It is common talk among certain women today about the lack of respect and duty in men. ‘Where are the gentlemen?’ they ask. ‘In the old days men knew how to treat a woman, talk to a woman and take care of her. In the old days there was chivalry… ‘ and they go on about how they want a ‘Mr Knightly or Darcy’. But there is one thing these women don’t understand about the old days. In the old days, a gentleman wasn’t just naturally chivalrous or charming or sophisticated… he wasn’t just inherently ‘manly’ and stylish, dutiful or honourable… he was trained to be. Not by men, but a woman. And not just by any woman. It was a secret common practice in the old days for High Society families to acquire retired courtesans to ’nurture’ their son into manhood.
This arrangement wasn’t just about making him into a good lover, though, that was a large part of it, but training him in life. Conversation, style and aesthetic appreciation, mannerisms of civil society, the ways of the world, matters of the heart and even business. The company courtesans kept over their career made them quite savvy with industry and enterprise. But most importantly, a courtesan’s task was to keep the young man from becoming wayward and falling in with bad company, away from drugs and alcohol, or from bringing shame on the family, destroying noble lineage by getting some peasant girl pregnant. Such a courtesan provided protection and an invaluable education for a young man entering manhood.
Unfortunately, this practice is not ‘appreciated’ today as something appropriate, however, you might be delighted to know that the practice of ‘guidance’ is still used in certain circles by obscure means.
Some twenty years ago I worked for a private ballroom dance company that serviced the rich and influential of the city. Ballroom gowns, diamante heels and fake eyelashes were my usual attire. My main duties were dance escorting, private tuition and dance starting/supporting for prestigious events and clubs around the city. My clients were a-listers of the business world, some international.
Every now and then a mother would send me her son to learn to ‘dance’. The mother and I would have a meeting and she would tell me how she wanted her son to be nimble on his feet, to correct his posture and learn ballroom etiquette. Now the young man could have got this training from any local social dance club teaching out of a pub, but instead the mother chose me… she wanted someone with my particular skillset. We both knew what was really going on, why her son was really being sent to me. It was in the glow of her eyes and the tone of her voice… plus my manager would give me the real intel before our meeting. I was to give the young man an ‘education’.
With me the young man would learn how to stand, sit, and walk with confidence, how take my hand and lead me down stairs or a long hall, how to touch me in public, smile at me and look at me without drawing attention or suspicion, how to listen and make small talk, how to use innuendos, how to control himself and his desires, how to be confident around the other men in the studio and yes, how to fall in love, among other things. When our lessons were up, our time would come to an end. Some would find it hard to let go and I did get a few stalkers, but most moved on graciously taking our little romance with them.
From my experience, a young man greatly benefits from an affair with an influential older woman. And I’m presuming those gentleman-seeking women would be horrified at this. They would expect their men to be gentlemen without training. But really, would they want their gentlemen if they knew where there training came from….haha! I think not.
Be careful what you wish for, ladies, you might just get your gentleman, trained perfectly by his courtesan.