This is a term that is unfamiliar to most people and oddly enough, in order to properly conceptualize it, I need to reference an almost equally unfamiliar word, flâneur. The flâneur is a “man about town”, particularly popular during the Belle Époque, seen in the art of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists. The online magazine Quaintrelle Life draws a parallel between the quaintrelle and the dandy. Quaintrelle is their female counterparts, though she didn’t really exist at the same time as her male counterparts did due to women’s movements being highly restricted until the past century or so.
However, the courtesan, coquette, or other ambiguous “public women”, would definitely be considered a quaintrelle during the same era as the flâneur and the dandy. She always lived outside of the box anyway, especially in cultures that held strong Madonna-Whore dichotomies. “Good” women and “good” girls stayed at home, minded their manners, and didn’t venture outside without the appropriate chaperone and only kept the “correct” company.
In any event, the ability to parade about in finery helped advertise the courtesan in an era where Eros and Slixa and other venues didn’t exist.
Like the quaintrelle, I live for life’s pleasures be they sensual, intellectual, spiritual, etc. The sweet little things that make life worth living. Denial of these pleasures, especially the sensual in my opinion, make for a boring and miserable person, lacking in creativity and vitality; you can spot them because they typically try to inflict their unhappiness on the rest of us and if they have enough power, it becomes legislation.
Those of us who give pleasure recognize the problem that the denial of pleasure causes and the importance of being able to develop and hone the talent to dispense pleasure. All the more reason why we should garner respect and not contempt or disregard.