So the questions so many women struggle with is: How do I heal, affirm and perhaps even discover for the first time the depths of my sexuality in a way that is safe?? It gives a woman time to stabilize, grow, discover and nourish herself.
It can be a safe harbor while repair and restoration work is undertaken. The trick is to leave the harbor once your ship is ready to sail again, and not become a houseboat with a seasonal lease!
Well, I have to say the women replying here do seem to know what they are doing. My main concern is that no one feels "used" in the relationship. If both people truly feel that way, I am not one to object. I just don't like people men or women exploiting each other. However, I do believe two consenting adults should be able to make the decision about what feels right to them.
I would like to see some men's reponses in this column. Also, as far as I am aware, prostitution is illegal in most countries and areas except Holland and Nevada , including where I live, but in most places it's not enforced and goes on anyway.
And it is much more fun! Lynne, the main aspect of a FWB is to be able to approach it as equals. Money puts one party above the other in terms of power, and this is the reason why I limit my relationships to men who put the friendship first. I don't need money or someone to take care of my emotional needs. So, I hope you reconsider the notion of a FWB equivalence to prostitution. I really don't understand the comparison to prostitution at all.
I've experienced FWB and found it quite enjoyable Eventually I found that the "benefits" were much more enjoyable when there was friendship involved, due to a higher level of trust I imagine. I don't have first hand experience with FWB relationships, but I think it is a case of balancing mutual sexual objectification with mutual non-sexual friendship. The participants agree to a certain threshold of "being used" for sexual gratification in exchange for their own sexual gratification and satisfaction of belonging.
When either party feels objectified or disrespected beyond their comfort zone, the relationship changes or dissolves. Both participants enjoy the exhilaration of New Relationship Energy and the mutual benefits from the friendship side of the equation. I've known some ladies I think I could have enjoyed a FWB relationship with - except, I think my wife would have discouraged that behavior.
It appears that we humans are instinctively driven to get bored with existing relationships when the NRE wears off and then pursue an exciting relationship with someone new. The real trick is discovering that we can override our instinctive programming and continuously grow the sexual passion and deep friendship components within a life-long relationship.
I don't have all the answers, but I think one of the secrets is keeping mindful of the intrinsic merit of sex playful fun and pleasurable sensations and valuing that over its extrinsic merits orgasm oriented sex. I've had several friends with who I have had passionate sexual encounters, none of which have led to romantic love affairs that threatened my decades-long marriage. I don't think either partner in the 4 FWB relationships I've had felt used.
I'm still friends with all but one woman, who suddenly moved back home from where she was in college without leaving a forwarding address. What he says is what society believes to be true about friends with benefits relationships. But there is many different relationships and relationship possibilities as there are people out there. Friends of benefits represents a broad long continuum of different sorts of nuanced relationships. And the concept that "friends with benefits relationships don't work" is a total myth in my opinion.
Why do people say the friends of benefits relationships don't work, when so many monogamous relationships also fail? It's also clear that the author assumes that monogamy is the highest form of relationship that one can have. And perhaps friends with benefits relationship shadow monogamy in some ways.
Everyone strives for monogamy as if it's this idealistic had a still, and then we give up when the relationship fails to meet our expectations. Exploring alternative forms of relationships can make us into more mature human beings, capable of any type of relationship whether it is monogamous or polyamouous.
Aaron, have you ever had a friends with benefits relationship? If not, I think you should try it. Then go back and rewrite this article when you have a fair and balanced view. If you need any dating tips for men, check out my website. With the correct mindset, FWB relationships are great! I am in a FWB relationship with a man 3 years younger. We are both emotionally mature and secure within ourselves.
We are both single and been married twice. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt scenario! The time we spend together, every so often, is mutually beneficial, and not only about sexual gratification. We have a connection and have intelligent discussions openly, without fear. There are no jealousy issues. We are both consenting adults. I don't consider myself merely an object. I am a sensual woman who has, for too long, set my needs aside.
I am fiercly independent and guard my personal space. I am in control of my life after 32 years and 2 husbands, both of whom betrayed me. So, have adjusted my attitude and enjoying the freedom of having a great life along with a FWB relationship. I will not be hurt if it ends and I know we will remains friends long after. It is a problem for me, when one or both of the parties are married!
I met a woman and we hit it off, i fell for her and when i expressed my feelings were more than just a one night fling, she said all she wanted was FWB and that she had been with another guy the month before We had an argument and i said if i had known that is all she wanted it would never have happened. I felt used and went for all the check ups as it was the first i heard about this FWB.
I feel that the ground rules should be set at the beginng to avoid any conflict of interest, so that both parties know what they getting into. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the ground rules should be established right frm the outset!
It sounds very clinical, but the actual benefits you get from this discussion are immense. There is a great friendship, and the other benefits are the cherry on the top. My FWB is a true friend and we communicate on a soul level. We have both been through 2 marriages that didn't work for various reasons and now feel this is the best way to go!
If you go into a FWB relationshiip with eyes wide open, and an emotionally mature attitude, it really helps make it work! But, I do also agree, that it is not for everybody. During the time we spend together, we are totally in the zone concentrating on each other. I have many people aroud me who don't agree with this, but it is my decision, and as long as we are happy, and not hurting anyone, it is my business!
Thanks for the comment: I have a friend with benefits I believe one person falls in love, the other believed no strings attach, fear sets in, fear of them leaving, fear of sleeping with someone else, I cannot do this FWB as it is me with the fear, even though I do not want a commited relationship, complicated to say the least, I want to believe I am the only one in a relationship, not going to happen with FWB with me, I am sorry I got involved.
I do believe that a FWB relationship is not for everybody. I have no expectations and I know, should the sexual side of the relationship end, we will still be close friends. I don't think about his possibly sleeping with another. Not my problem, and the boundaries were set from the outset! I have no jealousy issues. Our relationship fills a gap in our lives and it truly works fantastically for us. I have no fear whatsoever! I DON'T want a committed relationship and neither does he, so it works!
I have had that for 32 years! I am a woman who has had a friend with benefits for more than 4 years. The only expectations either of us has of the other is fun and respect. He is married, I am divorced, and still healing from an abusive marriage of 20 years. The arrangement is perfect for both of us, and frankly it is the best relationship I have ever had with a man. I wonder if his wife knows about you? Is he still married because it would Cost him too much to get divorced, or because they have children?
I know this is a reason a lot men seem to cheat. I know people get married with "I do's", Forever terms The thrill is gone I actually never in my life of 54 years thought I would be a FWB I admit I have a fragile but strong kind of love. But I am just that someone who loves to love and even the with the understanding of my FWB person's mindset.
I can say I just love him to death and would hate to lose him to someone else that he wants to really share his life with. So, all in a nutshell, I am the nut I am taking the risk to deal with my already awaiting broken heart I know foolish, huh? I am also the older of him by nine years!!! Never would have done that years ago People don't want to deal with this so they turn to "FWB", which is really just another name for a relationship without the introduction of interaction beyond surface-level stuff.
FWB is basically a way of re-imagining a relationship without the problems. It might not really support monogamy per-say, but can serve to be an effective conduit to deeper relationships, especially for people with bad experiences with relationships in the past. Actual committed relationships involving romantic love have become too difficult to find for various thousands of reasons. People in general put too many unrealistic expectations on their one and only monogamous partner, married or not.
THIS is why so many marriages fail. Too many people expect all of their needs to be met by their significant other. Most of us are only human and incapable of being all those things to anyone.
This is why FWB relationships have become popular. I'm a woman and currently in 3 separate FWB relationships, all of which have been successful in varying levels and types. Each has developed organically and followed its own unique path. We are all consenting adults, over We all know how many partners each of us has.
The level of honesty and openness that I have with each of my 'lovers' far surpasses any of my previous monogamous relationships, bar none. I cherish this openness and honesty that we've developed. It is nothing less than wonderful. Each of my lovers has reached a level of emotional caring for me, and I for them.
We all know this is as far as our relationships will go. It's time we all realized that and accepted it. I have consciously chosen this lifestyle because I've grown sick and tired of the sophomoric games that are played in the dating game, and I can't stand the drama, and insecurity and immaturity of the men I've encountered through dating.
In my situation, none of the men have any reason to lie to me, and that's how I like it. I also still have all the freedom and independence that I want.
What's not to like about that? Please tell me this, who came up with friends with benefits? Take it easy now, not trying to cause any waves with anyone, i like those cute little movies with the little naked guys showing off their little naked peewees and those cute little gals showing off their little titties, just as much as any girl does. What I be wanting to know is how is this any different that what used to be called shacking up? Back in the day, all a dude had to do to get between any ladies thighs was to buy her a bottle of cold duck on ice and one of those key lime pies you get over at Mrs.
The cold duck loosened her up and Mrs. Anita's key lime pie drove her wild. The guys thought they be driving their girl wild but honey, take my word for it, It was Miss Anita Pelaez's key lime pies that be driving all the ladies wild.
And you can take that to the bank. I know cause I've had my back up against the wall plenty of times. It's the pies I'm telling you, the pies.
And I ain't no red-neck mama. I be black and damn proud of it. You will certainly make waves when you call people 'fools'. Your unenlightened opinion is best kept to yourself. If you don't have anything intelligent to contribute, hit the delete button!
Keep taking your meds Way too many serious people on this thread who obviously don't recognize or appreciate your kick-ass wisdom and delivery style. Anita Pelaez and Her Handsome Husband …. Anita Pelaez Is Anywhere Near. Your Boy Elwood Says,…. And Her Key Lime Pies!
And Do You Know What? That Time Is Now At….. They Work Every Darn Time! Our friendship started when we travelled 3 years ago. We didn't talked about what kind of relationship we have, we just go with the flow of FWB while traveling. The amazing trips around the world ended.. We express our love to each other while travellung but he is not committed maybe because he is younger than me.
Though wants to remain our special bond.. My questions is should I remain to be his best friend?? Friends with benefits is nothing more than prostitution on both fronts, for him and her, or him and him, or her and her. The people who engage in such pathetic behaviour no doubt are morally bankrupt, some type of mental health issue and well…. Condoms break, leak etc, and what about physical abuse during sex?
Trading of services remember you are servicing your client to get what you want here is considered taxable under law. The service in a FWB is again…. Every time you engage in this type of behaviour you are robbing yourself and your future mate.
Sex is a currency, believe it or not…. It is not right, or fair to ask a partner who has never done anything like this to be so accepting. If in the end you learn a lesson, turn from it and truly repent from this type of empty, lustful behaviour good for you and I wish you well in your future.
I hope you get a very understanding partner….. They are simply friends engaging in sex. The problem with the narrow-minded viewpoint of those who think that only married sex is OK is your lack of understanding and acceptance of human nature. It's not our nature to be monogamous.
Lots of people have sex with people they date before they get married - that could be considered friends with benefits. Seriously, the only real difference between being married and being a FWB is the legalization of the sex act. People get married and divorced as often as people begin and end FWB relationships. With marriage becoming such a throwaway institution, FWB is simply doing the same thing but without legalizing it, since most relationships only have a certain shelf life before they fall apart.
After people get divorced, what do they do? They have sex with people they date. That's also a FWB situation. If they get married, they've simply legalized it. If they then get divorced, they move on to their next FWB until they decide to get married again. Show me someone who has only had sex with their spouse for their entire life and nobody else, and did not begin having sex until they were married, and I'll show you someone who is either extremely lucky to have found the right person, or who is miserable in their marriage but not willing to end it and move on.
Apart from the more important of Ihe Yadavas, the goshthis of the princes had a wonderful time with the courtesans who sang and danced for their amusement. While this was going on, Krishna, perhaps in order to show his superiority, summoned heavenly nymphs such as Panchachuda and the nymphs of Kubera and Indra and ordered them to usher in the courtesans kndayuvatyah , and entertain the Yadavas with dance, with vocal and in- strumental music and with dramatic performances.
Their perfumed garlands, fine garments, their coquettishness and smiles enchanted the Yadavas who began sporting with them in the sea. Large boats with cabins manned by ex- pert pilots, and small sail-beats were used by the Yadavas for their sports and love games. Soon the orgies of the Yadavas redoubled H. To please him the heavenly nymphs gave a performance. Then the courtesans wearing their costumes performed a Rasa, singing about the life of Krishna in the local dialect.
Balarama was quite drunk and he and his wife also joined the dance. This encouraged Krishna and the other Yada- vas to join the orgy with renewed vigour.
After the dance was over the Yadavas returned to their watersport. The distance that was normally maintained between the elders and youth was completely forgotten in this orgy. The intoxicated Yadavas wearing fanciful costumes and ornaments and adorning their bodies with flowers, sang and struck the water with their hands The courtesans fully participated in the revelry.
At the order of Krishna they imitated the croaking of frogs and turned their clasped hands into waterspouts Seeing that the game had gone too far, the revellers left the water.
They applied unguent to their bodies and at the behest of Krishna proceeded to the drinking booths. Fat wild animals cooked ac- cording to the recipes of the Pauroyava shastra delighted their palates.
Strips of meat fried in ghee and seasoned witii sea salt formed a side dish. Radishes seasoned with pomegranate and lime, basil leaves, asafoetida, ginger and fragrant grass served to season with the drinks. Birds roasted on spit with ghi and oil and seasoned with salt and tama- rind were served with the drinks. Then there were dishes seasoned with saffron and cumin seed and salt. The sweets were cooked in ghee and moistened with buffalo milk.
At the sight of all this food, the drinking stopped and the revellers fell voraciously on the vegetables, on the soups, conjee , dahi, hot milk and fruits.
On the contrary, Bud- dhist literature, though verbose and repetitious, yields valuable data about the social institutions of ancient India. The virtues and failings of people are recorded in stories and parables which form an integral part of Indian litera- ture. The picture which they paint of the urban culture, of the flourishing cities, of the time peopled by men of all castes and professions, merchants, shopkeepers, rulers and their officers is both real and convincing.
In Buddhist literature women receive full attention. The general concept of the housewife is that she should be blessed with an equable, obedient temperament. She was expected to be sweet of speech, fair and renowned, capable of bearing a huge family, and of course, subservient to the wishes of her lord. We read, however, that for rich men a woman was nothing more than an instrument of pleasure and for an average householder she was merely the producer of a large family.
The Jatakas condemn women and their wickedness. She speaks ill of him, and is silent when he is praised. She neglects his interests and performs acts that are not at all to his liking. She sleeps by his side fully clothed, with her face averted; she changes her sides frequently, frets, sighs and tries to leave the bed.
She builds intimate ties with her neighbour, walks along the streets, exposing herself to the glances of passers by and stands at the door looking aimlessly at the scene on the street. She insults her husband. As a matter of fact the characteristics of a wicked woman mentioned in the Jatakas are the same as those indicated in the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana. According to the Jatakas there are eight reasons why a woman despises her husband: A wife is to be condemned if she frequents parks, gardens and river banks, and pays frequent visits to the houses of relatives or strangers, if she wears a smart vest-cloth, if she is addicted to strong drinks and if she stares vacantly at the scene outside the house, standing at her own door.
The bodily movements and behaviour of a woman in love have not escaped the attention of the Jatakas. In the spirit of the Kamasutra they describe how a wicked woman draws herself, bends down, tries to appear coy and presses her fingertips. She plants one foot over the other and scratches the ground with a stick.
Her son is also made to play a part in this unholy game of love. She swings him up and down, plays with him, kisses him, feeds herself and him. She gives or begs, mimicks others and speaks in either a high or a low tone. She draws the attention of her lover with dance, song and music, tears and blandish- ments.
But if these soft avowals of love fail to evoke any response she shows her fury. She laughs at him, derides him, she shakes her dress or shifts the folds of her sari, exposes or covers up her legs, displays her armpits and navel. She closes her eyes, knits her eyebrows, tightly presses her lips, she pulls out her tongue, loosens or tightens her dress and headgear. Apart from the employment of courtesans by kings, their chief patrons seem to have been rich merchants and bankers who had amassed wealth and could afford the luxury of accomplished courtesans.
The harem antahpura, orodha or inner apartment of the palace was a well-built structure, 31 painted and plastered inside and provided with all kinds of luxuries.
It is said to have employed the conventional number of sixteen thousand dancing girls natakitthiyo These courtesans were always at the disposal of the king forming an integral part of the seraglio, and they were often handed down from father to son. They attended and accompanied them to the royal garden.
It is related in the Khantivadi Jataka that once king Kalabu was drunk and he came into the park in great pomp surrounded by a group of dancing girls. There he had a couch spread on the royal seat of stone and lay with his head on the lap of his favourite; the other dancing girls, skilled in vocal and instrumental music and in dancing gave a musical performance.
In order to understand the position of those courtesans who practised their profession independently of the royal court the references in the Jatakas to their mode of life are of some interest In the Muhasara Jataka the chief musician is supposed to have received a stolen necklace from the royal chaplain and handed it over to a courtesan as a present.
In the Vattaka Jataka , the function of a courtesan as a temptress is stressed. At the time of the Kattika festival, the friends of the son of an Over-Treasurer decided to employ a courtesan to divert him from the path of righteousness and self-abnegation.
They did not keep their plan secret but informed their friend that they were planning to get a sweetheart for him. They picked up a charming girl and asked her to proceed to his chamber.
She did so, but failed to evoke any response from him. Piqued at this slight she uses all her blandishments, Smiling and flashing her lovely white teeth. Unmoved, he gave her money and asked her to leave him. As she was leaving his house, she met a nobleman in the street who asked her to accompany him and offered her money. The king, after hearing the case, ordered his execution, unless he was able to produce the girl.
She rushed out, revealed her identity to the officers and thus saved his life. In the Gamani Chanda Jataka , it is related that in the course of his adventures Gamani Chanda reached a village where a courtesan ganika lived.
When she found out that he intended to visit the king, she requested him to carry her message to him. Now she has changed her manner, and without leave of the first she goes with the last, so that she receives nothing, and none seek after her.
If she keeps to her old custom, it will be as it was before. Unable to bear her poverty any longer, she went to the Chief Justice to seek his advice and was told to return to her former profession. The Indriya Jataka, mentions of courtesans sitting along the banks of a river in which many men bathed.
The Atthana Jataka relates how a courtesan charged a thousand pieces a day from a merchant. One day he forgot to bring her fees and was driven away by her maids. Shocked at this kind of treatment from her, he turned an ascetic. When the king learnt this, he ordered her to bring him back. She entreated him but he refused to return.
A curious story of the cupidity of courtesans is related in the Mahavastu iii. The chief courtesan agraganika of a city used to invite a clever, handsome person to sleep with her. She did this after oiling his body, applying perfumed powder and unguents to it and draping it with 33 fine garments made in Kasi.
The poor lover told her the next day that he had passed the night dreaming that they were united in love. She at once demanded her fees bhatakam from him. The poor man was thunderstruck and refused to pay but she stuck to her demand.
Other people tried to intervene and stop the quarrel but it was of no avail. Thereupon the members of the negama of Kampilla asked one Prajnavanta to adjudge the claim of the contestants The resourceful man ordered a mirror and a hundred thousand pieces to be brought into the room. In the Kanavera Jataka, the love of a courtesan for a robber is recounted. It is said that once there lived a mighty robber in the city of Banaras. Enraged at his doings, the king ordered him to be seized and executed.
He was arrested by the city governor, and while being led to the execution ground, Sama, a famous courtesan of Banaras saw him. Her price as usual was a thousand pieces a day. The robber was handsome and she fell in love with him at first sight. In order to secure his release she rent a thousand pieces to the governor who was prepared to release him provided somebody else could be substituted for him. Sama persuad- ed one of her lovers to go to the governor with the bribe for the release of her so-called brother.
The governor took the hint and after sending the robber in a closed carriage to Sama, he had the lover quietly executed. Sama passed her time joyfully in the company of the robber but he always suspected her and thought that she might get him murdered if she found another lover.
Therefore, he decided to leave her after robbing her ornaments. One day he suggested to her that they spend the day in a garden, and in order to please him she prepared every kind of delicacy, and adorning herself with ornaments, accompanied him to the garden.
There the robber made a show of violent affection for her, and as she lay unconscious, he bolted with her ornaments. Unmindful of his perfidy, Sama waited for his return. She discarded her costly garments, scents and garlands. She sent a band of actors to search for him.
In the city where the robber lived, the actors sang a song expressing the yearnings of Sama. The robber who chanced to be in the crowd heard the song but refused to return. Full of regrets Sama reverted to her old coarse of life. The Sulasa Jataka t recounts the infatuation of a courtesan for a robber. Sulasa, a renowned courtesan of Banaras, lived with five hundred slave girls in her train. She charged a thousand pieces per night from her customers.
Her story is practically the same as that of Sama. But unlike Sama, Sulasa was a woman of wisdom and courage. Her robber lover, after living happily with her for a few months, decided to steal her ornaments and leave her. One day, under the pretext of offering a sacrifice to a tree deity, he persuaded Sulasa to deck herself with ornaments and to come with him.
When they reached the top of a mountain where the tree was situated, he threatened to kill and rob her. Fearing for her life, she reminded him of the good she had done him and promised to give him all her ornaments if he spared her life. But the robber was determined to carry out his nefarious design. Sulasa was very resourceful.
Under the pretext of a last embrace she pushed him down to his death from the hill top and then returned to the city. Kali, a famous courtesan nagara - shobhani of Banaras earned a thousand pieces a day, which her brother Tundila, a debauchee, a drunkard, and a gambler, took from her and wasted.
She could not restrain him or make him give up his habits. One day her brother lost all his clothes in a gambling match. As he lay in the street bemoaning his fate, one of the 35 customers of Kali saw him and taking pity on him promised to plead for him with his sister.
He kept his promise, but Kali refused to give anything to her profligate brother and told her lover that he was at liberty to give him whatever he liked In that house of ill -fame ganikaghara , the custom was that of every one thousand received, four hundred went to the courtesan and five hundred was spent on clothes, perfumes and garlands It was also the custom that the clients who visited that house received garments to wear when they stayed the night there which they took off when they left.
The next day when her lover asked for his clothes, Kali ordered her servants to eject him from the house and he had to return to his home naked and humiliated. But in spite of being secretly appreciated, courtesans were called harlots, wenches, street walkers and even murderesses.
Enumerating their wicked acts a story-teller describes them in verse. Like poisoned draught or robber fell, crooked as horn of stag, Like serpent evil-tongned are they, as merchant apt to brag, Murderous as covered pit , like Hell's insatiate maw are they, As goblin greedy or like Death that carries all away. Devouring like a flame are they , mighty as wind or flood. Apparently they were held in great favour by kings 1 and merchants.
A king could depose a ganika and then restore her to position. They contracted 36 a relationship with court musicians and lived in great btyle. Apparently no stigma was attached to consorting with courtesans.
Whether she evoked pity or whether she was condemned, the courtesan flourished and no stigma seems to have been attached to the profession. The flourishing conditions of courtesans cannot be ascribed to the unhappy domestic lives of householders but to the growth of luxury due to the accumulation of capital.
There was a decided preference for physical charms, for a luxurious way of living, unfetter- ed by the annoying restrictions of life at home and above all there was admiration for accomplishment in the various arts arts which busy housewives were hardly expected to acquire.
With wives chaste , faithful and oj high degree , A man may circumspect and prudent be, May curb his passions well m such a case, Yet in some harlot his whole trust may place. The wide prevalence of prostitution may be seen from the use in Buddhist literature of a large number of synonyms indicating prostitutes and courtesans. Mehta has culled the following words from the Jatakas—vesi , nariyo, gamaviyo, ganika , nagarashobhani t vannadasi and kumbha- dasi. Devraj Chanana while discussing the meaning of some of these terms, says for instance that if a dispute arose in an oligarchy for the hand of a beautiful girl, the elders asked her to become a ganika so as to make her accessible to all sabbesamvoharika.
The oligarchy paid her some money to establish herself in the profession. She received a stipulated fee from the clients who visited her. Salavati of Rajagriha was elected a ganik-thana and she was count- ed among the important citizens.
She was also called 37 vannadasi or nagarashobhani. In some texts, however, nagarashobham stands for a common harlot, while in other instances she is equated with a ganika. Ganikas abandoned their male children, but brought up their daughters with great care in the hope that in due course they would take to their own profession. Such women employed a large number of slaves. Chanana is of the view that vannadasi was a slave in the establishment of a ganika t but in certain cases the word stood for a common prostitute.
In the Jatakas her personal status was not always the same. Some ganikas were rich, others poor. Perhaps the vannadasi , as a slave woman in the establishment of a ganika, received less affluent visitors and thus earned money for her mistress. It is also possible that a vannadasi could attain to the position of a ganika The professional musicians who accompanied these women were known as gandhabbas. As a matter of fact a class of prostitutes in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar claims to belong to the gandharab caste.
Though the institution of ganikas was started by the ganas, the case of Salavati who is called the ganika of Rajagriha which was under a monarchy shows that the word had lost its specific meaning and implied a rich courtesan. It is possible that the community of rich merchants who were growing ever richer under the monarchies, wanted the best of everything in their towns, and, therefore, they borrowed the institution of ganikas from the oligarchies.
Later, with the decay of the oligarchies, the word ganika lost its original significance. Vesiya seems to have been different from ganika as is evident from such references as vesi cha ganikayo cha. One gets the impression from Pali literature that the vesiya plied her trade alone and lived by selling her charms. As a matter of fact Buddhaghosa equates vesiya with rupajiva i.
She did not possesls the artistic talents of the ganika. She pandered to the common people and, at times, even stooped to steal. She was no doubt a much poorer creature, who, it is mentioned, was forced because of her poverty to proceed to the river for her bath and could not afford servants to fetch water for her toilet. She was supposed to be a mistress as opposed to a lawful wife. A girl of pleasure engaged for a short duration is called muhuttika Vin. The fees of prostitutes are known as bhaii and paribbayam.
The word kumbhadasi while standing for a slave woman, also indicated a woman with loose morals. She was an expert in dance and music. Reference has already been made to courtesans such as Sama, Sulasa and Kali who commanded a high position in society. There were, however, other courtesans who were renowned in Buddhist literature and who made handsome contributions to the early Buddhist church. Ambapah, a courtesan, is said according to the Pali version of the story to have emerged spontaneously in the gardens of the king at Vesali.
Since she was picked up at the foot of a mango tree she was named after the mango amba. The gardener brought her to the city, and in course of time her beauty attracted many young men who vied with one another for the honour of her hand.
According to the pre- vailing custom the gana, in order to stop the rivalry among eligible young men, appointed her a ganika. She asked for fifty kahapanas for one night. Through her Vesali flourished. A merchant from Rajagriha went to Vesali on business and found it to be a populous city with abundant food, and tall buildings. After his business was over, the merchant returned to Rajagriha and met the Magadha king Seniya Bimbisara and requested him to install a courtesan at 39 Raj agriha as well, in order to increase its prosperity.
It is stated in the Mahavagga , VI. The carriage could only pass where the ground was level, so she got down and walked the rest of the distance on foot to see the Buddha. After saluting him she sat down close to him. She was impressed by his sermon, and asked the Buddha and the fraternity of b hikkhus to dine at her house and he accepted her invitation. Now the Lichchhavis of Vesali, hearing of the arrival of the Buddha, also proceeded to meet him.
They were in colourful garments and wore costly ornaments. While returning from her visit to the Buddha, Ambapali was so elated at the idea of having the Buddha to a meal the next day, that she refused to make way for the Lichchhavi princes, who were on their way to see the Buddha. She refused to give up her invitation for anything in the world In the Vinayavastu of Mulasarvastivada, however, the story of Ambapali has received greater attention.
It is related that in Vesali the Lichchhavi Mahanama had a mango grove. There suddenly sprang up a plantain tree which blossomed in course of time. A soothsayer informed Mahanama that on the seventh day the flowers would bring forth a girl. Mahanama marvelled at the prophecy and placed guards round the tree. On the seventh day the garden was swept, sprinkled with sandal water and decorated with incense burners, real silk and flowers, and it resounded with the sound of music.
Mahanama entered the grove with his wives and his relatives, and amidst the rejoicing the plantain tree burst open and there emerged a very beautiful girl, who was handed over to the chief wife of Mahanama. She was named Amrapali as she had come forth from a mango grove amravana. Not only the Kraunchas, the Sakyas and princes from different lands, but also the sons of ministers, wealthy men, bankers and 40 merchants came to seek her hand m marriage. Seeing crowd, Mahanama was perplexed and ieared the wrath Ot those who were likely to he disappointed, Even the Gana had as' yet not made any rules to deal with such a situation and, therefore, he decided to approach the Gana for help.
The Gana was summoned and Mahanama addressed it thus: Now I am in search of a suitable match from a good family for her. Mahanama was then asked by the Gana to produce Amrapah before the Gana and he did so. Her beauty dazzled all the members of the Gana and they pro- claimed unanimously that she was the preserve of the entire Gana and therefore, the question of marrying her 1c any one person did not arise. Mahanama was very dejected when he heard the decision of the Gana. Amrapali also learnt the outcome of the meeting.
Mahanama conveyed her conditions to the Gana and they readily accepted them on the plea that a courtesan, in keeping with her position, was entitled to stay in the first division of the city. The second stipulation was agreed upon for it meant less quarreling between clients. As regards the third condition, the fees of five hundred a day was agreed upon for it covered the expenses for clothes and ornaments 1.
Regarding the search of her house, the time factor, according to the Gana, did not matter. The last stipulation was also accepted on the plea that if the 41 entry and exit to her house were to be watched, nobody would care to visit her for fear of exposure. After the acceptance of her terms by the Gana , Amrapali became a courtesan and began receiving the Lichchhavi clients. Some of them were such wretches that to see or touch them was obnoxious' to her.
She found that some of her clients were impotent. She, however, seems to have been a psychologist of some sort, for to assess her clients she hit upon a clever device. She invited painters from all over the country and asked them to paint realistic portraits of kings, ministers, bankers, merchants etc. After the portraits were completed she inspected them and on this basis chose her clients She was impressed by king Bimbisara of Magadha.
She thought he was a man fit to consort with her. It so happened that one day Bimbisara was seated on the palace terrace talking to his ministers.
In the course of their conversation he asked them to describe the courtesans they had seen. One of the ministers praised the beauty and youth of Amrapali and her accomplishment in the sixty- four arts. Bimbisara was warned that he would incur the hostility of the Lichchhavis if he cast his eyes on her. But he proceeded with his minister to Vesali.
The minister stayed in the garden, but Bimbisara entered the mansion of Amrapali. Suddenly he heard a bell pealing. This was a warning tc the citizens that an enemy was present in their midst. When she was questioned about this commo- tion, Amrapali informed him that they were bound to search her home and look for him. He said he wanted to leave but she asked him to stay on, for according to the agreement between her and the Gana they could search her house only after a week.
The Lichchhavis, however, learnt of his presence and decided to leave the question of settling a score with Bimbisara to the future generation.
Soon after this Amrapali gave birth to a son. He grew up to be a handsome boy, but the Lichchhavi boys with whom he played called him a bastard and the boy wept. His mother, however, informed him that he was the son of Bimbisara. Later on the boy 42 met his father. The boy was named Abhaya and the appellation of prince was employed for him.
The lot of the Janapada-kalyanis, however, was not so enviable. It is mentioned that the beautiful daughter of a Brahman from Champa was appointed a Janapada-kalyani and got employment with Bimbisara. The inmates of the harem of Bimbisara, out of sheer jealousy, forced her to do the work of a barber. She had to take care of the beard and the hair of the king.
A beautiful but tragic story of the courtesan Vasavadatta of Mathura is related in the Divyavadana. Once her servant went to Upagupta who owned a perfume shop m order to buy perfumes for her mistress.
When she came home, her mistress told her that she had been cheated by the perfumer and that she should have got more perfume for the money she had paid. The maid praised the beauty and the upright conduct of Upagupta.
The courtesan was attracted towards him and sent a message asking him to meet her. There would be love-making and no charge. His reply was that the proper time had not yet come for him to meet her, and there the matter ended. In the meanwhile, there came a horse merchant from Uttarapatha to Mathura. And when he heard that Vasava- datta was the chief courtesan of the city, he sent five hundred Purana coins to her to enable him enjoy her com- pany.
Unable to check her greed, she met her lover and murdered him and threw his body in the lavatory. The relatives 1 of the murdered man found the body.
When the king heard of this nefarious crime be ordered the mutila- tion of her hands, feet and nose, and she was abandoned near the burning grounds. When Upagupta heard about this he came to the conclusion that this was the time for him to meet her. He proceeded to the burning grounds and when he met her, he told her why he had not come earlier, it was not her beauty that attracted him but the ultimate results of passion.
She received training in dancing, singing and lute-playing and her fees were fixed at a hundred k arshapanas a night. Once when Salavati 43 was with a child, to safeguard her position she gave out that she was ill. Nobody was allowed to see her. She gave birth to a boy and she asked her maid to abandon him on a dust heap. He was found and reared by Abhaya and later grew up to be the famous physician Jivaka Kumarabhritya. Sirima, daughter of Salavati, and a devoted Buddhist, was a beauty who maintained an establishment of five hundred ganikas to entertain the friends of her lovers Dhammapada Comm, in It is said that attracted by her beauty, a Buddhist monk went to dine at her house She was ill and was brought to the dining hall to pay her respects to the monk.
The same day she died. Vimala, another ourtesan, born in a public brothel of Rajagriha, was a capricious woman choosing rich or poor lovers at her will. She tried to make love to Mahamoggalana but was repulsed. Later on she joined the Buddhist church. But the clients who came to her were so few in number that she was forced to reduce her fees to half.
Therefore she came to be known as a Ardha Kasi half Kasi. She was later attracted to the Buddhist church. In Buddhist literature courtesans are very closely asso- ciated with dancing, singing, drinking and other forms ol amusements. As is shown by the epics and the Jatakas, wherever people gathered for pleasure, courtesans and trollops followed. The Brahmajala Sutra gives the following list of shows which the bhikkhus were not allowed to attend since these were bound to divert their attention: In the terms mentioned above, pekkham is equated by Buddhaghosa with natasamajio.
The Sigalovada Sutta, p. We further learn from the Vinaya, ii. Special seats were reserved for high officials and the samajja was held on the top of a hill. The last detail probably suggests that the festival was held at the time of girimaha or the worship of the mountains.
As a matter of fact, samajja in Buddhist literature connotes not just a particular type of show, but a show in general, consisting of dancing and music, acrobatic performances, bird and animal fights, wrestling etc. The Jatakas, as a matter of fact, give a fairly clear picture of the samajja. Parents sent messages to their sons studying in the university towns of Banaras and Takshasila to come home to attend such gatherings which were generally held in the palace court, and the king himself issued a proclamation by the beat of drums inviting people to come and attend the performance.
A pavilion mandapum was set up and a throne pallanka was set apart for the king. Slaves, women of the harem, courtiers, Brahmans and citizens sat around him. In the courtyard the seats were arranged in circles i chakkatichakke and the benches in rising tiers manchati - manche.
Wrestling, archery, ram and elephant fights, and acrobatic feats natakam formed a part of such gatherings. As regards the natakam, it is mentioned that five hundred acrobats organized a hall -yearly sa mana in the presence of the king of Rajagriha.
The show lasted a week. The main feat shown was a damsel walking, dancing and sing- ing on a horizontal bar. In the Guttila Jataka, samajja takes the form of a musical competition between two masters before a huge gathering in the palace courtyard. Master Guttila of Banaras, who was an expert in his art was renowned all over India. At 45 that time certain merchants from Banaras had been to Ujjain on a business trip. When a holiday was proclaimed in Ujjain they all clubbed together, procured scents, perfumes and ointments and all kinds of food and meats.
After they had their fill, Musila, the chief musician of Ujjain was brought in, but his lute-playing failed to impress the assembly as it could not compete with the lute-playing of Guttila. When Musila heard Guttila being praised, he asked the merchants to take him to Banaras. There he managed to learn all the intricacies of music from Guttila.
Musila wanted to serve the king of Banaras with the help of his teacher, but he was offered only half the salary of his teacher unless he could defeat his teacher in a musical competition. The samajja was held, and with the miraculous help of Sakka, Guttila scored a victory over his rival.
The life depicted in the Jatakas is one of a healthy people singularly free from moral inhibitions. Musfic, dancing, drinking and watersports in which courtesans participated freely were an important part of such convivial gatherings.
Frequent holidays also gave an opportunity to the people to enjoy life without restraint. The musicians naturally played an important part in such festivals.
Even the poor folk donned new garments. Men went to the fairs accom- panied by their wives. They brought flowers, perfumes and drinks. The Kartika festival was held on the full moon day of the Kartika month when the king went round the city in a procession. On these occasions and specially during the drinking festivals suranakkhattam surachhano people enjoyed their drinks and ate good food.
Besides the taverns surapana special drinking booths mandapam were erected. In all these revelries the courtesans and prostitutes played an important part. Goshthi or a gathering held to promote the arts, literature and music and one in which courtesans participated freely was a recognized institution in ancient India, though not as popular in Buddhist India as it was later on. There is 46 not much information about goshthis in Pali literature, but there are some interesting references to it in Buddhist- Sanskrit literature.
Artists frequently united to form goshthis. The Auadanashataka mentions that in Shravasti five hundred gandharvikas lived in a goshthi. There is an incident about a famous musician called Supriya, who could play with great mastery the seven notes and twenty-one murchhanas on his single-stringed lute ekatantri vma. In six cities he proclaimed his mastery of music with the beat of the drum and nobody could rival him.
He reached Shravasti where he challenged the goshthi of musicians and approached the ruler Prasenajit for this purpose. The clever ruler took him straight to the Buddha who was staying at Jetavana, and Supriya played an intricate piece on his vina, but was humbled by the Buddha who played more sweetly on an invisible vina.
While they were going out of Shravasti they met the Buddha. Their association with prostitutes is not mentioned here, but according to the Mahavastu iii. One might question why Jain literature— terse, dry-as-dust f ascetic and ethical in tone— preserved such information. The answer is difficult to And. This interest in detail relates not only to the way of life they themselves followed or wanted others to follow but also to the life of the people around them.
In this category came not only the kings and their nobles, but also the merchant community whose piety was the mainstay of Jainism as well as of Buddhism. The life of princes and noblemen and merchants because of their wealth was exceedingly luxurious and thus courte- sans naturally played an important part. Consciously or unconsciously the life of its patrons left a deep impression on Jain canonical literature.
Moreover, though prostitution was looked down upon by Jainism as it was by Buddhism and Hinduism , no social stigma seems to have been attached to it, and therefore, Jainism dealt with the problem in a matter-of-fact and candid way. Some of the stories and descriptions of courtesans in the Jain canon make this point amply clear.
The Jnatadharma Katha I lists the attainments of a highly accomplished courtesan of Champa. Her body was faultless ahina f imbued with auspicious signs lakshana , and marked with black painted tilakas. She had the right height, girth and weight. She was proficient in the seventy- two traditional arts, and was endowed with the sixty -tour qualities necessary tor a courtesan.
She had also an expert knowledge of the twenty-nine special qualities, the thirty-one kinds of ratigunas siexual poses and the thirty-two ways of treating men purusho - pachara. She aroused slumbering passions by her youthful beauty. She was also a linguist, conversant with eighteen regional languages. She was fond of music and an expert dancer. She was graceful, witty and sweet in her conversa- tion and a strict observer of etiquette.
Her lovely breasts, her body, hands and legs were all seductive. Her fees were a thousand a day. The king granted her the special privilege of using the umbrella chhatra , chauri and fan, and she always travelled in a covered wagon karmratha She commanded and patronized a thousand courtesans. Accord- ing to the Sutrakritanga churni courtesans were well-versed in Vaisika a section of the science of erotics which is exclusively devoted to the problems of courtesans The commentary mentions that when Dattaka was cheated bv a courtesan, he refused to make love to another courtesan in spite of all the blandishments sanctioned by the science of erotics.
The Brihatkalpa Sutra Bha, refers to a picture gallery run by a courtesan. This reminds us of a similar gallery started by Amrapali Here the story is about a courtesan well-versed in the sixty-four arts, who once commissioned the portraits of all kinds of men of different trades and professions as well as the methods of assuaging their fury when they were angry.
Whosoever visited her was taken to the gallery and was given a sort of psychological test before she agreed to consort with him. Elsewhere in the Jnatadharma HI. With flowers and perfumes and exotic food they proceeded to the Nanda lake and set up a temporary camp thunamandavam not far from the lake.
Mounting the chariot with the courtesan Devadatta, 49 they proceeded to the garden and sported in the lake, enjoyed the food and perfumes they had brought with them and slept with her, and in the afternoon they walked arm in arm with Devadatta and enjoyed the beauty of the garden. In Jain literature we often meet with courtesans of a lofty character who belie the usual notions about the lust and greed of ordinary prostitutes. Kosa, a famous courtesan of Pataliputra loved Sthulabhadra, and after his retirement Jrom worldly life she refused to consort with anybody.
When Sthulabhadra as a monk returned to Pataliputra, she listened to his sermons and became a shravika. She, however, took the rather curious vow that she would not grant her favours to anyone except when forced to do so by the king Similarly, Devadatta, a renowned courtesan ol Ujjain, spurned the love of Achala, a rich merchant of the town because of her great love for the adventurous Muladeva The protests ol her mother were of no avail.
She requested the king not to force anyone on her as she was determined to live with Muladeva alone. According to Jain sources prostitution was so rampant in the country that Jain nuns were cautioned against it. Apanagrihas drinking houses and houses with markets in lanes on one or both of their sides were considered dangerous because from these houses the nuns could see the prostitutes who carried on their profession in the adjacent houses But the greatest danger was from the young voluptuaries who visited the prostitutes.
Resplendent in colourful flowers, ornaments and perfumes, they joked and laughed and manifested sexual desire in their move- ments. They were thus a menace to the locality. From their quarters, the nuns could see prostitutes engaged in their toilet and surrounded by unchaste women and swindlers. Their show of haughty indifference and their lascivious embraces roused the dormant passion in the nuns.
Wedding pandals richly decorated, and crowds of relatives and guests also reminded them of their past. Among the prohibited places were guest houses agamanaqnha , where travellers who could find no accommodation elsewhere sought shelter.
There were all kinds of riff-raff including prostitutes and pimps whose behaviour was bound to affect the morals of the nuns. The Jain monks had their own tale of woe as far as prostitutes were concerned. When the monks saw lascivious men and women embracing one another, and heard the sounds they made as they continued their love-play, their ascetic resolve tended to weaken. These poor monks were after all human beings and though they had given up worldly pleasures, they were tempted to listen to lascivious songs or peep surreptitiously through holes to find out what was happening inside a closed room.
The monks had to fight against another potent menace Prostitutes some- times 1 entered their monastery and asked permission to stay there overnight. If this was allowed, they made overtures to the monks, putting them in a very difficult position. The monks at first tactfully persuaded the uninvited guests to leave, but if they failed they thought the wiser thing to do was to make a hasty retreat and quit the building.
At times more drastic measures had to be adopted. But the matter did not end there. If a prostitute sued the monks before the king, they had to appear before him personally and answer the charges.
The position was further complicated by the fact that there was no dearth of men and women of doubtful character who pretended that they were closely related to each other and sought shelter in the Jain monasteries. A general rule was framed that if a man was accompanied by a woman he was to be refused admission. But at times the man claimed that the woman was his sister, and if he was allowed to stay overnight, he 51 had his pleasure with her.
If his conduct was detected he was severely reprimanded and turned out. When this happened he threatened the monks with reprisals. In keeping with the stern ascetic principles of Jainism, the Jain canonical works warned the monks at every step to keep away from women.
But as in other religions, so in Jainism, principle and practice as regards women differed considerably. The Jain Chhedasutras carefully analyzed the sexual aberrations of Jain monks and laid down rules to help them avoid pitfalls.
But while the majority of monks were celibates there were quite a few black sheep who did not hesitate to drink and dally with women frequently. The Sutrakritanga , I'. Taking advantage of the situation she scolded him and struck his head with her lifted foot.
Bring me wood to cook these vegetables and to light the fire at night. Paint my feet; come and rub my back; look at my clothes; bring me food and drink. Get me some perfume and a broom. Bring me a barber to shave my head. Give me the collyrium, my ornaments, the lodhra powder for dyeing , the lutes, and bring me the pill to restore my youth Bring to me utpalakushtha costus speciosus , tagara powder tabernaemontana coranaria and aloes powdered with fragrant ushira andropogon muricatus , oil for anoint- ing and bamboo baskets to put my things in.
Reach me the lip solve nandichnnnagaim. Fetch the umbrella and slippers, the knife to cut the thread, get my robes dyed blue. Give me the pot to cook the vegetables in and another to bring water in. Give me the stick with which I paint the mark on the forehead tilaka-karanimanjana salagam , the pin to apply collyrium to the eyes and the fan that I use when it is hot.
Fetch me the pincers samdasagam to pick the hair in my nose. Get me a comb and a ribbon to 52 bind the hair. Reach me the looking glass; put the tooth- brush near me. Fetch me the arecanut and betel, my needle and some thread, the winnowing basket and the pot for liquefying natron. Give me the vessel for worshipping the gods and the other water-pots. Friend, dig a privy. Buy a beaker, a drum and a ball of cloth chelagolam for the boy to play with. Shramana, the rainy season is at hand, look after the house and stores.
Fetch the chair with woven twine asandiyam and wooden shoes to walk in. There was no household object which he was not expected to get for her immediately. He was allowed no respite and was expected to carry out such mean jobs as digging a privy, looking after house and stores and providing play- things for the children. The necessary corollaries of prostitution m ancient India were musical soirees, dubs and pleasure trips or even religious festivals in which prostitutes and other malefactors formed a part of the crowd One such important occasion was samkhadi, which is equivalent to the samajjas of Buddhist literature.
It is mentioned in one of the sutras of B. The samkhadi was held in the early part of the day or after sunset. It is said that a samkhadi was held near the tank Rishi Tadaga situated at Tosali Orissa. During a pilgrimage to Kundala- mentha situated in a deep forest the people living in the neighbourhood of Bharukachchha performed a samkhadi, and it formed a part of the ceremonies of the pilgrimage to Arbuda Abu or Prabhasa.
The people of the Ananda- pura performed samkhadi every winter at a spot called Prachinavaha where the direction of the river Saraswati changed to the east. The samkhadi was not confined to only a particular religion or sect since the Buddhist, Shaiva and Bhagavata monks are said to have also participated in it and held regular disputations. But such samkhadis t full of fun for ordinary men and 53 women, spelt difficulties lor the Jain monks.
While they camped under the trees, stray dogs stole away their un- guarded pots, thieves had a good time and robbers infested the jungle, killing and plundering the people. Drunken voluptuaries in a state of sexual excitement assembled there and crowds of elephants, horses, as well as litters and palanquins which served them as means of conveyance were a constant source of distraction to the monks.
Even the monks who camped outside the village in order to keep away from the maddening crowd could not escape the attention of the dogs and thieves.
But the greatest sources of distraction and annoyance were the village gardens, where drunk voluptuaries dressed in fantastic garments gesticulated freely and sang erotic songs Men and women, whether drunk or sober, decked themselves in fine clothes and amused themselves there. In those gardens assembled the sons of rich merchants, and bankers came there riding horses and in chariots: The grand display of clothes, ornaments and vehicles distracted the minds of the monks.
Moreover, the village was so crowded with men and women that it became almost impossible for them to move about. Jain canonical literature makes occasional references to goshthi. The members of the goshthi were connoisseurs of music and the arts and closely associated with courtesans. The Nishithasutra gives us some valuable information about the organization of the goshthis — information that is not found anywhere else.
It was apparently managed by the following officers: Apparently the mahattara was the most respectable member of the goshthi and in modern terms could be described as the president of the club.
When the goshthi met, his seat was placed at the head of the assembly jetthamasana dhure. The anuma- hattara, as his name indicates, was a sort of a vice-presi- dent acting as president during his absence.
It is specifically mentioned that one of his duties was to answer 54 questions put to him on the arts and on literature. In this respect he acted as the spokesman of the goshthi. The lahtasamya made arrangements for the right kind of food and saw to it that it was served properly, and he was also in charge of the seating arrangements which were in order of precedence for the members of the goshthi.
The goshthikas naturally committed many acts of omission and commission and due notice seems to have been taken of these acts by the authorities. In order to enforce discipline in the organization two officers were employed: Unfortunately the Nishitha does not specify the nature of the crimes and the punish- ment that was meted out, and is silent on the functions of the goshthi.
But apparently, such acts of omission and commission must have been judged in the light of the pro- per conduct of the goshthis known as gotthidhamma. The cultural aspect of goshthi is emphasized in literature, and certain vignettes reveal the reverse side of the medal as well.
The patronage of art and culture was no doubt an important function of the goshihis t but they also became notorious for their hard drinking, their revels, their en- couragement of prostitution and also their brawhs....
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