We do something a little different in this episode after we get acquainted with 1st c BCE Roman courtesan Domina Lucretia Natta in our courtesan interview. Signora Justina di Silvestri is on hand to share some creepy stories in honor of the holiday season. We explore the medieval relationship with death and mortality as manifested through the Memento Mori trope. Their perspective was very unlike our own and might give you an interesting take on your own impending demise. Then we dig into the lore on one of my favorite murderesses of yore: Giula Tofana, an apothecary who is rumored to have murdered over 600 people. We wrap up with a story of a corrupt and murderous cult shared with us by Lucretia Natta from the histories of Livy. This story has everything: Sex, death, poisoning, broken taboos, treason, familicide, and most importantly of all for us here, a happy ending for the courtesan. And her boyfriend.
We get back together for an amazing take two of our conversation and it does not disappoint. Lord Gideon shares his thoughts on bardic arts, self-expression, the importance of using your privilege for good, suggestions on how to do that in the SCA, his experiences fighting predators in the Kingdom of Atlantia, and the life experiences that have honed his bardic skills. Then we move the conversation along to his perspective on being a Patron and his relationship with his courtesan companion Lady Héloise de Bruyères. If you’ve ever wanted to create something, particularly to express yourself, Lord Gideon has some advice for you that you simply cannot miss. Information about KWC activities at War of the Wings, 10/17-21, Booneville NC and a call for courtesans planning to attend Gulf Wars, 3/9-16, Lumberton, MS, to join us for the first ever Courtesan’s Ball, Tuesday, March 12, 9 PM-Midnight.
Part two of our two-part focus on sexual assault in insular groups like the SCA. A perspective on false accusations based on their frequency according to law enforcement. The predator’s tool kit unpacked, at least a little. We discuss some of the effects the frequency of sexual assault in our culture may be having on all of us. Angela and I go through the current SCA grievance process and discuss step-by-step how it works for complaints of sexual assault, rape, and harassment. She offers specific advice for how to improve the process and explains how the current process fosters divisiveness within the society. We walk through how to judge your group’s preparedness for these issues and work to protect your organization legally and morally. We wind down by discussing how easy it is to cross the line, what to do when you realize you have, and how to know when someone truly is a predator.
Part one of a two-part episode with special guest Angela Aylward, a sociologist with a focus of study on culture in insular groups. We delve deep into the uncomfortable topic of sexual assault, walking through the phenomenon step by step and discussing the issues that arise around it. In this portion of the conversation, we discuss common responses people have to hearing accusations of sexual assault or harassment, explain the “missing stair” analogy, and have a very basic discussion about handling sexual assault in gaming communities. Part two is available now as an early release on our Patreon: www.patreon.com/whorestoculture
Though the idea of being an asexual sex worker seems contradictory, in this episode Signora Justina di Silvestri and I explore what it means to be a woman who embraces this persona. We discuss patrons, gender identity, sexuality, consent and more. Then we ask the really important questions: What kind of garb should Tom Hiddleston wear? Would you have sex with him? 😉
Domina Marcella wants to create a sex worker persona who walks the streets of ancient Rome to ply her trade. Specifically, a registered middle-class prostitute called a Meretrix. We discuss how perfect Roman clothes are for when it’s terribly hot outside, and start to build her Roman persona around her wardrobe choices and interests. We also have a great deal of fun chatting about our fond memories ogling men together.
Honesta Domina Calpurnia Fortunata and I start to dig in to the nuts and bolts of crafting a persona in the SCA. We discuss how to get started and how to know when you’ve finally got the right fit. Then we delve into our personas a bit and discuss the ins and outs of sex work in the Roman era.
A lively discussion with Mistress Magdalena la Sanguini and guest Tawwad ibn Jabreel about homosexuality in the medieval Muslim world, gender expression throughout history, partying in the modern middle ages, and how to be a fabulous gay courtesan. Courtesan Theatre features a sultry sonnet from Lord Gideon ap Stephen and Baroness Fortune St Keyne has some advice on dressing to attract attention in the debut of our segment Getting Ahead from Bed.
Due to some issues recording, this episode is a bit shorter than our “standard” length. We still had a fantastic conversation in the salon, as well as a very special original performance from Lord Gideon ap Stephen of Atlantia that will make your jaw drop! Listen at work, if you DARE! We discussed what it means to wear the crown in our modern middle ages, and the paths that led Baroness Fortune St. Keyne and Baroness Bianca Anguissola to discover their courtesan personas.