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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

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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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Questions and Answers # 6 – Escorts, the Sex Industry, Pleasure, Sexuality

Escorts

1. How Do Prostitutes Please men? What Skills do Prostitutes have to please men? What are sexual techniques of prostitutes?

In my own experience, clients use their skills on me. For the most part, I never had to use any particular ‘skill’ to please them.

I have found questions like these circulating quite often. Since “how do prostitutes please men” is often being asked, then it is apparent there is a huge misconception with the sex industry. This idea that prostitutes are ‘skilled’ in sex is heavily misleading. Generally, it doesn’t require special sexual skill to be a prostitute, even an elite one. Prostitutes do not necessarily use special sexual techniques to entertain clients. Surely, escorts learn over the years about certain desires and become more confident, but it does not mean they require exceptional physical ‘skills’ necessarily. Opening ones legs, or bending over is not really a ‘special’ skill that’s unlike any other conventional sexual script.

As a courtesan, I do not actually have specific ‘skills’ or techniques that I strategically use on my clients. Rather, most of my clients derive their pleasure from pleasing me. They meet me. They see my body. They are besotted by my overall presence. My erotic appeal is, at first, visual….it’s my smile, my eyes, my body language. Otherwise, I do not perform any special sexual manoeuvres to seduce them. I just act myself in the moment, and we go with the flow. Most of the time, clients are already turned on (erect) by just meeting, seeing, talking, or touching the lady of their choosing.

When I first started this job, I really had little knowledge or experience with sex. When clients would meet me, they would be immensely aroused by just looking at me. My beauty, demeanour, and personality ignited their flames. I had no idea, back then, on how to act with clients. My experience is slightly biased, though, because of my body type. My body and the way I conduct myself, somehow, evokes submissiveness in many clients. I have a very womanly body, with very large breasts. Most clients want to, as some say, ‘worship,’ my body. Generally, kissing and caressing my body arouses them, so by the time we have sex, they are ready to explode. And when sweet men kiss and caress my body, with love and care, I am often very receptive to their touch and enjoy the embrace. So in actuality, it is clients who perform their skills on me, initially.

When I connect with certain clients of mine, it’s not so much the acts of sex, but rather the overall connection (the conversation, the caresses, the touches, the comfort). This is unique to every encounter, as it plays out differently with different clients.

The alluring part of seeing prostitutes is the overall setting — the fact there is no social pressures, obligations or expectations. A man can feel more at ease with a prostitute for a variety of reasons. She might be more sexually confident in how she conducts herself, or perhaps open-minded or explorational. Or just the fact she is attractive might be satisfying enough.

Unlike myself, many escorts are not welcoming of pleasure. A lot of the sex that occurs between prostitutes and clients is mechanical, and very ‘empty.’ This is due to the reality that most sex workers in a contemporary context are not selling themselves for personal pleasure, but rather purely for financial needs. In such cases, the sex that occurs is often conventional, and not outlandish or strikingly ‘exotic’ as one may think. Clients can still cum even when there is no connection established. On the other hand, the minority of escorts, like myself, who do enjoy aspects of their job, might utilize mental and intellectual skills to connect with clients. The sex becomes special, not because of physical acts, but because of the connection established. As I say numerous times on my blog, amazing sex is based on chemistry of two bodies (a rather spiritual bond that cannot be learned, nor forced through ‘skill.’).

2. How to Behave like a High-Class Prostitute?

I stress the importance of being yourself. There are, unfortunately, some expectations associated with being a high-class prostitute, such as dressing a certain way, or mimicking the ‘elite.’ But honestly, one can still be a high-end prostitute and avoid these things. Some men care about fancy lingerie, while others don’t care at all. Some care about being polished, while others aren’t focused on such details. In essence, no matter how one behaves, an escort can NEVER appeal to all. If one is trying to manipulate their behavior, in order to achieve some sort of  ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ persona, they are setting themselves up for disappointment. Yes, even the most beautiful woman (by societies commercialized standards) can be unappealing for certain men, as there is so much variety in attraction.

3. Is it wrong to do sex with an Escort?

It’s ‘wrong’ if you internalize the idea of it being wrong. The mass shame associated with sexuality and sexual expression has a history, which the French philosopher Michel Foucault shows in “A History of Sexuality” is a modern European phenomenon, that emerged in the late  19th Century pertaining to the European obsession with trying to ‘scientifically’ define sex. The remains of these constructed ideas still exist — in social attitudes, in laws, etc. If you understand the history of sexuality, then you will likely understand why many people feel there is ‘shame’ with certain sexualities, sex acts or perhaps an ‘excess’ of it.

Bare in mind that prostitutes/courtesans have existed in other times and places where they were celebrated and held important status in certain societies. The contexts were vastly different than today. The ills of sex work today are related to the current social, political and economic context.

If you sleep with an escort, and you show her respect by being considerate, polite, treating her as an equal and paying her for her time,then how can it be wrong? But if you treat her like unjustly and insignificant, then yes…you are causing harm to another human soul.

rain drops

4. How do Escorts Stay Lubricated? How Does a Prostitute Get Wet?

We use lubrication gels or liquids, and apply them internally before seeing clients. When I first started this work, an older lady (a former prostitute) told a group of sex-workers and I a ‘wise’ technique. She said, “Lubricate yourself before you start the appointment rather than during the appointment. Try to give clients the illusion that you’re naturally wet, rather than letting him the know the reality that we’re not actually turned on.” I have always maintained this technique, but other escorts might apply the lube in front of the client.

Getting a woman aroused, or wet, is psychological; it requires genuine desire and arousal — and it’s impossible for a prostitute to feel genuine arousal with all of her clients. I get aroused in stances where I feel genuine attraction with someone I desire — and I am extremely picky in my attraction to others. Some of my clients I enjoy in sex, so in such cases I can bypass lubricants with them.

5. Do Sex Workers have Perfect Bodies?

This question really bothers me, because there is no such thing as one type of perfect body. Sadly, many people live in consumer, capitalistic societies where they are manipulated into believing that a shallow perfection exists. Thus, such manipulation makes one believe they are flawed and need to ‘improve’ themselves. What is perfection? Perfection, as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, subjective — there is no one type, or ‘ideal’ for all. This is the case in escorting, because what is ‘perfect’ for one client vastly differs from another. There are escorts of all shapes and sizes. Don’t fall for these tactics of believing in a perfect body type or look.

6: Do Escorts Prefer Rich Men?

I have wanted to address this question for a long time, because there is a stereotype of prostitutes willing to have sex with any man who offers them money. Some are more/less discerning than others. There is also an assumption that prostitutes strongly prefer wealthy men. My own personal preferences may differ from other escorts, because I prefer quality over quantity.  As a courtesan, I see clients very discerningly and sparingly. I am very picky with whom I see as clients, because I want to meet men whom I can potentially enjoy.  Thus, I choose men who I think will be a positive experience — regardless of social status. Wealth doesn’t imply decency, respect, pleasure, or even generosity. My brothel experiences, however, saw more variety of clients, less discerningly.

Indeed, escorts do love men whom are generous. But over the years, I have learnt that generosity does not mean one is necessarily rich or wealthy. I have met generous men from all social statures. Just because someone has a fancy job and wears fancy clothing does not mean he will be a good client, good at sex, or have a good heart, etc. Some clients may offer lots of money, yet at the compromise of an escorts comfort-level or dignity. When I lived overseas in a bigger city, there was a very tragic abundance of wealthy business men, who offered HUGE sums of money to high-class escorts to ‘party’ with them. By ‘party’ I am referring to doing drugs. Sadly, many escorts are lured to these clients because of the big pay-out. But is large sums of money worth the terrible, soul-less atmosphere? I try my best to avoid these type of clients. But sadly, many escorts do not. I feel sad when I see women chase certain wealthy men, whom have rather ‘soul-less’ attitudes and values. The money is not worth the degradation and consequences that follow. Indeed, not all wealthy clients are soul-less, as there are some wealthy clients whom, thankfully, retain humbleness.

I absolutely loath arrogant and chauvinist types (men who boast about their successes and money). I don’t care how much money is offered, my comfort is always first. For instance, I got a email the other day from a man who claimed to be a “wealthy business man.” I’m well aware of so-called ‘charming’ clients, so I rolled my eyes whilst reading his email. I have met lovely generous and/or wealthy men who do NOT need to boast about their financial success, so I am very skeptical about arrogant types. Anyway, this man had offered me a large sum of money for a multi-hour appointment. To top off his arrogance, he had to mention that he would be driving his self-claimed ‘luxury’ car. After I finished reading his email, I shook my head in dismay. Does he really think I am that stupid and shallow? Considering he’s that superficial, he will most likely be judging me on the same superficial basis. I could only imagine how uncomfortable I’d be with such an arrogant person. I wanted to email him back and give him a piece of my mind: “I am not interested in your money or car. I am not a senseless woman who is easily swayed by someone who’s only quality is his money!” But instead, I just ignored the email.

I have also had decent clients who have wanted to get more personal, and they made generous offers. But I was not comfortable with seeing them outside, such as dinners, outings or traveling. So I declined. Again, I don’t care how much money is offered, I will not go past my comfort level.

Looks can be misleading, so I learnt to not judge by first appearances. I will never forget one of my sweetest clients. It was in a brothel. When I first saw him, I felt scared. He was an extremely tall and broad man, with a very stern and hard looking face, and dressed in rugged, working-class attire — he looked like he would snap me in half. But as soon as we entered the bedroom, I heard his voice. He was a soft, gentle, sweet man. His intimidating appearance was softened instantly. He turned out to be extremely gifted in giving pleasure. He also gave me very generous tips after every appointment, which initially I found to be shocking because he looked rather rugged! There have been many others like him, where I misjudged upon first appearance, only to be later impressed by their kindness and generosity afterwards. Likewise, a client could be well-dressed, wearing expensive designer items, boasting of their successes, and voila, they turn out to be cheap. You can afford a Mercedes, and yet you are asking a prostitute for a discount?

Overall, great clients cannot be defined by their money. I have always liked humble men, who have kind hearts and good intentions, which comes in all walks of life. What saddens me is that escorts can be cruel themselves. When I was working in a brothel, I observed it was common for escorts to be rude to ‘unattractive’ or socially nervous clients. These were men who were  kind and sweet, yet because they appeared ‘uncool’ or timid they were treated cruelly by some escorts. I try my best not to judge clients on initial appearances, but rather judge by how they treat me. A genuinely warm heart and kind soul makes someone attractive in my eyes. So in essence, there is good and bad in all people, in all walks of life.

My Sheik is not from a wealthy Saudi family. I mistakenly assumed he was a wealthy Saudi, because he has always been extremely generous with me, starting from the first day we met. In reality, however, he is simply blessed with a highly skilled profession and education, accompanied by a very handsome salary. But he has no familial support. I used to wonder why he is extremely loving, devoted, and generous with me. Thanks to him, almost 3 years of my life have been eased by his sweetness. Despite all that he’s given, he never put conditions upon me. Instead, he let me control him, in an affectionate way. I have realized that those who have less often appreciate the value of something more than those whom have everything. My Sheik is so humble, which is why I love him so much. Blessed is his beautiful heart.

7: How would married men (who see escorts) feel if their wives slept with other men?

I was surprised to see this question. It’s funny, because I’ve often toyed this question with my own married clients: “How would you feel if your wife was sleeping with another man?” And funny enough, most of them said, “I wouldn’t accept it.”

8: Do Escorts Prefer Good Looking Men?

Looks are subjective. Personality is key. A beautiful personality can make everything beautiful — the way he talks, the way he touches, etc. A man who is only physically handsome isn’t really meaningful (in my personal view).

9. How to Drop a Fetish and Enjoy Normal Sex?

One should be cautious about the term ‘normal,’ which is why I always put quotations around this word. Norms are socially and culturally constructed, and thus norms mean different things in differing contexts. I was shocked to see this question, and then felt sad for whomever asked it. It’s so tragic that mainstream ideas of sex are so limiting, and that certain desires are categorized outside of the realm of ‘normal.’

Anything considered ‘normal/abnormal’ is simply a construction of a particular society. Norms change, and norms often reflect the interests of state power. Contemporary political elites promote what they constructed as ‘normal’ sex in a ‘normal’ relationship simply because they were/are concerned with reproduction — reproducing their workforce, their armies — which thereby sustains their power.  This is why ‘other’ sexualities are often stigmatized and/or condemned (via state/national campaigns), because any ‘uncontrolled’ relations that do not result in maintaining state power are seen as threatening. Thus, various discourses arise trying to convince populations to follow the ‘norm.’

Building off the work of Foucault, cultural anthropologist Gayle Rubin (1984) wrote the history about how sex ‘norms’ were categorized into ‘norms’ in the late 19th century by European medical professionals. Constructing these norms, of course, correlated with state political agendas — regulating the sexual lives of populations to maintain state interests. These sex ‘norm’ categorizations are widely critiqued and dismissed by academics now, yet sadly these sex ‘norms’ discourses still exist in mainstream society.  

In the chart below, Rubin illustrates what was constructed as ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ sex by Western medical professionals in the late 19th century. The acts in the inner circle are were deemed ‘normal,’ whilst the acts on the periphery were ‘abnormal’ acts. This mode of thinking is problematic on so many levels, making many false assumptions on sexuality. Tragically, these Victorian sexual norms prevailed as the West spread their dominance globally, and sadly many people still adhere to this discourse:

gayle-rubin-chart

What’s tragic is when people internalize this construction of what is ‘normal’ and therefore associate shame with anything ‘out of the norm.’ In reality, there has always been a diversity of sexual desires, and sexuality has been defined in vast different ways in other social and cultural contexts. One should be cautious of viewing certain things in strictly binary terms (good/bad, normal/abnormal, hetero/homo, etc).

Rather than drop a ‘fetish’, it’s better to find a partner who will embrace your desires. Erase this idea of ‘proper’ ways of having sex, because in reality there is are many ways of enjoying pleasure.

10. How Fast do Men Cum/Ejaculate with Escorts?

Clients are usually quite excited when meeting an escort, so most do not last long in sex. In some cases, men come even before the sex happens, just through touching. It’s common for clients to last under a minute. Some clients are embarrassed of cumming fast, and many try to last longer (fearing the escort will judge his performance). I cannot recall how many times clients have apologized to me for ejaculating quickly.

A lot of clients who cum fast try to compensate for their briefness in sex, so they spend a lot of time giving the woman pleasure beforehand. This has been my experience at least. I am sure many clients don’t care if they come fast, and don’t care what the escort thinks of their performance. But in my own experience, I find most of my clients (especially regular clients) want to perform good for me. They want to prolong the pleasure, so they spend time teasing me.

I’d imagine the whole idea of seeing an escort is exciting and arousing, so it’s not surprising when men release fast. They are usually instantly hard before we even start touching, and they get excited from just feeling my body.

11. How to Make a Prostitute Hornier?

Well firstly, be mindful if a prostitute has expressed an interest in exploring her sexuality with you. She might not be willing. What if she’s not really interested in sex? What if she’s not attracted to you?  One cannot force someone to get aroused.

Every woman is different in her sexual expression and desires, so it’s impossible to say what makes a prostitute, generally, horny. Bare in mind that many prostitutes are not very welcoming when clients try to get too intimate. In my case, I’m in the minority of prostitutes who does embrace pleasure with clients. For me, I am quite responsive to clients who are extremely respectful and make me feel completely relaxed. If they genuinely enjoy to massage and caress my whole body, in a way that makes me feel relaxed, then I usually feel somewhat turned on. On the other hand, I’m easily turned off by clients who assume they know what they are doing in sex and foreplay, in an arrogant manner. I’ve discussed this with other escorts too, and we agree that ‘demanding’ or overly confident clients are really annoying. For instance, I had a client who was fond of my breasts. He grabbed my boobs and played with them, but his touch was really rough (usually most men are very gentle). It was tolerable, so I let him do it, because he seemed really enjoy it. Whilst he was fondling me, he kept saying “You like it, don’t you…feel’s good, doesn’t it?” I actually found it really funny, and I just played along. After he came, he asked me if I enjoyed his fondling of my breasts. I wanted to laugh. He was terrible. He didn’t turn me on at all. He was far too rough, and he didn’t even have the decency of asking what I like. Since he was quite arrogant, I told him I wasn’t impressed. Thankfully, most clients are not like him. Lovely men are usually gentle and slow to start, and they take direction from the woman, observe her responses, and respect her level of comfort.

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Filed under "High-class" prostitution, Questions for Escorts And Clients, The Escorting Business

Answering Your Questions #2: Why do women become prostitutes? Do Saudi men see Prostitutes?

One thing I want to note before I answer questions is that my view is biased. Never assume my opinion, or anyone’s opinion, is the absolute fact for all escorts. My life, my experiences all shape the way I evaluate the world, just as anyone else’s opinion is influenced by their own context.  I suggest that people always remain skeptical, because my experience and outlook is not necessarily extended to the views of all prostitutes or escorts.

Your Question: Why do women become escorts? Or, what factors make women become prostitutes?

Answer: From my observations, women who become prostitutes were placed in a situation where they needed money, and perhaps fast money. Most escorts originate from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. However, a new minority of high-class prostitutes are coming from stable-income families. They sell themselves not because they are desperate for cash, but rather they want to be part of the upper-crest of society. The money they make from selling their bodies allows these ‘materialistic’ prostitutes to buy the lifestyle associated with the high-class. The shallow values promoted by Western culture disgust me now, but I was once poisoned by the so-called promise of living the ‘luxurious’ lifestyle.

Many women I have encountered in the sex industry have been neglected in some form. When I meet with another prostitute, I like to ask about her origins. I have encountered women who seemed “normal,” but later I found out many of their life circumstances pushed them out of the realm of normalcy. Most often, I hear stories from women who were hurt by men. For instance, some women were sexually abused, which made them very wary about trusting men or others. It is ironic that such women, despite their mistrust in men, end up selling themselves to men. Often, I heard stories of women who came from a broken home, and were forced to take care of themselves from a young age. There was no element of “choice” in their circumstances. The foundation of family stability was absent for them, which left them alone to discovered how to survive. Society can be quite cruel to lost souls, or those without any familial support. Often lost souls are exploited by others. For instance, young boys without any direction are susceptible to gang involvement, and young women are vulnerable to prostitution and sexual exploitation. Although I, myself, was never abused, I feel I was a lost soul too. I had a poor sense of direction, so I fell easily into things that came my way. Thankfully, I learned how to cope with being a prostitute and conduct my experiences with clients in a relatively wholesome manner. However, it is not an easy task for a modern-day prostitute to remain resilient to all the negativity that currently surrounds the sex industry.

As mentioned in my blog, I came from a middle-class family. It would seem that I had no valid reason to become a prostitute. However, my family separated in my teens, and as a result my Mother, siblings and I became relatively poor. Because I had previously lived in relative luxury, being poor was not an easy transition. I noticed that all my peers and friends were pampered while I had nothing. My Mother tried her best to keep us happy by sacrificing her own happiness. I admire her for doing that. As I look back in retrospect, I feel sad that I internalized the idea that being “poor” was shameful. I internalized the idea that I needed to objectify myself by focusing on physical beauty, appearing elite, dressing well, etc. Yet it’s not surprising when one feels ashamed to be poor, because modern societies valorizes elitism and all things associated with wealth-accumulation. A wise person can learn to ignore the dominant shallow values, but a young mind is very vulnerable to dominant ideas.

When the idea of prostitution was introduced to me, I decided to I try it once. My first client was very sweet, respectable, and generous. What boggled my mind was that this stranger, my first client, was a more pleasant experience than my previous sexual experience (losing my virginity). I felt like a Goddess, and I actually enjoy his admiration of my body. And best of all, I had made a lot of money from that one hour encounter. That money boosted my self-esteem, and I was able to buy things that I needed. In theory, everything seemed good. But only years later, I realized that there are hefty implications for being a sex worker (social stigma, constantly trying to hide my lifestyle/identity, conflicts with love, becoming egotistic, etc). Sex with clients is not the bad part, but what became difficult is reconciling my livelihood as prostitute with a hostile (outside) society that condemns me.

When I started, I made lots of money very fast and what seemed effortlessly. And I lavished in it, and believed I was improving my life by owning all the luxury items and appearing physically beautiful. Clearly, like many in Westernized societies, I was conditioned to believe that my self-worth could be improved with money. Western-Liberal capitalistic societies values money, power and social status/prestige. When I was younger, I was not aware of how much I was being influenced to value money. I was so blinded, because I thought money would solve my problems, but actually it made me more individualistic, materialistic, and most all of, emotionally empty. I chased money because it enhanced my social status, but at the same time I neglected love and relationships with good people. I soon learnt that adopting shallow values only attracted shallow people — and these are not people who are concerned with the most simplistic forms of love, inner beauty, wisdom, etc. I came to notice how the so-called cool and glamourous people were actually devoid of any wholesomeness. I was puzzled at how people I met in impoverished countries seemed much happier than the ‘privileged’ elitists in the Westernized states. Why is it people who are poor in developing countries are happier than the poor in the West? The poor in developing countries have family and community, and their kinship societies protect individuals. Only once I was immersed in the shallow ‘luxurious’ lifestyle, I realized how the “promise” was a farce. Now, ironically, I admire those who DO NOT exhibit the traits I once admired.

Your Question: Do Saudi men go to Prostitutes?

Yes, some Saudi men visit prostitutes. But so do some men from all cultural backgrounds. Men of certain cultures may frequent with prostitutes more than others, but this is not “part of their culture” but rather an outcome of their socio-political context. As well, clients do not visit prostitutes for all the same reasons, so it’s hard to lump all clients into one category. Men have various and complex reasons for visiting prostitutes, and it’s not always just about sex.

In my experience, Saudi students have been a noticeable clientele due to various factors. For one, they are coming to a new country where relations between men and women are open, as opposed to home. Given they have scholarship money, it’s often easier for some to visit a prostitute for sex and companionship than the task of meeting women elsewhere. In many cases, I’ve come across Saudi clients who want more than just sex, they want a relationship.

Some Saudi students will try the services of a sex worker when they first arrive in their country of studies. This is because they have been deprived of expressing their sexuality. At first, visiting a prostitute may seem appealing. Initially, the prostitute is an outlet for their deprived sexual desires, and a prostitute is more accessible and convenient than trying to find sex elsewhere (nightclubs, bars, etc). In my observation, however, most Saudi students will not find casual sex appealing or fulfilling. Instead, they will yearn for a girlfriend-like relationship where they can receive affection and care from a woman, rather than a purely business-transaction from a prostitute. Almost all Saudi clients I’ve met, who were not married, asked me if I would consider being their girlfriend, which indicates they desire companionship. The fact I am a prostitute from a similar culture indeed influences their desire towards me. I don’t think sex, alone, is very satisfying for them, as they often want to express their romance in non-sexual ways too.

In my case, I have become the caregiver to some Saudi students. They resort to me when they are in need of affection, and sometimes chemistry arises. Often, as I’ve said before, sex is not the prime objective of these Saudi patrons. One client invited me to his home so he could prepare me a Saudi feast of kabsa. He was extremely respectful and didn’t try to ravage me, but rather was happy to have me as company.  And my Sheik, technically still my client, evolved to be my partner and lover. He found affection in me, and grew attached to me despite my stigmatized profession. Like others, he said he see’s me not for my profession, but for who I am. While this sounds romantic …again, it’s a temporary romance with the Saudis.

My theory for Saudi students also applies to Kuwaiti and Emirati international students, because some share a similar experiences and have been prior patrons of mine too. This theory does not apply to older Saudi men, because they are usually married, and thus their reasonings for visiting prostitutes are different than the students. I have less experience with older (over 35) Saudi men because they are a rarity in my city. The few older Saudi clients I did have were visiting, and were also married. I suppose working in Bahrain or the Gulf would give me a totally new experience of Saudi patrons, as the dynamics are different.

An interesting article was written, called Arab’s Got Prostitution,” which discusses the wide-spread use of prostitutes among Khaleeji men. The article has valid points, however I don’t feel it is fair to demonize all Khaleeji clients of prostitutes. Like all clients, there are ones with good and bad intentions — clients have numerous reasons for resorting to sex workers. While there are many “bad” clients who see prostitutes as sexual objects to use in a neglectful sense, there also exists “good” clients who realize our hardships and treat us with respect and humility.

It is important to understand the prostitution phenomenon in the Middle East within it’s modern context: Modernization, Neo-Liberalism, Imperialism, Globalization, War, Fundamentalist Sexual-Discourses, etc — complex socio-economic reasons contribute to why prostitution is increasingly rampant in a degraded state.

Many emergent and conflicting political, cultural and global factors have lead to Saudi men being popular patrons of prostitutes. Old gendered norms blended with new demands for modernity (Westernization) has had dire implications. Saudi youth, for instance, are now marrying much later compared to the past, due to spending their early 20’s getting an education, trying to find a good job. Old customs of bride-price (mehr) have become more extravagant, thus making it harder for young Saudi men to get married given many are not financially stable until their late 20’s. Given that Gulf laws restrict dating and interaction with non-related members of the opposite gender, unmarried Saudis are caught in an awkward position. New interpretations of gender that impose strict chastity are not compatible with new social realities (what made sense in 7th century Arabia cannot be applied to a 21st century context). Since many men do not have the financial means for ‘traditional’ marriage until their late 20’s, they are essentially pushed to find intimate bonding elsewhere. It’s unrealistic for a person in their 20’s onwards to abstain from seeking comfort/affection with another person. Thus, prostitutes become an ideal outlet for some. The outcome of numerous factors certainly correlates to men resorting to prostitutes in neighbouring Bahrain or other countries. What is tragic is when certain men (regardless of their culture or religion) show no sense of responsibility or genuine respect towards these women, which thereby conditions men to think it’s okay to ‘use a woman’ with no emotional attachment. Not all clients have a ‘neglecting’ intention towards prostitutes, but sadly many do. Even worse, discourses exist to aid a double standard in society, where ‘fallen’ women are seen as the culprits. Such neglecting behavior negates the essence of Islam, because Islam emphasizes social justice for people. The Gulf state governments have basically “sold out” to the lure of the West. Their attempts to ‘protect’ the so-called ‘traditional’ culture is a mere facade, as the old ‘traditional’ practices simply are incompatibly in the new social realities.

Your Question: Why do some men prefer prostitutes for sex?

This is a subjective question. But there is something I think about often: many prostitutes are assertive women. They have their own money and they are independent. Many do NOT cling to men, because men are multiple for a prostitute. It is not a big deal if a prostitute is unsatisfied with one man, because there are plenty of men who can replace him. Some prostitutes develop confidence over time in her sexuality because of her experience.

“Normal” women (women who don’t sell their bodies) make this assumption: pleasing the man will win his heart (it wont!). I have not read that popular book, “Why Men Love Bitches” yet, but the title alone is enough to support my argument. Men need challenge, men need mystery….and men need a woman to be assertive!  A woman can still be herself and be assertive too; this does not mean she has to be dominant per say in an extreme sense. Also, the importance of personality is so crucial, and a lot of women forget about their own needs and desires. Investing all your time in your appearance might attract men, but it won’t keep the worthy ones interested. The very popular trend of women divesting their intellect and making themselves sex-objects is not very wise — as it only attracts men who view women as an object. Being beautiful, only on the outside, does not translate into being a desirable, assertive woman. A woman who thinks she can please a man by giving him, for example, oral sex everyday isn’t very challenging either. What about a woman’s pleasure? Why are most ‘normal’ women not assertive about their own sexual needs? Perhaps because ‘normal’ women are still timid about sex. This is what, perhaps, differs between some prostitutes and ‘normal’ women; prostitutes become comfortable with their bodies and sex appeal because it’s our job. For instance, I am quite demanding in my personal sex life, yet in a subtle way. I know what I desire and I am open to express it with the right man. I have certain sex expectations from my experiences with talented lovers. I cannot be with a man who doesn’t know how to give me amazing orgasms. If he can’t please me, he better learn or he will lose me. I only gained this confidence from my experience in the sex industry. For every lousy sexual partner, there is a great talented lover…so why settle for less? I’d much rather be alone than be with a man who treats me less then what I expect. Without these experiences, I probably would be too timid to demand sexual pleasure.

In a vain sense, I feel the men in my life serve me. Sure, I am a ‘service provider,’ but essentially men feel a bit intimidated by me. They know I am sexually experienced, so they know that pleasing me is not an easy task. I pose a challenge to my lovers. The irony is I can be quite insecure. But with men, initially, I would never dare to expose my insecurities.

Your Question: Do Prostitutes Enjoy Sex with Clients?

This really depends on the individual (the sex worker). Some women can get aroused by certain clients, and other women are absolutely repulsed by clients trying to give them pleasure.  One escort I met told me she was molested as a child, and resultantly she hates sex with clients. She told me her services are very ‘restricted.’ She said she could never kiss a client, or allow a client to kiss her body, because the idea sickened her. Clients will argue that women who don’t enjoy sex should NOT be a prostitute, but that’s too simple to say. This woman shouldn’t be selling herself, but again many of these women do not have a choice. They were placed in a position of desperation, with limited options. Or perhaps they might have been facing some sort of addiction, and selling themselves is the only method that works for them. I feel deeply sorry for these women, because they despise selling themselves, and yet society has made no alternatives for them.

Personally, I have ‘enjoyed’ some men as clients, but it is not enjoying it the same way I enjoy my lovers (then again, all my lovers originated as clients). I say ‘enjoyed’ because sex with a client cannot compare to having sex with someone I love. I can even orgasm with clients who push the right buttons, but there is still a difference. I connect with some of my clients and feel desire with some of them. What I enjoy is a client who is easy going and not demanding. Essentially, a client is enjoyable when I feel totally relaxed. In any event I cannot show a client my displeasure; I, a prostitute, must act as if pleasure was in my nature.

My desire for certain clients depends on my personal life. When I am working and not in a relationship (single) I enjoy sex with clients more. They are my only source for sex when I am single, because I avoid casual sex. But when I am in love with someone, the idea of a client devouring my body is sometimes harder for me to digest (not always, but sometimes love can affect seeing other clients). It’s really confusing: I can still have an orgasm with a client, yet I can also have no desire afterwards for him. For me, I am just making the best of the moment with that client. For instance, I had a client not too long ago who was an absolute gentleman. He was generous, extremely respectful, and he actually made me orgasm twice. Did I enjoy it? Well, at the moment, yes and no. He had amazing sexual skills and was warm and intellectual, but of course I am not in love with him at all. He wasn’t my type either, so although he made me cum I was not really attracted. I cannot genuinely enjoy a mans touch unless I love him or feel truly attracted.

Now, if a sex worker started to develop feelings for her client, then of course she will enjoy his touch.  After all, my ex-fiance was my client. Instantly we had chemistry upon meeting, so I did enjoy his touch.

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Filed under "High-class" prostitution, Facts About the Sex Industry, Questions for Escorts And Clients, The Escorting Business, Trying to leave prostitution, Types of Clients, Types of Prostitutes

Can One Truly Leave the Sex Industry ?

In my 5-6 years in the escorting world, I have only seen one woman completely get out of the sex industry. Others, a small minority, may leave the sex industry but typically revert back to selling themselves after a few weeks/months/years. I will never forgot the words, “She’ll be back, ” said by a Madame (brothel/escort business owner)  at an establishment I worked at overseas. This was after a popular young woman decided it was her last day in the industry, and she wanted to pursue her new “normal” job and boyfriend. She’ll be back……how discouraging, yet later I realized how real the statement actually was.

Paulina

Leaving the industry is NEVER without conflict. Paulina is the only former-escort I know who has left the industry entirely. She has managed so far successfully, but it wasn’t easy at first. I came to know her intimately only after she left the industry and when she almost fell back to it. However, when she was still in the industry and we were working together we hardly mingled. I was the odd girl who stayed away from the “casual sex, drugs, and party” scene, so generally she, like many working girls, found little commonality with me.

Paulina was a beautiful South America girl who immigrated to the West at a young age. I witnessed her loss-of-innocence in her escorting days, which is when she involved herself with heavy partying and living with another escort (a match for disaster). She ended up getting involved with an expensive drug (cocaine) habit, which seems to be the drug of choice for elite escorts/clients. Thankfully, her ‘experimenting’ phase was short-lived, and ended in less than a year.

One thing that Paulina and I did have in common was our conflicting values of traditional and modern. She was raised in the West, yet she still held on to her traditional South American values (her cultural values conflicted with the individualistic, care-free values she was living as a prostitute). Selling sex is often not problematic, but rather the lifestyle commonly associated with high-class prostitutes is damaging (excessive partying, excess shallowness).  She had quit the industry, and completely got away from the drugs  and partying.  She called me out of the nowhere one day, and wanted to meet. At first I couldn’t understand why she would suddenly want to meet me, but later she told me that I was the only person she hoped to trust from the industry. In her view, I was someone who would not tempt her back into her bad habits, yet I could relate to her because I was an escort too. I was flattered, and determined to help her stay away from prostitution, even though I wasn’t ready to leave myself. She had deep emotional scars from being a prostitute, and found it hard confide in anyone. She had met a lovely man, but he had no idea about her past and she wanted to keep it that way. Whenever she got depressed or felt the urge to return to selling herself, she called me for comfort. I haven’t seen her in over one year, since she lives overseas where I used to live. Currently, she is still out of the business, and getting married soon to the love of her life. She is my hope…because if she can continue to be away from the industry, then there is hope.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to fall back into prostitution…

The pattern I’ve observed has become common: women leave the industry to pursue love, and then they return when that love failed. Another woman I know did ‘quit’ the industry, however she recently admitted that she is returning to escorting. Why? Because she broke up with the man she loved. Months ago I remember her telling me “If I wasn’t with my boyfriend, then I would still be selling my body.” This is classic of women trying to leave the industry, and perhaps the most depressing part of it. Over the years, I met countless women who’ve returned to prostitution after a failed relationship. Some of these girls say they “wasted” their youth in their failed relationships when they could have been essentially exploiting their youthfulness by selling themselves. And once these women return to sex work, their hearts are broken. Yes, I have seen many broken hearted women returning to selling their bodies, and sadly it seems like they’ve also lost their souls.

When falling in love with a potential partner, an escort has to ask herself: “Is he worth it?”  Is love, itself, enough to give up her autonomy and business? The men she rejects are the ones who cannot offer her financial freedom, even though they may be willing to love and treat her good. Other escorts choose the latter, which is to avoid relationships altogether and focus on making money.

How often do escorts leave the industry when a man is NOT in the picture? I have yet to come across a prostitute who leaves the industry for her own intuition. I have to ask myself this question: Do I want to leave because I want love? Perhaps, as we all desire love and acceptance. Sadly, acceptance is only granted when people conform to what’s ‘normal.’ And of course, being a sex worker is out-of-the-norm in modern societies, thus furthering us away from societies embrace. But again, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are people who fight these oppressive norms that marginalize sex workers — it’s not a bad thing to be different. But being outside the norms of society requires a LOT of strength. There is no social space allocated for prostitutes. As a result, we face tremendous pressure to follow the ‘normative’ ways of living life (such as marriage, owning a home, etc). Although I did quit for a short period when I was engaged, I never mentally prepared myself that I was finished with the industry. I still haven’t. It’s a question that I’ve been avoiding to answer: when will I quit?  Do I even want to quit? Why should I quit? I used to want to quit, and I told myself that I would quit selling my body after I am finished my graduate studies.  Regardless, I don’t feel that I’m ready to leave now. I like aspects of my job, but I just do not like the implications (the stigma, the degradation of the industry, the legalities, etc).

Fear of leaving sex-work is strange. It’s a conflict of emotions. I’m aware that the stigma is damaging me, but when times are good I tend to ignore the harm I’m doing. Again, sex work is not the problem, but trying to live in a world where I have to hide who I am. Social Darwinism, the idea that started this whole “survival of the fittest/competition” among society is a false notion, yet the idea is still very real in modern society. I’m aware that competition is only a socially constructed concept, but yet I feel deeply pressured to be part of this race in society. I fear that if I don’t sell myself, I will lose out in this competition. This is what needs to change, I need to let go of the pressures of mainstream society. Why do I want to be part of this shallow competition in the first place? This is what happens in a cold society (Western-Liberal societies) that puts emphasis on progress, individualism, competition, status, and monetary wealth. This is what drove me to the Social Sciences as a field of study:  society deeply impacts how people think and behave. I assign other reasons why I entered into prostitution on social pressures.

Once you’re in the sex industry, it is very hard to leave. A woman I know is trying her best to pursue a ‘normal’ job but admits she feels the pressure to return to escorting. It’s too easy (escorting), and the money is quick. Her mind, like most escorts, becomes tainted with the haunting fact: a few hours or an evening of escorting can pay all the bills that would take 1-2 weeks of hard work at a normal job. Did any of us imagine growing accustomed to our lifestyles? Did we ever imagine that we’d become a slave to our own addiction for fast-money? Of course not. A good friend of mine is a former receptionist in the sex industry. She told me how she was tempted to become an escort, however she changed her mind once she saw the reality: escorts may make lots of money, but at the high cost of our emotions. So I ask myself time and time again…”Was it worth it?”

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Filed under High-class prostitution, Relationships, The Escorting Business, Trying to leave prostitution

Stained Veil – How did I end up selling my body?

Often, I sit for hours at night, trying to piece together the reasons I went against social norms and decided to have sex for money. Even more so, how did a girl, from my cultural upbringing, join such an industry?  I could attribute part to instability in my family, but that alone isn’t the main factor. There are many social factors of contemporary Western society that are driving women to sex work. Immense pressure to succeed, to be independent, to be sexy, to appear luxurious — these shallow values, sadly, are projected on young minds. The overarching cause of women entering the sex industry is due to Western-Liberal political, social and economic values. These cause instability in families, influence women to objectify themselves via popular media, leave limited options for women who do not desire ‘normal’ low-pay jobs, etc…

As mentioned, my origins are from the East. However, I did not have an entirely traditional upbringing. My Mother is a modern woman, whose own childhood was filled with strictness, and as a result she chose to raise her children (me) in a relatively relaxed manner. Ironically, I often wished my Mother was more strict with me, because her lack of discipline lead to my insatiable curiosity. Yet I don’t blame her, as she could not have foreseen the implications of raising children in a new country.

My Mother, in her younger days, was a very beautiful and desirable woman. So beautiful, young, and naive. And unfortunately, her beauty captivated a womanizing man such a my Father. My Father neglected and mistreated my Mother, as with all the women he’s had. Thankfully, my Mother had more than just her beauty, and she was brave enough to leave my Father. In our culture, divorce, especially occurring 20-odd years ago, was taboo, and sometimes equated to social-suicide in Eastern cultures.

The brick-wall of family security was broken shortly after my birth, but nonetheless my Mother remarried to a good man. I grew up in a middle to upper class neighbourhood, and my peers and I were accustomed to always having the best of the best. In many ways, I was a privileged child, and overly indulged (which hurt me later, as being privileged made me unable to accept the transition of being relatively poor years later). When I entered high-school, my family security broke. My Mother became separated, and our family socioeconomic status went dwindling. It was a difficult transition.

During subsequent years, my innocence faded. I developed insecurities that I believe stemmed from growing pressures of being a young lady in a Western society. I was growing into a woman, a very attractive young girl. I was getting lots of attention from men, and I liked it. Somehow, I believed I had to please everyone. I started to realize how my looks opened doors, and made people desire me (the wrong people, of course). However, I had a mind. I was well-traveled as a teenager, and seeing so many countries and cultures didn’t allow me to neglect my mind. The fact that my mind was constantly observing life, trying to analyze things, often lead me to feel isolated. I adored the attention I got for my beauty, but I also felt deeply neglected as a person. I internalized this idea (thanks to the media) that my worth was based on my beauty only — back then, I had no idea that shallowness equates to emptiness.

When I first had sex for money, I was barely of legal age. I was still finishing my last month of high-school. I was conflicted between two sides of myself: the one that was passionate about the world and knowledge, and the other side who was consumed by society and it’s pressures to be attractive. My curious mind lead to look at the “escorting” section of the daily newspaper. I was curious what these ads were about. I didn’t even know what an ‘escort’ was. I thought prostitutes could only be desperate women with heavy drug problems. I had no idea that beautiful girls have sex with business men and get paid for it. But once I discovered the financial rewards, I was seduced by the idea of selling myself — it was my ticket to living a more ‘comfortable’ life.

So I tried it. I worked one night. I slept with men, all of whom were decent and treated me with respect. Most of them were business men, some had wives or didn’t. I made a lot of money, and without effort. At that time I had no idea what “good” sex was. I didn’t realize that men got so easily aroused by just looking at me, and that the actual sex only lasts under a minute. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to do anything ‘disgusting’ and condoms were mandatory for my protection. Strangely enough, I felt empowered by the money and the admiration from men. Despite that, I was terrified to do it again after my first try. I never thought I would do it again..

But what happens is that……the money, the lack of effort and the quickness of it, the admiration of men….becomes an addiction.

After six months, I tried again. Like the first time, I stopped and swore I couldn’t do it again. But it was just too easy, and the clients treated me so well. So I went back, and it slowly turned into a lifestyle. Thanks to God, my family condition improve and went back to middle-class status. Initially, I worked periodically to fund all my desires for luxury, as I had felt deeply deprived. Sadly, back then, I had internalized the idea of shallow beauty. With the money, I transformed myself into an elegant, elite young lady, draped in designer clothes and items.

Only later, I realized that this job came with implications….

…to be continued

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Filed under "High-class" prostitution