'Love in an elevator I Lovin' it up till I hit the ground/. Aerosmith,'Love in an Elevator', 1989. 'Bed is the poor man's opera.' Italian proverb. TRANSPORT OF DELIGHT

'Love in an elevator I Lovin' it up till I hit the ground/. Aerosmith,'Love in an Elevator', 1989. 'Bed is the poor man's opera.' Italian proverb. TRANSPORT OF DELIGHTIn the golden days of Japanese prostitution, whores plied their trade on small boats. In the 10th century, asobi – the term comes from the verb ‘to play’ – included trained musicians, singing sirens who lured men aboard and charmed the money from their pockets. According to 12th-century poet Oe Masafusa,’Their voices halt the clouds and their tones drift with the wind blowing over the water. Passers-by cannot help but forget their families.’ According to another description of the time, the younger women melted men’s hearts ‘with rouge and powder and songs and smiles’, while the older women carried parasols and poled the boats along. The 11th-century courtier Fujiwara Akihira praised one particular practitioner as follows: ‘Her vigour in soliciting lovers, her knowledge of all the sexual positions, the merits of her lute strings and buds of wheat [genitalia], and her mastery of the dragon’s flutter and tiger’s tread techniques… all are her endowments/ By the late 12th century, a cold wind blew for the asobi and they were forced on to dry land, into the inns that lined the waterside and doubtless into the hands