Tag Archives: Courtesan

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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The Courtesan Life — My Own Experience

Azteca Goddess

In recent years, I consider myself a courtesan. I have my own definition of it, which is not universal by any means. For me, being a courtesan is, of course, being an ‘elite’ prostitute, yet a courtesan differs in two things:  (1) a courtesan is discerning with her clientele, and (2) has autonomy over her body/business. I have not always been a courtesan; in my initial years, I was a ‘high-end’ prostitute/escort. For some, there is no difference. But for myself, there is a difference. As a courtesan, I attract a slightly different clientele. On the other hand, when I used to work for establishments/agencies, I was available to almost any client that would choose and pay for me.

As a courtesan, I have my own business, I have control over what I do, who I see, how much I charge, and when I want to work. I feel blessed to have this ‘good’ situation as a prostitute, yet I’m mindful of it’s fragility (which I will mention later in this post). For the most part, I see regular clients, and then occasionally I like to advertise and see new clients. Unlike most prostitutes, a courtesan does not see just any man who’s willing to pay — this is the difference. I am picky. Men who contact me are, at first, candidates, and then I sift through those who I feel would be good clients. I can only hope my judgement is good. What has resulted from my ‘sifting’ methods is that I have clients who seek companionship and passionate intimacy. In other words, almost all of my clients want the GFE, or ‘Girlfriend Experience.’

In my previous work, working in agencies/establishment, a lot of clients also wanted GFE, yet the settings played a role in how meetings played out. In an establishment/agency, the limitations are more rigid, such as time limits and rates. It’s less personal in some cases, while meetings can also become quite intimate. After all, I met both my romantic Ex-fiance and my Sheik in a brothel setting. I attracted a variety of men while working ‘inside,’ from men who desired ‘quickies,’ to fetish enthusiasts, to men who desired ‘passionate love-making and conversation.’ To be quite honest, I liked the variety of the brothel setting. Sometimes I miss it. The variety, as a courtesan, is less.

As a courtesan, as mentioned, I attract romantic types. The clients are mostly very lovely. While sifting through candidates, I usually choose highly educated men and/or men who seem soft/affectionate. Seems ideal right? Well, I should feel thankful. But strangely enough, being too passionate and too romantic with various men is sometimes difficult. Most of my clients want to make me cum, kiss my body, kiss my lips, cuddle, talk about life, etc. While it sounds great in theory (because I love those things) it’s very difficult sometimes to do those things with men I DON’T LOVE.

For instance, I met a very sweet client a few months ago. He has such a kind and generous heart. When we meet, he always wants to make sure I feel good. He never demands anything, but always offers to massage me, make me cum via his amazing oral skills, or discuss topics that I am interested in. Again, it sounds ideal, right? I really appreciate him, but I find his sweetness very overbearing. After wards, he will send me very sweet emails and tell me how much he enjoyed our time. There is nothing wrong with him, but I don’t feel any love towards him. I have other clients exactly like him in terms of being loving, devoted — yet with others I might feel some attraction, so it’s tolerable. In cases too overbearing, I may decline to see them again.

I can cum with clients whom I do not desire, of course it feels good at that moment, but then, sometimes, feelings of disgust emerge afterwards — not always, but sometimes I feel disgusted that his lips and tongue have coated every inch of my skin. Again, the ‘disgust’ is the result of not being in love nor attracted to him or his body. I don’t always feel so repulsed by such close intimacy with those I do not love, no. It really depends on my mood and my level of attraction towards someone. There are often times I am so aroused that I will forget my emotions and immerse myself with a client’s body, but I need to be attracted. It becomes tiresome to do it constantly without emotion/genuine attraction. I should mention that it’s typically single men (bachelors) who become overbearing. Married clients, who are sweet like this, are more enjoyable, because they still remember it’s business at the end of the day (actually, sometimes married men can get too attached as well!)

 

Sex Sans Love?

eternallove

Love and attraction erases all those feelings of disgust/indifference. When I love, the very scent/smells/secretions of my lover become my drug, whereas the bodily fluids of someone I don’t love — it’s ghastly.  A very blunt, yet brilliant quote I heard (from the French film ‘Romance X’) said, “I don’t care who stuffs my cunt, but I can’t kiss someone I don’t love.” That statement has truth — the importance of taste and emotion. I do kiss some of my clients, but it can sometimes make me feel sickened — the feeling of attraction is not mutual.

Ironically, despite all that I said, I mentioned I miss the brothel variety of clientele. As a courtesan, I seldomly get clients who just want to fuck and leave. But sometimes, I want that!  At least once in a while — some variety! No romance, no philosophical conversations — just pure lust (ok, not always, but …again…variety is nice!). Often my clients write to me and say sweet and sentimental things like, “I miss you” or “Can’t wait to see you again.” Sometimes, I crave the opposite. They never write things like, “I need your hot pussy.” This relates to my persona as an assertive woman (a Femdom), because most clients do not want to disrespect or anger me.

Why do I attract this type, while some other women attract the opposite? I am a bit dominating in an indirect way. My clients, perhaps, detect that I would never tolerate anything less than politeness and respect. It sounds very arrogant what I am saying, but I am speaking of my ‘facade’  (the way I portray myself, not necessarily the reality). When I am in courtesan mode, I act a certain way, dress and present myself in a certain way that is different from my non-work persona.  As I mentioned, I can dress myself to be a ‘Goddess’ and perform it — but in day to day life I’m rather simple.

 

Pragmatic, Not Arrogant

Arrogance is not an attitude I recommend. But unfortunately, arrogance is something many escorts develop from being paid for their time. One thing I always ask myself is: How can long will I be able to be ‘picky’ with my clients? How long will my charm to besot men last?  I am always mindful that, perhaps, one day I wont be in demand. A courtesan/escort/prostitute must never be too comfortable in their position. Times may be good, exceptional — ideal. But nothing is fixed. One must always prepare for the inevitable — aging, an accident, emotional issues, an economic crisis, loss of regulars clients, etc. Despite my ‘ideal’ situation, I  try to always be mindful that this ‘status’ can be gone in an instant. If I rely too much on my physical looks — I must ask, “How many clients will still desire me if I didn’t have my face and body?” Indeed, some of my regular clients are loyal to my mind, body and soul — not just physical — but still, there is no security this work. Prostitutes can still retain their beauty (inner and outer) and success even when they get older and age (yes). But if one simply lives off their ego and superficiality — the span is very short for such women.

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A Courtesan: The Allure of Body Scents / Odors

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Indeed it is the 5 senses (touch, taste, smell, hear and see) along with mental stimulation that makes great intimacy and love. In the sex industry satisfying all of these qualities is possible but rare. In most cases, clients seek to stimulate one or multiple of their senses. One sense that many clients desire for sexual arousal is: satisfying their ‘scent’ sense. Artificial fragrances, such as perfumes, are only one part of the scent desire, but natural scents are what heighten arousal. One of the first things most clients do when we meet is embrace me in a hug, which instantly they detect my fragrance and natural scent.  This is usually followed by them starting to kiss and lick my body, from my neck, lips and breasts. Then gradually, they will taste their way around the meanders of my body. The common pattern is kissing and tasting her body, from her neck to her breasts or between her legs. For some, scent by-way-of-tasting is secondary to sexual penetration. For others, scent is the main feature of a sexual encounter.

Some men have a desire for scent that goes beyond the conventional; it’s essential to their arousal. Often, they exceptionally desire the ‘taboo’ areas. The ‘taboo’ areas could be the feet, the underarms, the anus and buttocks, etc. Of course, they are only ‘taboo’ in the sense that they are unrecognized/unacknowledged in popular discourse on sexuality. In Western medical discourse, this ‘smell’ fetish is known as olfactophilia. Though, I disagree that it should be categorized as a ‘condition’ or something ‘strange.’ If anything, the ‘taboo’ areas are extremely erogenous areas that can bring great pleasure. Sadly, a lot of people feel embarrassed about their ‘unconventional’ desires. For some men, it’s often easier to express these desires with a prostitute rather than their own wives or partners.  I’ve had men who specifically requested to lick my ass, or ‘worship my booty’ as one client says. Some men like to lick this area whilst performing oral sex, and quite honestly, I love it.

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The other day, I was laying on stomach on bed, completely relaxed. A married client of mine was kissing my legs, working down to my feet. He started kissing my feet and then said, “There is a lot of sex at the feet.” After, he proceeded to lick between my toes. Before he feasted on other regions of my body, he would stop for a brief moment to inhale my scent. He would inhale it as if it had an intoxicating effect, and then he would dive in and taste. He made sure to put extra attention in all the taboo areas, especially between my legs and between my bum, which excited me past my tipping point. Experiences like these compel me to ponder: but why? For some, it is the allure of social stigma, the ‘taboo,’ which drives their excitement; it’s this idea of being in a subordinate position. For others, it is more biological where the scent, alone, triggers sexual gratification. I recall my ex-fiance requesting to lick the sweaty parts of my body after I just finished exercising. For him, it was very erotic, which I, now, understand his attraction to natural odors.

The most memorable ‘scent’ client I had was a young 19 year boy I met while I was working overseas for a short trip. I worked at small high-end brothel establishment for a brief few weeks. I met him on my first day, and then he insisted to book my entire shift whenever I worked. Our last encounter was an 8 hour booking, which he enthusiastically paid for each portioned hour. What makes him memorable, in an odd sense, is that we never had sex. I saw him numerous times until the end of my holiday, and each time his main desire was two things: my companionship and my ‘taboo’ areas. Most ‘scent’ driven men usually want intercourse alongside licking and tasting, but this particular client was different. He was completely satisfied with kissing and licking my hands, feet, between my legs and my buttocks. I would lay on my tummy, and could simply relax while his face was between the cheeks of my posterior. To be quite blunt, he loved to bury his face in my buttocks and lick my ass. At the same time, he was also impeccably respectful and he always asked permission first. His desire puzzled me back then, but now I understand his attraction to scents.

In my own preferences, scent is one of the essential components of sexual chemistry. Scent is what ignites my desire to reciprocate. Scent has a lasting affect, which makes me long for it after wards. However, in terms of clients I seldom desire to indulge in their scents, unless I’m really attracted to them. Rather, my scent desire is reserved for someone I love. Scent is beyond just perfumes or ointments, but rather it’s the addition of natural scent that is unique to each individual. It cannot be simply mimicked by artificial means, because the natural scent of another person is part of the phenomena of sexual chemistry.

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Escorts, Clients and the Sex Industry: Questions and Answers # 5

This is Q&A No.5 of a series where I answer questions that viewers type in search engines to locate my blog.

1. What is an Exotic Escort?

exotic-escort

I use the term ‘exotic’ for myself in the context of being ‘different’ as an escort. I differentiate myself in that my cultural roots, ideological outlook and upbringing were rather unique compared to my surroundings. However, now that I look back in retrospect, I should have been more cautious in choosing the word ‘exotic,’ because the term ‘exotic’ is a very Orientalist notion.

Many escorts use the term ‘exotic’ to describe themselves as having a different ‘beauty’ or appearance than the norm of their given setting. For instance, an Asian woman in a predominantly white-dominated sex industry is perceived as ‘exotic,’ because her features are rare and different from the majority.

 

2. Is it harder for an escort who has sex with multiple partners daily to orgasm?

It truly depends on her, as an individual and her personal circumstances. A lot of women suppress (or are oblivious to) their own sexual desires, so thus orgasm might be challenging or nonexistent in their lives. Modern gender roles are a major factor in the suppression of female sexuality, as female pleasure has traditionally been dismissed as irrelevant in popular Western discourse. Discourses that marginalized female sexuality stem from Victorian-era morality. Of course things have changed, as the awareness of female sexual desire is being revived back into society. However, wholesome female sexuality is still quite uncommon. Yes, it appears that women are more sexually ‘open’ compared to the past. But in reality, most women have simply become more sexually objectified. Acting ‘sexy’ gives the illusion that women are more sexually tuned with themselves — but it is an illusion for most, as most are not internally craving for sex. Moreover, a wholesomely, sexually tuned woman would not necessarily need to show it by objectifying nor degrading herself.

Personally, I am an odd one. The more sex I have, the more aroused I am. I must note that being this way is exceptionally rare as an escort — most escorts are like most other women in terms of sexual appetite. As I mentioned in a previous Q&A, having sex with clients has often enhanced my personal sex life. I may or may not get aroused by clients, but it certainly builds up my anticipation for my personal lovers. Having a lot of mediocre sex with clients can sometimes make me intensely crave good intimacy with someone I desire. Equally, having good sex with clients often makes me immensely aroused for my personal lover afterwards. I get really aroused for my lover after another man has just slept with me.

 

3. What do escorts think about older clients?

Old, middle-aged, young…it doesn’t really matter to me. Age does not define how a client will act, so such things are quite irrelevant. I know some other female escorts who prefer older clients because there is a belief that older clients are easier to please. This belief may be held because some older men have a tendency of being more patient and relaxed in their sexuality, whereas younger men are more eager. However, characteristics of all sorts can be found in clients regardless of age, class or ethnic background.

 

4. Do Escorts Give Discounts (Cheaper) for Good Looking Men? Do Escorts Prefer Good Looking Men?

This question actually made me laugh. No! I’d say the majority of escorts would laugh if a man assumed his ‘good looks’ would get him a better deal. Most escorts, such as myself, do not care about looks. An experienced courtesan knows very well that ‘good looks’ have no relevance to our livelihoods. A handsome client does not guarantee that he will be a good sexual lover, a good person or at best, generous. Qualities that I enjoy in clients are generosity, kindness, respect, hygienic, intellect and selflessness in sex (non-demanding) – such things cannot be compensated by superficial aesthetics alone.

This reminded me a client who tried to book with me. He called me and made countless efforts to tell me how ‘handsome’ he was, and how ‘well-endowed’ he was in size. I just rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “You are probably the worst in sex considering you have to convince me of how apparently amazing you are.” I hung up, and refused to see him. Ladies beware: Any man who boasts excessively about his achievements or his ‘amazingness’ is to be avoided. Such men with big egos are usually masking HUGE insecurities and shortcomings. Thankfully, after years of encountering so many men, I know very well that: If it seems too good to be true, it is! Any man who proposes such a ‘larger than life’ offer has a dirty motive behind it, so please be wary of such things.

sensuallips 

5. What to do when a Regular Client Starts Seeing Another Girl?

Don’t do anything. He’s a client. Expect this. Sadly, in the context of modern prostitution, it is more than acceptable for a client to have no responsibility towards an escort. Even if he has seen her multiple times, it is at best a fragile relation with little significance. Of course, not all clients have this ‘neglecting’ intention with escorts. There are clients that stay loyal to one woman. The most most decent clients empathize with an escorts life and feelings — they don’t just see her as an object for their own leisure. However, I’d say not to worry about such matters.
Thankfully, I have always maintained a decent, quality handful of regular clients besides my Sheik. I have known some of them for several years. However, these men are not bound to me in any way. Most of them are married. I see them when they request me, but I do not intervene in their lives further, nor do I let them intervene in my own life. Whether or not my regular clients see other girls or not is not of my concern. I have no expectation of them.

In my days working in a high-end brothel, I saw many escorts get furious when their regular client started seeing another girl. Instead of blaming the client, they often blamed the other escort for allegedly ‘stealing’ her client. But blaming other escorts is hardly valid. Blaming the client is also invalid. It is simply part of the industry. Relationships in this industry are very fluid, so I prepare myself to never take things too seriously.
Sometimes I am unable to see my regular clients because I am busy in my personal life. At times I have even encouraged some of my regular clients to see other escorts. If I had a female friend who’s an escort, then I would recommend my client to see her. If you are an escort who has the notion of ‘hoarding’ clients then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I have found that my ‘openness’ with clients has made them more loyal to me.

 

6. Do Escorts Like Clients who are ‘Big,’ ‘Well-Endowed?’

From observing conversations with other escorts, most women tend to complain when a client is too big, or too much work (meaning too demanding and takes too long to ejaculate). For instance, if a clients’ size is too big and the intercourse is anticipated to be painful, then we might decline having sex with him. If he is rather large, most of us hope the sex will be quick. Some escorts with very big ego’s will say things like, “I’m not going to risk hurting my pussy with one client, it’s not worth it.” Personally, I have declined to have sex with clients who are too large, because I didn’t feel the potential pain was ‘worth’ my time.

Surprisingly, very ‘big’ men are not common as one may think. Most clients are average in genital size. Many escorts even develop a preference for ‘smaller’ men, because the assumption is that it will do less impact to her body. I prefer average or smaller with clients, because logically it’s easier on my body. However, my preference for my own pleasure is another story. This is probably because the men I enjoy are average or slightly bigger than average — but not too big, no no. Yet those ‘size’ factors, alone, are only one part of the great pleasure they induce upon me. I’ve had ‘smaller’ men also give me great pleasure. If I happen to be aroused on a particular day, I must admit that I do prefer a ‘slightly bigger than average’ size over small. I can recall a few weeks ago I was so aroused one day, and I was meeting a new client. I was immensely full of desire and was hoping that he would be ‘bigger,’ but to my dismay he was like quite small.

However, I should note that penis size does not guarantee pleasure. A lot of men are insecure about their size, but my view is that size is very secondary to giving pleasure to a woman. Pleasure is not just about physical aspects but also relates to mental stimulation and geometric fit of each participantGreat pleasure is never simply mind or body; it is the combination of both. To illustrate this in another way: a beautiful woman may attract someone, but her body alone is not enough to draw genuine and immense longing from another person.  I may attract men with my looks, but when they truly fall in love they fall in love with other elements that are not just physical. Physical attraction, alone, is a very limited and unfulfilling way of experiencing true bliss.

 

7. Is it Bad to Have an Escort Girl for a Girlfriend?

Why is it bad? It is only ‘bad’ because Modern society has a cruel and unjust attitude towards prostitutes. An escort is no different than any other human being. Yes, her lifestyle is different, but she/he is deserving of love, acknowledgement and care just as anyone else. Sadly, society still holds this view that such non-conforming groups are un-deserving of basic human dignity. Such cruel view needs to be challenged.

 

Lovers Embrace

8. Do Escorts Enjoy Having Sex?

I sometimes get annoyed when I repetitively see questions like these, because asking such a question makes the assumption that human emotions can be standardized and generalized like an inanimate product.

I cannot speak on behalf of all escorts, because human beings have a diverse span of emotions, experiences and life circumstances which all form their unique way of viewing life (and viewing others). If an escort likes sex, it does not mean she will like sex with just anyone. Of course not.

As I have stressed before on this blog: things such as chemistry are not ‘learned’ behaviors – no amount of superficial efforts can create chemistry.  Two people desiring each other remains as mysterious today as it has in the past – chemistry is a phenomenon that has no linear explanation.

9. Being an Escort: How to Keep a Normal Life Going with This Double Life I’m Living?

A question what one needs to ask themselves is: what constitutes as being “normal?” Is it obedience to authority? Is it acting like everyone else? It is not questioning the dominant trends or discourses? A lot of the modern norms that exist today serve the purpose of benefiting a system of inequality and dehumanization rather than a humanistic and collectivist purpose. A question I had to ask myself in recent years is: Is there even a point to continue striving for a ‘normal’ life when my life is anything but the norm?

I had mentioned in my blog previously that I make tremendous efforts to conform in public. The way I dress, act and appear is very conforming (normal) from a public perspective. The purpose of conforming is to avoid rejection; I once desperately wanted to belong and be accepted by others. But in the process of appearing normal I was truly rejecting myself. It also became very exhausting trying to play different roles in different settings, so often I just isolated myself as it was the only place I could stop pretending to be someone I was not.

For years after becoming an escort, I struggled with my identity. I didn’t know who I was, and I focused more on what I was expected to be. I was performing several different roles, catering to the needs of everyone else. I was an escort, but I had to conceal this part of my life. How could I look, act and mingle like the majority of people when my experiences, tastes and ideas were totally different? How could I interact with normal women who would probably shun me if they knew my secret lifestyle? This is when I realized that society has made no place for stigmatized persons; for years it was emotionally exhausting feeling I must hide myself all the time.

Other escorts realize their rejection in mainstream society early on, so they find social support among other sex workers. But I couldn’t do this. I felt estranged even among most other escorts — sadly, there is no sense of wholesome solidarity/community among escorts in an Individualistic society. Many escorts are still profoundly influenced by gender role expectations (ironically) and tend to judge each other. I found that escorts usually bond together in their misery. Rather than deal with their pain together in a wholesome manner, they resort to ‘numbing’ their pain together by way of partying, drinking, excessive materialism and/or drug use. “Misery loves company” is a perfect phrase for when escort solidarity does exist. It isn’t only stigmatized persons, but also a lot of seemingly normal people tend to ‘party’ away their misery, because they themselves get tired of trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal placed upon their gender. Social pressures surely can explain why the ‘drinking and party’ culture is so prevalent in Western societies, because drinking allows people to feel artificially comfortable with themselves. Personally, I try my best to avoid such artificial situations. For me, the only place where I could reveal myself is when I was alone. My other outlet is when I fell in love.

Early on, I desired the ‘normal’ life and expectations for a woman: to fall in love, to get married and to have a family. I imagined that I could easily transition into a ‘normal’ life once getting married and settling down. And I almost did it. I stopped working for a long portion when I was with my ex-fiance. But throughout our relationship, I realized that my experiences of being a sex worker prevented me from conforming to the tastes and mannerisms of mainstream society, because I still had to hide myself. My ex-fiance accepted me and never judged me for selling my body, but the struggle remained within myself. In the early years of escorting, I was in denial of the fact that I wasn’t like ‘normal’ girls. I sold my body, but I felt I was better than most escorts because my outside lifestyle and mannerisms were normative. But now, I have come to accept that I am a woman with a totally different outlook compared to the average girl. I see sides of men and their sexuality that most women never see. My experiences have made my life anything but normal. And now I accept it, and I stop trying to look for straight lines.

So can an escort ever live a normal life? Sure, she can pretend her life is normal for outsiders, but inside she will be hiding a lot of emotions. A person can only hide themselves for so long. Sadly, I do not have a sound answer to this question, as there aren’t any wholesome alternatives made for sex workers in a modern context. However, I personally found comfort once I started broadening my knowledge. From a very young age, I have always been fascinated with learning in various ways. One cannot only learn from books, one must also learn from experience too. I was inspired to go to University to soothe my curiosity about human life, cultures, society, politics, and so forth. University exposed me to scholars who analytically critique all aspects of social phenomena. I was introduced to the concept of ‘narratives’ and ‘discourses’ (stereotypes), which made me realize that many widely-held beliefs in society were constructed by particular people to serve a particular agenda. Moreover, norms that exist today are never fixed, and norms differ both historically and culturally. Soon enough, I realized there was no ‘shame’ in my ‘abnormal’ profession, and also realized that other cultures, historically, once held ‘alternative’ lifestyles and sexual practices with high esteem.  It became quite comforting when realizing many intellectual people (in post-modern Social Sciences) are aware how norms are constructed in relation to power, therefore subject to contestation, change and variation. Many scholars in the Arts and Social Science disciplines (gender studies, history, humanities, anthropology, sociology and the like) are relatively open-minded and accepting of alternative lifestyles, as most of their research is to critically analyze social phenomena as opposed to accepting dominant discourses. There are a minority of decent, wholesome people who challenge the unjust notions of society and are in favor of ‘alternative’ lifestyles.

A lot of great films about courtesans and ‘fallen women’ really depict this emotional conflict that many of us face: where a prostitute realizes her place in society is un-welcomed, abnormal, detestable and condemned. Shortly, I will post a list of great films that portray the life and emotions of a prostitute. One of the greatest films about the life and misery of a courtesan is an infamous, old Hindu-Urdu film titled, “Pakeezah.” A translation of a powerful line in the film is when Sahib Jaan (the courtesan) says to her beloved, “wherever you take me, my disgrace will eventually find me.” That line clearly shows her loss of hope, knowing that her soul is irreversibly scarred by her ‘maligned’ experiences.

meena Kumari (Pakeezah)

An excellent analysis of the courtesan film, “Pakeezah” can be found here: http://mrandmrs55.com/2012/04/16/the-immortal-dialogue-of-pakeezah/

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The Courtesan: Preparing for a Client in Vain..

preparing-in-vainI step out of the shower, and lotion my body to make it silky soft and soothe. I silken my hair. I apply my makeup with a racy, provocative touch.

I press red lipstick against my soft lips and decorate my eyes with dark liner. For a second, I imagine you are staring at me in all my vanity. How I know it will arouse you to see me so delicate and so alluring. Not only do I look as if saturated in lust, but my scent is just as daring, my demeanor is even more risqué. Its all yours, I say to myself.

Then I squeeze my generous portions of breasts into a silk and lace bra…a bra too small for my voluptuous breasts. How inviting they are…and how I long for you too see me in such a spectacular sight. Finally, I slip on a matching panty over hips that were made to be grasped by loving hands.

I caress my breasts and close my eyes. I caress myself by imitating all the ways you once touched me. I am taken back to a vision of when your hands lovingly grabbed a hold of my soft flesh….and how they were placed onto the warmth of your mouth. My scent is dripping in allure, and how I long for you to taste me.

I’ve prepared my body for a client…drenched in my sensual ritual. My body is ready to arouse, to evoke admiration. I anticipate how a strange man will feast his eyes on my womanly body, along with my reddened lips and eyes. He will be mesmerized by my smile, and he will feast on my enticing curves. But my dearest, I wish it wasn’t some strange man who is granted such pleasures — I wish it was you.

bustyNow he see’s me and compliments my vain efforts. Slowly everything comes off, all my attire. The only thing that remains is the erotic nature of my face, and a very exposed body. Instead of you, it is a strange mans mouth who explores and tastes my body. When he parts my legs, how I long for you to be in his place. So I close my eyes, and imagine that your soft lips are touching my skin.

He is so aroused, and yet I only long to see your arousal. I have no desire to tease him with my ornaments like I did with you, nor show him my erotic capabilities ..no, I reserve them all for you. Yet still I pretend..I pretend as if your touch is what I feel. Take my body and immerse yourself in me. He is left fulfilled and satisfied, while my insatiable desire is left longing…….yearning.

The job is done. I remove the facade one by one, and slip back into normal attire. I put back the jewelry, and fine lingeries. I look at them closely and recite a line I once heard: “What are these pearls for ….if they are valued by no one?”

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