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Courtesans in History: Not Just a Sexual Matter

The word courtesan often evokes provocative and often sexual imagery when heard, but this is not always what it has meant throughout history. Often social and political climbers, courtesans were nearly always members of court, though their wealth and status level often motivated them for further advancement through the act of becoming a courtesan. In order to obtain either a stable income if they were on the less wealthy side or to gain more status and influence social or politically, courtesans were passed from benefactor to benefactor in order to gain their means to an end. Often times, if a courtesan was not wealthy, but held a place in court, she would accept this profession as a stable income or to obtain better status for their spouse (if married), or both. Although, if the courtesan chose benefactors, yet not as a means of income (ie., she was already wealthy), then her means to an end would be to obtain a better status for either herself or her husband.

In the latter arrangement in which the courtesan had embarked upon this profession for means of a stable income, she was often treated less as an equal than a courtesan who was seeking only social or political advancement. Whereas the former ran the risk of ending up in the streets as a common prostitute if she dissatisfied her benefactors due to her financial vulnerability, the latter often made arrangements with benefactors as a strict business agreement and would encounter fewer troubles given her financial security.

Whatever their status of wealth, courtesans all usually had a common basis in that they were artists, performers, or had a particularly witty personality that set them apart from others. They were usually well-educated and cultured, often times more so than many other upper-class women. They were well-versed in the art of conversation, companionship, appealing in appearance, and usually from an appropriate background either by status or wealth. While it’s true that sex was often one of their obligations as a courtesan, it was only a small part of what the profession entailed. In fact, by the early 1900’s, courtesans were seen as more socially acceptable in wealthier societal circles.

Famous Courtesans

  • Madame de Pompadour
  • Cora Pearl
  • Su XiaoXiao
  • Marie Duplessis
  • Yang GuiFei
  • Clara Ward
  • Mata Hari
  • Mary Boleyn

Sex Positions From Around the World

Every country in the world seems to have it’s own take on sexual practices, rituals and yes, even sexual positions made popular by them. From England to India (of course) and even in China, every country seems to have at least one sexual position to their name. Sex positions are a lot of fun and, while everyone has their personal favorite, we usually do not think about the origin of said positions nowadays in our melting pot society. So which countries should be credited for coming up with their respective popular sexual positions, most of which we still do today? Read on for the origin of 7 popular sexual acts!

1. 69 Oral Pleasure: You can thank France for giving us this erotically fun act (among others), made popular in the mid-16th century.

2. Doggie Style AKA From the Rear: Lie back and think of the Queen as this position became popular and well known in the 18th century England, along with other scandalous acts of debauchery happening in the brothels and at court. Better not get caught doing this little naughty act as punishments for this included anything from 3 years of penance or being shipped off to the nearest convent to death, especially if done out of wedlock or caught having an affair!

3. French Kissing: I’m pretty sure you can guess where this one came from. The act of kissing with open mouths and tongue interaction came from France where it is better known as ‘baiser amoureux’ or in slang, as a ‘patin’ or ‘galoche.’ Although considered inappropriate and even taboo in some parts of the world to be done publicly, this is one of the most commonly practiced acts of affection in the world.

4. Rocking Sitting Position: Surprisingly, this sex position arose to popularity in Arabia. A reader favorite for it’s ability to stimulate both partners, the exotic Rocker sitting position is done by facing your partner and straddling their lap (or vice versa) while rocking back and forth to ecstasy.

5. The Missionary Position: Enacted by various countries and peoples for over a millennia, it appears in various artwork pieces around the world including countries such as Japan, China, Peru, Rome & India.Various myths and cultural beliefs exist to explain each country/civilization’s use of this position as seen in the Chinese belief that women are born face up and men are born face down.

6. Balanced Front Entry Position: Of course this idea of balance in a sexual position was enacted in China! Done by facing your partner feet first and entering the female this way by balancing her on top of the male lap during insertion. What a perfect physical display of chan! (Contrary to popular belief, chan is the Chinese word that refers to a meditative state commonly referred to as Zen by many people, which is actually a Japanese word.)

7. Stand & Deliver Position: The incredibly innovative and proud Basques of Spain came up with this one and rightfully so as the position is done with both partners standing, facing one another, as equals. No word yet on the accuracy of that claim, but it’s nice to think of the mysterious Basques as being ahead of the trends.

Click Here For Ancient Sexual Methods

Fun Fact! Did you know the use of dildos and other penis shaped items for sexual pleasure has been prevalent since the middle ages? The origin of the word dildo is not clear, but it is thought to have come from the original expression “dilldough” which referred to a loaf of bread made with dill.Other theories of its origin include a phallus shaped peg that locks an oar in place on a small boat or possibly an adjusted form of the Italian term ‘diletto,’ which means delight.  Whatever it’s true origin is we may never know, but we have to thank them for such naughty brilliance as it has truly lasted through the ages!

Click Here to Check out Which Sex Positions Burn the Most Calories!