The oldest profession - and the most beautiful
Today we the people are connected. When looking for your private escort, you type in the search engine “independent escorts” then your city name – or any combination of escort search terms that flashes inside your head in search of your destination … which in this case, was Scarlet Blue.
We are very fortunate to be able to feed our needs with an instant supply of information in color, or black and white. With images, visuals, text and a touch of gossip … the search for pleasure today is itself pleasurable.
So, was it the same two thousand years ago? Was there a private escort to search for, pay and enjoy the service she provided?
The Greco Roman era is a good template to compare with our modern times, and although the search mechanism is of no comparison, everything else is very much similar.
A recent trip to Pompeii, Italy left me at awe when my very own private guide took me to some extraordinary sites – including various ancient brothels. There I stood looking at the erotic art on the walls, depicting the services provided and what was on offer. There were explicit paintings describing the special service which could be had in each room. The display was very graphic, arousing and exciting.
Frame after frame, a sequence of profiles inviting and seducing … the marketing, the selling… Phallic and erotic hard core imagery, spelling in everybody’s language one word – Pleasure. Throughout the streets of this perfectly preserved city, the phallic sculptures were well placed – the selling of sex within it very obvious.
The Roman authorities understood the need for sex work within society. Ensuring that the people’s sexual hunger was satisfied was essential to maintaining public and social order.
The sex industry back in those days was running on the same track as today. Legislated and organised, incall, outcall, private escorts, brothels, escort agencies…
Wind back another 400 years, and the Greco package was not much different. From Ancient Athens, to Rome and now today, hedonism was a prescription that everybody wanted – and sex work served that need perfectly.
Unlike today, sex work in Ancient Greece was widely accepted, and was not an object of scandal. The first legal brothels were introduced as a public health measure to contain adultery. The taxes that were raised from the brothels were used to pay for some of the most beautiful public temples, of which the remains still exist today.
Ancient Greek courtesans used shoes and clothing imprinted with messages as a tool for prospective clients to know the delicacies they were offering. They wore sandals that had the words “follow me” inscribed on the bottom. These shoes left impressions in the earth for everybody to read, and men to follow.
The private escorts of yesteryear, the Hetaera, were independent courtesans who managed their own affairs. They were sophisticated, highly educated and intelligent women – intimate companions who engaged sexually with their clients and patrons. These independent escorts of Ancient Greece were wealthy, immaculately groomed and highly respected.
It was widely accepted that these courtesans of pleasure were frequented by married men, looking for pleasure and fulfillment. There was little social stigma.
As I mentioned earlier … the times may have changed, and so may the search function. But many things remain the same. They always have, and they always will.
Image: Gustav Klimt