The very first thing that most of us think of when we hear the word “prostitution” is selling your body for sex in order to get money.
But completely forget that definition; the prostitution I’ll be referring to in this article has nothing to do with sex for money whatsoever.
Instead, what I’m referring to when I talk about the “Inner Prostitute” is a tendency we all carry. Carolyn Myss in her book “Sacred Contracts” refers to the Inner Prostitute as an archetype that we all possess which influences our lives in a number of ways. Now, you might be wondering what an archetype is. An archetype is an image, pattern, or universal symbol that is carried within the human psyche and is inherited from generation to generation.
We all possess the Inner Prostitute to some degree — this included both woman and men alike. The Inner Prostitute manifests in our lives whenever we want to metaphorically “sell” a part of ourselves in order to gain something.
I’ll explain further …
[Please note: this article doesn’t explore all facets of the prostitute archetype, such as the sacred prostitute which is connected to empowering female sexuality. Instead, it is primarily exploring the shadow side of the prostitute archetype.]
How the Inner Prostitute Works
The Inner Prostitute thrives on fears surrounding survival and security. The energy of this archetype is primarily attached to the Root chakra which can become blocked or wounded through various life experiences and beliefs. Often those who persistently struggle with the Inner Prostitute experienced childhoods that were physically or emotionally unstable.
In order to secure a perceived sense of safety, the Inner Prostitute will go to great measures to ensure that we feel guarded and protected. Common things our Inner Prostitutes are willing to “whore” away include:
- Sacrificing our dreams for comfort
- Ignoring our values for social approval
- Doing something mainly for financial gain rather than passion or conviction
- “Selling out” in order to gain popularity rather than being true to yourself and your unique message
- Staying in an abusive or toxic relationship for emotional, social or financial security rather than courageously facing the unknown
- Being falsely nice to others solely to gain something from them
- Doing something that goes against your ethics
- Manipulating others in order to get an advantage over them
The equation of the Inner Prostitute is essentially this: I will give you anything you want (even at expense of my faith, self-respect, and integrity) just as long as you give me something I want in return (in the form of financial or personal gain).
The Teachings of the Prostitute Archetype
As we can see, the Prostitute archetype will sacrifice everything in order to gain a sense of safety and security. No place or space is considered “holy ground” to the inner Prostitute. Everything is up for sale and up for grabs.
However, no matter how “bad” or “negative” the inner Prostitute may seem, it is actually a completely neutral force. The Prostitute only becomes an issue when we aren’t conscious of its energy in our lives. In fact, Carolyn Myss refers to the inner Prostitute as the “Guardian of Faith” because it can help alert us when we’re prone to selling any part of ourselves for gain.
The major teachings of the Prostitute archetype within us involve learning how to develop integrity, self-respect, self-belief, and faith in the Divine. When befriended and understood, the inner Prostitute can help us discover the places in our lives where we have “sold out” or whored ourselves to other people.
Learning how to trust is the essential lesson of the Prostitute archetype. In order to trust, we must believe in our capacity to experience strength, well-being, and abundance. When we doubt ourselves and put our trust in external riches, comforts, and rewards, we find that our sense of insecurity is perpetuated. As a result, the compulsive behavior of the inner Prostitute continues.
Teresa’s Story: The Temptation of Being a “Sell Out”
Teresa’s story resonated with me a lot because I can identify with it very closely.
When most people start a business, they begin it with a vision and with a sincere set of values. However, after the years pass by, it’s common for many business owners to lose sight of their values and begin “selling out,” or abandoning their authentic voices as they become more popular.
Teresa had the same problem: she had established a small retail chain that began attracting a larger clientele after a few years. The only problem was that despite her rising popularity, she had begun to lose her passion and was having a serious crisis. A part of her deep down felt that her business had completely lost its identity and didn’t feel like “hers” anymore. I suggested that perhaps she had “given away” her artistic integrity in exchange for a more generic image. Reflecting on this, she realized that she had neglected to stay true to her authentic voice and allowed the temptation of popularity (in expense of her real vision) to take over.
After making this discovery, she realized that it was more important to stay true to herself and her original fan base/buyers than to make it big and lose her heart in the process.
Applying Inner Work to the Inner Prostitute
The only way to neutralize the inner Prostitute and to learn from it is to develop trust in ourselves. In order to develop self-trust, we must realize that who we are extends beyond our personalities, titles, jobs, bodies, and thoughts. How can we trust in that which is not truly “us”?
Everything we have been conditioned to believe is “us” cannot bring us a sense of security or comfort. How can a personality that fluctuates, a body that ages, a job that is temporary, a family that is transient, or a mind whose thoughts we can’t control really inspire self-belief? In order to learn from the inner Prostitute and reclaim our integrity, we must reconnect with that place in us which never changes. That place is Consciousness itself.
What we call “inner work” encompasses every tradition and path, but specifically involves learning how to reconnect with your heart, mind, and, Soul. Your Soul is your essence and the very truth of who you are, in other words, it is your unique stream of Consciousness. Your Soul is boundless, spacious, infinitely wise and loving; it is your personal connection with Spirit, which is the underlying source of everything in this universe.
When it comes to examining the effects of the inner Prostitute in your life, it’s important to approach it from the perspective that it is a part of the basic ego structure so you can see it objectively without identifying with it.
The inner Prostitute isn’t your enemy, nor is it something to be ashamed of. Instead, it is a normal defense mechanism present within all of us to varying degrees. You don’t need to “fix it” or make it somehow magically disappear, but you do need to simply become aware of it. When you become aware of it, you can love it the way it is without permitting it to dictate your actions or decisions.
Here are some questions you can ask to become aware of your inner Prostitute and how it impacts different areas of your life:
- In what areas of my life have I chosen to sacrifice my authentic and soulful needs for money, physical possessions, popularity, security, comfort, or respect?
- Am I currently staying in a personal or working relationship that is clearly toxic to my well-being?
- What parts of my identity have I prostituted to others? (Examples: time, intellect, affection, heart, soul, creativity, friendship.)
- Have I sold or sacrificed my morals for anything?
- How many times do I lie or tell untruths in order to personally gain something?
- Have I ever caused a person to compromise themselves so that I have power over them?
- What extent am I willing to go in order to achieve “security” or “safety”?
In order to work with your inner Prostitute, you need to be grounded firmly in the realization that Consciousness/God/Divinity is always and forever here to support you, for you are It.
I welcome you to share your experiences with the Prostitute archetype below. How has it impacted your life?