Sexual Exploitation Was the Norm for 19th Century Ballerinas

The star’s moment should be triumphant. She’s brilliantly lit, her leg lifted in a graceful ballet pose, and she’s clearly the star of the show. But in the wings lurks a black-clad figure—a symbol for the sordid backstage reality of the ballerina.

It’s not clear who Edgar Degas used as the model for the 1879 painting, L’Etoile, that depicts that tense moment. But it’s likely that she was a prostitute. Sex work was part of ballerinas’ realities during the 19th century, an era in which money, power and prostitution mingled in the glamorous and not-so-glamorous backstage world of the Paris Opera.

The Paris Opera Ballet, founded in the 17th century, was the world’s first professional ballet company, and continues as one of the preeminent outfits today. Throughout the 19th century, it raised the bar for dance—but on the backs of many exploited young women.

Women entered the ballet as young children, training at the opera’s dance school until they could snag a coveted position in the corps de ballet. Girls who studied at the school became apprentices to the Opera; only after years of militaristic training and a series of brutal exams could they get guaranteed, long-term contracts.

In the meantime, they attended classes and auditioned for small, walk-on roles. Often malnourished and dressed in hand-me-downs, the “petits rats” of the ballet were vulnerable to social and sexual exploitation. And the wealthy male subscribers of the Paris Opera—nicknamed abbonés—were often on hand to exploit them.

“The ballet is…what the bar-room is to many a large hotel,”wroteScribner’s Magazine in 1892, “the chief paying factor, the one from which the surplus profits come.” Men subscribed to the opera not for the music, but for the beautiful ballerinas who danced twice per show—and, behind the scenes, they bought sexual favors from the women they ogled on stage.

The abonnés were so powerful, they were part of the Opera’s very architecture: When Charles Garnier designed his iconic opera house in the 1860s, he included a special separate entrance for season ticket holders. The building also included a lavish room called the foyer de la danse. Located directly behind the stage, it was a place where ballet dancers could warm up and practice their moves before and during performances. But it was designed with male patrons, not dancers, in mind. The foyer was a place for them to socialize with—and proposition—ballet dancers.

At the time, women’s bodies were typically covered by lots of clothing. In contrast, ballet dancers wore skimpy and revealing outfits (though ballet costumes of the time, which included skirts, were much less form-fitting than today’s leotards and tights). Subscribers could, and did, go backstage to ogle women. Due to their social status, they were free to socialize with them, too.

“Epic scenes took place backstage,” wrote the Comte de Maugny, who described the foyer de la danse as a kind of meat market. For subscribers, backstage was a kind of men’s club where they could meet and greet other power brokers, make business deals and bask in a highly sexualized atmosphere.

For dancers, though, it was a place where they were subject to scrutiny and harassment. Dancers were expected to submit to the attentions and affections of subscribers,most of whom were nobleman and important financiers and whose money underwrote the majority of the opera’s operations.

Since subscribers were so powerful, they could influence who made it into coveted roles and who was fired from the ballet. They could lift a girl out of poverty by becoming her “patron,” or client, setting her up in comfortable quarters and paying for private lessons that could increase her cachet in the ballet. Often, girls’ own mothers—who acted not unlike entertainment agents today—helped set up and maintain these relationships. For many Paris Opera ballerinas from poor backgrounds, a relationship with a rich man was their only chance at stability.

Some dancers managed to advance without a rich patron, becoming celebrities on the merits of their own abilities, notes historian Lorraine Coons. But even those dancers who did succeed independently were looked down on as suspected prostitutes.

One influential Parisian couldn’t afford the expensive subscription that allowed special access to ballerinas: Impressionist painter Edgar Degas. During the 1870s and 1880s, he produced hundreds of drawings and paintings of Paris Opera dancers, relying on his friends tosecure backstage passes so he could sketch the dancers in their habitat. There, he recorded behind-the-scenes views of dancers practicing—and captured glimpses of the world of the lecherous male subscribers, too.

One of Degas’ best-known works is his Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, a life-sized statue of a teenage “petit rat,” or ballet dancer in training. To modern eyes, it’s the portrait of a child who eagerly awaits her next dance step. But when Degas exhibited it in 1881, it was panned by the critics, who called the dancer “frightfully ugly,” monkey-like, and “marked by the hateful promise of every vice.”

Degas’ subject may have been vulnerable, but for 19th-century observers, she was marked by the sordidness of the sexual harassment that was baked into ballet. Teenager Marie van Goethem, a Paris Opera petit rat who modeled for the sculpture, likely traded sex for money in order to survive—but even if she hadn’t, it’s almost certain Degas’ audience would have assumed she did.

How to do sex with anal dildo

English to plug, connect, plug, butcher, the anal plug is still a sex toy intended to stimulate anal pleasure and possibly to prepare a penetration with a more important object like an anal dildo for your kink. It is an excellent accessory for all those who want to learn about sodomy or simply become familiar with this hidden and often unknown part of their body and all the intimate pleasures it offers them. Here is the complete anal dildo guide to make you understand all its uses and benefits.

What’s the point of an anal plug?

There are all kinds of anal plugs, of all shapes and sizes, but the plugs are always designed so that they can be inserted as easily as possible into the anus . Conical in shape more or less swollen and rounded, they usually have a thin tip, a wide part that narrows, then a wide and flat end that allows the plug to insert gradually, but prevents it from getting lost completely in the rectum (which would still be somewhat annoying!). The plug, once inserted into the anus, can stay in place for several hours and some will like to go out with and go about their business, under the naive and unsuspecting eyes of their peers, colleagues, passers-by, subway users, and other … The plugs can be used by men as well as women and all will find new sensations, to eventually decline later – if you really like – by buying different plugs, different shapes and sizes. different dimensions! In men, the plug stimulates the penis at its root and thus strengthens the erection. Moreover, when the plug is well adapted, it stimulates the prostate which is source of increased orgasms and more abundant ejaculations . Worn by a woman, the plug tightens the vaginal walls, which pleasantly increases the pressure on the sex of the man during a simultaneous vaginal penetration port plug. In both men and women, the anal plug is primarily to relax the anal sphincter to tame the anal pleasure and get acquainted with this area of ??our body that is still a little scary to some. In addition to a feeling of great relaxation, the contractions of the anal muscles will cause immense pleasure that will spread throughout the lower abdomen of users who really risk getting a taste!

When to use an anal plug?

The plugs can be used solo and combined with a masturbation session to enhance the pleasure. This allows to tame her anal area alone, without being rushed by a partner or too urgent, to familiarize gently with this pleasure so special and eventually to prepare slowly to receive later sodomy without feeling for the moment the pressure of an outside look. Some will appreciate for example to fall asleep with a plug and then wake up with this pleasant sensation of a stimulated anus. Others will like to hang out with it and the excitement will come from wearing a plug in the street without being noticed. Very popular in homosexual games, the use of a plug can also come to decorate the antics between men and women. You can ask your partner to introduce it or insert it into your partner’s anus. It can be very popular to give a few kisses or a few licks around the anus to lubricate the area and excite your partner at the same time! The anal plug can be left in place sometime in the buttocks of the girl while we will engage in other preliminaries, so that it relaxes and that his anal sphincters dilate to then engage in sodomy while sweetness. In the anus of the man or the woman (and even both at the same time!), theanal plug can also decorate a vaginal penetration by reinforcing the pressure of the vagina on the sex of the man, or while stimulating parallel prostate. In any case, intense orgasms are to be expected!

How to introduce an anal plug?

The technique is the same for solo or couple use. After gently preparing the anus, apply lubricant to the entire surface of the anal plug, and then gently insert it through the tip. Wait a few seconds for the muscle to relax and quietly adapt to the shape of the plug. Without pushing it further, rotate it slightly by gradually widening the circles. Gradually, the muscle will decrease its pressure and you can push the plug a little further. Then it’s according to each one. For some or some, this only penetration is sufficient. For others, a game of back and forth will be appreciated because it stimulates the anal crown, very innervated. Some will also like to rotate it in all directions, especially men, to reach and stimulate the prostate.

How to use an anal plug?

It is strongly recommended to use lubricant to introduce an anal plug without the risk of tearing the rectal tissues.

It is also recommended to be reasonable in choosing the size of the plug used. Huge plugs can cause anal muscle damage. And you should know that on the one hand a small plug can already allow optimal stimulation quality, and secondly some plugs marketed target sado-masochistic circles and are not intended to be introduced entirely. If you buy a cheap anal plug, also pay attention to the finishes of the object which are sometimes poorly made and can cause irritation during the introduction.

Finally, in contact with body fluids (blood, stool, vaginal secretions), the plug can be vector of sexually transmitted diseases. It is therefore important to clean it well with anti-bacterial soap after use or before exchanging it with a partner.

Anal plug: which one to choose?

As for many sex toys, you will find plugs of all kinds and at all prices: not always easy to navigate! We sell smooth, textured, more or less elongated, rounded or ringed, with a round tip or nipple. Some have a form specifically designed to stimulate the prostate and therefore more specifically for men. We also found pomegranate plugs for real guys and rose-shaped raspberry plugs, a lot more girly! We make more or less realistic, and for the visual aspect, it’s up to you to see, it’s really a matter of taste! The prices are incredibly variable: you can offer an anal plug to less than five dollars on a whim or wait for special occasions to make you offer a jewel plug more than one hundred dollars! For beginners, the best is always to start small, with plugs 3 or 4 cm in diameter. You can always buy bigger afterwards if you feel the need. Models that are too long may be good for standing, but become problematic to sit on, so if you want to wear it in the office, do not look too big either! The materials are very variable too (latex, silicone, pyrex, flexible PVC, metal, wood) and more or less rigid. Some will complain that flexible materials like jelly crushes too much at insertion, but that will surely reassure the most inexperienced. It is also reported that the softer materials are often more difficult to maintain and sometimes give off a strange odor. As for metal plugs, it is advisable to soak them in hot water before inserting them so that they are not too cold. These plugs are often jewelry plugs, also called Rose bud, and are intended to stay in place, especially for decorative purposes. They usually have a shiny stone at the end. And men can find it very exciting to undress a woman who wears this kind of jewelry to decorate her pretty buttocks! We also recommend testing vibrating plugs, which are often a little more expensive, but which reinforce the sensations. Or the inflatable plugs, connected to a pear, which allow going small and magnifying deliciously inside: quite clever!

9 Sexy Reasons You Need To Date A Dancer (According To Science)

If you want to keep up, you’re going to have to know all of the right moves.

There’s no denying that there’s something about dancing that inspires passion. Even though I’m a dancer myself, watching other dancers pull off ridiculously hard (not to mention incredibly sexy) moves without breaking a sweat still leaves me in awe.

Trust me. When it comes to dating one, you’ll need to prepare yourself for an intense love affair. What’s better than someone who could keep you on your toes?

You can’t take the lead and make things work without following your partner’s cues. So if you’re looking for someone whose vision of love is en pointe with yours, these nine reasons to date a dancer will prove that they’re the best candidate, barre none.

1. They’re Attentive.

With the amount of practice that goes into perfecting hours of choreography—not including the time spent warming up and exercising—it only makes sense that dancers have great memory and pay attention to detail. According to Psychology Today, practice actually maximizes the brain’s cognitive function by “blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum”.

Warmups help a dancer’s muscle memory. This gives a whole new meaning to foreplay (cough).

University of California at Santa Barbara’s Scott Grafton, M.D. and Emily Cross, M.S. also found that a strong connection exists between learning dance routines physically as well as through observation. What’s more enticing than a partner who is observant when it comes to the big and little things?

Not having to worry about your love forgetting any important dates is more than enough reason to take that leap of faith.

2. They’re Ridiculously Skilled.

…In more ways than one. When it comes to their impecaable skills, dancers have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about them that can’t be imitated. Whether they are on the dance floor or in the bedroom, their technique will do more than charm you.

In a survey by Sex expert Flic Everett, which analyzed women’s perception of the correlation between a male dancer’s expertise to his sexual prowess, it was revealed that over 80 percent of the participants believed that men with less dance experience would also perform poorly in their sex life.

If you want to keep up, you’re going to have to know all of the right moves.

3. They’re Health Gurus.

According to the AARP, one of the benefits of dancing is that it can lower the risk of copious diseases including depression, heart disease and high blood pressure. They’re also pros when it comes to choosing a healthy diet, which means that if you ever need someone to care for you when you’re feeling under the weather, your partner has got you covered.

4. They’re Brainiacs.

If the thought of dating someone who can go toe-to-toe with you in a battle of wits gets you hot and bothered, you’re in luck. Daniel Amen, M.D. confirmed that dancers are remarkably brilliant as “[f]ew activities stimulate as wide a variety of brain systems as dancing does.”

Need further proof? A team of researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted a study over the course of 21 years to figure out which physical activity improved mental acuity in senior citizens.

The results? Dancing regularly reduced the risk of dementia by a staggering 76 percent. If that isn’t reason enough to waltz on over to your perfect match, we don’t know what is.

5. They’re Incredibly Fit.

According to LivingHealthy360, dance training can work the muscles in your abs, legs, hips and butt, which explains their sexy physique. Sara Dray of LiveStrong backed this up by saying that “Not only does it work all major muscle groups, but it also requires coordination, flexibility and strength … which means it is good for your body and mind.”

Shakira, eat your heart out.

6. They’re Flexible.

We’re not just talking about their impressive—and totally hot—body bending capabilities. If they can find the time in their busy schedule to workout, they are more than capable of putting in the effort planning romantic dates. And if they’re really fond of you, there’s no question that they’d jump through hoops to make you happy.

7. They Have A High Endurance Level.

Shaking things up on the dance floor with little effort is all in a day’s work. Because it doubles as an aerobic exercise, dancing builds up stamina and endurance, two things that could come in handy for other strenuous activities. Wink, wink.

8. They’re Attractive Because They’re Well-Balanced.

Literally. A study on LiveScience hinted that there is a relationship between body symmetry and attractiveness, stating that “[w]omen watching the recordings [of dancers filmed via motion capture cameras] preferred the dances of men who were more symmetrical, while men were more impressed by the dances of more symmetric females.”

Senior Astrophysicist Mario Livio echoed this statement after research surfaced that it is a part of human nature to base attraction on body symmetry. Being able to find their core relates to their love life; dancers have to dig deep within themselves to understand who they are on the inside. Could there be anything sexier?

9. They’re Happier.

It’s no secret that dancing can be therapeutic, hence why it is commonly used as a stress reliever. The turn-out of this is that those who dance for a living are not only less stressed, they’re happier. Researchers from Sweden’s Center for Health Care Sciences found that dancing exponentially increases feelings of euphoria after analyzing the effects dance had on the mental health of over 100 female participants.

There’s no better lover than someone who will be able to make you smile when your mood needs a major lift.