Often a man who lives at the expense of a woman is called both gigolo and gigalo. But is it right?
The oldest profession
Initially, in Europe, gigalo were called men who accompanied women when they went out in public. Their main task was not to let the lady get bored, and if suddenly there were no people willing to invite the beauty to a minuet or gavotte, to help her demonstrate grace and grace during dance bows and curtsies. Professional relationships were not always limited solely to dancing, therefore, over time, the gigalo began to be called men who provided wealthy ladies (less often men) with intimate services.
So, there are records that confirm that in one of the first brothels, equipped in St. Petersburg by Anna Felker, nicknamed Dresdensha, one could find not only girls for every taste. Married women also came to Dresdenshe, wishing to "choose other husbands to their liking."
If until the 1930s the place of selling male love in Moscow was Nikitsky Boulevard, then in St. Petersburg - Nevsky Prospect and Passage. In 1908, journalist Ruadze angrily stated that on weekends, from the upper gallery of the Passage or at the skating rink, the "aunts" of the upper strata were looking out for soldiers, apprentice boys, and cadets. Then they invite the "chosen one" to the pastry shop or home. In the same article, Ruadze writes that after the closure of the Passage, Phryne and Aspazia (the so-called male prostitutes in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20th century) go to Fontanka. There remain "the most poor and stripped", and the "fledged" go to the Tauride Garden.
Alphonse is a man who, for various reasons, adheres to a certain position in life: living at the expense of a wealthy lady is easier than earning a living on his own. True, the gigolo also pays for a "warm place" - with spiritual and intimate closeness. He skillfully creates the complete illusion of a relationship.
As an example, it is worth recalling the dizzying career of the "fool" Platon Zubov, the last favorite of Catherine the Great. Already 10 days after the first "special reception" with the empress, he was promoted to colonel and settled in the palace. After 5 years, the court Mason wrote that Zubov, due to the number of awards, looked like a hardware seller.
Openness & Cunning
The intentions of the zhigalo are extremely transparent, and each of the parties to the "agreement" understands what it pays for and what it gets. Let us recall, for example, the bath brothels, in which the bath attendants supplemented the standard services of rubbing with intimacy for a certain fee.
A study by the American historian Dana Healy describes in detail the "Artel of libertines" - a community of professional homosexuals whose services at the end of the 19th century could be used in Russian city baths. Numerous police reports on the detention of bath attendants who earn extra money by prostitution are also cited by the venereologist Tarnavsky, who carefully studied the activities of the "Artel".
Alphonse, on the other hand, often hides the truth of his intentions, makes a woman fall in love with himself in order to get what he wants. The gigolo builds the further strategy of relations, inevitably ending in marriage, on cold calculation. Often he finds a woman older than himself - desperate and afraid to miss the "last chance".
The gigalo can simultaneously have a relationship with several women, while the gigolo "sticks" to one victim, and only if he does not get what he wants, he switches to the next.
Gigalo does not pursue the goal of falling in love with a partner. It is enough for the lady to be pleased in his company, and the payment was received regularly and in the agreed amount. Alphonse, on the other hand, makes incredible efforts to kindle the love flame, because while it burns, it is easier to get what you want.
If we return to the example with Platon Zubov, then according to the testimony of contemporaries, he managed to convince the tsarina of his own "pleasant mentality", but more importantly, that he is madly in love with a 60-year-old woman who retained "all the delights of youth." Over the course of 6 years, the empress, drugged by mutual feelings, spent more on the young man than on the Most Serene Prince Grigory Potemkin, who was among her favorites three times longer and was secretly considered her husband.
Honest pie and for a wedding
Gigalo does not prioritize a successful marriage. It will work out - well, no - and there is no trial. Alphonse does everything to make the relationship end with a wedding. Marriage allows you to "legalize" the content of "sticky" and count on him for a big jackpot in the event of a divorce. However, for the gigolo, there is no question of answering the love of the “victim”.
The biography of the Minister of Public Education under Nicholas I, Count Sergei Uvarov, comes to mind, who married a wealthy heiress to improve his financial situation. However, the count felt anxious feelings not at all for his wife, but for the handsome man who was not brilliant in his mind - Prince Mikhail Dondukov-Korsakov.