Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Erotic Exchanges – The World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris - Cornell Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erotic Exchanges: The World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Nina Kushner


This book reveals the complex world of elite prostitution in eighteenth-century Paris—the demimonde—by focusing on the professional mistresses who dominated it. These damesentretenues exchanged sex, company, and sometimes even love for being “kept.” Most of these women entered the profession unwillingly, either because they were desperate and could find no other means of support or because they were sold by family members to brothels or to particular men. A small but significant percentage of kept women, however, came from a theater subculture that actively supported elite prostitution. The bo ... More

Keywords: elite prostitution, eighteenth-century Paris, professional mistresses, brothels, kept women, demimonde, Paris police, sex work

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780801451560
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451560.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nina Kushner, author
Associate Professor of History, Clark University