The Oldest Profession

PART TWO of an interview with a woman who works with men as a sexual healer and with women as a coach in the erotic arts.

hw: (referring to her brief career as a prostitute) A bordello is far from being a temple, but here, at least, I wouldn’t have to hide my love of sex. Or so I thought. The other women were always telling me, Never let a customer know how much you enjoy it.
I would be climbing the stairs, a champagne bucket under my arm and the man right behind me, and I would think, I’m going up to have sex. Nothing else. This never failed to turn me on.
Go to a tango club – many women do, these days – and you’ll find something similar. There is this very intimate, erotically charged interaction between you and your partner – someone you don’t know, don’t need to know. For as long as the dance lasts, you are his to lead, the two of you are one in the dance. And then the music ends and you go your separate ways, and then there is another dance to be danced … (Listening to her, I was reminded of the heroine in the erotic film, Romance, who will give herself to any man who desires her. Her partner doesn’t; he is happiest when alone, an offense she considers worse than if he were cheating on her. “I wanted another taste of the miracle,” she says in a voice-​over, “a stranger making love to me.” The Last Tango In Paris also came to mind – that scene in the tango hall near the end of the film, during which Marlon Brando makes a playfully drunken mockery of the dance competition taking place. ‘It’s over,’ Marie Schneider keeps telling him. His response, the first time she utters these words to him: ‘It’s over. Then it begins again.’ Along with abandoning the empty apartment in which they have been meeting in favor of meeting in the outside world, he has ended the strict anonymity on which he had insisted that their encounters be based; more, he appears to be firmly in the grip of a belief, not at all shared by her, that they have a future as a couple. His refusal to let go, to accept that there can be no continuation of the affair by other, more conventional means will soon have fatal consequences. Death, one way or the other …) You are his for as long as the ‘dance’ lasts. Sexually, a man spends himself in you and then withdraws. And withdraw he must. In the context of the temple, he is no longer God-​filled. The fulfillment of a longing to be possessed – sexually, spiritually – is followed by a sense of loss. From abandon to abandonment – that’s the journey for both parties, especially the woman. As the woman, you learn that God doesn’t belong to you. You might belong to Him – and must be prepared to receive Him in the form of whatever stranger enters the temple – but He doesn’t belong to you.

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