TMI Tuesday – He Pays to Play?
Argh. I seem to be turning into a weekly blogger. I apologize. I will try to start posting a late-week blog now and again, but thanks for always popping by on Tuesdays!
Just a note on last week’s topic – I’ve learned that having a soundtrack for one’s book is very helpful when one must go back to revise said book, months later. Yep, I got my first edits on GOTH — tres exciting. And going back and listening to all those songs I had on heavy rotation while I wrote it is really helping me get back into the book.
So here is a TMI Tuesday topic generously donated by our dear friend, Vagabond Lindsey.
Often called the “world’s oldest profession”, prostitution shows up a lot in historical romance. Lately we’ve had some romances with prostitute heroines, most notably Anna Campbell’s (amazing and powerful) Claiming the Courtesan. In Elizabeth Hoyt’s (delicious and witty) The Raven Prince, the heroine goes to a brothel and pretends to be a prostitute. And then those rakish Alpha heroes we love so well often have a number of prostitutes in their past. High-class ones, of course — you know, the elite courtesan, the kept mistress.
Both of my heroes thus far (Jeremy in GOTH and Gray in SOAS) have some pay-for-play dalliances in their pasts. Although Hero #3 doesn’t. In Gray’s case, because he was a sailor traveling from port to port… ’nuff said. And in Jeremy’s case, because i wanted him to be quite experienced, and the alternatives were:
Virgins – not cool
Married women – also not cool
Servants or tenants who are financially dependent on him – way not cool
Loose women and widows – okay. He had some of those, too.
But think about putting these heroes into a contemporary romance… and ick! Who is going to find a modern hero likable if he’s been with a bunch of high-class call girls? But then, the modern hero has far more socially acceptable outlets for his, er, passion.
What do you think about this? Do historicals romanticize prostitution? (Not that historicals are alone in using the “hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold” storyline – just look at Pretty Women.) Is it truly historically accurate, to assume every man of means visited the brothels or kept a mistress? Do you think less of a romantic hero if he’s been with prostitutes? Would you think less of a RL guy?