Thursday, February 26, 2015



"The first person I should love is myself.  I make choices that uphold my self esteem."

"When Harry Met Sally" is an old film but a good one that more than one generation can relate to.

After this film, Meg Ryan became famous for her impersonation of a woman faking an orgasm in a deli at table while acting as "Sally," with her friend acted by Billy Crystal, who was "Harry." 

The theme is that Men and Women can never really be friends, but after many years from the day they met, Harry and Sally, who were very different people, did become friends, supporting each other through a breakup and a divorce, and then have sex.  Harry can't handle it.  They break up and that's when Harry realizes he loves Sally.  It turns out their long friendship - the first he ever had with a woman - was an excellent way to get to know someone and fall in love with them.

You might just want to pop this old film in the DVD player some night when you want to laugh and maybe cry a little.  In the film, Carrie Fisher acts as a best friend who has long been involved with a married man.  She realizes he will never leave his wife when she discovers he has bought his wife an expensive nightgown.  When Sally tries to introduce her to Harry, she finds herself attracted to his best friend instead.  Soon they are living together and then marry.  Both Harry and Sally date others, and if you've been on the dating scene in your early thirties, you may find yourself with some of the same dilemmas.

Listening to Sally with her girlfriends, all who believe it is better to be married and then divorced than never married, up comes the idea that if you do not marry YOUR HUSBAND (the man you were meant to marry) then YOU'LL LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR HUSBAND MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE!

It's funny but a true fear that many women have.  (And maybe many men too?)  Being married to the WRONG person is much worse than not being married at all as I see it.

As for Harry, he tells Sally that there are women who are high maintenance but she is the worst kind, A WOMAN WHO IS HIGH MAINTENANCE but THINKS SHE IS LOW MAINTENANCE.  In other words, her idea of how easy it is to be with her is overblown.

Which brings us to the subject of MAINTENANCE, which sound not very romantic at all, right?

It's about how much you expect, what you need, what your self esteem or maybe upbringing would suggest.  For instance, many of us were brought up that a man is to make all the plans, ask us well in advance (so you can say yes or no and if you say yes be prepared to go, with the proper clothing and equipment, for instance), and that he pays for everything on the date. The dinner, the movie, the ice cream, the gas in the vehicle, which he drives.  In exchange he gets your company, and when you're young, idealistic, religious, or living with your parents, that means company but no sex.  And some men do not like to work too hard to have a woman in their life.  They want to be with someone who is easy to get and easy to keep, maybe because so much else about their life is difficult.

 What is HIGH MAINTENANCE today, at this time in our lives?

I can't really say.  It's so individual.  But we all have a sense of what works for us.

So, not to decide your values for you, but what it really comes down to is that in any relationship, be that friendship, a love relationship, or even the relationship you have with your coworkers and boss, you must feel that you are treated with enough respect.  You don't want to be with people who try to shame you, humiliate you, take credit for your work, or who keep cancelling on you.

I personally have gotten more lax over the years about people being right on time, but I still think they should aim for the right time and call if they are going to be late, and if someone cancels on me as a habit, because they are one of those people who is always wasting other people's time, I usually stop inviting them to go places with me and make my exit of that friendship gently.  I also like making plans.  I don't like people to just stop on in without calling in advance to ask if it would be OK.  I don't like being caught on an off day or when I'm working on something (like this blog) or have the plans I've made for the use of my day to be blasted because of an unexpected visitor. 

C Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot.  2015  All Rights Reserved including International and Internet Rights.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Now that you're here, I invited you to take a look at my current posts, or go through my Archives of Mistresses. Or go to my GUIDE in PAGES to find topics that may interest you!

Monday, February 23, 2015


by AMANDA OWEN  C 2014
Tarcher-Penguin Publisher

Missy here.
I picked up this book and started reading and it seemed just the book to pair with the month of February when we place so much importance on Valentine's Day.  Take for example The Ten Featured Skills of a Receiver.

(To paraphrase)
1) Accept a compliment graciously and be genuinely pleased to receive a gift.
2) Regularly express gratitude.
3) Have your attention on the present, not dwelling on the past or fretting about the future.
4) Be a good listener.
5) Be observant.
6) Define a "good" person as a whole person rather than someone who places other people's needs before their own.
7) Do not enable people.
8) Know when to cease activity.
9) Uses information in her environment to make decisions.
10) Don't complain.

I admit that I've struggle with some of these, but that I have gotten better at all of them through the years.

This book values feelings and suggests that you reveal them.

Further, you should not accept or condone unacceptable behavior from others because...

1) You want to keep the peace.
2) Are afraid of conflict.
3) Don't have the energy to follow through if you do bring up the issue.
4) Don't think it will do any good because you tried before.
5) Don't want to admit that you're being treated poorly.
6) Are afraid you'll loose your relationship if you stand up for yourself.
7) You're out of practice of advocating for your own needs.


Saturday, February 21, 2015


YOUTUBE VIDEO REPLACED OCTOBER 2017 ******************************************************

Michael Asinow 1998 UCLA Law School   discusses the film which he says was "loosely based on the book by Margaret Rosenthal.


The film correctly reflects the difference in lifestyles between successful courtesans and wives of rich men. Wives were cloistered creatures without education or financial independence, their life devoted entirely to home and family. Courtesans, on the other hand, could mingle freely with the rich and famous, acquire education and wealth of their own, participate in literary, political and intellectual circles, and even publish their work.

Franco was incredibly successful in this milieu; between 1570 and 1580, she edited works of various authors and published books of her poetry as well as epistolary works. She was greatly concerned with the plight of younger women who lacked dowries; her published letters often refer to their plight and her wills left money to help poor women.

Franco’s success inspired extreme jealousy from male courtiers and poets whose position and patronage she greatly threatened. As in the film, a particularly venomous rival was Maffio Venier, a nephew of Franco’s patron Domenico Venier. Maffio repeatedly attacked Franco by name in satirical and often obscene verse. Franco’s poems and letters effectively strike back at Maffio and defend the role of courtesans in Venetian society...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


The Honest Courtesan
Veronica Franco - Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth Century Venice
By Margaret E. Rosenthal
University of Chicago Press C 1992

Unlike some of the other books I've featured on this blog, written by the Courtesan or Mistress herself, The Honest Courtesan is a highly literary, almost academic book and it's not just about Veronica Franco, but takes a look at women in 16th century Venice, Italy, the world she lived in, when Cortesans were both accepted and denounced and subject to legislation

Veronica Franco is worthy of literary discussion because she herself wrote literary works and poetry, all published in the period of 1575-1580, when she would have been in her thirties.  Elevating herself by a reputation for intelligence, talent, and honesty, she competed with mostly male writers and poets, wanting work for her mind while surviving through work by her body.

This book is not for the light reader but someone who wants deep knowledge about the woman and what made her outstanding, so that 400 years later we are still interested.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


"I discover my talents and develop them!"

Everyone is good at something - or two or three things. 

One friend personally wraps gifts in imaginative ways so people always feel special when they get a gift from her. 

Another has a way about her that gets people talking and sometimes they find themselves revealing some of their deepest secrets to her. 

I've never been the life of a party, but my old friend C. is so good at that, while being gracious and as beautiful as Faye Dunaway with the cheekbones, she has been sought out as a hostess and fund-raiser. 

Whatever it is, acknowledge it and develop that talent!

Monday, February 2, 2015


This painting of Veronica Franco is attributed
to the artist Tintoretto

Venice, Italy
Her mother, Paola Fracassa, had been a courtesan before she was married.  When Veronica left her marriage to a Doctor Panizza, a marriage which her mother had arranged, and not long after she married him, Veronica became a courtesan too.  In the seaport that was 16th century Venice, out of a population of about 100,000, some estimate that there were 10,000 - 11,000 prostitutes.  How many of these were elevated to the status of Courtesan? 
Well, a woman's reputation and social standing were better if she was married or protected by the politicians, and yes some of those prostitutes and Courtesans were married women.  It was sex work but being a Courtesan was a way of being and living that wasn't just about the sex.  The politicians who made the rules and the laws were intently interested in the place of women in their society, while no doubt some of them took advantage of their position.  Venice had always been a seaport town, a place of trade, and poorer women didn't have the opportunities for marriage that richer women did.  To marry a noble or aristocrat a woman had to have a dowry that would impress his family.  Veronica's mother, though married and thus ending her days as a woman who could be respected, had still scraped together a dowry for her daughter, and clearly Veronica was not the recipient of an inheritance that might have allowed her to write without being a Courtesan.
In 1542 authorities determined that a Meretrice was a woman who was either not married at all, sexually active with one or more men (like many women are today), or married but not living with her husband, while a Cortigiana, was well, a woman who accepted patronage, money, gifts, from men for sex, though this could be one man or many, and she could be living with her husband.
In her fertile years, Veronica Franco gave birth to six children by six different men, three who lived past infancy and her husband was not father to any of them.  To me the fact that three of her children died is telling.  Though one of the children is said to have been fathered by a nobleman from one of the most powerful families in the city,  it is not known if any of her children made it to adulthood to help her in her old age when she struggled financially.  During her best years in which she had achieved fast upward mobility due to the quality of her patrons, Veronica was wealthy and not only supporting the children but herself and a large household that included tutors for the children and servants, and she was writing and publishing poetry and literature, mingling with the artists, politicians, and other mostly male poets, asking for work as an editor, and giving handouts to the poorer prostitutes who were worn out. 
By being an artist and poet and openly competing with men for public work and patronage,  unlike a submissive wife, Veronica was able to speak her mind among the intelligencia, and her way with words and her honesty is what saved her.  She was judged honest by men in her dealings with them in the sex trade and she was able to elevate her reputation through intelligence and talent. When Venice was in a decline, which some religious authorities blamed on its evil, as evidenced by it's prostitution, Veronica Franco was called to defend herself by the frightening Inquisition.  In 1580 she was accused of performing incantations in her house and being a heretic.  Denounced as a witch, Veronica got free by not denying what she was, thus she has been called "The Honest Courtesan."
C 2014  / Missy Rapport  All Rights Reserved including International and Internet Rights.
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