Most often it seems to be used by a man who's on the outside of a family trying to get a woman out of her father's house or her husband's house by breaking up a relationship.
In more traditional places where a man was interested in a woman and there's no way for them to get together--maybe she's from a higher socioeconomic bracket--he might get a bunch of his buddies together and kidnap her.
Or the idea that women should stay home and raise children and men should go to work.
It seems cross-culturally true that where courtesans and geishas operated--in Renaissance Italy and in the Far East and other places--that they nearly always had a special status.
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Christopher Faraone: I set out to write a book about love magic, and by the time I was done I wasn't sure that love magic as an all-embracing category was really helpful for understanding the Greeks.
If you actually track it down, melting wax, sticking pins into an image, and a lot of the language in the surviving erotic charms are all used in cursing rituals.