the wealthy man

Chapter IV from 'The ecstasies of Eros,
 wherein the male comes to play off his economic power against female beauty
and thus manages to force the unwilling woman to sexual surrender; wherein the male makes the mother to his wife and the woman to his whore;
wherrin money transforms sexual intercourse into the simultaneity of theft and rape; wherein the exchange of beauty for wealth comes to oppose old rich men with beautiful women, and estranges man and woman alike from their original sexual and parental nature; wherein, finally, man reduces woman to an image.'

The amphitheatre of wealth
Modalities of the exchange
Three kinds of women, one man
The brothel
The beautiful man (2)
The beauty and the purse
Mortificatio Veneris.
Mortificatio Martis (1): loss of manhood
Mortificatio Martis (2): loss of fatherhood
shrinking of lifetime
The theatre of shadows
There is polygamy and polygamy (2)


'If a man is not strong and rich he will obtain nothing from women' Nefzawi in 'The perfumed Garden' (p. 78).

In the previous chapter, we described how love falls apart in seduction, lovemaking and parenthood and how the complete sexual being falls apart in a seducer, a lover and a parent. Through such falling apart, men were transformed into insatiable satyrs gathering around the most beautiful but frigid woman in the amphitheatre. This drama is the outcome of the perverse trend inbuilt in every love. As such, it is an eternal, unchangeable and natural given. Time has come to investigate which factors are responsible for the historical variations on this theme.

A first series of factors only enhance the opposition between Venus frigida and Mars insatiatus, without changing it qualitatively. Thus, it is apparent that, on a tribal level, the pyramid of desirability is rather modest: the top is not high and the base not broad. The groups wherein the competition occurs are small, the levelling effects of inbreeding too strong and the environment to which the small groups are exposed too equal to cause great tensions. Only the development of trade and the formation of cities and states, the corollary development of techniques of transport or communication, more still the development of specialised arenas such as baths and saunas, promenades and theatres, but foremost the development of techniques for the production of images, broaden the base and heighten the top.

Increasing differences in political and economic power in the course of human history, though, are a factor that not only heightens the tensions, but makes them qualitatively change into an open, disrupting conflict.

For a proper understanding of this process, we should return to the beautiful man that we left somewhat neglected in the previous chapter. Not only the women, who had no eyes for his beauty, but also we ourselves are responsible for his deplorable position. We forgot to point to other qualities, for which women have keener eyes. In the chapter on the primeval mother, we described how the primeval mother as the prime mover set her men to work. Meanwhile, we know that the most powerful weapon to reach that goal are not so much the cries of childbirth, but her blinding beauty, with which she seduces the male with the greatest economic power. For him, women fall as irresistibly as men for the most beautiful woman. In front of the amphitheatre of beauty appears the new complementary amphitheatre of wealth.

Also in this amphitheatre, there are no dramatic differences in the earliest phases of human history. On the contrary, tribal economy is out at levelling every inequality. There may be big intertribal differences, but, since there are no intertribal marriages, these cannot play a role in mate choice. Things are different as soon as trade and cities develop. The differences between hunters in a tribe dwindle in the face of the gap that yawns between a mighty pharaoh and a poor peasant, between a rich merchant and a poor manufacturer, between a wealthy capitalist and his workers. It appears that a minority of men succeeded in boosting up their economical power, at the detriment of an increasing majority. Further in this chapter, we will describe which motives induce women to build up and to boost their economical power. In expectance, we concentrate on the consequences of the seizure of power by the men: it has been the rule up to recently and continues to determine sexual relations in a fundamental way.

The appearance of the wealthy man has its influence on the choice of partners. While formerly all the men desired the most beautiful woman, now women begin to desire the man at the top of an ever more impressive and world encompassing pyramid of wealth. The economic pyramids of male power comes to oppose the aesthetic pyramid of women. Also this pyramid begins to dwindle as soon as the women begin to choose. The choice takes the form of the exchange of beauty against wealth.

This time, the result is no factual monogamy, as when beauty is exchanged against beauty. The wealthiest man can get all the women, but he restricts himself to the most beautiful. Since he has lots of money, and since the sexual reluctance of the women makes him insatiable, he will gather as many women in his harem as possible. After he has made his choice, it is the turn of the men on the lower steps of the pyramid. Also they have sufficient means to lure more than one woman into their harem. Next, it is the turn of the middle bracket whose income suffices for merely one woman. They have to content themselves with the crumbs fallen from the rich men's table. Finally, it is the turn of those men who are economically so castrated that they cannot keep a woman at all.

This pattern appears already in the tribal stage. Only the chief can permit himself more than one wife. The rest have to setlle for one single woman, while the young men who are dispossessed by the chief may feel lucky when they are allowed to share the wife of their eldest brother (fraternal polyandry). Only after the formation of states and empires and the development of trade do we witness the completed version of this pattern in the harem, as we described it in chapter I ('The primeval father').


Females have all interest in selling themselves to the man nearest to the top or on the top itself. That such a man wants to keep several women is no obstacle. First, it is more profitable to share the purse of a wealthy man that to have a monopoly on the purse of a down and out. But above all can women now share the burden of motherhood, sexual commerce and household or relegate it to women of a lesser rank. That is a far more attractive perspective than to be a sexual partner, a mother and a housekeeper in a monogamous marriage. Together with the possibility to build out a polyandrous harem of working men, this is the reason why many a women prefers polygyny above monogamy. That is why many a beautiful has no objection in being lured into a male harem. When all the harems are filled, there are still many women that want to find a partner, but the candidates have not the required economical power or the women are not attractive enough. There is a surplus of women, this time not because there are more women, nor because they would be all more than beautiful, but because the sum purchasing power of the rich men would not suffice to buy them all.

The men that bought the women, abduct them from the scene, impregnate them and thus make them sexually reluctant. That is why it occurs to many a man to maintain the sexual attractiveness of his women by sparing them the fate of motherhood. Such a women is far more cheaper: he has to maintain no children, and a women only as long as she is attractive. Since the cost of women decreases, the number of males that can permit themselves a women increases accordingly.

Men can lower the cost of keeping a women still further by paying their partners, that are already reduced to sexual beings, only for the duration of sexual commerce, or, to phrase it differently: by letting other men have intercourse with them when they are busy elsewhere. For the men, that means that their sexual partners become still more cheap: they pay merely for fragments of the period that they are sexually attractive, while other men pay for the other fragments. The huge sums spent in harems for keeping women who are the more idle the more the harem is bigger, are sheer waste. Also women have an interest in this arrangement: their beauty is far more productive when they make an optimal use of their assets. Or, to phrase it with Vatsyayana in the Kama Sutra: 'A courtesan that can make much money every day by serving many clients, should not confine herself to one single lover.' Women have to work harder now, but that lends them a higher economical status than to marry on a lower step of the pyramid. Through the creation of such cheaper women, the number of men that can become polygamous (or that can get a woman in the first place)increases. Next to the feudal lords, also merchants begin to keep concubines, and on the lowest steps of the pyramid (for example with the countless soldiers) whoredom begins to flourish.


From an economical point of view, there are henceforward three kinds of woman. First, there is the legal wife: a woman that becomes a mother and engages in a lifelong relation with a husband that is a lover and a father. A wife is an unspecialised, complete woman: she is first beautiful, becomes a mother and tries to remain beautiful in function of her motherhood. Concubines and whores, on the other hand, are specialised women, who want to be women but no mothers, half women hence, and they are maintained by men who are equally specialised men, who want to be merely men, but no fathers, half a man hence. They can only sell themselves during the seven beautiful years of their life. The whore discerns herself from the concubine in that she sells herself in fragments to fragments of a half man. To summarise: a wife is a woman that sells herself first as a woman and than as a mother to a whole man; a concubine is half woman that sells herself during a fragment of her life to a half man; a whore is a fragment of a woman that sells herself during a fragment of her life in fragments to fragments of a man. We are dealing with three economical modalities of the sexual relation, that should not be blurred under the motto that it are all economical relations and that women 'sell' themselves in all the cases. the term 'whore' can only metaphorically be used for the economical position of a wife. It is equally mistaken to promote the beautiful woman of the previous chapter to a 'whore' - like Weininger and in popular speech. that would come down to obliterating the difference between spontaneous seduction and cool calculation.

To become the wife of a rich men is the most desirable position for a woman that has no income of her own -as has been the rule up to recently. Through her children, she can secure an income for life from her husband. the lower the income of the man, the more it becomes interesting for a woman not to marry, but to sell herself as a concubine or, better still, as a whore: a beautiful woman that serves only one man as an exclusive concubine, uses her capital not as productive as a whore that serves more than one man and thereby multiplies the return of her capital. For many women, it thus can be more profitable to resign from motherhood and to become a concubine, or, better still, a whore or if possible a courtesan or an exclusive 'escort girl'.

thus, money is the fuel on the fire of the perverse trend. Only here appear women who present themselves in principle as beauties to men that only want to have sexual intercourse, with or without preliminary foreplay. Their appearance, on the other hand, is responsible for the removal of the sexual elaboration of the act of reproduction: in that whores and concubines monopolise the sexuality of men, the mothers can concentrate on reproduction and try to reduce their men to mere begetters. The corollary of the separation of sexuality and reproduction is the introduction of two separate roles: the role of seductress and lover versus the role of mother, and three kinds of economical status, the status of whore, concubine or wife.

As long a women were was economically dependent on men, three male roles corresponded to the three female roles: the role of husband, keeper of a concubine or whore-hopper. But the male roles are combined in one and the same person: a man is not or husband, or keeper of a concubine or whore-hopper. As a husband he is also a keeper of concubines or whorehopper. Or, to phrase it with Demosthenes: 'We need heaters for our pleasure, concubines for our daily needs and wives to give us children an keep our households'. Or with Khan i Azam Mirza Aziz Koka: 'A man has to marry four wives: a Persian to talk with, a Churassian to keep the household, a Hindu to look for the children and one from Mewar Un Nahir or Transoxiana to whip in order to deter the three other'.

In woman, on the other hand, the three roles are separated: motherhood is not favourable to whoredom or concubinate, a concubine loses her attractiveness when she is also a whore and hence no longer exclusive property.

THE BROTHEL (forthcoming)

ANDROCRACY (forthcoming)

THE BEAUTIFUL MAN (2) (forthcoming)

The courtesan has to please the man,
but she should not become attached to him,
although she should behave as she were'

Vatsyayana, Kama Sutra, part VI Chapter II.

Normally, beauty is exchanged against beauty, sex against sex, sperm against egg, and -as we shall see in the next chapter - male labour against female labour. The many-sided and reciprocal commerce between man and woman, that was already reduced to one-sided interest in female beauty as a consequence of the shortage of beautiful women, is now further reduced to a one-sided interest in male wealth. Female beauty is no longer the counterpart of male beauty, but of male economical power; and male economical power in its turn is no longer the counterpart of female economical power, but of her female beauty. The dormant asymmetry between Venus frigida and Mars insatiatus is brought to a head in that they come to oppose each other as the Beauty and the Purse.

Henceforward, a man is a source of income and power in the first place. Whore nor wife are interested in the beauty of the male. It could ignite their sexual desire. That is what makes them really frigid, this time not because they had to make a second choice from an aesthetic point of view, but because, from an economical point of view, no man can be rich enough to meet their standards - and sexual favours are granted accordingly. The frigidity becomes systematic, since no longer the sexual, but the economical attractiveness of the male is the motif of the choice: sexual desires are no longer important and may be suppressed altogether That may be problematic, especially for women who cannot refuse intercourse, as is the case with whores. Their frigidity is no longer a refusal that may contain a promise, but a hard fact. That many a woman learn to fake transport and orgasm, can only mislead men who are naive, or who want to overlook their humiliation.

For the man, whose desire to make love and to impregnate is now rebuffed on principle, money may be a means of making the double perversion of his wife undone. Wives are prepared to bear children in so far as that secures them a lifelong income, but there can be no talk of making love without reproduction. A husband can either force his wife, or maintain a concubine or pay a whore. But the whore does not receive him because she desires him sexually, nor because he seduced her with his beauty, but because the gold coins are jingling in his purse.

The very same money that makes men insatiable, makes women frigid. The frigidity of women is only the counterpart of their insatiable thirst for money. Thus, Venus frigida is transformed into a thief: she accepts money for something she does not give. Conversely, men buy what they cannot get otherwise. Thus, Mars insatiatus is transformed into a rapist, and that makes Venus all the more frigid. Through the conversion of symmetric into asymmetric exchange, every reciprocity in the relation between man and woman disappears. The asymmetry of the exchange of beauty for wealth debases sexual intercourse to the simultaneity of rape and theft. Two aspects of the complete relation - seduction through beauty and economical cooperation - come to be diametrically opposed. A fatal cross! Only under such sign holds what Briffault worded so poignantly: 'Women are sexual pray for men and men are economical prey for women'. And no (socio-)biological explanation should be constructed for the fact that everywhere intercourse is considered to be a favour granted by women to men, rather than the other way round, regardless of the question which sex enjoys most or is supposed to enjoy most, as Symons remarked.


The asymmetric exchange of beauty for wealth not only disrupts the relation between man and woman, but is internalised in both sexes as inner division.

Whores are forced to intercourse, wives to pregnancy. Whores relieve wives form the burden of intercourse, wives relieve whores from the burden of motherhood. The two halves in which woman is split turn against themselves: whores en wives reject in each other the half from which they resigned - witness the periodically returning phenomenon of the sometimes fierce conflicts between wives and whores (and their successors in pornography). Not only do they scorn the rejected halves, they also scorn the halves to which they have reduced themselves. The whore scorns intercourse to which she is dammed and the wife motherhood. To the whore, intercourse is contemptible and reproduction impossible. The conflict rages in all its heaviness, because she earns her money with having sex and because she can only do so when she is not pregnant. The whore thus becomes the living negation of her womanhood. To a wife, pregnancy becomes contemptible and seduction impossible. Also here does the conflict rage in all its intensity, because a wife can only secure her income as a mother.

Only now do we understand the deeper background of sexual and maternal frigidity. Female hostility against bearing children is only obfuscated in the myth of maternal love, not otherwise than sexual frigidity in the myth of the sexually gratifying woman: both exist only as a promise in fantasy or in art.


The asymmetric exchange of beauty for wealth hurts man as well. In his creation of whore and wife, man also initiated his inner division in lover and father.

And that wound is only deepened through his attempts to get the money with which he can force intercourse with whores and impregnation with wives. For man can only become economically desirable at the detriment of his sexual desirability. He desires woman sexually, but is only appreciated for his economical value. Before gratifying his sexual urge, he has to perform well first, and he can only achieve that in cultivating his talents through exercise or study. Except when it is inherited, wealth has to be acquired through personal effort: Scott Fitzgerald's 'Great Gastby' or Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon' had to retire for years to work themselves up before returning to the amphitheatre after their first rejection, this time with a jingling purse. And that is not only so in literature. Caesar had to first conquer Gaul before marrying Cleopatra, Kennedy had to first become president before getting >Marilyn Monroe, Onassis had to first make a fortune before gaining Maria Callas - a pity that he did not like music. Sartre declares bluntly: 'that I have become a philosopher, that I so eagerly desire to become famous, has only one reason: the seduction of women'. And when female fans were crowding around Dustin Hoffman he cried out suddenly:' where were you when I needed you?'.

Instead of going to the amphitheatre, a young man has to isolate himself in his study, workplace or office. Whereas a whore was to be desirable the whole day round and condemns herself thereby to intercourse, a young man has to work a whole day and condemns himself thereby to asceticism. No doubt, labour ennobles, but it brings also fatigue and is lethal to sexual appetite. Idleness, fluttering deconcentration and refreshing sleep are the best aphrodisiacs. Not for nothing did Forel write: 'Abundant food and idleness stir sexual desire and prompt to polygamy, while intense labour, especially physical labour, brings rest'. Precisely the key to sexual activity kills sexual desire. Kissinger was right with his dictum that power is the most powerful aphrodisiac, but he forgot to mention that the means to acquire it have more in common with camphor.

the daily struggle against seduction must be continued for years. Only after an often lifelong effort can a man be rich enough to conquer the most desirable woman at the top of the pyramid. The longer it takes before the desired goal is reached, the weaker not so much the very sexual desire it was all about, but rather sexual potency, that begins to decrease precisely at the moment that one's desirability is at its height - not to mention physical beauty: the beautiful young man is degraded to a withered old man, with a flabby skin, bristly eyebrows, big ears and hears in his nose. No doubt, many a woman does not object such worn-old old men, but for the men themselves, nothing more is left than to look on from the wings. To have his harem filled, a primeval father has not so much to castrate his sons, as rather to sacrifice his own sexual nature on the altar of the golden calf..

On the lower steps of the pyramid the struggle against sexuality is imposed in a more indirect way. The poor on the bottom of the pyramid have to work not only for his own wife, but also for the king, the merchant or the capitalist, and thus also for their wives, concubines and whores. The extra time that the economically weak have to spend on extra work is taken from their relation, and since they are bereaved from a part of their income they become less attractive sexual partners. Even when they work hard, they will never reach the top of the pyramid. Even when a handful of lucky guys can better their situation, the majority has no prospects for a better future and many a man on the edge of the raft threatens to glide in the water. The autocastration of the primeval father is completed in the castration that he imposes on the subjects that produce his wealth. Add to this both forms of castration the unwillingness to make love with sexually frigid women, and you have a clear view on the sexual drama in the beehive or the termite hill!

Only the blessed one who is beautiful ànd who inherits his wealth can escape such fate. In the full possession of his beauty and sexual potency, he can acquire the most beautiful women, and there is some probability that they will do more than merely exchange of beauty for wealth.

Such male autocastration is seldom described, let alone explained. Michelet explains man's decrease in sexual attractiveness through the specialisation that is required to be successful in a profession, an art or a science. Weininger is somewhat more explicit: 'While women is totally occupied with sexuality, man has dozens of interests' or: 'Woman is exclusively sexual, man is also sexual'. Also with Freud, man is capable of higher forms of sublimation than woman. In his wake, Unwin believes that the superiority of civilized nations lies in their monogamous restriction of sexuality.


The economical desirability not only destroys man's sexual attractiveness and potency, it also bereaves him of his fatherly nature. The harder a man must work to make his way to the top - or to maintain the women of other men at the top - the less time he will be able to spend with his children and the more he will be obliged to relegate his task to his wife or to specialised educators. His fatherhood is reduced to impregnation. And also here does the economical position further corrode male desire: the more children a man has, the lesser his economical power. That is why he wishes his secondary) wives to be childless.

Thus, the very money that made man triumph over woman, turns itself against its creator. It reduces him to a breadwinner or a careerist that may now and then plant a seed and does not find a proper outlet for his sexuality. This is a moment of truth in Freud's story of the primeval father: that he chases his sons! Money cannibalises not only the nature of woman, but also that of man. Man loses his manhood and his fatherhood: that is the double meaning of castration, of which Freud described only the sexual aspect


But we are not finished yet. Our lament comes only to its apogee when we widen our perspective. Whereas man's wealth increases with the very age that diminishes his sexual attractiveness, female beauty withers away when she becomes older. No woman escapes the fate that is so poignantly represented in Rodin's 'Celle qui fût la belle Heaulmière: the tragedy of figures like Brigitte Bardot, Sylvia Christel....

In such contradictory development of attractiveness, the asymmetry of the exchange of beauty against wealth unfolds in full glory: old rich men come to oppose young beautiful women. After years of research, David Buss found that men prefer young women and women older men. The specialisation of women to a seductress and of men to breadwinner leads to a reduction of the attractive phase of life, which is all the more painful since, for a woman, life is reduced to youth and, for a man, to old age.

Such asymmetry is only obscured because a man does not always wait until he is old before marrying, and that a woman does not wait until the prince of her dreams comes along on his white horse. As a young man, he is already content when he can marry a wife - as a rule a woman that is situated on the lower steps of the pyramid. Second choice, hence. His gaze (just like that of his wife) remains fixed on the top of the pyramid, in view of which he builds up his economic power. Ascending the higher steps brings more attractive women within reach. Thus, man approaches his ideal partner step by step. That results in a chain of relations, each for the duration of the bloom of one single woman: we already referred tot the way in which Ibn Saud had four hundred women pass the review. Compared with such a palmarès, the collections of figures like Picasso and Chaplin dwindle into nothingness. In principle, a man thereby consumes the seven times seven fat years of seven women. To him, the meagre years only become fatter. In the polygamous version, a man takes the more wives the more his economic potential increases. On a tribal level, it is as a rule only older men that keep more than one women, while the younger men have to content themselves with one single woman or no woman at all. Only here does the 'shortage of wealthy men' create the surplus of woman that is required to realise polygamy. Pitt Rivers overlooks how much the economic inequalities in polygamous societies are responsible for the postponement of marriable age of men and thereby for the relative surplus of women.

That goes only for men who can climb up in a mobile society. The counterpart of those who climb up step by step are those for whom the postponement equals cancellation. After having worked a lifelong the are left with as much - or as little - money as in the beginning, so that they are compelled to end their life with the same women.

Totally different is the fate of the women. Their career evolves in the opposite direction: from high status to low status, and without intermediary steps: from heaven they land up in hell. To them, the seven fat years are followed by forty-two meagre years. After the decline of their beauty, many a harem woman has been married out to men situated lower on the pyramid, or she had to manage as whore or matchmaker, as far as she did not retire in a cloister or was reduced to the beggar's staff.

That goes only for the beautiful women that knew to seduce a wealthy man. The lesser beauties do not fall, since they never climbed up. For fear of free fall, many a woman chooses for motherhood: that ensures them of faithful men. Under such conditions, the ideal career for a woman is to snare an old rich man when she is young, to reap his inheritance when he dies, and then to marry a young men to bear him children and let them sire by less fortunate women, so that she can continue to parade in the amphitheatre as long as her beauty allows her to do so, and when it has withered away, to lure young men with the gold out of the purse of her deceased husband.

The telescoping of the attractive lifespan to the seven beautiful years of woman, and the seven affluent years of the old man, of necessity leads to a multiplication of relations: The man who keeps ever new beauties is not only polygamous in as far as he consumes more than one beauties simultaneously of keeps more than one wife, but equally promiscuous, in as far as these relations succeed one another. Such promiscuity will be the subject of our next chapter.

The best paid whore Athenlais, who sets the city in fire and flame,
lies naked beside me in my dream, the whole night through until dawn,
and she gives herself to me for nothing.
No longer will I shun beauty, nor complain myself,
since sleep grants me such delight'.
An anonymous Greek.

The exchange of beauty for wealth brings no solace to the men who are consumed by sexual desire. To make love with a frigid woman makes a man lose all inclination for it: the crux of excitation is in exciting. Whence many a man is fascinated by the sight of women satisfying each other or themselves, even when he is thereby utterly excluded.

No wonder that women learn how to fake excitation, or that men complete what is missing in their imagination. Here lie the roots of the image-ination of the excited woman. The belly dancer in the harem, who stages not only seduction but orgasm as well, is gradually replaced with the fleshless two-dimensional image. We already described the stages in this process in the previous chapter (Helen). In this amphitheatre of the image, women are bereaved of precisely the body that testifies to their refusal. They are sublimated into pure images. An image, such is the ideal woman for many a man: beautiful, seducing and desiring, and at his disposition without ado. Woman as an image can only be admired, and spares many a man the deception of being rejected. As an image, woman is even more cheap than a whore. No wonder that the activity in the real amphitheatres dwindles. Many men prefer to take place in the shadow theatre, where they choose a mate to eventually retire and make love in isolation. Already in ancient times, a man got so enamoured with the statue of Aphrodite that Praxiteles had sculpted after the model of Phryne, that he came to embrace it at night, and left a stain on it. Thus, the harems that had been succeeded by the brothels, are further dissolved in the starry sky of images, gazed at by greedy eyes from the darkness of the cinema or the living room.

In the shadow theatre, the harem resurges on a higher technological level. In as far as the erotic images are gazed at by millions of eyes, the shadow theatre exponentiates the range of exhibitionistic polyandry. In as far as each onlooker deems himself the only onlooker, generalised but imaginary promiscuity might be a better circumscription of this pattern of social relations.

After the wife, the concubine and the whore, man created himself finally a fourth kind of woman, the cheapest of all: woman as a pure appearance. He thus ends up like Fellini's Casanova in the arms of a mechanically moved puppet (the echo of the puppet with which Oskar Kokoschka went to theatre or that with which Bellmer constructed his sadistic phantasies. Also Dali's 'Christ of Cadaquez', who with his stretched arms entwined with the womb's ovaries is sucking his own penis, belongs to this series, just like the passionate masturbator Nietzsche who cries out 'I live in my own light, I drink back into myself the flames that break from me.'

Also woman phantasise, as we described in 'Venus Frigida' (chapter III). Just like their frigidity, also their phantasy has different roots: phantasising is the umptiest form of triumph over Mars Insatiatus. Whence also the weak interest of women for the image: indulging in the delight of an image might testify to much to their humiliating dependence. She rather prefers the mirror on the wall.

It will not be superfluous to remind of the fact that also commerce with imaginary or represented partners is commerce. Or, to phrase it with Paul: also sinful thoughts are sinful. Whoever phantasises of another partner when making love - which is already recommended in the Kama Sutra and is a widespread practice also in our times - is unfaithful, and in a very subtle way at that: nobody will ever know it. And those who know, may be so numbed that they even do not feel hurt. Borneman, sexologist and expert on jealousy, tries to clear a woman from the charge of unfaithfulness with the excuse that she precisely had not been unfaithful, but just satisfied herself...

The progression from harem over brothel to shadow theatre goes hand in hand with an increasing sexual dearth. Sexuality is withdrawing from real life. In the harem, every woman has a sexual relation. With the advent of specialised whores, the mothers are bereaved of sexual relations (with our without their consent). Since the advent of the shadow theatre, also whores begin to loose their clients. Sexual activity increases, but social contacts decrease. This evolution preludes the advent of generalised asceticism, which will be the subject of chapter VIII.


Before tackling the next chapter, we should dwell somewhat on the consequences of the foregoing for our understanding of polygamy. At the end of chapter III on the 'Beautiful woman', we had to reconsider the concept of polygamy by differentiating between polygamy of seduction, mating, reproduction and cooperation. After this chapter IV on 'The wealthy man', we stumble upon a new problem. 'Gamos' means 'marriage'. In the strict sense, polygamy means to be married with more than one person. We propose to so widen the concept as to have it encompass the less complete and less enduring relations with whores and concubines, as well as all kinds of seduction and commerce with images.

Polygamy means not only that one is married with more than one partner, but also that one keeps more than one concubine, that one goes to the more than one whore or that one takes delight in looking at many images. Polygamy can also mean that one is monogamously married with more than one partner, but also has relations with concubines, whores or images. Most frequent is the combination of a relation with a wife to have children with and a relation with a concubine for sexual intercourse, or the combination of a relation with a real wife and a polygamous relation with countless images in the shadow theatre. Many authors are biased when only focussing on marriage in the economical sense. They can then assert that Westerners are monogamous: their extra-marital relations or their escapades in the shadow theatre can bluntly be overlooked. Thus, Malinowski does not include sexual relations in his conception of 'marriage'. Murdock only succeeds in reducing polyandry to an 'anthropologic curiosum' after asserting that sexual relations are no marriages. According to the same Murdock, the extension of the sexual rights of a man to sisters of his wife or of a woman to the brothers of her husband is by no means an exceptional phenomenon. The conclusion must be that polygyny and polyandry are far more frequent than most people are prepared to assume (and that goes also for sexual communism and promiscuity, which shall be dealt with in the next chapters).

The developments described in 'The beautiful woman' and 'The wealthy man' should not only invite us to differentiate the concept of 'polygamy'. They also make it clear that the new kinds of relations can no longer be understood in terms of one-sided polygamy. A whore is sexually polyandrous in as far as she has many faithful clients, as is often the case with the most beautiful and most successful whores. But she cannot claim the exclusive love of the lovers in her harem. Apart from their relation with a whore, most men have also a relation with a wife (or other whores). The counterpart of the polyandry of the whore is the polygyny of the males: there is no longer question of one-sided polygamy, but from reciprocal polygamy. The term 'polygamy' is not at all applicable when the whore has only non-recurrent relations with her clients, since such a interaction cannot be called a 'relation', let alone a 'gamos'. That is why we want to introduce the term 'promiscuity' for that kind of one-off relations.

Thus, the whore confronts us with two new kinds of relations: reciprocal polygamy and promiscuity. these will be the subject of or our next diptych.

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