MISS SPICY: I’ve lost male friends who demanded sex after buying me drinks
A while back together with a group of five friends we decided to go bowling. We agree it’s a competition and while I’m busy trying to master the precise art of rolling my bowling ball so it hits as many bowling pins as possible, I overhear a conversation from the group next to us. “Why is it that almost every man I’ve met expects sex because he either bought me a drink or helped me out at a time I was financially down?” poses a girl who looks like she could be about 25. “But what were you expecting when you agreed to accept his favours? Why do most of you girls assume you don’t know he eventually wants to bed you?” responds her male friend, who I figure from the interaction is just that – a platonic friend. Wait… do those even exist? Hmmm… that’s a story for another day.
“But what makes a man assume I’m fair game because I accepted a drink invitation?” quips yet another girl. “Look at it as a chef marinating some appetising food to eat later,” the guy says as the group burst out laughing.
And it occurs to me this could probably be every girl’s dilemma. I flashback to a few of my own experiences and yes, I have lost male friends who after buying me drinks a couple of times and asking me for sex to which I expressed my disgust walked out on me, some even branding me a gold-digger. Please, what gold was I digging? Haha! Reminds me of this crazy girl who used to tell us that we should not sleep with a guy who can buy you a Toyota if you can afford to buy one yourself.
“Raise the stakes…” she would say. But deep down I feel the young man is right… what does a girl expect when a man gives her money, pays for her bills or takes her on holiday? Is that man your dad? Or brother? As I type this out, a close cousin keeps interrupting me with phone calls wondering when I will be done so we go out. You see, he lives abroad and when around he always seeks me out to buy me drinks… Today is the third night in a row and as a single girl, this is one of the few men whose money I can enjoy without a worry in the world. I can comfortably order a bottle of my favourite poison and even suggest where we should have dinner, depending on my preference at the time without wondering when I will be expected ‘to pay back’.
Deep down, I feel sex is transactional. And no, you need not be a lady of the night. I always say, if as a lady you don’t want him to view it as an exchange of sorts, then pay for at least one item on the table. Of course dating has different parameters but if you two aren’t an item and he keeps doing small favours for you, he will begin to feel entitled… to what’s between your legs. Our social norms do not help either and they have influenced the practice of transactional sex because of the gender expectations that men should provide material things and the women feel obliged to ‘repay’ with sex.
Most sexual relationships often times than not have a ‘what’s in it for me’ factor. “Let no one deceive you. Every time you think of getting intimate with your partner, the first thought is about fulfilling your needs, be they emotional, sexual or financial,” confesses David*, (not his real name, of course), a colleague who’s been married for slightly over a decade now. But is all sex transactional? Do both men and women engage in intimacy expecting something in return? Would we term it transactional if she is having sex with you for intangible reasons like emotional validation, social validation or revenge on someone?
We might want to deny or debate until the cows come home but owing to our economic and social realities, sex is transactional to a very large degree. Or are you kidding yourself that the 50 or 60-year-old-man you are sleeping with and who spends a fortune on you is busy processing divorce papers so that he marries you? Get a grip, girl. His money for your youth (read sex). Thanks to a society that has actually normalised sex as currency. This reminds me of a tweet I read a few months back describing it as ‘clitocurrency’. Well, the word doesn’t exist in the dictionary, at least not just yet, but it spoke volumes… it’s about using sex to climb up the social ladder. Something our young men aren’t exempted from too… think Ben 10s… young men who exchange sex for luxurious trips and gifts with older women.
A man of means will use his wealth and power while a woman will tap into his wealth through sex. This is not to say that every woman doing well for herself had to give horizontal therapy to some rich guy. No… that’s not quite our topic today.
But isn’t dating today a form of transaction where one party does a good deed and expects something in return? I have male friends who tell me that their wives withhold sex until they fulfil a certain obligation. Isn’t that transactional already? It might just be an unwritten rule in the relationship handbook that it’s actually a favour for a favour. Otherwise why would a girl start asking for financial favours once she sleeps with a guy? Blame it on our society or socialisation but females will most likely start feeling entitled to his money once he starts hitting it. Let’s just say for sex to be transactional, it would have to involve an exchange of money, services or favours, which is alive and well in our society.