Was the oldest profession really due to the craving for money?
Everyone knows what prostitution is. Sex for money has long been widely known as the oldest profession. For many centuries this occupation brought profit to the brothel owners and often led the prostitutes themselves to the very heights of power. However, at all times they paid for their “easy” work with serious illnesses, early aging and, often, childlessness. Did they do it just for the money? Let’s figure it out …
Yes, men love women, women love men. Both those and others love money. Therefore, many people believe that it was with the advent of money that prostitution arose as a profitable profession.
Nothing like this! Prostitution appeared as a sacred, religious act. In ancient times, sex was considered a symbol of fertility, a symbol of a mystical merger with the deity, so the priestesses of love were elevated to the rank of cult figures and deified! When temples replaced the ancient cults that took place in the open air, the goddesses of love got their premises there, where she was engaged in ritual copulations.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus describes temple prostitution in Babylon as follows:
“Each Babylonian should once in her life sit in the sanctuary of Aphrodite (Militta) and surrender herself to a stranger for money. Many women, proud of their wealth, consider it unworthy to mix with (the crowd) of other women. They arrive in closed wagons, accompanied by many servants, and stop near the sanctuary. Most women do this: in the sacred site of Aphrodite, many women are sitting with bandages of rope bundles on their heads. (…) A woman sitting here cannot return home until some stranger throws money into her hem and connects to her outside the sacred site. Throwing money to a woman , he must say: “I urge you to serve the goddess Militet!” The fee can be arbitrarily small. Refusing to take money to a girl is not allowed, since this money is sacred. After intercourse, having fulfilled the sacred duty to the goddess, she goes home and then you will not take possession of her again for any money. ”
For many centuries, prostitution remained a “godly” affair. And only with the advent of Christianity does prostitution become a “dirty” occupation, and sex is declared “sin”. And it is precisely with the advent of Christianity that the myth that prostitution appeared as an “easy” way to earn money is connected. This is proved by the fact that in countries where Christian ideas are not very widespread (and these are India, Korea, Japan, Thailand), prostitutes are treated not as “fallen women”, but as “priestesses of love”.
In India, for example, religious prostitution still exists in the person of Devadasi (better known in Europe as bayaderes), whose duties include not only dancing, fanning idols and wearing sacred lamps, but also attracting rich people to the temple. Therefore, Devadasi girls have always served not only temple ministers, but also pilgrims. And when the British colonialists of India, adhering to strict Christian morality, found out about this – they were horrified and threw all the devadasis into the street.
But, despite this, the cult of “sacred prostitutes” did not disappear. Until now, in India, the goddess Yellamm, the patroness of “sacred prostitutes,” is respected, and the “schools” of devadasis continue to teach girls tantric sex and deliver their “graduates” to temples.
So the evidence is there. Yes, in Christian countries, prostitution is a shady business that brings good income to those who are scornfully called “pimps”. But in the East, everything is somewhat different: there religious traditions do not always turn into business … Maybe that is why at all times people looked with hope to the East?