Shall I speak of my life?

I suppose I shall start at the beginning and simply explain things…I never liked to bother much with extra frippery or dramatic nonense, and I dare say I was never fond of (ugh) Drama.

I can't remember much of my early life. I suppose I had parents, or at least humans of a sort who graciously donated genetic material to further my creation. I do remember growing up in a lab, or at least a series of white-painted rooms, glass, and long hallways, in a low building in the middle of a rather large stretch of land in the country. It was an orphange, set somewhere in the middle of southern England.

I guess it was something that rich people funded to make themselves feel better, some do gooders trying to build a place to crete model children. It was a very good orphange either…Oh, enough food, and we weren't knocked about, but they strange rules about nutrition and exercise and ye heavens, religion. I didn't like it very much, as I got older and wiser, and the forced readings of religious texts and walks and towering guilt over being born a sinner gave me a sharp temper and a rather cynical view of the whole matter of faith in general. We certainly were taught nothing of sex or fleshy things…that was supposed to be left to prospective parents who'd adopt us. Most children were adopted, still young and cute, but I was left to linger on, with only the faintest of ideas of the outside world (Oh, we knew of the Awakening and politics and geography and went to school).

Religion….yes. It was an abbey. We had nuns for nurses and teachers. I was raised Catholic, I guess and may heaven help me.

I didn’t want to stay there.

I ran, and ran. I wasn’t going to be stuck in a world of religion and books, so I slipped over the fence one day when I was, I think, 14 or 15 years old.

It got dark, and cold, and the world was still going to hell thanks to the events of the Awakening. I guessed it'd be best to get away from merry old England, and managed to steal food and grab a truck to the coast. Then, a boat. Then, a ship's captain. Upon discovery, I was given two choices. I could stay on and service him, be his little pleasure girl, or I’d be turned over to the crew for their use. As I was a virgin, and pretty enough he told me, he wouldn’t take my virginity, but pass me over to a man on the continent. I’d be given safe passage and some more education on the world, and he’d make a lot of money passing a “pure” girl over to the sex trade.

I think most would agree I was given more then a fair shake…far more then such a foolish girl deserved. I suppose it wasn't pleasant by some degrees, but I didn’t feel as if the man was exploiting me. I was annoyed he’d be getting the money and I wasn’t, but under the circumstances I allowed it as a fair trade. So, as things went, I learned quite a lot from that captain, but never enough to lose my virtue, as it were. I was handed over to a gentleman of leisure once we hit the Continent and further trained, and then put up to auction for a group of wealthy man and even nobility. Once my alloted time was over, I was returned to my gentleman, and then began life as a formal courtesan.

February 15

What was life like then?

People are under the impression that, like so many things popularily portrayed in the movies and other media, being a courtesan is a romantic and richly luxurious lifestyle, full of adventure and fun. The luxury part is certainly true, the rest…not so much.

The style of courtesan I was trained for is a very old, rare group, women of aristocratic bearing, wit, beauty, well educated and talented in multiple arts of love. They can sing, write poetry, discuss politics and offer advice. We are not meant to be mere vessels of pleasure, we are supposed to be what every man wants, what every man needs, whether he realizes it or not. We provide companionship, a listening ear, a soft shoulder and a warm embrace.

Always at a price.

Price is relative too. Men have paid thousands of nuyen to be in our company, to bed us and walk with us and speak with us, but it’s so variable. We take lovers without price, we let a poorer man in when a rich man cannot gain access. We, sometimes, put more value in charm and personality then we do with looks or wealth. But this is not a safeguard, and while we are more valuable, and thus better protected, we are not immune to exactly the same dangers that stalk common whores and streetwalkers.

I have had a friend be murdered. I’ve known a few girls be beaten to within an inch of their lives. Everyone has had clients steal from them or refuse to pay on more then one occasion. Myself and others have clients ask for one thing and then be passed over to be shared with his friends. I’ve been raped twice, and I’ve had a couple friends be treated the same way. Church groups have picketed our homes, cops have picked on us, vandals have broken windows or sprayed paint. Even with our higher-class status, to many we are still just whores, lesser, immoral creatures.

Even now, with friends I hold dear, whom are intelligent, reasonable people, there’s still these misconceptions. They think it must be a wonderful life. It’s not. They think I make gads of money to just lie on my back. I don’t. They want to “try” it. It’s only by dint of my sometimes tolerant nature that I don’t slap them, merely refuse. It’s no life to live for most, and certainly not ones who have children, who have a future, who are untouched by the sex trade. Could I take you, find you a man who is gentle enough, polite, and mostly attractive? Yes. But it is a harder price then most women are able to pay, to be able to smile with one face and not care with the other, to realize that there can be no serious emotional connection. To even enjoy the sex for sex’s sake and not care who is bedding you or why.

I do love my work. I love the luxury, I love the men, I love the sex. I love being in control, having power or someone, make them beg. I don’t mind not caring. I love the power to seduce, to entwine, to make some think that they are the only thing in the world. And whatever I do, I love making them beg, draw them in and watch as they find they can’t keep away, always coming back for more. I love the pleasure of sex and the pleasure of power.

But ye gods, I can get so tired.

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