Thursday, February 18, 2016



The Harlot by Andrea Monroe
You read it right. I said slut. This was not the first time or the exact word my ex-boyfriend used to insult my integrity. What he actually said was HARLOT. Now, who uses that word these days anyway? Him...that's who. But I'll get into the story of why he verbally abused me after we visit all the sexually jousting labels women of the evening have been called for centuries.

Let's begin with a little history. The "oldest profession in the world," according to Wikipedia, is prostitution or the business of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment. A person who works in this field is called a prostitute (and otherwise as you will shortly learn). Prostitute is derived from the Latin prostitua, a composition of pro and stature, which means to cause to stand, to station, place erect, in other words "to put up front for sale." Because most of us know what a prostitute (male or female) does, I don't need to get into details. But for the sake of keeping on point in my article, I will address  the names women have been called under the general umbrella of sex for hire.

In alphabetical order we have: ball buster, bawd, bitch, call girl, changa, chippie, cock-chafer, cocotte, coquette, courtesan, cyprian, moll, moxie, drab, fancy woman, flirt, floozy, lady of easy virtue, lady of pleasure, lady of the night, libertine, harlot, ho, hooker, hussy, hustler, scarlet woman, siren, slattern, slut, street walker, strumpet, tart, temptress, ten o'clock girl, third legger, tickle tail, tramp, vamp, wench, whore, and working girl.

The Oiran and her Pussy by Andrea Monroe
Then there's the historical terminologies: ying-chi—the first Chinese prostitutes, devadasis—women forced into prostitution in the service of the Hindu goddess, Yellamma, comfort women—recruited Korean women sent to brothels for Japanese military pleasure during WWII, auletrides—Greek prostitutes with added talents like juggling, acrobatics, and dancing, ganika—an elite tier of Indian prostitution, zonah—female prostitute of the Hebrew Bible, hetaira—high class courtesan of Athens (so great was her beauty she'd sit as a model for statues of Aphrodite), and oiran—distinguished prostitute of Japan (unlike the Geisha who were primarily entertainers).

Now, back to me. First off, I'm not a prostitute, a hussy, or a whore. Even in my somewhat promiscuous years during the sexually driven 80s did I EVER take a cent for my services—I mean affairs. Come to think of it, if I had, I'd probably be a pretty wealthy woman today (after investments in Apple, of course). But alas, I'm just a working girl of a different kind who also paints—AND tolerates insults given by frustrated ex-boyfriends. So, why did he call me a harlot? I'm still not sure. We'd been bantering in emails about something that seems so meaningless now. But I do think he got himself fueled over a FB profile picture I'd used—a selfie created by Photo Booth on my Mac of me haughtily looking at the camera, arms sorta crossed in front of me to push what little I have in the my chest area up into suppulent bosom-ness. Here's the "come hither" photo below.

I'm asking you—is this too over the top? Do you see any nipples showing? My tongue is in my mouth, right? I think its perfect for someone who is newly divorced and over fifty. That decree alone gives carte blanche to any middle-aged woman who hopes to appeal to the opposite sex. Plus—a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get a little nookie—I mean, attention around here. All kidding aside, my self-portrait did not warrant anyone calling me a name nobody has used since 12th Century England. Needless to say, his doing so kinda pissed me off—like to no end and back and to no end again. But instead of pin balling it out there in the twilight zone of anger and despair, I decided to take that negative energy and make it (better yet—paint it) into something more positive. Thus, The Harlot series was born.

Mind you, the series is a work in progress. I've only painted three so far—two of them are pictured here. I have every intention of doing more that will evidently reflect a mixture of history, color, pattern, and my sense of humor. The only problem I foresee in getting any done in a timely manner is I have my regular non-prostitutional day job to attend to and the fact that I really don't have any more ex-boyfriends to insult me. Sometimes one just needs that little blast up the ass to get a painting off the ground. Until then, I may not be up for sale, but the paintings are. 

Prints of The Harlot series are available for purchase on Etsy. The original paintings (that are NOT small btw) are available through me at