A friend of mine told me an interesting fact the other day. Which is not unusual, my friends know that I am a total geek and that the best way to keep me amused and interested is to exchange facts with me. To hell with gossip, give me a good facting. Anyway, here is the fact from my friend who lived in Firenze for many years. In Italy up until the nineteen fifties it was pretty much established practise for a father or uncle to take a boy of fifteen or so to the local brothel to lose their virginity. Which seems quite sensible and practical to me, being a well established whore mongerer. Having a boy taught how to make love with a woman is a very good idea, as it takes away the nervousness of the first time, and if the right women is chosen also makes it a much more enjoyable experience than with a total novice, no matter how enthusiastic she might be. At least one partner knows what they are doing!
But then it occurred to me that something about the arrangement was rather misogynistic. Not having the young men lose their virginity to experienced, skilled and attractive older women who happen to be professional escort girls. Obviously I am extremely cool with that. But what about the young girls? Who did they lose their virginity to and who taught them to be good lovers? Were they expected to accept and manage with the half-skilled fumblings of the boys who had visited prostitutes? And the answer is that of course they were.
Now, a naïve reading of history would then extrapolate that into an explanation of why whores and prostitutes were so popular in history prior to the sexual revolution. Women became wives were inexperienced and unskilled lovers and probably had severe hang ups and negative views about sex, so their men folk went to whores to get a good skilled female lover who was also willing and able to do all the things that they might want to meet their licentious needs. And, indeed, could introduce them to new ones.
All of that makes sense. Until you realise that it is fifty years since the sexual revolution and men still use prostitutes in huge number everywhere in the world, despite the fact that women are now able to have sex without fear of pregnancy and are bombarded with positive views about sex and encouraged by the media and their peers to do and try everything once. So there is a major disconnect somewhere.