Madonna and Whore

The First Awakening of Eve by Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1889)

“The First Awakening of Eve” by Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1889)

A compassionate prostitute am I.  –  The Goddess Ishtar, from a Sumerian cuneiform text

Perhaps the loveliest compliment I ever received was from one of my customers. I honestly don’t recall whether it was before or after the act, but I was lying naked on the bed talking to him, with my hair falling about my tits, and he suddenly looked at me with a reverent expression and said in a hushed voice, “You remind me of Mother Eve.” It was in my mind the supreme compliment that could be paid to a spiritually-inclined whore by a modern man, to compare her to the closest thing his religion offers to the Mother Goddess.

That client was not alone in perceiving the aura of sanctity which, apparently, often surrounded me in the performance of my calling, though he expressed it the most beautifully. I always felt, and still feel, a deep connection to the ancient temple-prostitutes of the Dawn of Civilization, those sacred harlots through whom ordinary men might experience connection with the Eternal Feminine. And though the spiritual senses of most modern men are too dulled to perceive it, a sizable minority clearly did, and often told me so in ways which let me know that these were no idle compliments; sometimes their reverence was palpable. It was very rare that I had trouble with a sober client, because most men treated me with the same respect one might expect them to give to their wives or girlfriends. As I told so many of them (when asked how someone like me could do that sort of work), I genuinely like men and sincerely want to make them happy, and so whenever I arrived at a call I tried to use the initial conversation to discover something in each client that I could truly love or admire and concentrate my erotic energies on that thing.  Put another way, I tried on each call to find the nexus through which the God in him could connect to the Goddess in me, and thereby give him an experience which transcended mere copulation.

Why is it that men divide women into “pure”, asexual, revered Madonnas and “dirty”, sexual, degraded whores?  Why do they persist in ignoring the fact that all women are capable of both, and that the well-rounded woman fills whichever role is required by the occasion?  Those who believe in a worldwide “Patriarchy” characterize the dichotomy as a tool intended to keep women under control, but I simply cannot accept the paranoid fantasy that a monolithic conspiracy involving literally HALF of the human race somehow hides its machinations from the other half.  No, a more sensible explanation is needed, one which does not require vast secret midnight planning sessions which have somehow escaped the attention of the entire female population for millennia.  A friend of mine proposed the theory that the duality arises in the mind of boys in order to shut out uncomfortable sexual thoughts about their mothers and sisters; they divide women into Madonnas who must not be seen in a sexual way, and all other women who can. This primitive form of the duality is normal and healthy; perhaps the monsters who molest their own daughters, granddaughters, nieces etc need a little MORE of that feeling.  But like so many psychological mechanisms, the duality often gets out of hand, and in the minds of many men grows into an overarching principle, a veritable Iron Curtain across the female population. And when the men with this overdeveloped schism between motherhood and the act which creates it happen to be kings, priests, legislators, philosophers, writers or other influential types, their sickness is impressed upon the minds of countless impressionable followers.  No vast conspiracy is necessary, just good old human psychological maladjustment.  And its roots in a vital defense mechanism would explain the incredible tenacity with which it clings to the male psyche.

For most modern men, however, there is one figure who straddles the divide; one woman who partakes of both Madonna and whore, and that is the girlfriend.  Not the wife (who becomes a Madonna as soon as she becomes pregnant), and not a mere date (who is still just a whore); by “girlfriend” I specifically mean a woman with whom a man is in love but has not yet had children.  His sexual attraction to her classifies her as “whore,” yet his love makes her a “Madonna”.  It’s a strange and wonderful mixture which has great power over the male mind, enough to make him give up his bachelor freedom and commit to her in marriage despite his knowledge that she will eventually age and lose the sexual appeal which attracted him in the first place.  And, I suspect, it is the intoxicating nature of that combination which drives many men to seek the elusive Girl Friend Experience, the whore who gives him not merely sex but companionship, understanding and real affection, yet will never turn into a demanding (and possibly even asexual) wife.  Once he finds it, he will generally hire the girl who can provide it again and again.

But even with a man one has never seen before, there is sometimes an instant connection.  I don’t mean a sexual attraction, though certainly that happens sometimes.  I said above that I always tried to find something I could sincerely love or admire in a client, and though I usually could it was much stronger with some men than with others, and on those occasions created pure magic.  I have gently coaxed sexual response from the impotent or inhibited, or those sexually shell-shocked by disastrous relationships; on a multitude of occasions I have provided a man with some sexual outlet he needed, yet for which he could not or would not ask his wife (usually because she had turned him down cold when the subject was mentioned).  I have given much-needed intimacy to men so deformed most women couldn’t bear to look at them, held men while they cried because they were too ashamed to do it before their wives, and played mother-confessor for a host of sins.  I have lent a sympathetic ear to clients’ problems, given them relationship advice, comforted them when they were in pain and reassured them when they were overcome by uncertainty.  In short, I have for an hour or a night played the role of the understanding girlfriend, calling upon the whore or Madonna aspects of myself as needed…and most often in combination.

(This edited version of one of my very first columns is presented in observance of Mothers’ Day, which is celebrated today in the United States and many other countries around the world.)

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  • Daz commented on June 4, 2014 at 22:58

    Hello my dear friend,

    I hope all is well?

    What a wonderfully well written column I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Thank you xxx

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