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Courtesans were never short on lovers. Though many of them also had other professions, mainly in the theaters or dance halls. Courtesans were some of the wealthier people of the time and this was largely due to the fact that men were in constant demand of what they offered.
When a man took on a courtesan it was a status symbol. They were intelligent and well taught in all areas of daily life. Men kept their own wives demure and docile while they spent a great deal of their time with courtesans who were certainly none of the above.
Though their profession was looked down upon it thrived simply because they embodied everything that the men of that time wanted.