Words Matter to Me: Why Courtesan is My New Favorite Word

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  • #11903

    Big LA Dodger Fan
    Participant

    Language is very important to me. The words we use influence us and are a part of how we frame our worldview and our approach to life, whether we are conscious of this or not. In Buddhism the way we speak, the words we chose are seen as so important that “Right Speech” is part of the Eight Fold Path that is the path to liberation. I take this to mean that whenever I speak, or write, I should not do things like gossip, criticize other people carelessly, offer unsolicited advice, take care to say what mean, and most importantly to me, do not harm people with my words. The late poet Maya Angelou said that we must be careful because the words we use have consequences and they “stick to the walls and furniture of a room.” Needless to say I fail at this daily, if not hourly, yet I persist in trying to live this view.

    There are some words I will not say or write the “N” word and the “W” word being two as I find them hurtful, dehumanizing, and demeaning. While Prostitute is not in the same league by any means, I don’t like it either for some reason while Escort seems too euphemistic to me. Now as I enjoy exploring Sheri’s website, I am struck by how much I like the term Courtesan, which is a very old word. I like it because it is Elegant, as are the women whose photos I see on the website. It conveys respect and elevates the role these lovely women play in our lives in my opinion. To me it is also sensual and very sexy. I don’t think I am a Prude or some sort “goodie-goodie:” Far from it—I am as capable of a profanity-laced diatribe as anyone and I love talking dirty and using sexually explicit language. But I dislike language that puts people down or that degrades people. Words like slut are not part of my lexicon either. Courtesan, I love it. Courtesans, I love them.

    #11906

    Anonymous

    Big LA Dodger Fan,

    In addition to the words that have been omitted from your vocabulary, I refrain from using the 4-letter “C” word too. It is probably the most offensive word to a woman, and demonstrates a total lack of respect by the man that uses the word in reference to a woman.

    I like the word “Courtesan” because I believe it is more dignified and respectful than prostitute or whore. The word “Escort” would be appropriate for outdates, but unfortunately NYE County Nevada doesn’t permit outdates as Northern Nevada.

    Princeton’s background on the word is interesting too!
    A Courtesan was originally a female courtier, which means a woman who attends the court of a monarch or other powerful person. In feudal society, the court was the center of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together.

    In Renaissance Europe, courtiers played an extremely important role in upper-class society. As it was customary during this time for royal couples to lead separate lives—commonly marrying simply to preserve bloodlines and to secure political alliances—men and women would often seek gratification and companionship from people living at court.

    In fact, the verb “to court” originally meant “to be or reside at court” and later came to mean “to behave as a courtier” and then “to pay amorous attention to somebody.” The most intimate companion of a ruler was called the favorite.

    As a result, in Renaissance usage, the Italian word “cortigiana”, feminine of “cortigiano” (courtier) came to refer to “the ruler’s mistress,” and then to a well-educated and independent woman of free morals, eventually a trained artisan of dance and singing, especially one associated with wealthy, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for companionship. The word was borrowed by English from Italian through the French form “courtisane” during the 16th century, especially associated to the meaning of “court-mistress” and “prostitute.”

    A male figure comparable to the courtesan was the Italian cicisbeo, the French chevalier servant, the Spanish cortejo or estrecho. It actually seems that the figure of the chevalier servant (French: serving cavalier or lady’s escort) of a married lady was quite common in Europe up to the 18th century.

    Today, the term Courtesan has become a euphemism to designate an escort or a prostitute, especially one who attracts wealthy clients.

    #11907

    Big LA Dodger Fan
    Participant

    Yes thank you Firefighter, I don’t like the “C” word either—very degrading. I think in terms of my own sexual interests and desires and how I express these, I want words that express beauty, gratitude, and softness. Another word I am rediscovering and enjoying is Liaison as I anticipate the time I will be spending with the women at Sheri’s.

    I really like the way my thinking about my trip to Sheri’s, even though it is over two months away, is opening me up and reaching into me at the same time. Wonderful feeling!

    As to Courtesans and “wealthy clients,” while that is not me, I am planning to make a princely withdrawal from my Retirement funds and clear existing Credit Card debt in anticipation of Feb. 22nd. Oops, did I say that out-loud! LOL! Maybe the Sheri’s Courtesans are not reading this: I should live so long. Actually I hope they are.

    #11911

    Flint
    Participant

    Interesting history lession, firefighter.
    LA fan, that is a financial move I would not think to take.

    #11914

    Leto
    Participant

    I never use the word “Dodger” because I feel it is an insult to tax cheats everywhere.

    #11983

    Allissa
    Participant

    And we love you! Thanks for your thoughtful post and appreciation of our profession!

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