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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Mistresses/Courtesans

I'm not a patron of only high end providers. But I do like the long-term meetings, high end or otherwise. I do not enjoy hour-long physical transactions, but prefer a half-day or week-long rendezvous. I even have made friends this way. Some providers do not share my like for the mind-sharing experience and prefer keeping the relationship to the short duration, physical intercourse. But they are not for me.

But what about mistresses?

I had some meetings this week that made me think of this:

Several threads on the Internet have mentioned (c.f. in particular the High Dollar Hotties forum on ASPD), sometimes wistfully, the old tradition of courtesans. These were women of intelligence and power who would have long-term lovers that supported their independent lifestyles. In some European countries, the concept of mistress is still popular, which usually involves an even longer-term and deeper commitment.

Every now and again I will meet a provider who has moved a half-step into this realm. Some decide to remove themselves from general circulation and stay within a small circle of favorite patrons. A group of a half dozen to two dozen regular patrons can provide a regular income without excessive risk. I know of a very popular provider that does this. She publically retired and for about two years has kept with a group of about eight regulars. While she is not enjoying the revenues she used to have when she was in broader circulation, she felt happier in this situation, and found it more manageable with her other work, social and personal activities (she usually also has a boyfriend). I am not one of those eight regulars, but met her socially as a kind of friend, most recently this past week. I will come back to her in a moment.

I often will see a mistress situation, where a woman is exclusively dedicated to one man (or perhaps two men) who supports her lifestyle. I bought property from one such woman, who was a mistress to a government minister in Europe when she was in her late teens and early twenties. When I met her she was in her late fifties. She took her savings from Europe and invested in real estate in the US. Interestingly, she is still a mistress, consorting with an American real estate tycoon who is married, but does not live with his wife. She is well educated, very well-spoken, and her vocation was an utter surprise to me.

Of course I more often see it from the other side, with a business associate who might have a mistress and a wife.

Most often, mistresses do not evolve from a provider, although I have seen that happen also: a friend of mine fell in love with a provider (always a mistake) but could not bring himself to leave his wife and family for her. He strongly recommended her to me (weird step number one) as a highly educated courtesan. Indeed she was: literate, well-spoken, PhD candidate, critical thinker, and extremely intelligent. Then he recommended that we split her living expenses to take her off the market (weird step number two.) He knew that he could not afford to do this alone, but he could with me. So based solely on one meeting with her, many emails and phone conversations, and (mostly) his strong word, I did this thing, and inherited half-support of a provider, who was now a shared mistress. She had friends and her studies, lived in a separate town, but was available to us when needed.

It was an interesting experience. Even though I was unmarried, it was quite unlike a girlfriend. I had experienced supporting more than one girlfriend (see previous posts). It usually ends badly, since the asymmetry places tremendous stress on the relationship, but I've supported girlfriends at levels ranging from zero to one hundred percent support. One of these girlfriends is getting married this spring. (You guessed it: I received the invitation this week.) But this was different: a mistress was much more focused on me, and like the old adage of why you pay a prostitute: to go away, the mistress understood that she had to have her own life apart from you, and the goal wasn't to work toward "forever."

Well, that arrangement ended badly also, but for entirely different reasons.

This past week I was introduced to a mistress seeking a patron. She was a mistress for a wealthy corporate executive for several years. Due to his family circumstances they decided to amicably part ways. She feels that she is good at being a mistress, and feels good about being one. For example, she feels she helped his relationship with his family. She is not a provider and does not want to become one. She is well-educated, had some very impressive creative management jobs, and is an excellent conversationalist. She had met an acquaintance of mine who found her fascinating, but was unable to patronize her. He had suggested to her that she split her time among several people, but she preferred an exclusive arrangement. So, knowing something of my situation, he referred her to me. She mentioned that she "fell into" being a mistress; she never intended it but was introduced to her patron.

I find this interesting. It's a spectrum of mistress and courtesan situations that all came to my attention (or were reminded to me) this past week.

Now let's go back to the first girl I mentioned, who has the circle of about eight patrons. She is thinking of even retiring from that. I thought of discussing with her the idea of becoming a mistress. So now we get to my question for the providers. What do you think of that? Would you ever consider becoming a mistress? Would the ability to have a deeper commitment and more predictable relationship make it more satisfying? Or would the notion of being exclusive and unable to sample variety and yet not a girlfriend or wife be the worst of both worlds?

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