Ten Most World Famous Escorts
It’s a prude, prude world. Some people cringe at the word prostitute, courtesan; escorts. Some even use that as an insult. But aren’t we all, in the bigger scheme of things, trading sex -for security, for stability and continuity of the species; for family. It takes inordinate amount of skill to coax a man out of his clothes, more so, to get paid for doing it. This is a list of the ten most world famous escorts; accomplished women, intelligent as they were sensual who claimed fame lying on their backs.
- Aspasia – Aspasia was thought to have been born from a wealthy, educated family as she was known to have been highly educated herself. Born in the Ionian colony of Miletus, she lived most of her adult life in Greece and is often linked to Pericles who she bore a son to. At that time foreigners like her were not allowed to marry an Athenian citizen. The upside to this, though, was that she was free from the normal restrictions of married women and was allowed to participate in public life. In her lifetime, she has managed to be memorable to a handful of scholars and believed to have influenced even Socrates.
- Theodora – The Empress Theodora may be the most influential and powerful woman in the history of the Roman Empire. She came from humble beginnings. Her father was a bear trainer. Her mother was a dancer and an actress, who, when her father died, started Theodora’s career that led to her becoming a prostitute. She later married Justinian who was the nephew of the Emperor Justin and later himself became Emperor. History credits Theodora with convincing Justinian and his army to stay in the City and suppress the rebellion.
- Catherine Walters – aka “Skittles” was the last great courtesan of Victorian London. She was an accomplished horsewoman who wore the tightest riding habit without any underwear. Her skill coupled with her classical beauty drew admirers and her rides on Rotten Row in Hyde Park became an anticipated event. She was a trendsetter. Her most endearing quality is her discretion and loyalty. Among her benefactors were Wilfrid Blunt, the future Edward VII, and Napoleon III
- Nell Gwyn – Nell started working at an early age selling refreshments before getting her first theatre break. The aristocrats often are patron of the arts and one fateful day Nell met King Charles II and to make a long story short, he became her benefactor. The good king had a lot of other distractions but Nell managed to endear herself so much so that King Charles in his death bed said “Let not poor Nelly starve.” Wit and straightforwardness was among her qualities. She made short an argument when someone called her a whore by saying, “I am a whore. Find something else to fight about.” More infamous was her quip when mistaken to be a rival mistress and called the Catholic whore , she corrected the crowd and told them “Good people, you are mistaken. I am the Protestant whore.”
- Cora Pearl – much of her beginnings are under dispute, even the name she was given when she was born. She adopted the name Cora Pearl when she decided to stay in Paris and eventually became one of the celebrated courtesans of notable aristocrats such as Victor Massena, 3rd Duke du Rivoli and later 5th Prince of Essling; the Prince of Orange and Charles Duc Morny, half-brother of Louis-Napoleon, Napoleon III. Flamboyance was the name of the game, from her own servants, a small palace, designer clothes, diamond-studded bikini and outlandish dinner parties. She would pit one benefactor against another until notoriety caught up with her in affaire Duval and gradually she had to sell off her properties.
- Rahab – It would prove to be true, bad girls go everywhere, even the bible. Rahab was a prostitute who paid her own way. By all accounts she was intelligent and independent, had her own house and her freedom. When Joshua sent spies out to Jericho they stayed at Rahab’s house where soldiers came looking for them but Rahab hid them in exchange for a promise to spare her family in the taking of the city. Some say that the term red-light district came from the marking of a hanging red cord out the window on Rahab’s house. The spies made good their promise, eventually her line would produce King David and Jesus Christ.
- Veronica Franco – beautiful as she was intelligent, Veronica was not only a courtesan but a poet and a philanthropist in 16th century Venice. She is suggestive without being vulgar, not in public anyway. She learned and inherited her profession from her mother. Dubbed as an ‘honest courtesan’ she was well versed in literature, music and poetry. She had been married when she was younger; Veronica though, believed much in equality and thus strained the marriage and ended on a sour note. Among her distinction is her being listed in the 1565 edition of Il Catalogo di tutte le principale e più honorate cortigiane di Venezia and having King Henri III as her benefactor. “My happiness is measured in Inches, 2, 4, 6, 8, …. I LOVE SHOES TOO MUCH….” – Veronica Franco
- Mata Hari – the name Is almost synonymous with sensuality and intrigue, Margaret Zelle reinvented herself as an exotic temple dancer after she and her husband divorced and he was awarded custody of their daughter. As an erotic dancer, she performed in Paris and other European capitals where she drew admirers and some became her lovers wooing her lavishly with gifts vying for her attention. She gained fame at the advent of World War I, an intelligent, headstrong woman, fluent in French, English, Italian, Dutch and probably more. Being well traveled, wealthy and a known temptress, she aroused suspicions of being a double agent at a time when a volatile situation needed more than inaction. She was tried, convicted and in October 15, 1917, Mata Hari was put to death. Years after her execution, some would concede, there was little evidence to convict her much less condemn her.
- Marilyn Monroe – Model turned actress Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson then turned Baker. Marilyn’s early years were fraught with problems. Shuffled from foster homes after her mother was institutionalized because of mental illness, Marilyn never had stability until she lived with Ana Lower and afterwards married their neighbor Jim Dougherty. It was while they were married that World War II broke out. Marilyn was working at a factory and she was discovered in an effort to boost morale and show young women helping war effort. The road to stardom was not easy, sacrifices had to be made and relationships seldom flourish under the spotlight. At the prime of her career she supposedly rakes in $500 for spending time with producers and directors. In the end Marilyn married three times and divorced three times. Her ex-husbands were James Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio, and Arthur Miller. Her name was linked to both John and Robert Kennedy and Marlon Brando. She was found dead from probable suicide at the height of her career in 1962. She was 36.
- Sally Salisbury – known also as Sally Pridden or Priddon was the daughter of a bricklayer. She apprenticed with a seamstress but eventually ran away and sold pamphlets which were a cover for her more profitable business charging the schoolboys and apprentices for her time with them. She was a renowned for her beauty and wit, her patrons included The Secretary of State, Viscount Bolingbroke, Matthew Prior, The Duke of St. Albans, the Duke of Richmond and rumour has it, even the future George II. Her claim to fame (or infamy) was the stabbing of John Finch, brother of Lord Finch over some opera tickets for which she was charged and convicted of assaulting and wounding Finch. She served nine months of her year long sentence before succumbing to what was believed to be syphilis.