The following story comes from the blog of a former escort and details the story of Phyrne, a high class escort of Ancient Greece. It is a rather interesting commentary and blog. An extract here.
And another sample that I find deliciously amusing:Any discussion of Phryne herself is pointless without a brief introduction to the world in which she lived. By the 4th century BCE the ancient tradition of sacred prostitution was a mere shadow of its former self; the practical Greeks had largely replaced the whore-priestesses with exceptionally beautiful slave-girls given to the temples as offerings, and though these sacred harlots were honored as representatives of Aphrodite they were still technically slaves. Though religion remained very important to the Greeks it was no longer the all-encompassing institution it had previously been, especially in progressive Athens; the old aristocrats had fallen out of power, and the temples were increasingly under state control. This was due to the birth of democracy, which was quickly followed by that of her bastard child the professional politician; then, as now, power-hungry individuals were willing to do anything to increase their personal power.
The blog offers commentary on the state of the sex industry in the US from a personal perspective.A rather alternative and refreshing view.Then again where I'm from prostitution is legal.Eventually, she became such a celebrity that she went about veiled so that only those who paid could look upon her; however, at the festival of Poseidon in Eleusis, she stripped completely and waded into the sea in full view of everyone as an offering to the god. The event impressed the spectators so that it inspired several works of art, including the Aphrodite Anadyomene of Apelles. The politicians, however, were impressed in a different way; they were jealous of her power, wealth and popularity and so used the occasion as an excuse to arraign her on the trumped-up charge of “profaning” the festival by her offering. In those days, blasphemy was a very serious charge; if convicted, she would have been executed. She was defended by the renowned lawyer Hypereides, who was one of her clients, but despite his skill Phryne appeared doomed by the prejudice of the court; after all, she was independent, proud, educated, outspoken, powerful and wealthy, the diametric opposite of everything a “virtuous” Athenian woman was supposed to be. As a last effort, Hypereides tore off her gown to display her naked body to the judges, crying ““How could a festival in honor of the gods be desecrated by beauty which they themselves bestowed?” The desperate gambit succeeded; the Ancient Greeks viewed physical beauty as a gift of Aphrodite, and Phryne’s figure was so perfect the judges had no choice but to accept it as a sign of divine favor. Since they dared not risk incurring the anger of the love goddess, the judges were forced to acquit the famous courtesan, but they were so unhappy about their failure to make an example of her that the “nudity defense” was henceforth specifically banned in Athenian courts.