Prostitutes in Rome had a low social respect due to the fact that they were trading their body in exchange for survival. Actors, dancers or musicians had a similarly low opinion. Interestingly, people from the middle or high social class were not allowed to engage in prostitution.
In addition, the woman of light morals had no access to public events and could not accuse the attacker of rape.
Interestingly, prostitution was a great tool for men’s sexual initiation. It was unacceptable to experience your first time with candidates for wives or matrons. The need for physical contact led them to harlots. Patterns derived from homes were also significant. Sons, seeing or hearing about the fact that their fathers use the services of prostitutes, considered it normal and obvious. The behavior of family heads was an example for them. It seems highly probable that the fathers themselves at least suggested their son’s contact with prostitutes. After all, starting sex life was a sign of their child’s masculinity and adulthood.
Grimal Pierre, Miłość w starożytnym Rzymie, Warszawa 2005
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