For as long as there have been rich and powerful men, there have been courtesans. Though her name and exact nature has evolved through the centuries, her core nature and position has remained the same – a woman with great intelligence, exceptional charisma and a talent for erotica and sensuality who acts as a compensated companion to gentlemen of prestigious positions and refined tastes.
The modern word “Courtesan” comes from the Italian “Cortigiana”, which was first used in the context we mean here in Renaissance Venice. While every Renaissance city had an expansive multitude and variety of ladies of pleasure, the restrictive dowry system present in 14th and 15th Venice gave rise to a particular class of lady companion, who were known as “Cortigiana Onestas” or “Honest Courtesans”. The reason for this? Weddings, at the time, were highly costly affairs and the bride’s family were expected not only to cover the entire expense, but also to provide a significant dowry to the new husband.. Most upper-class young women whose family were unable to pay the large dowry required by a suitable suitor ended up in convents and nunneries, but a few chose to become high class, luxury companions for the city’s aristocratic men – courtesans. Cortigiana Onestas differed significantly to the regular ladies of the night (Cortigiana de la lune, of which their were many) – not only in their high class backgrounds but also in their education. At a time when many upper class women could not even read, the Cortigian Onesta was a women renowned for her education, poetry and many other talents. Courtesans were considered a class apart from other women and, it is interesting to note, were the only females allowed to enter libraries and attend university debates.
The word “courtesan” is currently subject to great misuse by many women within the Demi Monde so I will take the time to clarify the exact nature of a true courtesan and the service she offers.
Despite the claims of many of these ladies, a “high class escort” is not the same as a courtesan. There are a great many high class escorts and most major cities have a wide selection, and there is a significant demand for their services – their clients primary being educated professionals who are looking for a “girlfriend experience” in a convenient, private, clean incall location. Clients of high class escort girls are reasonably selective and look for relatively uncomplicated combination of good conversation, beauty and sexual talent, but usually do not require a particularly emotionally intimate encounter. High Class escorts are usually educated, quite often to degree level, and they will be pretty, attractive and well-dressed. Their numbers tend to be split fairly evenly between independent ladies and those who work through agencies, and while some are full-time members of the demi-monde, many others are students, interns or in low-paying starter careers. While many high class escorts charge quite high rates (averaging 250-400 GBP per hour in London, 1500-2500 aed in Dubai and 400-800$ in the US), they primarily book one or two hour appointments and do not have a tendency to give too much of themselves away on an emotional level.