I Am a Courtesan

By Regena Thomashauer   |  19Comments|

There are many things in my life that I never thought I would ever do. Like raise a child, by myself. Or run a business. Teach in Copenhagen. Do a TEDx talk about the Pleasure Revolution. Be single, now, for three years. Or organize a Christmas dinner, for my mom, her brand new boyfriend, my daughter and the 97-year-old ex-migrant worker who raised me. I never in a bazillion trillion years thought I desired to do any of these things, alone. But, here they all are — the contents of my life, my days.

Now, I — like you — could choose to be cranky and complain about any one of these things. And don’t we all have our list of nearly overwhelming challenges that we each face, every single day? I mean, I never really wanted to run a business — I just wanted to be the Queen of Pleasure. And raising my daughter was never something I imagined doing as a single parent. I thought I would share that experience with a partner. And then, this year, when I was handed the responsibility to organize Christmas to celebrate the holiday with my people; I was overwhelmed. I mean, come on — now I gotta cook a feast, on top of everything else? For my whole spoiled life, it was my mom or Wilma who cooked for the family. I ate. They cooked. Not this year.

Sisters, here is where an aspect of what defines me, inhabits me, and orients me, surfaces, winds around my being like wafting perfume, paths a direction as count-on-able and numinous as the North Star, and encases me in the delicious erotic elixir of the exquisite essence of the woman I am.

I am a courtesan.

Yeah, you heard me. A courtesan.

Whatever do you mean by that, Miss Mama? Have you taken on a new part-time job and not mentioned it?

No, Sisters. It’s actually a full-time job, being a courtesan. I am redefining the courtesan for the 21st century. I know, I know, it is a loaded word in our culture. But let me clarify what I mean when I call myself a courtesan.

And what, pray tell, is that, Miss Boldly-go-where-no-woman-has-gone-before?

The word courtesan has very deep, sacred and ancient roots. It is a combination of three words that the Italians put together as a noun. Here is how Dr. Anne Davin defines the word:

Co = two, when two things that are separate (like the spirit and the physical world) come together

Court = a place where the royals dwell; higher order; a place where law and order is upheld

Artisan = a person who possesses a special skill, a craft; a creator of beauty for the senses; one that tends to the aesthetics

In other words, a courtesan is a woman who brings the spirit into every aspect of her physical world. She lives in a higher order, a court of her own design, as she creates beauty wherever she goes and with whatever life hands her. Every challenge is her opportunity to make her life into a work of art.

When the whiney cranky side of Yo’ Mama lashes out and asks, “I have to run a company, raise this child and get dinner on the table?”…

The courtesan in me comes to the rescue.

She sails in like Cleopatra on her golden barge, inside me, knowing her next opportunity for mischief and sacred merriment has just arrived. Mama Cranky slinks away, and the courtesan takes over. How can we weave this tale of overwhelm into a fantastical, sexy, sacred adventure? Music! she decides. I create a playlist, with favorite songs to serve the soul of each of the guests. A ravishingly beautiful table setting with rose petals at the door and on the table! Costumes! I buy red polka dot flannel jammies for every guest. (Not your typical dinner party gear, but it feels celebratory and whimsical.) And I acquire all the trappings for a southern dinner, including the brown paper bag and the flour for frying, so I can prepare this special recipe I was raised on.

I have enlisted the services of my daughter to help me through some of those intimate moments with foods I’m no longer all that familiar with. (A courtesan knows her capacity and lives within her limitations.)

According to my colleague, Dr. Anne Davin, the word “courtesan” was a recognition of an eternal truth that our Western culture ignores and devalues. Davin says, “In mother cultures (antique or indigenous), humans saw the holy in all things, especially nature. They felt it was their role to literally keep the holy alive in our world by seducing it with eloquent speech, courting it through acts of beauty, feeding it through ritual and ceremony, and embodying it as sensual beings. There was no separation between the erotic and being human. You were not fully human unless you were living your erotic nature. Every initiated man and woman was seen as courtesans of the divine. And, it was their union with one another that called forth the greatest presencing of this divine encounter.”

I am a courtesan. I take a challenge and turn it into a triumph by insisting on beauty, by finding the sacred sassy fun in every moment of the creation and presentation of the holiday meal, and by charting a new course of celebration as I lead my small dinner party in loud, ebullient song and dance, and redefining what it means to be a woman in service to her pleasure, as she serves her sacred feast. I am a courtesan. Redefining woman. Redefining freedom. Redefining what it means to truly celebrate and serve.

Do you wish there were one radical step you could take to turn any frustration into your own gratification? THAT is what we’re going to unleash in Mama Gena’s newest Intro Class: The Radical Step That Changes Everything. Join her and your fellow Goddesses in NYC on February 9, 2012. Details here.

Photo credit: Kirsten Skiles

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19 responses to I Am a Courtesan
  1. Totally love this!!

  2. What a wonderful redefinition, I love it! I never identified with any of the ‘housewife’, ‘full-time mother’, ‘home-maker’ type labels . . . but this one I could go for!

  3. ms kris…love your sparkle….. i am sharing your web-site with a young woman, who’s precious life is standing on the same shaky ground, you were several years ago. she has survived one bout with liver cancer and just learned a week ago it is back. she lives life with so much determination and is full of inspiration……a year ago, she asked my youngest son, if he would go for a run with her…..6 years earlier he had both his feet crushed in an accident and was told he might not walk again……it was that run that he decided he to could overcome anything, because she did. he started training for a marathon….a few months ago, he ran the denver rock and roll marthon. he was featured on the evening news and in that he told them ” the girlfriend that asked him to go for
    a run”….also sharing, another runner has learned of her story….and we are putting together a fundraising race in honor of her and sending them both to a beach destination so they can run/ dance before all the craziness of her surgery/treatments start, in light of her pain we are attempting to send them within the next few weeks and do the race later. one runner wants to dedicate the sahara ultra race in april to her cause ……from the bottom of my heart i wish the spirit of your journey would could embrace her first….

    hugs and to all a very merry christmas and happy new year, hope its a good one :)

  4. oppps sent you the correct email :)

  5. Beautiful, love the sentiment, how lucky we all are to have such full lives :)

  6. I love everything you put out there Mama Gena! When I started listening to you, I think for the first time in a long time I felt, sexy, beautiful and full of goddess energy. Thank you for helping me rekindle those feelings and making me want to pass them on to other sista’ goddesses!

  7. Regena, gorgeous genius, you! How did you know I so desperately needed to reinvent my relationship to cooking? Once again, you’ve shown me the way to take something that normally isn’t fun for me and make it a true pleasure.

  8. Mama Gena, you have freed me! Thanks for giving FORM to what I’ve been banging around in for the last month. You just put structure to my mystery, and the oxygen has come back in the room. Thanks for vaccuming up what I called “chaos.” It’s wasn’t, and your words really clarified that for me.

    Ah, the divine… who knew I had all this competency in it all along? (and a big wink at you, Mama Gena).

  9. LOVE this.

  10. Dearest Regena and Kris,
    Thank you for posting this Crazy Sexy blog today as I needed it! Just sat down from cleaning the bathrooms for my Solstice Gathering here tonight and have to brag that I too, as a Courtesan, can turn even this humble act in to one where I create a beautiful, clean, serene and inspired space for my family and guests to find ‘rest’ in. I am wearing my pink ‘Goddess’ apron from last SWA Mastery graduation and have great music playing for my daughter and me as we clear the space for tonight’s special gathering. I love the flannel jammies Regena and LOVE the image of you all in them. Hugs to your celebrants, those fortunate to sup at the table of a woman who knows how to live a turned on life.
    This post will inspire us all to take each act of service, of doing- that can suck the fun at times, out of even the most special celebration, and let the swipe of the dust cloth be an invitation to the Divine to reside in this cleared space. All my love for this holiday season! Thank you again! Suzi

  11. Regena,

    Amazing how this particular time of the year causes many of us to reflect on life, (if we’re not spending all our time complaining.)

    A challenge is what we face, that we feel we have little or NO control over. I’ve discovered that we can have either a “positive or a negative” attitude about everything we face. It’s up to us…

    We can “choose” our attitude. YES, we still have that power. I can do a task by “choosing” to embrace it and you could “choose” to despise it…

    Who do you think it will gnaw at while doing it? The one embracing it or the one despising it?

    It’s not the challenge that matters, it’s the “attitude about the challenge” that makes ALL the difference.

  12. On Christmas day I have learnt something new which is great for this time of the year. Just wanted to say thanks and all the best SS

  13. Really love your take on things in this blog. I have been feeling kind of “grouchy” lately and needed to read something like this article. A great chance for an attitude adjustment going into the new year!

  14. thank you, lj!!!
    and welcome to the club, courtesan emily!
    and donna luna- you are a firework of inspiration.
    you are right, adele- we are all so blessed.
    hadley- so good!!–every time you risk feeling beautiful and hot and sexy- you are igniting that spark in every woman you encounter.
    hey ti- i am so glad to inspire your courtesanly cooking skills!!
    winking right back atcha, athena!
    thanks, nicole!
    steve- i love your observations. so very very very true!!
    jedivid- i wish you the best and happiest and most fulfilling year ever!
    joan- you are cute when you are grouchy.
    thank you all for the shout out on my blog. i am so grateful to you for chiming in, and grateful to kris for inviting me!!
    yo suze- thanks you for sharing your solstice with us, here. love u.

  15. Rock on, fantastic…

  16. ~I am a cortesan, also, and been creating since the mid 70’s!! We are Juicy Women who know how to spread beauty, comfort and joy where ever we go!!

  17. I am also a Courtesan and I took this solstice as an opportunity for mischief and sacred merriment, Enjoy :)!

  18. giggle… I too am a Courtesan!! Thank you for this holiday reminder ( and the awesome image of red polkadot flannel pj’s…the best way to celebrate and eat)

  19. There is a Courtesan inside of me wanting to dance her way out! I truly enjoyed this story.