A friend who knows I’m employed by a London escort agency asked me the other day if there was any difference between an escort and a courtesan.
“Is it just that courtesan is the old-fashioned way of describing an escort?” she asked.
It’s a good question actually, since many escorts I know also refer to themselves as courtesans. There is a difference though (although it depends on how you work as an escort) but essentially it’s about time ie a courtesan tends to be around for months, even years whereas it’s possible to be with an escort for just one night if you’re looking for a no-ties fantastic evening.
To delve into the subject further, if you go back to say Venice in the 16th century or France 300 years later, you’ll find that courtesans were publicly presented mistresses who were valued for their intelligence and social skills as much as their appearance. It all sounds very chivalrous – and not unlike modern day Paris today where it’s perfectly acceptable for men to have mistresses and wives their “secret garden.” In fact, it’s almost impolite for a husband to enquire about a wife’s secret lover and vice versa. Sounds like a lot of fun, I reckon! Why should you be forced to remain with the one individual for two decades or more? You’re bound to stop finding them attractive after a while. Sorry, I digress…
Anyhow, yes, back to London Escort Agencies and courtesans. The latter also tend to be paid a ‘retainer fee’ rather than a one-off monetary gift (which is excellent financial stability). This would probably take the form of an apartment and a clothing allowance at least. Sounds good so far? Yes, but the downside is the courtesan would be expected to be available more or less around the clock for her client ie she would have to drop everything when he (or she) snapped their fingers. Could you cope with that?