A couple thousand years ago Socrates wrote about female sexuality and described Wife, Hetaerae, and Prostitute.  And although the history of Hetaerae was of women who enjoyed sex, they were not prostitutes, common or otherwise.   


Prostitutes have always used sex as a bartering tool. This sexual mentality does not expect sexual satisfaction from their encounters.  In the exchange of goods, the only one who needs to be satisfied is the customer.   Similarly, the Wife mentality married because it was necessary to bear children.  Once their children are born, if they don’t have sex again, they’re o.k. with that. 

So it was in ancient societies, so it is today.

“In ancient Greek society, Hetaerae were independent and sometimes influential women who had to pay taxes. Mostly ex-slaves and foreigners, they were renowned for their achievements in dance and music, as well as for their physical talents. There is evidence that, unlike most other women in Greek society at the time, they were educated. It is remarkable that they not only were the only women who would actively take part in the symposia, but also that their opinions and beliefs were respected by men.”

Today the word Hetaerae literally means, the other woman.  Seductive and sensual, she is the woman whose sexual pleasure is important to her.  She doesn’t have sex just to have babies the way the Wife does; nor would she ever sex her body.  She indulges because it serves her needs as well as her partner’s.  To call her a courtesan or prostitute, then or today, is to suggest that any woman who enjoys sex does so for pay, which is simply not true.

Hetaerae appreciate that their sensual awareness is part of the reason they enjoy sex and believe that their sexual satisfaction is as important as the man’s.  They have not assumed the secondary role in the sexual relationship, regardless of what religions have tried to impose on them. 

Sexual selfishness, inconsideration, predictability, lack of desire, passion, or sexual creativity are not welcomed into her intimate relationship. 

This original sensual woman was first described as intelligent, talented, and beautiful. That men were beguiled, intrigued, and devoted to them was no surprise.  That men would shower them with gifts, financial and otherwise, was also no surprise. 

The pity is that because of the gifts Hetaerae women historically were often lumped in with prostitutes and courtesans.  Their sexual relations were not the casual or strictly on a cash basis like prostitutes.  They were the friend, confidante, lover, balance and sound-board for many high ranking men who sought their counsel when making important decisions in their private and political lives.

Today this sensual lifestyle represents one third of the female population.  They have sex because they enjoy it. They don’t use it to barter their way into financial security, it is not strictly for making babies, and if they are not being treated as an equal within the relationship, they are the first to leave.  Their sexual satisfaction has always been important to them and they will not be treated like a sex object.

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