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Thread: What's in a name?

  1. #1

    What's in a name?

    Does anyone know where and when the expression “hobbyist” originated? The most I could find out after what was an admittedly cursory Internet search was the following:

    A john (U.S.) or a punter (U.K.) is a male client of a prostitute, particularly in the case of street prostitution. Although these are slang terms, they are used by both prostitutes and police in their respective countries. Some male clients from the United States prefer to call themselves "'mongers", short for whoremonger, a word that has expanded from its meaning of a pimp or bawd, who dealt in whores as a fishmonger deals in fish, to include anyone keeping the company of whores. Yet another group of clients, primarily online, prefer to use the term "hobbyist." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punter_(prostitution)). There are others, but this one seems to sum it up best.

    If I ask at all it is because the first time I ever saw the word was here on MERB, which I joined only a little while ago. While its meaning was immediately clear, I wondered where it came from and also whether the term is used exclusively by men or also by those who cater to, service or provide for (another terminological quagmire) or satisfy the wants of hobbyists (i.e., service providers, escorts, call girls…..and so on).

    I suppose that the underlying question is that of the social and cultural significance of the term (and by extension of all terms employed in the sex industry). When I see “hobbyist,” for example, it conjures up something vaguely innocent and genteel, placing the person so-named in a category akin to, say, stamp collectors.

  2. #2
    Interesting topic Rexroth. As for designating us johns, there is also the term ``trick``, although that term might primarily refer to the act, from the SP`s perspective, rather than its object. On a scale ranging from the derogatory to the elevating, I would place:

    trick-john-monger-hobbyist

    Now on the supply side, we could place:

    whore-call girl-escort-sex worker-service provider-companion-travelling companion

    Each of these terms, while possibly referring to the same person, carries its own agenda. Here are a few that spring to mind:

    Whore: term used by men who have never met SPs and by wives whose husbands see SPs.

    Escort: term that originally seeked to give the impression that sex was not the primary goal of the encounter, as when a man ask his female co-worker to escort him to a business luncheon.

    Sex-worker: neutral-sounding term used by government do-gooders and Stella-like advocacy groups. The agenda behind the term is to bring SPs into the mainstream.

    Service-provider:term probably invented by the techno-geeks that inhabit these boards who can`t distinguish a tIT from a IT vendor.

    companion: an SP that has the ability to titillate your brain before sucking your dick.

    Travelling companion: an overpriced SP

    There you are

    Gotta run off to lunch (with my escort) but I could think of several more.

  3. #3
    CoolAmadeus
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by joeblow
    On a scale ranging from the derogatory to the elevating, I would place:

    trick-john-monger-hobbyist

    Now on the supply side, we could place:

    whore-call girl-escort-sex worker-service provider-companion-travelling companion
    Nice scale by the way! I would supplement it with some more...

    prick-trick-john-monger-hobbyist-special friend

    prick - Those of us the girls are striving to avoid at all costs

    Special friend - A term used by some ladies to qualify those very nice men who are on the edge as being more than just clients.


    And on the supply side, we could add:

    whore-call girl-escort-sex worker-service provider-companion-travelling companion-lady friend

    Lady friend - A term used by some of us to qualify those women we met for pleasure, but with whom we have established a more friendly rapport, not always involving money, or sex.


    CA
    Last edited by CoolAmadeus; 03-16-2005 at 01:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Gentleman Horndog
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    181
    On PERB (P = Pacific, but it covers the four Western Canadian provinces), the most commonly used term for male clients is "pooner". It's obviously derived from "poontang", but I've never seen the term "pooner" on any other boards.
    May your genitalia never fail ya.

  5. #5
    Avery and all the cruciverbalists out there: I had always wondered about "poontang". This page gives the w5 on that term.

    http://www.peterme.com/poontang/

    CA: May I mischieviously amend the definitions of the two terms you contributed?

    Special friend - A term used by some astute ladies to delude their wealthy customers into thinking that they are more than just clients.

    Lady friend - A term used by some johns to delude themselves into believing they are not really just paying for sex.

    Last edited by joeblow; 03-16-2005 at 08:47 PM.

  6. #6
    CoolAmadeus
    Guest
    Joeblow,

    This is funny! Are you trying to say that I am deluding myself????

    My definition was more like when you are not paying but yet ....... ok, ok, nevermind!

    CA

  7. #7

    Exclamation Ahhhh, The Wonderful World Of Names!!!

    Some random thoughts on names and terminologies:

    I just think that ‘Special Friend’ should be a gender neutral term since any adult hobbyist can be a 'Special Friend’, man, woman (you do not think woman go hobbying?), and those in the form of between a man and a woman, if you know what I mean. You are a ‘Special Friend’ as long as you have a ‘special’ relationship with the SPs. I think joeblow is quite right that someone with a big fat wallet or purse can easily become a 'Special Friend'.

    Unfortunately terms such as ‘Special Friend’ and ‘Lady Friend’ are also used outside of the escorting or hobbying world. A ‘Special Friend’ is simply a friend who is special to me or you. A ‘Lady Friend’ is a woman friend who acts classy or as a lady. They may be very dear to you or me but there may not be anything sexual about the relationship. There is such thing as Platonic relationship, is there not? Sorry to disappoint you, CoolAmadeus. On the other hand, if you are a ‘Special Friend’ of some gorgeous ‘Lady Friend’ and you get lucky, so much more power to you.

    Additionally, we can add Sugar daddy to the hobbyist side and Professional girlfriend to the SP side.

    Sugar daddy -A hobbyist with a big fat wallet or bank account often matching his big gut.

    Professional girlfriend - a SP who will accept your donation and offer you GFE or GFLE (girlfriend like experience).

    Lastly, I remember in my younger days, I heard of the term 'ladies of the evening' very often. These days, you have ladies for the morning, ladies for lunch, ladies for dinner, ladies for desert, ladies for snack, ladies for any time, any occasion, and ladies for appointment. The economy must be really bad I assume?
    Last edited by louisisgreat; 03-17-2005 at 03:13 AM.
    Louisisgreat
    The exiled Philosopher King of the Pan Hellenistic Empire.
    Ο εξορισμένος βασιλιάς φιλοσόφων της παν αυτοκρατορίας Ελληνικη.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by louisisgreat
    Some random thoughts on names and terminologies:

    Lastly, I remember in my younger days, I heard of the term `ladies of the evening` very often. These days, you have ladies for the morning, ladies for lunch, ladies for dinner, ladies for desert, ladies for snack, ladies for any time, any occasion, and ladies for appointment. The economy must be really bad I assume?
    Either that or the demand side of the equation has exploded, as was the case in the twilight days of the pan-Hellenistic empire when even philosophers and kings were so ravenous that companions and flute girls led them around by the nose (or other appendage):

    ``Apart from the anchovy sisters mentioned above, we find flute-girls and hetaeras given nicknames like ``Sand-Smelt,`` ``Red Mullet,`` and ``Cuttlefish,`` a practice exploited to full comic effect by the poet Antiphanes in his play She Goes Fishing, where he plays on this double-meanings of the names of fish, so that it is hard to know at any one time whether he is satirising his victims for their love of fish or for their excessive devotion to hetaeras and boys.`` (what James Davidson called ``guppification`` in his book companions and Fishcakes ).

  9. #9

    Ganks, gixies, vegetarians, & cunny warrens

    In my continuing search for the origins of the word hobbyist and related terminology, I stumbled across this list: http://www.amatory-ink.co.uk/thesaurus/prostitution.htm, which is way too long to reproduce here. Interstingly enough, there is a seemingly endless list of names for SPs almost next to none for their clients.

  10. #10

    Exclamation More On Names And Terminologies

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexroth
    Either that or the demand side of the equation has exploded, as was the case in the twilight days of the pan-Hellenistic empire when even philosophers and kings were so ravenous that companions and flute girls led them around by the nose (or other appendage):

    ``Apart from the anchovy sisters mentioned above, we find flute-girls and hetaeras given nicknames like ``Sand-Smelt,`` ``Red Mullet,`` and ``Cuttlefish,`` a practice exploited to full comic effect by the poet Antiphanes in his play She Goes Fishing, where he plays on this double-meanings of the names of fish, so that it is hard to know at any one time whether he is satirising his victims for their love of fish or for their excessive devotion to hetaeras and boys.`` (what James Davidson called ``guppification`` in his book companions and Fishcakes ).
    Rexroth Pal:

    Saz eucharisto gia stev upenthumise se me poz erchomene n mute kai ta routhounia mou eivai toso megales. Gelontas o gloutos mou makria!!!
    (The Greek sentences roughly means ‘Thank you for reminding me how I got my big nose and large nostrils. LMAO!!!’) Oh may I add my elongated ``appendage`` also???

    So you need a little help on your ‘Demand Side Economics’ to balance your ‘Supply Side’ of the equation?

    For your information, my dear pal, Antiphanes was just a comedian roughly of my time (400 BC). Geez…Don’t I feel old? LORL!!! Time flies when there is so much hedonistic fun. If you want to really understand the rise and fall of Ancient Greek society, culture, and civilization, please read my book Hedonism and The Greek Way. There you will also find out how Goddess Aphrodite, instead of tutoring this then philosopher king the science of deduction and induction, managed to teach me the art of seduction and seduced me into sin. Thus exile is the best alternative now. Mind you, if you put ‘the exiled philosopher king’ on the side of hobbyist equation, you must put Goddess Aphrodite and her ‘Greek Goddess Society’ on the other side of the equation.

    Btw, please do not let Antiphanes’ fish fetish or for that matter James Davidson’s ``guppification`` mislead you. Fish in classical Greek is ‘ICHTHUS’ (transliteration) or Iesous Christos Theou Uios Sorter. These words mean: Jesus Christ, God`s Son, Savior. So Fish is actually a supremely honorific term as opposed to Antiphanes` silly comedy or Davidson’s pitiful “guppification”. Hope this helps.

    Dr. Louis,
    Professor of Classical Greek Etymology and Hobbyism
    Last edited by louisisgreat; 03-20-2005 at 12:36 AM.
    Louisisgreat
    The exiled Philosopher King of the Pan Hellenistic Empire.
    Ο εξορισμένος βασιλιάς φιλοσόφων της παν αυτοκρατορίας Ελληνικη.

  11. #11

    Guppification, cod fishing and policing

    Quote Originally Posted by louisisgreat
    Btw, please do not let Antiphanes’ fish fetish or for the matter James Davidson’s "guppification" mislead you. Fish in classical Greek is ‘ICHTHUS’ (transliteration) or Iesous Christos Theou Uios Sorter. These words mean: Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. So Fish is actually a supremely honorific term as opposed to Antiphanes' silly comedy or Davidson’s pitiful “guppification”. Hope this helps.

    Dr. Louis,
    Professor of Classical Greek Etymology and Hobbyism
    Dear Dr Louis

    While I have the utmost respect for your obvious erudition and etymological prowess, not to mention your affinities with the fountainhead of occidental thought (i.e., classical Greece, in particular Athenian genius), there is, it seems to me, something distinctly fishy in your reply to my earlier post. I will come back to your rendering of “ICHTHUS” below, for the moment I beg to point out that, far from wanting to belittle classical Athens, Davidson’s “guppification” is intended as a way of viewing the socio-discursive links between the “opsophagos” (fish mad) and the “gunaikomanes” (mad about girls) in Athenian society in fourth and fifth century BC (thus your reference to Christ is slightly misplaced). Indeed, the subtitle of his book is “the consuming passions of classical Athens). And one of his purposes is to put a dent in the hallowed and somewhat pristine view we have of the period and those that peopled it (such as the venerable Socrates, who after a long night of expounding on the true nature of the good, was known on more than one occasion to resort to wanking himself onto Praxiteles’ statue of Aphrodite when he couldn’t scrounge up the one obol entry fee to one of the town’s many “kineterion” (literally “fuckery”). At another, more interesting level, Davidson is also inquiring into the relationship between language (words and terms) and the way we condone, legitimate and/or police our behaviour and, above all, our consuming passions (hence my question about the demand side of things).

    In this regard, your “ICHTHUS” is quite interesting, inasmuch as it is an instance of the semiotic and political appropriation-monopolization of a sexually charged expression. What better way to police our passions than to sanctify a term whose various connotations give expression to our sexual desires. Indeed, what are we to make of the church which gave the people all the bread they could eat but kept strict control of the wine as part of the Eucharist? And lest we forget, until quite recently, in the Catholic persuasion Friday was the day for eating fish – another instance of controlling our passions by turning them into a requirement, an occasion to remember our “saviour.” Makes you wonder about the recent government-imposed quota on cod fishing, which occurred roughly at the same time as the crackdown on lap dancing in SCs.

    But let us not allow this digression to divert our attention from the question in my initial post about the origins and underlying social and cultural meanings of the word “hobbyist.” In this discursive avatar, there is no longer any hint of unwholesome lust. Rather, it seeks to legitimate, to normalize, an activity by associating it with something relatively harmless, such as stamp collecting for example.

    Your humble servant,

    Rexroth

  12. #12

    Linguistics

    I find this thread fascinating and very educative.

    Here is my contribution, my main concern is with the very light and condencending use of the expression SEX WORK in this forum.

    John is a term usually used by journalists/media who have no inside eye in to the Sex industry. My sex workers friends called their clients either date or just client. Or a new client or an old client or regular client. Sometimes favority client. Trouble makers are not clients.

    Special friend; It`s funny but I have never thought of any of my good regular clients as special friend. A regular client is someone we are not skeptical of. We fell at easy and confortable with. However sometimes a regular client can betray our trust but it is very rare.

    companion; A highly educated/paid and good looking sex worker who entertain the Politicians, the CEOs etc.. She is beside him because she is very well read and speaks the language he is used to in his work. Plus she is pleasant to look at.

    ``Prostitute, hookers, fille de joie, lady of the night...
    does not refer to the business of selling sexual services--it simply means `` to offer publicly``

    In political contexts we used the term Working Girl, but given the lack of feminist linguistics, Carol Leigh or Scarlot Harlot invented the term

    SEX WORK because it describe what we women/femme/dominatrix/men/transgenders/transvesty do in this industry. this was intended to create a discourse to unite the people working in the trade.

    Sex Worker also means you the user of this term have a higher level of understanding/reading/insight of the epystemological large body of feminist Sexual politics/ Sexuality Studies and Feminist linguistics analises on SEX WORK studies that are growing in the Universities departments out there.

    As Scarlot Harlot or Carol Leigh said Sex is as dirty as power. Whore means get more ! Sex work has no shame ``
    From the book, whores and other feminists, by Jill Nagle.

    I would also say that a Sex Worker is an sp who is aware of her boundaries, her limites. She has a strong sense of self. She has deeper knowledge of how males been are destroyed/corrupted/hurt by patriarcky. She knows males are victimized daily by their inability to name their alianation, their own emotions and sense of self. A good exemple ? WAR.

    Let`s face many males have been socialized to despise women. Women are a broad category. Not all women are compassionate and sensitive caring human beings.
    Some no i would say many are insecure and unhappy and self-hating therefore destructive to most people around them. Unfortunately some people never take a good look in the mirror.

    Some man and women are wonderful and caring and nurturing energy in our lives. We shall celebrate and honer good people regardeless of their sex or gender.

    In other words it is better to have a male with positive nurturing and humanistic and feminist vision/qualities around then to have a woman with right wing self interests such as Margaret Tacher but we do not have to go that far.

    Here is where the Conservative and Liberal feminists got wrong. Not all women are wonderful and caring and nurturing. The category of women is a complex one as would say, as Simone de Beauvoir, said ``On ne nait pas femme on le devient ``


    ``Avec la limagination on donnent les vrais tendresses`` Gustave Flaubert.
    Last edited by Juliana; 03-21-2005 at 07:11 AM.

  13. #13

    A Rejoinder And The Demystification Of ‘Hobbyist’ In Sex Industry

    Rexroth Pal:

    You sound like an intelligent, scholarly person. I am very impressed! Would you like to take over the professorship for Classical Greek Etymology and Hobbyism? I really love the time spent fishing with my comedian friend, Antiphanes. We had a good time catching Guppies I might add. So I am sorry I smell a little ‘fishy’.

    Social, political, and religious factors as such aside, there is a lot of mythology involved as to how the world does the Greek love of fish have to do with the love of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior. Was it by design or pure coincidence or what? There are theories that Jesus is actually Zeus (the supreme Greek god) in which I do not bother to talk about here.

    In any case, you are quite right that there is a time gap of four or five hundred years between Antiphanes and Jesus Christ. That being said, the socio-cultural-political-divine sense of fish madness “opsophagos” and the reasons behind how come ‘fish’ ‘ICHTHUS’ is later ‘Jesus Chris, God’s Son, Savior’ should not be ignored. Sorry to give you the impression that I belittle Antiphanes and Davidson. It is just that in front of the all mighty, all present, and all knowing Deity, anyone will feel very small and insignificant.

    ‘Reason without passion is empty. Passion without reason is blind.’ Any human action, among many things, can be looked at as consisting of two major elements: reason (the rational component) and passion (the emotional and spiritual parts). It is a matter of balancing the equation of passion and reason at the individual, family, community, society, national, and international levels. Among many things, too much passion and not enough rational guidance contributed to the demise of the great Pan Hellenistic Empire. Mind you, there were many decadent things going on, not particularly the socio-cultural or hormonal thing about girl madness “gunaikonmanes”.

    Back to your original quest here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexroth
    But let us not allow this digression to divert our attention from the question in my initial post about the origins and underlying social and cultural meanings of the word “hobbyist.” In this discursive avatar, there is no longer any hint of unwholesome lust. Rather, it seeks to legitimate, to normalize, an activity by associating it with something relatively harmless, such as stamp collecting for example.
    The term ‘hobbyist’ indeed sounds like a more honorific term in place of ‘prick’ or ‘john’. It is like many terms we used such as ‘lady friend’, ‘special friend’, ‘service provider’, or what not which are shared with other life activities outside of the escorting and prostitution. Perhaps psychologically all johns want to legitimize, normalize their ‘hobby’ of ‘treasure hunting’, fulfill their animalistic instincts of sexual desires, or fantasize about various sexual relations with escorts. But we all know the moral, social, political, and legal debates about prostitution have been raging since the dawn of human history and they are not to end anytime soon. You know as well as I do, prostitution consists of the supply and demand sides of the equation. If prostitution or hobbying or being a 'hobbyist' is as legitimate, normal, and harmless as activities such as stamp collection or building your flower garden, why are there endless problems and debates about this issue? Don't you think people have better things to do? So for any 'hobbyist' in the sex industry who insists that his/her/its hobbying activity is legitimate, normal, and harmless as stamp collection or gardening, please get a psychiatrist or psychotherapist or psychologist for a detailed consultation.

    Incidentally, stamp collection or gardening will not bring anyone STDs but ‘hobbying’ can. ‘Hobbying’ can get you in debt, ruin your family structure, and make you feel like a drug addict, among many other things. So pick your poison wisely and say a prayer before you proceed. Sorry being so brutally honest here. But part of growing up is to look yourself in the mirror, face reality and its consequences instead of living in a fantasy world. People become hobbyists or escorts for many reasons that I do not want to discuss here, as I am sure it will fill up many gigabytes of computer memories. The bottom line is, if you must, ‘hobby’ responsibly and with a conscience. Perhaps then there is such a thing as a ‘respectable hobbyist’ within the sex industry.

    Your pal,

    Louis
    Last edited by louisisgreat; 03-20-2005 at 04:20 AM.
    Louisisgreat
    The exiled Philosopher King of the Pan Hellenistic Empire.
    Ο εξορισμένος βασιλιάς φιλοσόφων της παν αυτοκρατορίας Ελληνικη.

  14. #14

    Agreed

    Dr Louis

    I am flattered that you would consider me for this professorship. However, my interests are far too eclectic, and besides, you do a splendid job of it. Indeed, I would like to nominate you for the first ever MERB distinguished Chair in Philology and Hobbyism. Hopefully, the MERB moderators will read this nomination and take the appropriate action.

    As for your rejoinder, I think I will let you have the last word. I largely agree with you, though I am sure, as no doubt you are, that there are many, many out there who would do well to heed your advice.

    Still, the whole subject of the words and names we use to describe ourselves continues to fascinate me. As the erstwhile social commentator Kenneth Burke noted, we necessarily view and construct our world through feministic screens (indeed, without them there is no world). And as many who have been informed by his insights have come to realize, words – language generally – are important sites for defining just what is normal and legitimate.

    Take care. I have enjoyed our conversation.

    Rexroth

  15. #15

    Thumbs down Wow, The ‘MERB Distinguished Chair In Philology And Hobbyism’!!!

    Rexroth Pal:

    Thank you so much for nominating me to such a highly esteemed post. I feel so honored. If it was back to 400 BC when things were simpler, I would take this job anytime despite having so many different job titles already. Back then, I practiced the concept of ‘Universal Man’ upon philosophizing with my cousins, Plato and Aristotle. Simply put, `universal man` is you know everything and can do everything good. These days, I hardly have time to see even Goddess Aphrodite. ‘Universal Man’ is a lost cause, although I try to do as much as I can. Also, when the elders from the Ruling Revolutionary Council call on me, I shall have to end my exile, go back to my throne and rule again. So I have to respectfully decline this job. Sorry!

    Unless if they want me to establish https://merb.cc University and become its first president, may be I shall give it some serious thought. BTW, there better be a huge stipend as I have to support Goddess Aphrodite and her ‘Greek Goddesses Society”.

    May be we can ask Juliana. You sound interesting also. Would you like to take this ‘Distinguished Chair’ job?

    I have to agree with you that language and names, for better or worse, do define and describe us, among other things. I am sure we shall have interesting and enlightening discussions on some other interesting names and terms or what not. As my further contribution to this thread, may I define Hobbyism in our realm as `hobbyists who interact with escorts in a responsible and conscientious manner`?

    It has been a pleasure.

    Your friend,

    Louis

    Uparchoun panta alloi gigantiaoi polemoi pou diexagoun.
    (There are always giant wars to fight.) Metaphorically of course!
    Last edited by louisisgreat; 03-21-2005 at 08:37 PM.
    Louisisgreat
    The exiled Philosopher King of the Pan Hellenistic Empire.
    Ο εξορισμένος βασιλιάς φιλοσόφων της παν αυτοκρατορίας Ελληνικη.

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