How courtesans sold the virginity of young daughters and dragged naive girls into prostitutionBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/how-courtesans-sold-the-virginity-of-young-daughters-and-dragged-naive-girls-into-prostitution.html
Recently, the scandalous drama of the BBC television company "Courtesans" (Harlots) was released on the screens. The audience was shocked by the number of explicit scenes in this historical series. Alas, such was the grim reality of 18th century England. In the Georgian era, the sex trade flourished, and girls became prostitutes from the age of 11. Their mothers were selling their daughters' virginity at auctions, and the brothels were overflowing. Learn more about British courtesans of the 18th century from our material.In the Georgian era, every fifth woman in Britain traded her body. Those who were already old enough to engage in prostitution preyed on young girls who came to London in search of work in order to deceive them into the dirty world of debauchery. At least this fact testifies to how terrible things were: a well-known brothel owner organized a show where rich clients watched young virgins being deprived of their virginity.
Virgins were considered "premium goods". In the Georgian era, sex with a chaste girl was highly valued, because men were afraid of venereal diseases and sought to get special sensual pleasure in the arms of young beauties. Sometimes virginity could be sold several times if the girls were young enough. Cunning courtesans knew how to create the effect of innocence, using folk remedies to narrow the walls of the vagina.
Charlotte Hayes, whom we mentioned above, eventually became one of the most desirable women in England. She headed a very profitable brothel in London, which was located on the central street of Pall Mall. The courtesan called her house of debauchery a "convent". The hostess took girls who were barely 12 years old into the institution and taught them exquisite manners, dressed them in French silks, and promised clients the embodiment of all their fantasies and whims. A night with a beauty in this brothel cost more than 100 pounds, which at that time exceeded the average annual earnings.
High society representatives — lords, earls and even representatives of the royal family- gathered in Charlotte Hayes's comfort establishment. One day a courtesan read about erotic rituals on Tahiti decided to organize an unusual event. During the erotic show, 12 young virgins deprived 12 young men of their innocence, and 23 clients who paid a round sum watched the vicious performance. Charlotte Hayes managed to make a considerable fortune in the sex business — 20,000 pounds, which would now equal 3 million pounds (about 290 million rubles).
Every year thousands of young girls came to London in the hope of finding work. Many of them fell into the traps of "pimps" who hunted them in hotels and taverns. Naive villagers blindly believed the respectable ladies who offered them a roof over their heads until they got on their feet. Then the "fallen angels" were accused of arrears for food and accommodation and forced to work it off by pleasing drunk men.
Many prostitutes became famous courtesans and even mistresses of the king. One of these priestesses of love was Kitty Fisher, whose portrait was painted by Joshua Reynolds. She was considered one of the most beautiful women of that time. Kitty was of humble origin, but was able to join high society and become the mistress of several noble men, among whom were the Earl of Coventry and the Duke of York. She enjoyed a luxurious life and the attention of numerous fans.
Another young prostitute who managed to break into the ranks of the upper class was Lavinia Fenton, the illegitimate daughter of a sailor. Her mother was married to a London brothel owner. She also sold her virginity to a Portuguese nobleman, and then became a priestess of love. In 1728, when Lavinia turned 20, she ran away with her lover, the Duke of Bolton, who was 23 years older than her. The couple married after the death of the Duke's wife, 20 years later. At that time they already had three children, and the courtesan received the title of Duchess of Bolton.
In the 18th century, "hellfire clubs" became popular - secret societies that included the rich. Members of scandalous circles mocked religion, and their motto was the phrase "Do what you want!" In vicious societies, girls were deprived of their innocence, women were raped, and sometimes even murders took place there. One of the most famous such establishments was the Hellfire Club of Francis Dashwood, opened in 1746. It included many notable personalities of that time.
The center of the sex trade in London was the Covent Garden area. Girls offered themselves on every corner, meeting men on the streets and in coffee shops. In the 1740s, a scandalous reference book, The Harris' List, was even published, in which the author talked about the possibilities of famous prostitutes.
Here you can find descriptions of the bodies of courtesans, their intimate details, the obscene language they use and what unusual fantasies they are ready to fulfill. As a recommendation, a list of famous clients of prostitutes was attached, which included King George IV, the writer James Boswell and the statesman Robert Walpole.
Reformer Saunders Welsh wrote in 1758 about the sex trade in London. He pointed out that prostitutes swarm the streets of the city, and many brothels operate in open mode, so it may seem that the whole capital is a big cauldron of debauchery. The politician stated that on every street women expose themselves in windows and doorways, like goods in a bazaar.
Unlike the UK, prostitution in France in the 19th century was still legal. For the convenience of customers, each district of Paris published a booklet listing courtesans with photos, price, special skills and information about their origin.