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Have you met your inner courtesan?


In exactly 16 days, a group of 65 women will board a plane and land in Paris.
These women are part of my intimate inner circle called The Creation Course.
Our purpose?
For each of us to ignite and inspire and re-consecrate our Inner Courtesan, in the city that gave birth to her.
We are headed on a “Courtesan’s Tour of Paris.”

There are certain words that reach off the page and tug you awake.
“Paris” is one of those words.
“Courtesan” is another.

Why Paris?
Well, if we are going to study something, anything, at the School of Womanly Arts, we head straight for the top, the best, the most iconic.
And Paris? She is unsurpassable.
Paris presses you right up against a gorgeous limestone wall, like a hungry lover, and forces you to remember a forgotten part of yourself. She reminds you that you are more than your hard work; you are more than struggle, striving, and stress. She whispers, “You are poetry, you are beauty, you are magic, you are worthy of worship. Let me serve you the best, the most beautiful, the most delectable. Let me surround you with inspiration, with gorgeous gardens, fabulous cathedrals, winding rivers, exquisite art, to remind you who you are, and connect you to your eternal, incandescent beauty.”
This beauty that you have been longing for has been longing for you.

Why Courtesan?
I know what you might be thinking…and I want to take you in a new direction.
I want to invite you into the world of the Courtesan. In this case, the Courtesan for the twenty-first century. For centuries, successful courtesans were the most free women on the planet. From fifteenth-century Rome to nineteenth-century Paris, courtesans charmed Europe’s most important leaders, beguiled their way to power, wealth, education, and sexual freedom. They were the arbiters of style, fashion, and trends. Courtesans had the right to own property, to control their own money, to be educated, and to choose their lovers. They cultivated the Womanly Arts. This was a far cry from the other women, who had none of these privileges. Even noblewomen from wealthy families were considered the property of their fathers and husbands. They were denied all the freedoms we take for granted today. Actually, feminism arose because of the courtesan. Women saw the freedom that courtesans possessed, and wanted to experience that for themselves.

My definition of a twenty-first-century Courtesan is this: a woman who knows and owns herself sensually. She lives via her desires, rather than her obligations or other people’s blueprints for her. She explores the world with gusto, saying an enthusiastic yes to whatever she wants. Her pleasure is her first priority. She uses all the womanly arts—surrendering to her pleasure, having fun wherever she is, owning herself sensually, owning her beauty, flirting, loving her inner bitch, inviting abundance, and training her men. She is aware of the privilege of being in her presence, aware of the impact of her beauty, aware of the radiance of her sensuality. She deeply appreciates the men and women in her life. She deeply appreciates and relishes every drop of her life.

Let me give you an example of how the Courtesan informs my life. Two weeks ago, when I was in Spain, hiking 115 kilometers of the Camino in freezing rain and hail for six days, I have to tell you, I was cranky. I had never been in such a challenging physical situation, in such difficult weather. At home, when challenged by rain and hail, I take a taxi. I don’t walk.
I wanted to stop. Or cheat and hitch a ride on a tractor. I wanted to quit. When my whiney cranky side lashes out and says, “I hate hiking in the pouring rain! I have blisters!! My hiking boots are wet! In fact, every inch of me, inside and outside of my not-so-protective rain gear is soaked! I cannot walk another step, ” the Courtesan in me comes to the rescue.
She sails in like Cleopatra on her golden barge, inside me, knowing her next opportunity for mischief and sacred merriment has just arrived. My Cranky slinks away, and the Courtesan takes over. She wonders, how can we weave this tale of overwhelm into a fantastical, sexy, sacred adventure?

What did I do? Every day, under my hiking gear, I wore lacey, sexy lingerie. I took time to put on lip gloss, mascara, and my favorite perfume, every morning. At the end of my hiking day, I showered, changed, and dressed in my one dress-up outfit, for dinner. I insisted on remembering my beauty, and taking delight in the experience of being a woman, no matter what.

My Courtesan is an aspect of what defines me, inhabits me, and orients me, surfaces, winds around my being like wafting perfume, paths a direction as count-on-able and numinous as the North Star, and encases me in the delicious erotic elixir of the exquisite essence of the woman I am. She awakens my spirit to the privilege of life itself, despite the challenging circumstances.
So what does this legendary figure offer us today?
Why am I, and a gang of my most intimate cohorts from the Creation Course, heading to Paris to reunite with our Inner Courtesans?

Because we are more than we know.
Because we will not rest until we live every drop of the legend that we were born to live.
Because the poetry in our souls commands us.
Because savoring the privilege of being a woman has become a preoccupation and a necessity.
Because sensuality is our way of life.

Come, climb out of the box, and be a twenty-first-century courtesan with me from wherever you are. Take the time to let your desires, rather than other people’s opinions, rule your life. Experience the rush of freedom as a woman, as a Courtesan.

In the comments below, I want to know—what does the Courtesan inspire in you? What would it look like to live a life designed by your desires?

If you’d like to take it one step further, take this exercise from my book, Mama Gena’s Owner’s and Operator’s guide to Men:

Write Your Story

Write an essay on what it would be like to abandon yourself to your desires. To live with abandon. To surrender yourself completely to love. To become the heroine in your own novel.

Be sure to report back. And if you’d like to remind another woman of her poetry, of her inner Courtesan, please share this post. Over the next few weeks, my Creation Course will be preparing for our “Courtesan’s Tour of Paris,” and I’ll be sharing little bon-bons of our journey with you here on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter, so keep an eye out!

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. We have some exciting, new developments in store for the next Creation Course. If you’re a Mastery grad interested in learning more about this program, you can find more information here or call us at 212-787-2411 x1.

P.P.S. Check out a video of our Palace staff “Under Pressure” entrance from this past Mastery weekend!


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22 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Anonymous January 13, 2016, 1:39 pm

    Love this article, though I’m seeing it almost three years after being written. I am a courtesan and this philosophy of empowerment can carry one far. Carry on, and embrace your inner courtesan.

  • Margo Kay May 11, 2013, 9:55 pm

    I want to share something I recently wrote in my journal with all you rockstar sister goddesses out there. It was inspired, of course, my something I read on this site:

    “I read a quote recently which said- “Life is a banquet, and most poor bastards out there are starving” – Aunti Mame. I encountered this quote shortly after metaphorically tying a napkin around my neck, putting on my Thanksgiving pants, and preparing to dig in.

    It was a terrible Tuesday at work. I was feeling sick from what turned out to be a stomach virus, upset about the Boston Marathon bombing the day before, and noticing the absence of my great-aunt who passed away at the glorious old age of 99 that Saturday. Feeling anxious about heading into May with the work and school obligations it would require, I had the resounding thought in my mind: I need a break, I need a boost, I need a vacation. Amazingly, I listened.

    What’s really amazing is how often I neglect to listen to my inner guide’s messages, even when they’re being shouted into my ear. I had deprived myself of a true space, a true break to get in touch and regenerate for too long. Letting obligations take priority over my desires, like a big ugly weed casting too much shadow over a budding flower. So, on the very spot at work, I booked myself a flight to Arizona, (which was over 2000 miles away and the randomly the first place to pop into my mind). The next day I booked myself a king deluxe room with red rock views, a spa jacuzzi, and a patio in Sedona. I decided all this would be for me, that I would sit down at the head of a banquet table set for one for no other reason than that I am me- gloriously and deliciously alive and deserving a treat because what else is the point of life? I decided to show up for myself, listen to my voice, and choose divine Desire.”

    Oh, and the trip was delicious 🙂 Thanks for listening, and for the inspiration!

    • Janet February 4, 2017, 11:13 am

      so thrilked tobread your divinely inspired account of listening yo tir inner teacher and the sheer pleasure , just for you that was you’re reward. Bliss. Great community here .

  • marijana April 22, 2013, 7:35 am

    I have to share my last weeks experience with you. I believe I followed some of Mama Gena’s tools.
    I had to go to another city to do my annual MRI screening, and I thought to my self, no biggy, I’ve done this many times, I shouldn’t stress about it, and so on. But.. it is stressful, it is hard, it is not a party. The results may not be good, the trip is exhausting, and probably the worst (saddest) of all is that I’m all alone. But you gotta do what you gotta do..
    So I’ve put on my red Chanel Incandescente lipstick, let my hair down and decided to think of my screening as an opportunity to take nap and relax. Guess what? I got complimented for both my hair and my lips and got good results from the screening. 🙂

    Love to you Mama Gena, enjoy Paris!

  • SG Tamara April 22, 2013, 12:11 am

    I’m sitting here wondering if my pussy has enough time to conjure that trip! Omg, Mama, Paris – that sounds so divine.

    I finally got to read this week’s blog, and wow! What can I say: I was a Sister Goddess Courtesan this weekend on SO many levels. I hadn’t been taking good care of myself in recent months. But, the strange part was that I hadn’t noticed (really) until Friday. My boyfriend of about one year used a tone of voice with me that he had never used before, and that is when I realized that I had been giving him too much and that he was not appreciative of the time and energy that I was investing in him. So, after spending practically every free moment with him for the last year, I decided to take my time back, starting Friday, and let him miss me some. Mama, this weekend has been so so so beautiful and free. I did some volunteering Friday and Saturday. Then, after working yesterday, went to a high-end grocery store and bought some goodies for me: rosemary artisan bread rolls, sliced swiss cheese, organic strawberries, dark-chocolate-covered short bread cookies (from France!), and lime sparkling water. It was what I desired – and I got it for myself. Oh yeah, and I colored my grey hairs black, got a hair cut, had my eyebrows threaded, and a mani/pedi. When I went to church this morning, I felt like such a goddess. I felt so beautiful and I knew that I did the best thing for myself.

    I’m so thankful! And then, after reading your blog tonight, I began to understand why my actions this weekend were so important.

    My boyfriend wanted me to spend the night tonight, but I’m having so much time with me. . . he’ll have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂

    Love and blessings to you, Mama – and all of my other SG’s!!

  • Deborah Smith April 18, 2013, 12:23 am

    Ahh. Coming off that fantastic second Mastery weekend, this blog filled me with a sense of power and purpose, to live totally into my pleasure. Marvelous.

  • Dani April 17, 2013, 6:31 pm

    I am totally intoxicated and infatuated after reading this post! THANK YOU MAMA!!! I needed this. I just received a waft of my own inner Courtesan and she definitely has my full attention now. I must let her out to play and invite her to stay as an active part of ME and show her she is welcome. Intuitively I know that being infatuated with myself and life keeps me happy and healthy. It is time I return to my splendor.

    Enjoy your trip! Looking forward to the “jewels” you bring back with you to share with us 🙂


  • Anne April 17, 2013, 2:53 pm

    I love this blog. I am slowly surrendering to the idea of the courtesan. I, as well as many others I’m sure, have always thought of the courtesan as a kind of sad character! Beautiful, fashionable, choosing her own way, sleeping with whomever she wants, but never being fully accepted by society, somewhat shunned, and ultimately without lifelong companionship because no one would really marry a courtesan. Clearly, I need to read up a little more on this topic because that’s not your description at all! Research here I come.

    My favorite frame of your blog: “My definition of a twenty-first-century Courtesan is this: a woman who knows and owns herself sensually. She lives via her desires, rather than her obligations or other people’s blueprints for her. She explores the world with gusto, saying an enthusiastic yes to whatever she wants. ” This is how I want to live my life. And now that I have the Courtesan’s Map I know I’m on the road.

    Bon voyage and thank you, Mama Gena!

  • jewels April 16, 2013, 2:05 pm

    being a modern-day courtesan . . . yes, that is the life

    your books started it . . . my curiosity took it further . . . and now LIFE is fantastic

    thank you Regena!

  • SG Grace April 16, 2013, 12:55 pm

    What fun to read this blog post, Mama Gena! You helped me learn something about an experience in my past…after studying French in high school and then college and traveling to France in college, I just couldn’t quit and so after graduation, packed up and moved to Paris, presumably for six months. That lasted 18 months. Ooooh, the adventures I had in that beguiling city! The amazing people I met! After reading your post, now I see how my inner Courtesan was leading the way the whole time. She was unstoppable. I just didn’t have that language to describe it back then. I just lived it. But she was definitely in the driver’s seat! I had a romantic intercontinental courtship that ended with my engagement in Paris. That husband is in my past, but that chapter was a great, grand adventure. Thank you for sparking those memories and reminding me to keep her in the driver’s seat.

  • Barbara April 16, 2013, 10:29 am

    By the end of reading this blog, my posture had changed completely. I am now poised, graceful, taller, and can feel all the stretchy muscles in my legs, arms, back, and pelvis. Your words have such power Mama Gena. Time for a brag. I’ve been sporting a leather coat with fox fur collar for five years and it’s showing signs of wear. On a whim, I checked ebay to see if I could find a replacement. The exact same coat, brand new, (same color and size) was for sale, and I bought it for under $20. The Powers That Be say I am destined to be a beauty. Surely the Goddess is watching over me.

    • Mama Gena April 23, 2013, 11:03 am

      well bragged, barbara!

  • BSG Glitzy Cougar Karen April 16, 2013, 9:50 am

    I am so envious! I want to conjure the most juicy courtesan trip to Paris, all expenses paid.
    That said, this was an important one to read to remind me to keep stepping into my courtesan right now, as I’m writing, in my S Factor long red skirt or buzzing about NYC, wearing my dangling earrings and a little cleavage as the weather gets warmer.

    Next to Paris, I live in one of the sexiest cities in the world, so until I conjure that, I’m going to work on it here.
    And by the way Regena, you ROCKED this weekend…they just keep getting better!

    • Mama Gena April 23, 2013, 11:02 am

      glitzy, you are a courtesan on fire! so great to have you there…

  • Ellen Levin April 16, 2013, 9:23 am

    Thank you for the early morning reminder of the great privilege of life and to live from our desires. I always include your daily fluffs and blogs as part of my SELF LOVE / SELF CARE early morning daily rituals.
    Bon Voyage!
    SG WARRIOR ellen

    • Mama Gena April 23, 2013, 11:01 am

      honored to be included in your morning rituals, thanks ellen!

  • veronica April 16, 2013, 9:06 am (restaurant lounge hotel and seminar rooms too) I’m not working there it’s just i fell in love with it once.
    great place in Paris near champs elysees

  • Paris April 16, 2013, 7:39 am

    This course sounds wonderful! If I could, I would definitely sign up and take my feiend Rachel with me (she introduced me to your books/videos). One of my favorite movies is “Dangerous Beauty” about an Italian Courtesan. The book “Art of Seduction” is interesting too. But a Mama Gena class in Paris? Wow!! What an amazing time you will have. Hope you write about it afterwards for the rest of us. Bon voyage, Mama!

  • dana April 16, 2013, 7:00 am

    Hi Mama Gena,

    Such a great article! I needed to read this as a pick me up first thing this morning:-)
    And Paris sounds so fun! I had no idea you do this as part of some of your courses!

    I do have a question for you: At your intro in January, you mentioned an author that wrote a book on courtesans. Could you pretty please say the name of the author and book again?

    What inspires me about the courtesan? So much! The sexual freedom, seduction, and power! I love that she walks in confidence.

    You are so inspiring and I really enjoy your posts and your book!
    Thank you!

    • Mama Gena April 23, 2013, 11:00 am

      absolutely, the book was written by susan griffin. glad you enjoyed the post!

  • kirsten stendevad April 16, 2013, 6:55 am

    you´re simply the best.
    Love ya

    • Mama Gena April 23, 2013, 10:59 am

      back atcha, sister