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Erotic ExchangesThe World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris$
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Nina Kushner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451560

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451560.001.0001

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Sexual Capital and the Private Lives of Mistresses

Sexual Capital and the Private Lives of Mistresses

(p.191) Chapter 7 Sexual Capital and the Private Lives of Mistresses
Erotic Exchanges

Nina Kushner

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the sexual intimate private lives of kept women. The dividing line between the private and professional sexual lives of mistresses is unclear. Husbands pimped their wives. Dames entretenues married and continued to work. For kept women, relationships existed on a spectrum from those that were clearly professional, and hence public, to those that clearly were personal, and hence private. In addition, dames entretenues engaged in both short- and long-term intimate irregular relationships. Some ended in marriage but most did not. In both cases, kept women financed these “private” relationships with money earned as professional mistresses.

Keywords:   kept women, dames entretenues, professional mistresses, professional sexual lives, private relationships

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