16 Commerical Sex

16 Commerical Sex - COMMERCIAL SEX 1. Prostitution Ancient...

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COMMERCIAL SEX 1. Prostitution Ancient Mesopotamian temples – center of the city, residence of god or goddess. On the top floor was a small temple for naditu, “highborn priestesses qualified for especially intense communication with the deity,” (Ringdal). The goddess of fertility: Who wants to plow my womb? Who wants to plow the grain that grows so high? Who wants to make my moistened Fields bear Fruit? (Quote from an old Sumerian text) (Tannahill) Oldest written accounts date back to China’s Zhou Dynasty (1000-221 B.C.). Recall men’s need to absorb yin essence. Harems here & elsewhere were guarded by eunuchs . 3 ranks of brothel in ancient China: wa-she : cheap government establishment for soldiers, sailors, and poor men; “wine houses:” the middle rank, raucous fun places where red silk lamps hung on the front doors (1 st red-light district); “tea houses:” with the best of everything. Contrast with Sumerian accounts dating back 4,000 years that include tales of harlots used to “wear out” the enemy. During the Han Dynasty (140-87 B.C.), the Emperor Wu institutionalized soldiers’ courtesans to entertain troops and strengthen their will to fight. Brothel owners bought girls from their families; top courtesans were trained from early childhood. Women could only leave the brothel for special ceremonial occasions. From The Kama Sutra : “If a vecya [prostitute] by her own reckoning is good to a man who is stingy, so friendly toward a man who considers himself irresistible and is so accustomed to winning hearts that he lowers her standard price, this must be considered a pure economic loss…If a ganika [courtesan] can manage to obtain money from both a man with whom she has sexual relations and a man who is only in love with her, she must view this as a win-win situation. Men want pleasure, above all. Women want money.” Every culture has had several “ranks” of prostitutes. Ancient Greece: pornai : common whores, streetwalkers auletrides : flute-girls, who were musicians as well as prostitutes (hetaeras) megalomisthoi : big-fee hetaeras, some of whom became women of independent means
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Tannahill: the second oldest profession? (after shamanism)
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2010 for the course EDP 363 taught by Professor Brownstein during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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16 Commerical Sex - COMMERCIAL SEX 1. Prostitution Ancient...

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