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For Love or Money

November 17, 2010

Rae’s Side:

I have no personal problem with prostitutes. They’re trying to make a living, and I understand that. I also have no real problem with johns- as long as they’re only taking what the hooker is offering and promptly paying up, then I can’t blame them for patronizing a service that caters to their desires. I suppose that what I have a problem with is the fact that such a profession can exist at all.

A “commodity” is a “good or service traded or exchanged for monetary currency.” Now, let us consider the supposedly oldest traded commodity in the world: Sex.

You’re alone together. The energy in the room is aromatic and palpable. You glance at each other. The glance becomes a look, a stare. You take in every detail of the other, every sight and sound evoking smells, feelings. You wonder if his lips taste as sweet and full as they look, the way you can already feel on your tongue. Your flesh tingles to touch his, and you allow yourself to give in to the impulse. He responds, he caresses your hands, no words are necessary, you both know what to do. You kiss. The kiss you share occurs of its own volition, and neither of you fight it, you’re carried by the inertia of the moment. Your arms move around each other, his muscles taut beneath his skin. You recline, your hands explore his body as his does yours. Clothing is cumbersome, and is swiftly removed, shamelessly, without hesitation. One thing leads to another, which leads to a condom, which leads you to an ATM machine in the hopes that you have enough cash in your account to complete this transaction, despite the $2 service fee.

A very famous person once said that his ultimate sexual fantasy involved two people sitting on either end of a room, fully clothed, unrestrained, and silent. Looking at each other. Touching neither themselves nor the other, merely staring. And climaxing- bringing each other to orgasm by eye contact alone. Mutual, pure, and no money changes hands.

Sex is an experience. Something that occurs organically between two consenting adults wishing to give each other mutual pleasure. People who want to share themselves with another, becoming intimate, experiencing the rapture that only affection and hormones can bring. Two people, intoxicated by their attraction toward each other, following the momentum of the oldest, most natural instincts in our bodies. I’m not sure you can put a price on that.

There are those among us, however, who believe that sex is something that can be bought, or earned, or rewarded to one person by another. You’ll hear them measure out dates, phone calls, expenditures, compliments- itemized accounting tallied up according to which sex acts they can be bartered for. “I won’t sleep with a guy on the first date. Not before the fourth date, in fact, unless on the second date he pays for dinner and it’s really expensive, and he calls the next day. After all, he has to work for it.”

The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t take into account one of the most crucial factors in the to-fuck-or-not-to-fuck decision: your own desire.

True story: “Mae” dated a guy for three months. Let’s call him “the Blue Beetle”, which wasn’t his name, as that would be too amazing to be true. He was attentive, good-looking, had a decent job, and a car. They had similar interests, and he always paid for dates and drove her home. And they never, ever had sex.

Another true story: One day, Mae randomly met a guy (I’m gonna go with “Goldfinger”). She saw him randomly once or twice during a particularly adventurous summer, and when she went back to his place, she promptly fucked his brains out. And they never, ever dated.

It’s not that Blue Beetle didn’t want to have sex (he did), or that Goldfinger didn’t want to just hang out once in a while (he did too). The fact is that, while she was with Blue, she just never really felt it. The chemistry wasn’t there. She just didn’t feel like doing it, so she didn’t. But with Gold, on the other hand, it was the right mood, the right moment, and it was exactly what she felt like doing at the time. It was like eating a street meat hot dog: you know it’s not wholesome, but sometimes it’s just what you want. And you don’t owe anybody any excuses.

Now, the Princess T school of thought would probably argue that Bluey had put in his time and “earned” it, while Mae “gave it up too easily” for Goldie. I submit, however, that she didn’t “give up” anything, because she just did what she wanted. She signed no contract with Blue binding her to sexual acts in exchange for his generous company. There was no transaction taking place. And if the Beetle was treating her well not out of respect or affection but to buy his way into her pants, then he was treating her like a whore (and was therefore a douchebag). In other words, you don’t owe anybody intimacy- that’s something that just happens.

Whatever you do for a living is none of my business, but don’t take your work home with you, and don’t treat yourself like a prostitute in your personal life. Sex is something you should want to experience with your partner- it isn’t a commodity to be bought, traded, won, or earned. Your sexuality is not a treasure to be dispensed among the worthy; you are a person, with your own agency and in control of your own body and your own desires. It’s not wrong to put those first.

Nice fig leaf.

Tanya’s Side:

Money is power. Sex is power. Therefore, getting money for sex is simply an exchange of power.”

I agree with Rae that sex is not, per say, a commodity that ought to be bartered for and exchanged with goods and services.

However, the idea that, to women, sex equals power does not equate to prostitution. It is perfectly natural for women to control the sexual relationship. Biology has hard-wired women to be more cautious with engaging in sexual relations. Men, on the other hand, are hard-wired to spread it around, so to speak.

Obviously, this is no longer necessary in today’s world of easy, safe and reliable contraception. Following the introduction of the birth control pill in the 1960s, a pendulum affect occurred where sex before marriage was no longer taboo. Fast forward 40 odd years and it’s now considered conservative to wait until the 3rd or 4th date before having sex.

But what has this really done to advance our relationships?

In my humble opinion, this free-loving attitude has only caused more problems. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some bible pushing no sex before marriage prude. Hardly!

I think it’s great that women are liberated enough in today’s world to be able to have a fling, use men for sex, and not think twice about it.

BUT (disclaimer: double standard approaching, read with caution), when it comes time to finding a quality relationship, women have to rein in the sex kitten attitude and take a step back to the 1950s.

WHY? Quite simply because not having sex with a man is the single most effective way of weeding out the “undesirables” when it comes to a serious relationship.

Having sex too soon creates the sex haze. Your hormones are flying and frazzled, and you can’t see straight. You justify and excuse bad behaviour and then suddenly you find yourself shacking up with some loser who spends every evening out with the boys drinking beers at the local. You wonder to yourself why he never does anything special or thoughtful for you. You question what happened to the romance?

I’ll tell you what happened to the romance: It never existed. Because chances are that, while he may have been charming or sexy, he probably lacked the real enduring thoughtful romantic character to bring you flowers for no reason and cook you dinner just because.

The only way to really discover if a man has that character and/or is willing to put in the effort is to NOT have sex with him. Most men who are lazy and/or only mildly interested in you will give up courting after a few weeks, once they find some easier piece of tail to chase. Only a man who is truly in love with you and is truly a good catch will continue to court you for months without the promise of sex. Not having sex with a man is like a litmus test for the future of your relationship.

Plus, there is the unfortunate reality that men classify women as “sluts” or “wives”. Yes, it’s an unfair, misogynistic double standard, I know! The problem is, there’s no fighting it. It’s how they think. If  you want a quality relationship (note: quality, not just any relationship. Sure, one-night-stands can turn into relationships, but they’re the relationships where 5 years down the track the woman is trying to pressure the man to propose and the man is having an affair with his secretary…) you have to play by the rules.

This is in no way similar to prostitution! Prostitutes will use sex for money. They do not reserve sex for someone they truly have feelings for – it is a simple business transaction. Don’t think you can act like a prostitute and find a great boyfriend or husband. At least the prostitute knows what it’s about and isn’t kidding herself. And she ends up with a wad of cash at the end of the night. The slut has neither the man nor the cash. The only difference between a slut and a prostitute is that the slut forgot to charge.

So just think about that next time you meet a truly luscious man, and the sparks begin to fly. At the very least, you should reevaluate your priorities before jumping into bed with him.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 6:39 am

    Can someone please let me know the Internet address of a good STD dating site for people who have herpes or HIV? Carol Davis, San Francisco, CA

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  3. March 28, 2011 9:41 am

    A fellow WordPress blogger touched on this topic recently, and I have to say, I agree with everything she says, and consider it a must-read:

  4. vic permalink
    June 3, 2011 12:21 pm

    great post; i agree 100% good to have you guys back! Missed you for a while:)


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