this irony, “nationalists saw them [courtesans] embodying everything that a modern, educated Hindu woman would not do.” Rather ironic, yet many nationalists and their supporters, including women, adhered to new discourses of ‘ideal’ womanhood. These attitudes continued into the post-1947 contexts of independent India and Pakistan, and thus the modern nation-state is not without its colonial legacies. As historian Shahnaz Khan notes in “Zina and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women,” women became, “the biological and cultural reproducers of the nation. As such, their sexuality is a valuable resource that is utilized to service their families and the nation” In other words, Khan highlights how gender control became vital to the nation-state, as it’s instrumentally used to retain hegemonic power. Therefore, any potential support for the courtesan tradition would be undermined because it poses a challenge to the prevalent and internalized discourses of ‘ideal’ womanhood. In any case, women who continued to entertain or sell themselves did not have much of a voice, but instead those in power were deciding their fates. The practice of silencing a group, and stereotyping them was, however, a strategic practice from colonialism onwards.

Pashtun tribal 19th Century

Pashtun Tribals in the 19th century

            The colonial discourses on the Pashtun people provide an interesting insight as they were often stereotyped as the most culturally ruthless groups in South Asia. In many contemporary and colonial Western accounts, their violent ‘nature’ was often described in essentialist ways. For instance, R. E. Newman’s Pathan Tribal Patterns describes how Pashtun culture follows a strict adherence to a code of honor, or Pakhtunwali. In reference to them, he notes, “The tribal people are most renowned for their physical acts of violence.” Newman also notes how women are tied to the code of honor, where “zan, zar, and zamin (woman, gold, and land)” are part of a man’s honor. In Newman’s view, it’s as if the Pashtun ‘code of honor’ remains static, ahistorical. Recent scholarship, however, has shown how and why such stereotypes came about.  In The Pathan Unarmed, Mukilika Bannerjee makes used of Said’s Orientalism to explain how the British colonial discourses were influential in demonizing the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and colonial India. In 1840, British attempts to conquer Kabul were defeated by the Pashtuns, and thus arose British discourses vilifying Pashtun people. In other words, the British, with their imperial arrogance, had to show ‘face’ by showing that they were only defeated because the Pashtuns were culturally ‘barbaric, brutal, violent,’ etc. This does not mean the Pashtun were actually hostile people, yet the British constructed them in negatives ways to uphold British status-quo. Unfortunately, these stereotypes were widely disseminated. Popular literature, such as Rudyard Kiplings Kim, for instance, echoed this stereotype of the ‘fierce’ Pashtun tribal man. These stereotypes of Pashtuns continue today and were reinforced in new ways with the Talibanization of North-West Frontier provinces after 9/11.

Unlike today, Pashtun notions of honor were different when considering they were once able to accommodate and even valourize the existence of courtesans. Therefore, notions of honor that remain today cannot be considered culturally ahistorical. As historian A.T. Fildis notes, “honour is a relative term and can be defined and redefined in various socio-economic and cultural contexts with different attributes and its sources and meanings varying from culture to culture.” In “Dancing Girls of Swat Valley,” Shaheen Buneri compares the historical esteem of courtesans in Swat, Pakistan to their position today, where such women are held with contempt by the public society.  Buneri interviews a woman named Nagina, a modern mujra, who states “We don’t have any respect in society (…) Generally we are not considered morally good people.” The fact that modern ‘dancing girls’ do not have any social respect is quite puzzling, given courtesans of Swat, in particular, once were held with high regard. Before the inception of Pakistan, the region of Swat was a princely state, ruled by a Wali. Under the Wali of Swat, the arts of the courtesan were patronized and embraced, and even one Wali is said to have married a courtesan. Even the writings of colonial moralist Mrs. Fuller, despite condemning courtesans, noted that courtesans of the North-West Frontier provinces were “treated with as much courtesy as if she were a princess descended from a distinguished royal line.” Like other parts of India, courtesans in Swat were subject to the same gradual degradation that came with colonial influence. Like Indian male nationalists, Pashtun men also became courted by the allure of nationalism, with its European ideological underpinnings, between 1930 and 1947. And of course, women came to be redefined by nationalists as the bearers of culture and nation. Thus, new notions of womanhood also shifted Pashtun notions of honor with regards to new realities.

pakeeza-tawaif

Bollywood’s adaptation of a life of a courtesan in “Pakeezah,” starring the lovely Meena Kumari. A courtesan could seduce and mesmerize her audience whilst fully dressed, and therefore was not an insignificant object.

From Artist to Object

            In Pakistan, as with India, the former tawaif (courtesan) tradition gradually died out in terms of its traditional function within society. It transformed into a degraded state of commercial sex work, with some women also providing imitations of the courtesan tradition by way of singing and dancing along with selling sex. In “Performance, Status and Hybridity in a Pakistani Red-Light District: The Cultural Production of the Courtesan,” Louise Brown provides an ethnographic account of more recent sex-work in the once thriving kotha district of Heera Mandi in Lahore. Brown’s research shows how realities in independent Pakistan, where prostitution was made illegal in 1960, shapes the lives of the women who continue to live and work in Heera Mandi. Brown notes that some of these women do attain wealth and prestige for short periods in their youth, yet wider social attitudes towards these women remain hostile. Thus, even if a courtesan is desired or gains wealth, it remains in secret and as Brown notes, “it is highly unlikely to be translated into power and status outside the brothel quarter.” Unlike the past, Brown also notes how most clients of today’s courtesans do not have an appreciation for the traditional arts of the courtesan, which coincides with Buneri’s interview with Nagina, a mujra who claims her clients are “more interested in my body rather than in my art.” It’s clear that modern courtesans are in a degraded state, which is an implication of colonialism and aftermath. What is more unfortunate is the overwhelming majority of women in Heera Mandi, according to Brown, were selling their services to overcome economic hardships. Buneri’s research also highlights how many Pashtun women from Swat, due to the poverty after the Taliban insurgency after 9/11, fled to Peshawar where many had to sell their bodies along with singing and dancing to survive. The popular Pashto singer Ghazala Javed, also from Swat, moved to Peshawar and is said to have resorted to singing and dancing to escape poverty. The current unfortunate realities of courtesans and sex-workers stem from the colonial period and the resulting powers that intensified the role of the ‘ideal’ woman within society.

Iqbal Hussain Painting Mujra Tawaif

Poverty & Despair: Iqbal Hussain Painting of Heera Mandi prostitutes in their ‘down-time.’ Iqbal Hussain is a famous painter known for his ‘un-glamorous’ portrayals of modern, impoverished prostitutes in Heera Mandi. Interestingly, he is the son of a former courtesan from Heera Mandi in Lahore.

The Impact of Fundamentalism on Gender and Sexuality

Like the Hindu-fundamentalist revivalism that started in the nationalist period in India, post-independent Pakistani leaders also had their own Islamist fundamentalist agendas.* In 1979, General Zia al-Haq implemented Zina Laws, aiming to criminalize any sexual acts outside of marriage. As Shahnaz Khan notes in “Zina and the moral regulation of Pakistani women,” Zina laws were part of the 1979 Hadood Ordinances, which was General Zia al-Haq’s “first step in his Islamization policies.” As Khan notes, Zina laws were intended to create a ‘moral’ and just society in Pakistan, yet her and others have argued that it was a process of the state aiming to regulate the bodies of women. In other words, Islamic fundamentalism has nothing to do with the true ideals of Islam as a religion — it is important to note the difference, since fundamentalist agendas re-interpret religion for political motives. With regards to sex-workers in Pakistan, the Zina Laws were not entirely enforced, yet it compelled sex workers to be more discreet, made them vulnerable to criminalization and overall, further discredited their livelihoods. After September 11th 2011, when the U.S. launched war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Taliban fled to the Swat Valley region of Pakistan. In Swat, the Taliban were extreme towards women, in that women were not allowed to go to school or work. These measures were the Taliban’s interpretation of a ‘pure’ Islamic society. Yet again, Taliban fundamentalism is a political movement that has nothing to do with essences of Islam. For courtesans in Swat, the Taliban insurgency is said to have drastically disrupted their roles, as “women and villagers affiliated with the arts” were first targeted and banned. Given that Islamic fundamentalism was widespread, it would indeed influence social attitudes. One can speculate that Ghazala Javed’s ex-husband, her murderer, internalized fundamentalist rhetoric, and likely saw her career as a singer and dancer as ‘un-Islamic.’ Yet how can female entertainers be considered ‘un-Islamic’ if they once were tolerated in pre-colonial Islamic societies? The Taliban, therefore, like other fundamentalists, are painting their discourses with colonial gender ideologies. Moreover, when fundamentalists condemn courtesans or other female performers, they fail to note how many of these women are resorting to this work out of economic hardship. Shahnaz Khan notes how poverty plays a role in contemporary Pakistani society: “Families with little means to cope with increasingly inflation and chronic unemployment often find that their daughter’s sexuality is a valuable asset.” Islamic fundamentalism, like Hindu fundamentalism, is a consequence of European colonialism and has been intensified by new post-colonial global realities. The implications are that women, today, are left in a vulnerable position, as there seems to be no fight against discourses of using women as cultural markers. With regards to Pakistani women, Tahmina Rashid depicts their murky position within society: “In Pakistan, the female body has been politicized to such an extent that it functions as a battleground for ideological, philosophical, and religious debates and agendas between pseudo-modernist military regimes and traditionalist mullahs.”

The 2012 murder of Ghazala Javed highlights how certain women are in South Asia are caught in the deadly rift between new state regulations and fundamentalist agendas, both implications from colonialism. The media propagates the vulnerability of South Asian women as a cultural problem, yet media representations ignore historical and socio-economic aspects that have made the conditions for violence against women to occur. Without historical analysis, then Ghazala Javed’s murder will be considered just another ‘honor killing’ that’s typical of South Asian/Islamic cultures. When the problematic notion of ‘honor killing’ is accepted, then it takes away from the fact that European colonialism and it’s legacy caused social disruption to such an extent that it played a defining role in establishing the conditions for violence against women today. Cultural essentialist notions on the oppression of women indirectly, as Eva Reimer notes, posits the West as a role model for better treatment of women, thereby ignoring how Western women too are subjected to oppression within the nation-state setting. It’s clear that Orientalist stereotypes still holds sway and continues to valourize the West as the ‘ideal’ to aspire too. The fact that contemporary courtesans today, seen as ‘dishonorable,’ were once the most esteemed of women in many parts of precolonial South Asia makes cultural essentialist narratives invalid. Therefore, it is the onset of colonial discourses that disrupted former notions of gender and lead to the problems today. And unfortunately, the colonial ‘legacies’ of gender are still yet to be untangled. Yet at least with more understanding of how gender is constructed, shaped, changed and remade, then individuals can be more accepting of those who do not fit with the current ‘ideal.’ Perhaps Ghazala Javed would still be alive if her ex-husband and her community were aware of how notions of gender and sexuality were once embracing of women in her position, rather than see them as women ‘with no honor.’

*Note: The term ‘Islamist’ is used to refer to fundamentalists, which are political movements that uses the rhetoric of reviving an imagined ‘pure’ past. The violent and oppressive aims of certain Islamist movements have nothing to with the religion of Islam. A great quote from the film Water (2005) captures fundamentalists of any kind, “Disguised as religion, it’s just about money.”

Bibliography

Banerjee, Mukulika. The Pathan Unarmed: Opposition and Memory in the North West Frontier. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Brown, Louise. “Performance, Status and Hybridity in a Pakistani Red-Light District: The Cultural Production of the Courtesan.” Sexualities 10, no. 4 (2007): 409-423.

Buneri, Shaheen. “Dancing Girls of the Swat Valley.” World Policy Journal 28, no. 3 (2011): 73-81.

Burton, Richard. Sindh and the Races that inhabit the Indus Valley. New York: Oxford University Press, 1851.

Fildis, A. T. “The Historical Roots and Occurrence of Honour-Related Violence in Non-Muslim and Muslim Societies.” Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World 11 (2013): 1-15.

Forbes, Geraldine. Women in Modern India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Foucault, Michel. A History of Sexuality, vol. 1, 1978.

Fuller, Mrs. Marcus B. The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood. New York: Young People’s Missionary Movement, 1900.

Khan, Shahnaz. “Zina” and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women.” Feminist Review, no 75 (2003): 75-100.

Kumar, Deepa & Stabile, Carol A. “Unveiling imperialism: media, gender and the war on Afghanistan.” Media, Culture & Society 27 (2005): 765-778.

Massad, Joseph. Desiring Arabs. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2007.

Newman, R. E. Pathan Tribal Patterns. New Delhi: The Caxton Press, 1965.

Pande, Rekha., & Tula, Meenal. “Re-Inscribing the Indian Courtesan: A Genealogical Approach.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 15, no. 1 (2014): 67-82.

Rashid, Tahmina. “Militarized Masculinities, Female Bodies, and ‘Security Discourse’ in Post-9/11 Pakistan.” Strategic Analysis 33, no. 4 (2009): 566-578.

Reimers, Eva. “Representations of an Honor Killing.” Feminist Media Studies 7, no. 3 (2007): 239-255.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1995.

Sarkar, Sumit & Sarkar, Tanika., eds.  Women and Social Reform in Modern India. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Talwar, Veena. “Lifestyle as resistance: the case of the courtesan of Lucknow, India.” Feminist Studies 16, no. 2 (1990): 259-287.

 

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Filed under Facts About the Sex Industry

An Honorable Love

I honored the memories by enduring the pain,

I did not numb, I did not run away, I just lived and accepted the torment.

My silence was my honor.

You, however, honored it by drowning yourself in alcohol.

In this new far away place,

Without heart, you perform your 5 daily prayers.

And this is how you show your honor,

Desperate to boost your ego, your faltering sense of ‘pride,’

By buying women, using them to quench your hunger, and discarding them once you’ve eaten their souls.

Oh, an honorable lover indeed.

Foolishly, I once considered our seperation akin to tales of the Great Lovers.

Only to realize, I was the only one mourning.

Oh, what wasted tears.

To realize all that flattery was really a slow, indirect rape.

Cunning foxes always use their charm,

To use others to please their own selfish desires.

Does a fox ever repent for the blood that remains on his teeth?

I will burn, I will accept the humiliation and embrace it,

For pain is ultimately strength, and I fear no longer to endure it.

Unlike you, who fears a drop of despair.

The laws of physics now apply:

“What goes up must come down,”

you have fallen from the pedestal.

And thus, no longer worthy of honor.

-Myself

———————-

fragrant garden

The following poem was written by a man, in praise of the scent of his lover:

A Woman’s Scent

That night when my mother
took me to her breasts
I knew woman had a scent
quite different from man’s…

Tonight you still remind me of
my mother’s old fragrance
though you too have your different scent -
a scent entirely your own!

In summer, an aroma of apple juice
envelopes your breasts. In monsoon,
the wet fragrance of wild forest flowers
in your hair. And in the winter,
your arms smacking of honeyed milk
and your lovely feet of jasmines. In spring,
this strong odour of musk in your loins,
and in your navel that faint lavender!

In different seasons, you smell differently.
In different places, you smell differently.

But when I smell you entirely at once,
my love,
your scent becomes
an undefinable something!

-Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

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Filed under My Poetry and Others

Sheherazade Becomes Marginal in a Society that Embraces Apathy

Image

When you live in a society where shallowness is embraced, there will be a mass following of people who imitate shallowness.

You see, the elite can only thrive with a mass following, by creating a mass appeal, popularity.

The merciless thrive by exploiting the basic human desires, and brand their strategies with the facade of “love” or “humanity.”

This shallowness is a form of turbulence — keeping us distracted, distancing us from Light.

Light can seem invisible with turbulent vision; yet the wise know Light continues to radiate in full spectra in undetected forms.

The wise know to be wary of “charming” promises, as Plato says “Things are not what they appear.”

It is only those placed in liminal states who are able to contrast between discourses.

But you see, our state of being is not a static entity. Circumstances can harden us, circumstances can soften us –

Can one be so optimistic these days?

Something new is occurring in human history, with humans being hardened into objects, irreversibly.

Resistance is strategically kept powerless and marginal.

If only Foucault was alive to see his biopolitics now.

The once optimistic feeling of softening the soul is being negated in a new social transformation who’s future is unknown.

Long ago, Sheherazade softened the heart of King Shariyar. But this was a time when the art of wisdom was patronized by the ruling elite.

Once, people were aware of the dehumanization resulting from objectification.

An objectified human becomes inanimate, lacking substance — yet this obsolescence is embraced!

Now, increasingly, the art of wisdom is silenced, and instead ‘information’ prevails.

Modern education is information, not knowledge — and the marginal are drowning.

A life of simulated shallowness, avarice and merciless individualism is propagated as “the promise” and masks the greedy profit that lies underneath

I have softened the hearts of many men. Though, I am limited in the abundance of human drones.

A drone is taught to valorise surfaces only, like the body; it cannot detect the emotional depth of the soul.

How foolish of me to consider myself a Sheherazade in a society that is morally bankrupt!

You see, in a world where shallowness prevails, the shallow ideals will be rewarded.

Oh, the days when I was an object, I only attracted objects!

Oh, I am fully aware, that if I transformed myself into a walking simulation of stupidity (a shapely ass and big pair of tits as my sole identity), then I will reign popularity.

But you see, now, I refuse to be an inanimate object.

How could anyone be an object once they’ve reached their soul?

I speak in a language that cannot be comprehended so easily,

it will only resonate by those immersed in Love.

My silence speaks this language.

My God, I am so thankful You reign in my heart, radiating Your Beauty

The burning of my heart keeps me from solidifying into a cold, hardened object. I’m melting in Your bliss.

Love will shine, it radiates in all forms to those whose surfaces are still permeable.

-Myself

*The tale of Scheherazade is symbolic in showcasing that wisdom is what makes a human worthy of being. Scheherazade changed King Shahriyar’s murderous vengence towards women, and inevitably softened his heart. How? She used her wisdom, her knowledge — she was not simply an object. The symbolism has relevance to today’s context: When a human is simply an object, devoid of inner depth, they become perceived as insignificant, disposable as an inanimate object. Sadly, it has become a trend in modern societies for people to identify in objectifying manners, thereby neglecting the ripening of their inner beings. This trend is a reflection of the ‘popular’ social values that are advertised by all forms of media/social media. 

___________

set free

“They have taken us prisoners,

They’ve locked us up.

But that’s nothing…

The worst

is when people –knowingly or not –

carry prison inside themselves”

-Nizam Hikmet

(trans. Sisir Kumar Das 378)

___________

Do Panjereh

(…)

always been a distance

between your hands and mine.

always with this bitterness

our days and nights have passed.

 *

there is not a very long distance between us, but

(even this short distance) seems so far.

the only connection between you and me

is the kind caressing hands of wind.

*

we are forced to stay captive.

we will stay captive as long as we live.

for us the only way to freedom is death.

as soon as we are set free, we will die.

*

Oh, I wish this wall would fall down

so that you and me will die together

and in another world

we will be able to hold hands, be together.

may be in that other world,

the pain of shunning and hatred wont exists in hearts.

(may be in that new world) between their windows

wont be any barrier of walls.

-Googoosh

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Three Years Of Escort Diary

Old Man: “From the hot fire of being apart, comes the flame that burns the heart”

Lateef: “That was beautiful, you speak very well.”

Old Man: “These are words from the heart, my son”

-Dialogue from the film Baran (2001).

courtesan-dressingI started this blog three years ago. I started it during an important change in my life. I had just left my engagement. I had just immersed myself into the realm of working independently for the first time, without knowing what to expect. I was also a full-time University student. Three years later, I claim myself as a high-end courtesan, and strangely enough I feel a similar emptiness that I experienced when I started this blog three years ago. But much has changed indeed.

It would be incorrect to say that I’ve been empty and sad continuously. A prostitutes life and experiences witnesses an amalgam of emotions; nothing is static. In the past three years, there has been happiness and many blessings, and I’ve had many beautiful experiences. I am very thankful for them. My heart was grasped by my great lover, the Sheik, whom I wrote about in these past years. And as I had written, our love did eventually hit a brick wall, shattering our hearts. Wounds remain fresh. Burning, I am trying to see the beauty in this pain. For the moment, I honor this love by lonesome tears, finding the torment of separation unbearable, hopeless at times. The beautiful memories are starting to become clouded amongst the pain. And worst, I never showed any sorrow outwardly. Strangely enough, I concealed all of my pain with the facade of pride, thereby masking the tears of honor. In hopeless moments, I wanted all the love to turn into hate. But the truth remains in the heart. God only knows the extent of my heart, the honoring of love through tears.

Here is an incomplete poem I wrote a while ago: 

In the midst of helplessness, I sought to destroy my image.

Perhaps intentionally, I destroyed myself before your eyes,

Tarnishing your perception of my beauty, my grace,

Converting the good memories into hate, regret, despair.

But my intentions were for the sake of survival,

So that you can feel no remorse, so you forget my beauty, forget our bliss.

You can say, “She never loved me. She only loved money. She is happy selling herself. She has other men in her life.”

I painted this false impression.

Yes, in my state of helplessness, I wanted you to believe these things, so you feel no guilt.

For hating me will make your life easier rather than seeing that I loved you with all my heart and life.

Though silent and concealed, God only knows the extent of my honor,

The secrets lay concealed in my heart.

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For this post, I will share some meaningful, poetic lyrics to a song:

madhubala-tawaif

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya  – When we love, why should we fear?

The following lyrics are from the masterpiece film Mughal E Azam (1960) which is filled with the most enriching Urdu dialogue and songs. The film depicts the legend of Anarkali, the tragic tale of the Mughal Prince Salim and his love Anarkali, a courtesan. In the film, Anarkali sings the song Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya to defend her love with Prince Salim, and also to defend the honesty of her heart (she was accused of deceit). By revealing her heart in this song, she was risking her own life. Her honest heart lead to her imprisonment.  Her love, Prince Salim, also endured all the punishments for the sake of their love. For as the song says, “We have only loved, why should we be afraid?” The Urdu lyrics are powerful and expressed so beautifully. Visually, I love watching the actress Madhubala performs this song so eloquently. Here is a translation of the lyrics:

It is but once that man falls in love with another

In anguish he lives, in anguish he dies

When we have loved, why should we fear?

We have loved, not committed a theft

We have only loved

Why should we be afraid?

I’ll reveal today the secrets that stay in my heart

Death is what the world witnesses

What good is dying a death of sufferance like this?

We have loved, why should we fear?

In desire of him, I shall burn

For love, I shall live

For love, I shall die

Nothing more is my will

Now that I am in love, why must I fear?

Our love will not remain hidden

Everywhere around us are stories of our love

There is nothing that separates us from God

Why should we create barriers between humans?

We have loved, why should we fear?

Watch Madhubala’s beautiful performance of Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya in Mughal E Azam:

On a final note, here is another powerful line that is attributed to Anarkali:

While flowers wither away, “Thorns live not in fear of wilting”

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When Honey Drips – A Courtesans’ Pleasure Part 3

bee-rose

I’m aware that my erotic writings can come off as pompous. I do not want to give this impression, as I’m rather humble. But my instances with great admirers and lovers induced these realities — I never elected to be praised or admired, but fate had it that I am a delicate rose for them..

My loves are well versed in my ripeness, and my admirers quickly learn about it  —  they all know how euphoric our experience will be when I’m ripe. Just like bee’s know the bliss of pollinating the fragrant rose– my lovers and admirers know there are certain times when my fragrance, taste, touch and visuals are simply irresistible.

Synchronous with the moon cycle, I go through a phase of ripening — like a sweet fruit or blossomed flower. It seeps out of my skin, speaking silent words, which say that I’m deliciously ripe, at my tastiest peak. I cannot even hide this secret, as it becomes obvious that my body is exceptionally warm, exceptionally soft, delicate, and exceptionally aroused. This erotic ripeness is written all over my face, even though there are no words. This invisible language somehow conveys that there is silky yearning from between my thighs. My lips, already full and thick, become more plump. My pink flower becomes more fragrant. My bosoms, more tender and soft. Even my soft feminine feet speak this language too. I take well care to emphasize these yearnings, by bathing and grooming so lavishly.

On this particular morning of ripeness, I wake up from a relaxing sleep. My body is warm and slightly damp from a light, fragrant sweat. Whenever I feel this sensual dampness from my body, I remember the times when a former lover begged to taste my perspiration, such as under my heavy breasts or on my neck. Scent is a lovers comfort. Anyway, on this particular morning, I remain lazed in my bed. As usual, I squeeze my large breasts and hug my body as a form of comfort. My breasts feel exceptionally soft, tender, and erotically sensitive. Then I softly squeeze other parts of myself. I put my hands between my legs, feeling the softness of skin and heat between my thighs, and then put my hands over my soft hips. I relieve a heavy sigh, and felt an intense yearning to be touched, caressed, kissed. What bliss it would be to be gently thrusted right at this moment. For the moment, I start to fantasize about my lovers of the past and present. I am reminded of the countless erotic mornings where my lover is beside me in bed — morning passion is my favorite, but I shall write about that another time. Meanwhile, I fantasize about a lovers warm thickness inside of me, I am yearning to erupt. But then, my phone beeps, and I remember that a client will be arriving shortly. Rather than explore by myself, I decide to unleash my arousal on this new client that I haven’t met before. I have high hopes that this client will be lovely, for a ripen beauty awaits

I quickly tidy up my home, and then have a streamy bath. I wash my body thoroughly under hot water. And then I shave my intimate parts to pure smoothness. Afterwards, I lather myself in a fragrant lotion. I decorate myself in all the ways that brought my other admirers to awe. I keep imagining how aroused this client will feel when he see’s me. I can’t wait to reveal myself to him, and impress him with my beauty and seeping sensuality. I observe myself as I stand, how my ample breasts are peeking out of my lacy bra, how my g-string tightly clings to my hips, how my anklets make my legs and polished toes look pretty, how my thick glossed lips look tasty, and how long silky black hair drapes around my exotic face. Before I become too full of myself, I remind myself about what’s most important: being grateful, so I say “Alhamdolilah” for everything.

body

And the Almighty answers my heart, as I’m blessed with having clients with lovely hearts and romantic mannerisms. At times, I could be in melancholy mood, yet my day is brightened from seeing lovely clients. The new client finally arrives. He is an older man, very polite and soft spoken. I can tell he has a good heart, which soothes my happiness right away. As we made introductions, he kisses my hand. He then respectfully hands over an envelope with the money for our allocated time. We then proceed to the purpose of our appointment..

I suppose I tease in a very subtle way. While we exchange some introductory chatter, I am fully aware that he is absorbing my voluptuousness, my erotic look. I am also aware that my well-endowed cleavage is on display for his eyes, and that he is yearning to touch them. My buxomness is yearning to be cuffed by manly hands, and suckled by a warm mouth. Without words, I give him permission to touch me, as I gently place his hands on my warm skin. He caresses my breasts, and wants to kiss my lips simultaneously. But I motion him to kiss my cheeks and neck instead. I only permit him a small kiss, without tongue. I do not passionately kiss men so easily. But for this client, there are many other delicious spots where he can taste.

My bra comes off and reveals breasts that are beckoning to be suckled. Like a child yearns for milk, grown men desire my voluptuous breasts like I’m providing the comfort of milk (though I have none). Yet their desire does me great wonders too. He feasts upon them and suckles gently, while I’m starting to lose myself in a trance. It’s not that I’m even particularly attracted to this client, but his immense respect and sweet admiration makes me want to be playful.

After, his hands gently pass over all over my body. He reaches my thighs and then over my panties. I’m fully aware of what potential bliss he might induce upon me. My thoughts are exceptionally vain, because I know he wants to please me. I know he will slowly work his way down, and move his face to my core. His face arrives between my thighs. I hold my breasts while I watch him soothe his curiosity of my feminine parts. He opens my legs, where I am completely exposed to him. I can feel myself moisten as I’m exposing myself. He says, ever so sweetly, “Can I taste you? Is that allowed?” His mannerisms and touch is so delightful that he didn’t even need to ask. But since he is mindful of my comfort, I give him permission, “Yes… please…taste me.” I am deeply honoured when men ask permission before exploring me further, even though it’s not always necessary when I’m deeply aroused. His courtesy only furthers his goodness in my eyes.

He feasts upon me so softly and delicately, and I am melting all over his lips. When I’m ripe, my body emits a scent that makes my worshippers crave. Yes, a fragrant rose who summons the bees to consume the sweet nectar………………..

Rather than divulge into the rest of the details with this client, I will begin with another client who arrived at my home right after. After this new client left, I was still immensely warmed and aroused. Another client would be arriving shortly, a regular client of mine whom I know well. I was pondering about getting out my toys to satisfy my yearnings, but again, I decided to unleash these passions on my next client…….

A regular client of mine arrives. Very quickly, he detects my ripeness by the flush in my face, and he wants to make me bloom more. He undresses me, removing my bra, removing my elegant heels. And then, I watch him as he feasts upon me. Every man has their own unique way to caress my body, and I thoroughly enjoy to see how each man seduces me. He put my soft feminine feet in his warm mouth, licking and caressing each toe. Gradually, his lips move up my legs, up to my thighs. And he dove in to taste me. He gently dips one of his fingers inside my melting honey pot and then he put the same finger in my mouth and said, “Look how delicious you taste.” Fruits are more sweet when ripe. Once my sweet bee felt satiated with my taste, both of us yearn to connect. There is nothing more blissful than feeling a desirable man’s thickness enter the tensed, silky warmth between my legs. Like a bee to a rose, I bloom more..

To be continued.

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Prostitution: Elitism & Why I Despise the “Man in a Business Suit.”

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Like many young minds, I once believed the stereotypes that were socialized into my little mind from a young age. Back then, I had no idea that the debauched images, ideas and discourses from the mass media would vastly influence me to have a narrow outlook on life. When I started prostitution, I had a naive sense that wealthy-looking men were the ideal clients. It was not only clients, but I had a naive admiration of the ‘prestigious’ and ‘elite.’ Only later, I realized that the most ‘prestigious’ people are actually quite poor, poor in they have not acquired any compassion or true beauty (ihsan). Very quickly I learned that wealth does not necessarily imply a persons inner qualities. True wealth and beauty are not material or physical, true wealth is in the heart. With clients, I realized the loveliest men are those whom are humble, easy-going and unscathed by the poison of Western-Liberal values. My ex and the Sheik, among others, are the best examples of such men.

Years ago, fresh to the sex industry, I remember an older prostitute who put us younger escorts into perspective. While all of us were chatting together, a newbie escort announced, “I only want to see clients with business suits!” Shortly after, a well-dress client entered, wearing a business suit and carrying a polished leather briefcase. The older prostitute joked, “Don’t get too excited girls. He might be jobless, going for an interview.” In other words, the older prostitute was trying to say that a ‘business suit’ doesn’t really mean anything — it doesn’t mean he will be a worthy client. She was right. A lovely, generous, warm-hearted client can exist in any form, any ethnicity, and any social class — and more importantly, in any type of clothing.

As mentioned in previous posts, some of the most generous clients I have had are those who do not actively showcase their wealth. As well, even regular working or middle-class men can also be generous and lovely. I was once naive enough to believe that a man dressed sharply in a posh business suit was the ideal client. But now, after all these years, I find the business suit quite unappealing. It’s not the actual clothes I despise, but I despise the VALUES associated with the business suit. The ‘business suit’ is symbolic of modern capitalism; It’s the image of condoning unequal profit, greed, competition, exploitation, egotism, ignoring the metaphysical — and even worse, this mentality and it’s associated values are PRAISED and embraced in the West, and increasingly being praised in non-Western societies. Sadly, so many people are seduced by these material values, which they consider important and worthy. This reminds me of a quote from the book, “Tuesday’s With Morrie,” below:

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It’s also very sad to see so-called Muslims exhibit and condone these traits of business ‘professional’ ethics, which is completely the antithesis of Islam:

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Now, of course, not all men who wear suits are the heartless, soulless persons with no values that I am depicting. And equally, not all businesses have inhumane objectives. Of course not. The business suit has become a norm, and indeed some whom wear it do not subscribe to the values it currently symbolizes. Some have to wear this business attire out of conformity, or expectation, but it does not define who they are. Here lies the importance of not judging on first appearances. We all wear facades and labels, but the trueness of individual is much deeper.

I, too, portray myself in ways that can be misleading. I advertise myself under all the terms of “elite,” “high-class,” “upscale,” “exclusive.” These terms could easily signify that I’m arrogant, pretentious, shallow, etc. These terms have very vague meanings, yet I only use them to market myself accordingly to the norms of escorting world. Sadly, the terms ‘elite’ and ‘high-class’ are the accepted descriptors for prostitutes who are allegedly physically beautiful, clean, well-mannered and can provide good service. If I don’t use these words, then clients might assume I’m the opposite of those qualities. It’s ironic. Subscribing to the term ‘elite’ does not make me a better lover, nor does it make me better person. In essence, good companionship and good sex HAS no class, no discriminant.

Like many odd reasons, our society embraces this notion of being “exclusive” — excluding others, and being only available to eligible persons. This makes me feel sad. I wish I didn’t have to use these arrogant terms for myself. Although I would love to be more inclusive with whom I see, I have to be exclusive. The unfortunate reality is that there are many “bad” seeds of clientele that exist in the escorting world. If I am too inclusive, then I make myself vulnerable to danger, undesirables, the heartless, etc. I do not like to give the impression that I’m “exclusive” in an arrogant way. I’m only “exclusive” to protect myself from the ills of the sex industry. In essence, I welcome decent, kind, warm-hearted men from ALL social statures so long they can pay for my services. I see that many “high-class” escorts misuse their imagined status — they develop an ego. Some escorts mistakenly assume that being ‘elite’ makes them better, and also believe that ‘elite’ men implies better clients. I made this mistake too, but very quickly realized I was wrong in my assumption. Judging clients on their heart and intentions is much more wise than judging on their level of material prestige. But one only learns with experience…

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A Courtesans’ Perspective: Fragments of Thought

Lately, I am reluctant to share my thoughts. Sometimes I see no purpose to continue writing at all, but then I’m reminded of how my writings can, perhaps, comfort and help others with similar experiences. Rather than a usual post,  this post contains fragments of my writings in recent months.

nature

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(…) I am immersed in emptiness. Yet this lonesome exile inspires my poems. Had everything remained glorious, would I ever conceive these poems? These thoughts brew endlessly in sleepless nights. If you see beauty in my words, then please know that they are the result of pain and tears.

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(…) At least, with your protective arms, I could forget the world. Forget all my worries. But now, there is no hope. No security. No protective love from you. Everything is gone. I want to escape so desperately. But I can’t. I am on my own. And this debauched society tells people to be ‘independent,’ in an effort to mask their exploitative interests. Yes, I am praised for being ‘independent,’ yet this made me further isolated from warmth and belonging — who did this really benefit after all?

______________________________

On “The Impact of Travels” :

(…) When I was in my early teenage years, I remember walking along a narrow lane in a busy city in Northern China. I was starting to become aware of my rapidly blossoming womanly body. My appearance caused the attention of onlookers, who first complimented my appearance and then ask “Where are you from?” Ethnic wise, I can be anything from Turkish to Turkmenistani, so whenever I travel internationally people often assume I am mixed with their local culture. As I walked along, an elder man, who seemed to look like a holy man of some sort, stopped before me. He bowed at my feet and then apparently blessed me. These early instances of superficial admiration started to build my growing sense of self..

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(…) I realize my daily routine is really just feeding someone else’s dream. Countless hours spent studying, reading. And I do this with painstaking joy and curiosity. But why through these elitist institutions? It’s very discouraging when realizing that most of our lives have been strategically tailored to maintaining a system of profit and greed. 

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Poetry:

(…)Let me wither away. Let me be like a corpse, a dead body, attracting all the vultures. Let them feast upon my body until it’s empty. What is the point to remain a half-dead body? 

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“Hopeless Moment” :

I cannot bear to be a burden to anyone anymore, so I stay in my own prison. If I don’t sell my dead body, then my savings will go dwindling, just like my heart. How can an escort remain successful when she is dead inside? My success is tied to my sense of hope — but how does one continue this work when all hope is faded? This smile is so fragile. I cannot bear to be fake, but I have too. 

My ‘sweetness’ is fragile, and I pray that good men will approach me. I fear the bad side of this industry, as I’m far too weak, at this particular moment, to deal with the bad seeds. And sadly, bad seeds are increasingly abundant….

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On “Annoyances of Advertising” :

In a perfect world, I could advertise and only lovely men would contact me. But in reality, my carefully outlined website isn’t enough to deter morons from contacting me and wasting my time. Yes, there are hungry vultures of men who sit on their computers, calling up escorts and inevitably waste our time. They have no sense of courtesy or respect. I ignore these types, yet unfortunately they are part of the process of sifting good potential clients from bad ones. I must say thanks to God, because my clients are lovely men who are deeply respectful. But sadly, an escort has to encounter the BAD to see the GOOD. And even worse, sometimes it’s not so easy to tell the good from the bad. 

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On “The Doctor: an ‘Endowed’ Client” :

(…) I was not used to his endowed thickness. He was too lovely to deny, so I wanted to try. He asked, sweetly, “Are you okay?” I told him, “Yes,” and motioned him to continue pushing it inside me. Whilst this handsome young doctor was attempting to fill me with his thickness, I was fantasizing that my previous lovers were watching me take it. I expressed this fantasy to another client, Mr.Zee, last night. Whilst he penetrated me very passionately, I said, “I wish a group of young handsome men are watching us, would you be shy?”

At times, that’s one of my main fantasies: to have my lovers watch me getting so wet and horny for another handsome man’s thickness. I want my lovers to get angry, yet at the same time see their manhood getting immensely hard. And then, my lover, of course, gets his turn after the other(s) finish. I do not actually consider doing this fantasy, but talking about it can be exciting…

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On “My Heart and Love Cannot be Bought” :

I swear, it is really the most strangest feeling to be extremely sad, hopeless, unhappy whilst simultaneously laying in the arms of a man who thinks you are a Goddess. I can illustrate this by narrating a client I recently saw. This client was of similar origins to myself. He saw me and couldn’t stop praising me. He said I was his dream girl, and he wanted to dedicate the entire appointment to praising me. His flattery was along the lines of “I’ve been dreaming about the most perfect girl all my life, and it is you.” He literally was licking and kissing my body for 2 hours. After he made me orgasm, he insisted that I come again, and again. Eventually, I had to forcefully push his head away from between my thighs. I found his sweetness very lovely, and felt very thankful for it. But I knew what he wanted — he wanted love. And I have no love in my heart to give him, except for the moments he paid for. He reminded me of my ex-fiance, who went to all lengths to make me feel pleased and happy in the most selfless manner. I feel sad that I cannot give him the love he desires. 

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Without love, everything can seem so pointless. Why aspire to anything if life is going to be lonesome and meaningless? And ironically, there is love all around me. I do have men who love and admire me, offering me the life I dream about. But I do not love them. I cannot force myself to love someone. I want nobody else. I have no desire to meet others. My heart is in exile. 

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Poetic Thoughts:

Let me burn. Let me burn until there’s nothing left. I swear, I am only a body now. My soul has departed. Like Pakeezah called herself, I am just “a dead body.” I am a beautiful body, who’s dead inside. I am painted with kohl and red lipstick, appearing like an elegant beauty of exotic regions. Once, this beautiful body and face was filled with light within, but now, everything is gloom.

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More on “My heart and love is not for sale” :

(…) Lately, I’ve met too many single clients who are trying to get a relationship. Most are humble and respectful about it, which doesn’t bother me. But some are arrogant, who mistakenly think they can impress me with their money and so-called ‘success.’ To the arrogant types, I feel like saying, “I’ve had much BETTER than you. I’d rather DIE than settle with you.” Yes, that’s extremely harsh, but honestly sometimes that is what I feel. One overly-confident client asked, “If a man supported you financially, would you be with him?” And I said, “Only if I loved him, but otherwise no.” No, my love is not for sale. 

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I am back in hell. Silenced. I do not dare to share my pain with clients, or anyone. If I wanted to, I can be loved and cared for. But I don’t want to be near somebody I don’t love. I’d rather sulk alone. I don’t want pity. The only one who can console me is the one who just died. 

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(…) and these nights drenched in tears, surrounded by abundance, has made me realize the most invaluable purpose of life: God (love). 

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On “Mourning” :

It feels like I’ve spent these weeks in mourning. Mourning, yet there is no comfort in the sense of closure. Finally, I went to a place of death, where there is only mourning. And I cried. I was shocked at myself, as I almost never cry in front of strangers. Everyone around me was crying, and somehow I absorbed their pain too. But for the most, my tears were in vain, as I was mourning the death of my own love. And how does one mourn when their heart is shattered? How does one just continue in life? Life can never be the same. 

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