Jeff Makos of Publishers Weekly recently conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons about his Gene's book, "Ladies of the Night", which discusses the world's oldest profession. An excerpt from the chat follows.
Publishers Weekly: Your book makes the argument that prostitution gives women access to power that they would otherwise not have. Have you always felt that way?
Simmons: Surprise! I actually respect women. I've always had that point of view. I look on the issue as one of self-empowerment for women. Women should be the sole judges of how they want to lead their lives. And let's be frank — many ladies have made more money in their line of work than they would have sitting in front of a computer.
Publishers Weekly: How long have you been interested in the subject of prostitution throughout history?
Simmons: I've always been fascinated by the "forbidden fruit" of America's Puritan culture. The book is meant to be humorous, historical, and to give people an understanding that the exchange of money for sexual relations has been around forever. I actually have no agenda other than engaging people in a conversation about the question: "What does anybody else have to say about consenting adults behind closed doors?" I argue that people should stay out of other people's bedrooms.
Publishers Weekly: What was one of your favorite historical periods to write about?
Simmons: The Renaissance in Europe, when courtesans enjoyed more power than housewives. These ladies were not common prostitutes. They were part of the culture and the fashion of the times, like Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress. The wives of the men of the period? They were invisible. They meant nothing.
Read the entire interview at Publishers Weekly.