Silky

petite, bohemian, feminine goth lady, femme fatale, and sexy trollop of wild abandon...
prostitute of the streets, kept woman, whore...I am all of these...with total abandon

'in truth…she is a salamander, she is a nymph…she is a bacchante of the menelean mount.'

My Desires:

all of France, especially Paris
Italian men
sultry dark eyes
the seductive feel of black velvet and black silk
black garters and black silk stockings
esoterica
the occult
blood vampirism
erotica
the night

Venus

Venus

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Orleans: Courtesans In The Big Easy

A few years ago, I purchased "Storyville Portraits", a fascinating book containing the pictures of New Orleans prostitutes taken by photographer E.J. Bellocq circa 1912. Between 1897 and 1917, New Orleans had numerous legalized brothels, ranging from elegant establishments to seedy rooms known as "cribs", within Storyville, the city's red light district.

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Some of the prostitutes who posed for Bellocq were dressed in formal evening attire, some were naked, some were clad in their undergarments. He had developed a comfortable rapport with these ladies and allowed them to pose any way they wished.

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Bellocq's beautiful and haunting photos provided the inspiration for Louis Malle's 1978 film "Pretty Baby".

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While a few of the photos might be considered a bit risqué by some, they are not exploitative, and in fact, depict a loving and even somewhat poignant view of ladies of the evening in a more innocent and gracious era.

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2 comments:

  1. Bellocq's is a vey interesting story. I'm curious to know if any of the photos in the book appear damaged. There must have been people who really opposed his work, or were just jealous of his lifestyle. Fascinating

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  2. Some of the photos that appear in the Storyville book were indeed damaged; some of the girls' faces had been deliberately scratched out. Historians have never been able to determine who did it or why.

    As to any jealousy over his lifestyle: he was actually not the sort of person to inspire either jealousy or envy - he suffered from a malformation of his body, which made his appearance unusual-looking. As a result, he was painfully shy, almost to the point of being a recluse. As far as is known, he was probably not sexually active and simply kept to himself. Although Bellocq earned a pretty good living as a commercial photographer, he was not well-known, even in New Orleans.

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"So sweet and delicious do I become,
when I am in bed with a man
who, I sense, loves and enjoys me,
that the pleasure I bring excels all delight,
so the knot of love, however tight
it seemed before, is tied tighter still."
— Veronica Franco (Poems and Selected Letters)

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