SEMANTICS

A recent Huffington Post article on the phenomenon – although it is not at all clear if this is anecdotal or widespread – of college graduate women resorting to "sugar daddy" relationships to pay off student debt is making the rounds. I can't be certain of the author's intent, but the final product is offensive in ways she probably never intended.

Briefly, the article covers websites that connect older, wealthy individuals with young women (note: it mentions young men in passing as well) who are willing to provide "companionship" in exchange for "being taken care of" financially. If this sounds an awful lot like prostitution, I agree. And let me clarify one thing before everyone jumps all over me: I have no moral, legal, or ethical qualms with whatever consenting adults agree to do. If a young person is willing to provide an older person with "companionship" in exchange for money without either force or coercion being involved, then in my mind everyone is fully informed and participating willingly. Fine. If men or women, young or old, are comfortable entering into such an arrangement then that is their right and my feelings about it are irrelevant.

But here is the aspect of this story that bothers me. A lot.

"I'm honestly surprised there aren't more college students doing this," says Jennifer, not blinking. She's a 23-year-old recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

Fed up with young, unemployed men her own age, Jennifer recently began trawling for a sugar daddy to pay down about $20,000 in student loan debt. She also wouldn't mind a clothing allowance or rent money for her studio apartment in New York's East Village.

A week ago, she boarded a plane to Florida to spend the weekend with a 30-something banker she met on SugarDaddie.com. He told her his house was undergoing a renovation and instead drove her to a nearby hotel, where they spent the night together…At the end of the weekend, the man handed her 10 crisp $100 bills. They next plan to rendezvous in Orlando in August.

Jennifer doesn't label what she's doing as prostitution. "I'm not a whore. Whores are paid by the hour, can have a high volume of clients in a given day, and it's based on money, not on who the individual actually is. There's no feeling involved and the entire interaction revolves around a sexual act," says Jennifer, who wears a $300 strapless dress purchased with money from her most recent conquest. The rest of the money, she says, went towards paying down her student loans.

"My situation is different in a number of different ways. First of all, I don't engage with a high volume of people, instead choosing one or two men I actually like spending time with and have decided to develop a friendship with them. And while sex is involved, the focus is on providing friendship. It's not only about getting paid."

To most of today's undergraduates, this is the biggest benefit of a liberal arts education: learning how to intellectualize their own life choices in a way that belittles others and enforces class barriers. Again, in my mind there is nothing wrong with "Jennifer" or her choices. These are willing adults. But I subscribe to the Call a Spade a Spade school of logic. Jennifer, you are fucking someone in exchange for money. That is called prostitution. Deal with it.

Instead of looking into the mirror and saying "OK, this is the choice I made," we see the wheels of a six-figure private school education turning in her head. People who go to Sarah Lawrence and meet rich men on websites aren't whores – whores are poor people! Brown people! Whores are people who live in ghettos and bang guys for $20 or some rock. I'm certainly not one of them! Look at my expensive lifestyle. Look at how effectively I can segregate us into clearly defined groups. I am a good person. They are not.

If the only way you can defend or feel good about what you're doing with your life is to demean or denigrate people of a lower social class in order to elevate yourself, there is an excellent chance that you're trying to placate yourself as much as you are trying to convince others. Oh, and as a general rule, much like the phrase "I'm not a racist, but…" is used exclusively by racists, anyone who feels compelled to explain why "I'm not a whore" is probably exactly that. Lobbyists, take note.

87 thoughts on “SEMANTICS”

  • While *you* may have no moral, ethical, or legal qualms about (consenting-adult-based) prostitution, Jennifer clearly does. What's so wrong about saying "Yeah, I fuck guys for money"? Plenty, it would seem–but not if you're doing it if you *want* the money. *Then* it's a lifestyle choice that no one gets to judge you for. But if you fuck for money that you *need*–to make rent, to pay for food, to support a chemical dependency–well, then you're a whore.

    I've tended bar in some high-end establishments in Los Angeles, and as such have met and gotten conversational with several young women working on the other side of the bar–the kind of women that our concierge had on his super-secret-speed-dial. Very high-end, very attractive, and always very much "doing this to put myself through college." Except that I noticed, in our conversations, that they were always either out of school, or on indefinite leave, and that what they spent their money on was the superficial trappings of wealth. Designer clothes, luxury cars, etc.–all things that they could not possibly afford at such a young age if they'd had to rely on a paycheck. Basically, they wanted to live like they'd worked their way up the ladder without having to, you know, work their way up the ladder. Jennifer sounds very much like these women.

    The retailing of one's body is a complicated mess of gender politics–is it empowering? Humiliating? Shameful? No big deal? Ask a dozen people across the spectrum, and expect a lot of loud voices telling you why you're an idiot for even asking the question. All I can say is that these women were cold-bloodedly mercenary, their humor cruel, and their declared priorities shallow. Did prostitution do this to them, or did they turn to prostitution because they were already like this? All I know is that when they offered to 'see me home' for a reduced rate, I claimed the existence of a live-in girlfriend; maybe there were decent, vulnerable people beneath those facades, but instinct told me otherwise. And besides, reduced rate or not, I really couldn't afford it–I had to make rent on my cheap shitbox of a studio.

    Point is, Jennifer's hypocritical self-delusion doesn't surprise me. Her job demands smiling pretense and a detachment of body from self–and that's the recipe for a sociopath. I don't think prostitution should be illegal, but I also don't like what it does to the people who practice it.

    But, Jennifer? Seriously? OK, fine, you're not a "whore"–that's a pejorative, and one that I won't use, even though you seem to have no problem. But you're a prostitute, as any of my former acquaintances would have called you on in a heartbeat. Say this for the ladies on the other side of the bar, at least they all copped to "selling it."

  • I don't want to sound too picky, but if we have no "ethical qualms with whatever consenting adults agree to do" — neither do I, for the most part — then maybe she's right that we shouldn't call her a "whore." After all, "whore" isn't a neutral term; it's pejorative; it must imply "ethical qualms." So, yes, let's admit that she engages in prostitution. But I'm going to follow her lead and deny that she's a whore. Who is a whore, then? I don't know. Obviously, her concept of it is self-serving. But at this point, I only tend to call certain politicians whores — and I feel a little grubby doing that.

  • I'm not sure this is about semantics. The old Lincoln line about calling a tail a leg comes to mind.

    Lisa Taddeo of New York magazine wrote a superb article in the wake of Tiger Woods' comeuppance, "Rachel Uchitel is not a Madam."

    http://nymag.com/print/?/news/features/65238/

    After I'd read the article, I realized that the particular American genius of segmenting markets worked for high income males and sex at the top 1%, top 0.1% and top 0.001% of the income distribution. Read the article: lots of Jennifers there.

  • Maybe she should insist they don't have sex the next time or two they get together, and instead just enjoy each others' company. I wonder how long those crisp $100s will keep coming.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    Men and women exchange sex/companionship/etc a lot. Jennifer is one of many. It's one night in Florida or ten years of marriage. It's with a John or as a mistress of varying durations (sometimes dozens of years). Women, in particular, who started a regular relationship/marriage find themselves in an exchange just to survive or protect kids.

    We all pretend to be better, smarter, better looking and more popular than we actually are. Jennifer is entitled to her slice of "I am better than." It helps blunt the harsh sunlight.

    Lobbyist do the exchange shuffle but they maintain the leverage. They get to fuck Obama and then kick his butt. Kicking butt is not typically part of an exchange.

  • I wonder if "Jennifer" even questioned the story that the man's house was undergoing renovation. Oh man, that's hilarious.

    My favorite anecdote about prostitution involves Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. You can check it out here.

    Like Ed, I don't have a problem with what consenting adults do, but I do wish that everyone would be more honest.

  • anotherbozo says:

    @ Jude: I picked up on the "renovation" story, too. Hysterical. An expensive education and she swallows that? Renovation = wife at home. Or nosy neighbors. Whatever.

    BTW, if not the most expensive, the Call a Spade a Spade School of Logic is one of the most exclusive in the country. Self-selecting student body. With no danger of overcrowding.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Jennifer, I understand it's a business transaction.
    But it is also the very definition of prostitution. I, too, have no problems with what 2 or more consenting male and/or female adults do sexually, or what the pay-off is, be it cash, drugs, or fancy clothing, but it is what it is.

    Three or ten or more $20 pops a day trolling the streets at night by the Lincoln Tunnel doesn't make one whore, and one $1,000 pop in a FL hotel room make the other an Erection Engineer, or Erection Consultant. They are both prostituting themselves.

    What was her major at Sarah Lawrence? Rationalizing?

    "…to pay down about $20,000 in student loan debt. She also wouldn't mind a clothing allowance or rent money for her studio apartment in New York's East Village."

    Ok, Jennifer, I'll make you happy:
    You're not a whore, or a prostitute – you want to be, what was once called, a "kept woman (and I'm sure there were kept men, too.). There, I'm sure that makes a Rationalization major happy.

    All of that being said, I've been fucked by the corporations I've worked with for less – with no sexual satisfaction. At least not from my end…

  • BostonCharlie says:

    Capitalists get tax cuts from reducing public funding of higher education.

    Capitalists get big rake-offs from usurious private student loans.

    Capitalists get compliant sex slaves from students screwed by capitalists in the above two ways.

  • I'm just going to point out that "I'm not like them." is likely the most succinct summary of human history you're likely to find.

  • From the article:

    "I realize I'm not going to have it forever," Jennifer says, brushing her blond, wavy hair off to one side. "While I've still got it, I'm going to milk it for all it's worth. I mean, maybe I'll get swept off my feet. Really, anything could happen."

    Doesn't engaging in the 'Pretty Woman' fantasy tell her that she is engaging in prostitution?

  • I'm suprised that no one has pointed out that in proper academic parlance, Jennifer is neither a whore nor a prostitute. She is a "sex worker".

    One can then make many reasonable academic arguments about how sex work – particuarly high-end, relatively low-risk sex work – is no more demeaning, exploitative, risky, or wrong than many other kids of work in a capitalist economy. (Sex with a rich guy, or climbing down to clean out toxic refinery tanks in Linden – which is worse, and why? What about wearing a smock at Walmart and "greeting" people – are we all sure that's less demeaning than getting $1000 to screw the rich guy?) Jennifer aguably gets a decent wage, and maybe her sugar daddies will even pay some health care bills if she needs it….or not. (But then, what employer does?)

    My point? A lot of work in this economy is risky, demeaning, ill-paid, and demands a lot of "putting it on" – in other words, is pretty close to what one would pejoratively call "whoring".

    You're not "whoring" Jennifer – you've just concluded that sex work doesn't suck any worse than a lot of other jobs. No pun intended. Now you just need to realize that the "whores" you refer to are in the same field as you, just at a different level (you know, kind of like the "customer care" people at your hig-end retailers and the guy selling cofffe on the street are, at the end fo the day, all just "salespeople").

  • See, and I was thinking a smart move after college would have been to marry a moderately wealthy elderly man without kids. Married at 21… widowed by 26 with a nice nest egg… I can see the benefits. Plus, some cash to be a Sugar Mama to struggling humanities grad student.

  • It is a particularly queer habit of Americans with high social status to do the same things as people of lower social status, yet rationalize that it's okay when they do it.

    See Also: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. When filthy peasants have affairs, it's time for us to get back to Family Values™. When South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has an affair, Don't Judge Me It's True Love™.

    I have long been a proponent of the idea that what happens between consenting, informed adults is none of the government's, or anybody else's business. As far as I'm concerned, if this lady's escapades pay her bills, more power to her.

    But when a prostitute claims she's not a prostitute because she's from a higher social class than other prostitutes, I take issue. She spreads her legs and gets paid money for it by men she isn't married to, that's prostitution.

  • It looks like there's a distinction that is important to her, that is not important to you.

    You're saying "by prostituting yourself, you're a whore."
    And she's saying "I may be prostituting myself, but the subclass of prostitutes known as whores are different. I don't find prostitution—trading sex for money—distasteful. I find prostitution with a mass-market channel distasteful."

    I don't find the distinction all that meaningful, either. But it obviously matters to her.
    (What bothers me are three things:
    1- she is obviously either a liar or deluding herself about the value proposition [ :) ] of the arrangement to her SD.
    2 – I have trouble when people overpay. And I assume that someone with this much disposable income could find either companionship or sex for a lot less money.
    3 – $1000/weekend. And she blows $300 on a dress. And she needs to earn $20K. Something isn't adding up here, if she's not charging by the hour.)

  • Monkey Business says:

    Everybody pays for sex. Whether it's a nice dinner, new jewelry, a movie ticket, a drink at a bar, or listening to her talk about her day, everybody pays for sex.

    In this case, Jennifer gets paid cash for sex.

    Prostitutes gonna prostitute.

  • I'm sure I've said on this blog that America is about to become post-Soviet Russia. Here's more proof. You're going to see a lot more of this in the future.

    And yes, she is a whore, and the worst thing about it is that the women in prostitution that she looks down on are those who had far less choice in the matter than she did. Moral cowards will claim that many women choose to become prostitutes, claiming that nobody put a gun to their heads. They are somewhat less eager to explain why more women from poor countries tend to make that "choice", and they seem incapable of understanding how starvation and homelessness can be just as coersive as a gun. (After all, you DO have a choice when someone puts a gun to your head too.)

    I always find the mental gymnastics of "sex work" advocates to be pretty hilarious as well. If we use a different WORD, it will totally change people's view towards the women, and they will be respected and appreciated. WORDS are magic! Yet the same people are often the first to point out that women in poor countries aren't "innocent" and that many(they won't give you numbers) choose that profession. Interesting…if sex work is just work and is not a moral issue, why even bring up their innocence or character at all? And just to reiterate, why is it that making that "choice" to become a pros- excuse me, sex worker, seems to correlate to poverty or underdevelopment? Are they trying to say that women in Southeast Asia are more slutty? And how do they explain Eastern Europe, which at one period had virtually no prostitution, but suddenly became a sex tourism destination.

    Ed was spot on for pointing out this whore's elitism to those who had far less freedom to choose. Having said all that, I do acknowledge that for centuries, marriage has often been a tit-for-tat involving exchange of sex for something tangible. In a way, the girl is actually being more honest by admitting what her relationship is about. The problem is that she wants to hold some moral highground at the same time.

    And how about that boyfriend? He's so proud of his money but at the end of the day, he has to pay for sex. What a loser. Why, are we, the working class, still allowing these wastes of oxygen to live after fucking us every which way from Sunday?

  • Really interesting thread and comments, esp by Arslan.

    But I need to respond to this:

    "Everybody pays for sex. Whether it's a nice dinner, new jewelry, a movie ticket, a drink at a bar, or listening to her talk about her day, everybody pays for sex."

    MonkeyBusiness – Judging just based on this brief comment, you are at a bottom of a well of cynicism from which you need to dig yourself out. I consider your statement so distorted that it enters the realm of falsehood. And it's a falsehood that I'm sure isn't making you particularly happy.

  • Grumpygradstudent says:

    @Ellie:

    Brilliant comment. I've been hearing feminists bash the concept of legalized prostitution as inherently exploitative for years. The proper response to that critique is what you said…"yeah, so…what isn't?"

  • "And just to reiterate, why is it that making that "choice" to become a pros- excuse me, sex worker, seems to correlate to poverty or underdevelopment?"

    For the same reason that the "choice" to take on any number of jobs that others find distasteful correlates with poverty and underdevelopment – duh. How many people all over the world put their bodies at risk of injury, toxic chemicals, chronic pain, etc. for jobs that don't involve sex?

    The point is that sex work is like any other kind of work – it has it's high end and it's low end, and people choose to do it because they think it's the best option avaialbe to them. In some cases like the higher-end (that is, less risky) jobs, people like Jennifer may prefer it to a lot of other crummy non-sex jobs. In other cases (the risky "low end") it may be the only option desperate people feel they have. This is different from other horrible, explotative, health-destroying jobs how, exactly?

    Sex work, IMO, is a natural progression of the attitudes towards people (commodiites) and their bodies (trade for money) that are engendered by capitalism. So Jennifer sells her vagina for money – the guy in the tank in Linden sells his health for money. Why is the latter less wrong and less repulsive to anyone? A desperate woman sells her body for $20 a pop and risks disease; a worker in a third world country dies slowly from toxic poisoning as a result of some unimaginably horrible job. It's all the same system.

  • I think the real point of the situation is being missed. While what's she's doing is not new, even amongst middle and upper class educated women. It's a question of when the heck did this go mainstream and become a considered a viable career choice? I thought feminism was about giving women more options than this. What happened to us and society?

    Oh yeah! 30yrs of Reaganomics and economic rationalism.

    I think the adjective we're looking for her is: gold digger.

    While I think prostitution is pretty rancid. What they have here in Aus is far better than the US. Here it's been legalised. In doing so there's regulation and protection for those in the industry. No longer do they work on the fringes. They are less likely to be at the mercy of their pimps and corrupt cops. They can enforce the use of protection and so on and so forth.

  • To the degree that "whore" enjoys a pejorative status, isn't what Jennifer is doing more worthy of the pejorative than what the poor, tired, huddled masses do when they engage in the same behavior?

    That is, I've always understood the complaint against prostitution to amount to two separate complaints: a complaint about exploitation and a complaint about something like moral viciousness. Prostitutes are exploited, and whores are 'morally vicious' in some way. Jennifer's case, however, represents an attempt to provide a counter-example to the exploitation claim: "I'm not exploited; I'm choosing this freely. Therefore, there's nothing wrong with what I'm doing." Okay, you're not exploited.

    But then, being exploited may make a prostitute, but it does not make a whore. The wrongness of exploitation accrues to the exploiter rather than to the exploited. That she would freely choose to screw a guy for money isn't a point in her favor. And so Jennifer's defense of her behavior finally does not excuse her choice, but the choice of her John. The wrongness of the pejorative sense of the word "whore," however, accrues to whatever sort of moral viciousness is attached to the notion of selling sex for money. That is, it accrues to the prostitute. To the degree that "whore" is deserving of pejorative status, then, Jennifer is deserving of that status completely, because she chose it. And since it's pretty clear that you can't say this of prostitutes who are exploited, Jennifer's behavior is more deserving of our disgust than is the run-of-the-mill prostitute.

    How's that for using your six-figure education, Jennifer? You excuse the behavior of the your wealthy client, but make yourself all the worse for this. I wonder whether that figured in to the bill you sent him? Oh, well. Enjoy the dress.

  • "If the only way you can defend or feel good about what you're doing with your life is to demean or denigrate people of a lower social class in order to elevate yourself, there is an excellent chance that you're" a human being.
    Rationalizing away the things we do by claiming special status for ourselves is what we do. It's one of the main things that makes us human. "I'm a member of [this group], and therefore more specialer than all you losers out there."
    You know, I can't muster the energy to bash on Jennifer. She's no better or worse than most of the young women I know and have known. Most women do exactly this, and most women dress it up in whatever outfit lets them keep their self-respect or whatever is important to them. Men do the same damn thing, but for other goals. Hardly any of us can look coldly at our own choices; it's just so damn painful. It's much easier to live with if it's for a good reason, or we had no choice, or it's simply fate.
    And I don't need to invoke some new evil ideology as the cause of this; this is simply what people do. Maybe you don't, because you're too honest and open and fine a person, but I sure as Hell do it when I'm not looking, and everybody in my family does it and everybody I know does it, and from all I can tell, pretty much everybody in the world does it. So let's ease up on the high-minded sanctimony and go back to vigorously bashing the scumbuckets who happily take food from the mouths of starving children so that they can add another penny to their hoards. That's something that not everybody does. And it should be fought against with furious outrage by all of us at every opportunity.

  • drinking jim crow says:

    What I found most bothersome about that snippet was the weak premise that this woman was somehow pushed into this lifestyle by the $20,000 she owes in student loan debt. $20,000!?! That's like me resorting to turning tricks to pay down my car loan! Join the rest of us recent post-graduates and add another zero to that debt and I might start to relate to your plight Jennifer.

  • I think one of the major points of this is the fact that higher education means almost nothing but the 21st Century's indentured servitude to the Federal Loan system. I'm 5 years out of college, still with 20K+ in debt, and living paycheck to paycheck in the most expensive city in the US (NYC) because I couldn't find a job to stay afloat in Connecticut. Fucking CONNECTICUT!
    I have a phone hearing later next week to determine whether or not the government is going to be able to garnish my wages as personal misfortunes made it impossible for me to pay my outrageous $200/month loan payment. I feel at times hopeless, lamenting, and livid that I got myself into the debt trap of college. Yeah, I learned alot and became more well rounded, yadda yadda…but the fact remains I'm broke and feel like the universe is screwing me for what amounts to peanuts for a lot of people.
    If only I had a pair of tits or the moral void to service some fat old man to pay off my debts…

  • Value added: This will make a helluva memoir when she's about 27. When the time comes – when the hedge fund monsters find her a mite less savory – she can finally embrace what she's doing, really play up the humiliation, get down with her crackhead/human-trafficked sisters in Cass Corridor and Bangkok and hold court with Oprah.

  • I didn't want to get into it, but I did LOL my ass off at the $20,000 claim. That's fucking peanuts. The monthly payment on $20,000 (I still have slightly more than that) is $243. Give me a fucking break.

  • I did the math, and 1000/weekend for 52 weekends (assuming she can get "work" for every week of the year) is only $52,000.

    I suppose it's tax-free though. I'd imagine this hypocrite is a tax denier and votes with the Tea Party.

  • Well, that's the way the upper class always justify their behavior. I.e., the guys on Wall Street don't see themselves as crooks, grifters or irresponsible gamblers. They see themselves as "doing god's work.: Just ask Lloyd Blankfein. It's just another version of IOKIYAR.

    (nb: Well, the fringe benefits of a bad economy and the ridiculously high costs of of a higher education: Rich old lechers can now buy them some young poontang! Just another sign that Boomers are totally evil? :-))

  • The unemployment rate for 20-somethings is well over 20%.

    The men are going into the military: all branches of the U.S. military are easily meeting their enlistment quotas, and men with college degrees are even enlisting instead of becoming officers because the officer programs are completely full.

    The women are…. going into sex work, I guess.

    Both of these are better than starving.

    You can thank your local Democrat or Republican who has fought hard to make this current depression as deep and as long as possible.

  • @ Monkey Business. Did you actually just write that? Really? So by your rationale all girls are prostitutes? You go out with someone, have dinner, a few drinks, perhaps pay for the other person, have sex, and they are a prostitute for this? I just…can't…even….Really? If you think this is the same as someone entering into a agreement that involves money or gifts for sexual acts – specifically because of said sexual acts – I feel sorry for you and everyone you know.

  • I've been hearing feminists bash the concept of legalized prostitution as inherently exploitative for years. The proper response to that critique is what you said…"yeah, so…what isn't?"

    The intransigent issue at the heart of the prostitution debate, is that unwanted sex appears to be intrinsically physically and emotionally harmful. Even if we could somehow remove prostitution/sex work from the toxic stew of expectations about women's sexuality, the control of pimps/traffickers, and the stigmatising scrutiny of the criminal justice system, we would still be left with that fact.

    Formulating a policy response to prostitution is one of the big discussions within feminism, and there are thoughtful, reasonable positions on both sides of the argument.

    Not to place myself above the argument, but I do sometimes get frustrated with how simplistically 'choice' is discussed within it. When we talk about other factors that influence women's labour market participation, like motherhood, caring responsibilities, and stereotyping about women's capabilities, then we can see some choices as almost entirely constructed by factors outside individual women's influence.

    In a society that doesn't value childcare, prices women's labour at a lower rate than men's, provides 'flexible' (for which read 'demanding, inflexible, and unstable') employment, has a limited welfare safety net, and in which sex is increasingly commoditised, then we create pretty excellent conditions for prostitution to flourish.

    I'm sure that Jennifer wishes she was more than a nicely packaged meat sock to her punters, and I can see why she's willing to deprecate other women to sustain that myth. I hope she gets out while it's all a jolly adventure that pays for nice dresses.

  • I think what Jennifer means by "I'm not a whore" is not "I don't get paid for sex" or even "I'm not dirty like low-class prostitutes." I think she means that she signed up to be exploited only by the very best people.

    Isn't that, after all, the ethos cultivated by, say, Sarah Lawrence? "Sure we're taking you for $50k a year, but we're the best!"

  • By the way, here's a story which mirrors Jennifer's stunningly, but which has hardly any of the same class connotations.

    Police dubbed the operation "extra sugar."

    They said the 29-year old Dunkin’ Donuts employee was soliciting sex while working the drive-thru during her overnight shift.

    Rockaway Borough police had been watching since mid-June, according to Detective Sgt. Kyle Schwarzmann, and saw her enter several cars.

    Today, Melissa Redmond, in her first interview since she was arrested last week, fought back, offering her side of the story.

    "I am not some whore," she said, choking back tears.

    First and foremost, she said, she has a regular job. She has worked for Dunkin’ Donuts for five years, struggling to support herself and her unemployed boyfriend. The two have been together for 10 years.

    Yes, she said, she has taken money from people, but those are friends who know she is poor. She made no pretense about being monogamous, but said she never offered any kind of menu of sexual acts.

    The claim "I'm not some whore" coming from these women seems to rely on the notion that they're performing sex acts because they need the money, whereas proper whores have made some kind of lifestyle choice.

  • I think Steven Soderbergh made a movie about this sort of thing called "The Girlfriend Experience". It's a really good watch.

    Also, I think prostitution shouldn't be a crime.

  • West of the Cascades says:

    Somehow this makes me think of the epilogue to "Animal House" when you seen John Belushi drive away with one of the sorority girls … I can see "Senator Jennifer (R – New York)" below this woman's photo on Fox News in about 20 years.

  • Grumpygradstudent says:

    @Elle:
    "is that unwanted sex appears to be intrinsically physically and emotionally harmful."

    But working as a fast food worker, a toll booth operator, a security guard, a garbage collector, a cleaning lady, a janitor, a roofer, a fruit picker, a server, a roughneck, a mechanic, a machinist….isn't? I think the point that Ellie made so well is that all of these activities are dangerous, taxing, and somewhat emotionally demeaning, and are probably not those workers' first choices for how they would like to earn a living.

    Choices for low skilled people in the labor market everywhere (both men and women) have been increasingly constrained as the economy has shifted from agriculture and manufacturing to service. That sucks. But I still don't see how prostitution is of a fundamentally different kind than any other sort of physical work. I also find the assertion that prostitution is "intrinsically" emotionally damaging. There are many professional sex workers who would vehemently disagree with you, and unless you want to claim they are somehow incapable of evaluating their own lives (an approach I find hopelessly paternalistic), then your assertion is a bit overboard.

    Moreover, talking about the negative consequences of prostitution (being pimped, abused, etc) under a regime of prohibition is like saying that drugs are harmful because drugs lead to violence. The prohibition ITSELF is the source of much of the harm. Drug markets wouldn't be violent if they were legal. Prohibition creates black markets, which by definition removes the participants in that market from legal protection and access to legal remedies to enforce contracts.

    In short…legalize it, regulate it, and let grownups make their own decisions about their bodies and their money.

  • Interesting points, all (except MonkeyBusiness – Dude. Your comments on other subjects here show you are better, and smarter, than that. Think harder about this subject. Then go hug your Mum).

    Paying for sex is one of those subjects that'll always be a grey area, with valid perspectives across the spectrum. But what about the other side of this "relationship"? The *friendship* part really bothers me. Prostitution is just that – sex for money. A transaction. Payment for services rendered. But paying someone to hang out with you for the weekend? That is just fucking tragic. A kept woman (or man) is one thing, a sad thing for all concerned IMHO, but the buying and selling of friendship cannot be a good thing for anyone involved, and the normalisation and mainstreaming of this phenomenon isn't good for any of us.

    Where JzB when you need him?

    WASF…

  • Has anyone yet mentioned that no one knows exactly what is involved in the actual doing of someone else's job? An admin is not a secretary is not a receptionist is not a transcriptionist is not a personal assistant (and so on) — and yet there may be overlap between those positions, and the same title at two companies can mean the same or utterly different jobs. So to those on the job, a whore may not be a call girl, may not be a streetwalker, may not be a bath girl, may not be a stripper…and so on. They all may be classified as sex workers to academics, and by some of the involved parties, but I'm in no position to tell a person she doesn't know what she's talking about when it's her own job.

    People like Heidi Fleiss, who refer to themselves as whores, are refreshing to me, but I can't sneer at people who are not so forthright. Maybe they are ashamed, or lying to themselves, or unable to be confront their own prejudices against the word. Just like soi-disant good girls in high school, who know they are not sluts, no matter how many guys they get with — because sluts are self-loathing scum who get with any ol' body, and me, I'm in love every time. If you're not a slut by your own definition, why use someone else's?

    Particularly when, as with girls who are happy to get with sugar daddies (and sugar daddies, who are delighted to have a steady source of hotness with no delusions of luuuurve) the difference between a generous beau and a steady john is that one gets you jail time, and the other doesn't.

  • @Ellie: thank you for bring up the "choice" issue.

    If there's one thing that pisses me off about libertarians is how they luurve the word "choice". Because some how that absolves them of responsibility. Put a knowingly harmful product out there and it's the choice of the sucker who bought it. Put your money into a bank or stock that collapses, well you chose to do that. Should have done your research (of course the info in question is neither freely available nor comprehensible — but that's your problem). Boarded a plane with rust holes? You chose to fly. You could have driven or taken a train… Maybe you should have inspected the plane. Don't like your wage? Maybe you should choose a better job or line of work. Yup it's all up to you and your power of choice. Perhaps you shouldn't have chosen to live where your neighbour shits in the communal stream. It's his choice to foul the water supply so that makes it good. Get a job so you can live in better areas.

    Ah yes, the libertarian god of choice.

    I'd like to propose a "thought experiment".
    Let's say we put 100 or so libertarian ideologues on an Aleutian island w only a few resouces (ie a sack of potatoes, a chicken or two and a Swiss Army knife) for 5 years.
    Then see how these "rugged individualists" fair. The question is, "will they *choose* to go completely Lord of the Flies, or will they *choose* to make a society?"
    Sub questions are: who will be "eliminated" first? Would a tea party intransigents like Bachman and the Ferengi guy from TX learn to play fair? How would job creators like the Kochs go, doing bugger all, but expecting 99% being given to them? We can see how a Randbot goes with those damn producers wanting stuff. And Walker can try to see how he can prevent people organising to create a society. We need to ensure that libertarian economic theorists are in the mix reminding everyone to do their research cause they'll be solely responsible for the choices they make.

  • At the risk of sounding totally sexist, a large portion of dating itself is prostitution-lite. Spend more money, get more sex. Simple as that. What makes this situation so bad is that she EXPLICITLY collects money from men she meets online.

    Her rationale is that it can't be prostitution because she gets to be selective with her clients. That's why it's wrong, not because of Ed's race baiting. He has great points that resonate with me, but he's just stretching the article too much.

    Overall, this is depressing for an almost unrelated reason…As a guy about to finish undergrad, do bleak job opportunities equate to a shitty sex life?

    PS-What a bitch, buying $300 outfits while pretending it's for student loans.

  • @grumpygradstudent

    Having grown up in the unwashed masses I take some offense that

    "fast food worker, a toll booth operator, a security guard, a garbage collector, a cleaning lady, a janitor, a roofer, a fruit picker, a server, a roughneck, a mechanic, a machinist"

    are all emotionally demeaned by their jobs and would jump to do something else if only offered.

    While I agree that it is not MY first choice, I have personal friends who have would do nothing else but be a mechanic, a machinist, etc.

    Their lives, in many cases, are not defined by what they do for money, and many are highly skilled and educated in their fields,and would consider anyone who pursued a post-graduate degree in any field other than astrophysics or a hard science a complete waste of breathable air, and would have nothing but pity for the poor soul who was to afraid of life to leave the rarified air of academia.

    Again, not my opinion, just one I am familiar with.

    As far as Jennifer is concerned, whatever you tell yourself to get through is fine with me, I dare any of us to go through the day without at least one juicy rationalization, but karma is bitch, and pride, of any sort, leads to nothing but sorrow and pain.

  • Oh, Turok, it doesn't sound sexist; it sounds misogynistic. But it's neither — it's just naive. Guys who are attracted to shallow idiots and are SHOCKED SHOCKED I TELL YOU when they turn out to be shallow idiots need to stop blaming idiots for being what they are, and ask themselves why they are attracted to idiots. Same goes for girls who are so self-obsessed or love-hungry (or otherwise distracted) that they can't discern a real guy from an obvious skin-deep shopper always looking for a prettier piece of ass. (Some days I wonder if it anyone ever watched those after-school specials, seriously.)

    The sophomore degree of difficulty is learning that there are pretty girls who are not up for the highest bidder, nice guys who are horndogs, etc. But the first questions should always be directed at the self. Why are you attracted to girls whose sexuality is triggered by cash outlay? Do you know how to show interest without candy-flowers-jewelry? Do you tend to lose interest if a girl picks up the check? Some guys shower a girl with gifts and then despise her for warming up physically as well as emotionally, but believe me: writing mash notes, having long conversations, and laughing at a girl's jokes will get you even farther — if she's the right kind of girl. (Yes, I know, we're women, we have a movement and everything, but still.)

  • Ah, so you have no legal, ethical or moral qualms about prostitution as long as there is no coercion? But isn't the line between coercion and non-coercion awfully blurry here? Does a woman really have a choice if it is between bankruptcy/loan default/starvation/homelessness and having sex for money? What choice? Sure, there may be no pimp exercising physical coercion, but the logic of late capitalism is coercion enough in my book.

    These guys paying for sex are not only pathetic, but unethical.

  • My first thought was, graduating from Sarah Lawrence with only 20K in debt? She was either on scholarship or her parents are (probably) loaded.

    Second thought, it's her body and she can do what she wants with it. If she's more comfortable not thinking of herself as a prostitute (although I agree she is one) then that's her business and none of ours.

  • @ladiesbane

    I agree, the art of wooing is dead, killed by a hyper-sexualized media and an expectation of physical activity early in the relationship cycle.

    However, that women's movement you speak of is partially to blame for this, with women equalizing themselves to men, and thereby lowering their value, IMHO.

    How much money you make is not an indicator of your worth, and women will always be more valuable to any society because of the way we are built, no matter how much money or power one sex has.

  • "Does a woman really have a choice if it is between bankruptcy/loan default/starvation/homelessness and having sex for money? What choice?"

    Uh, let's keep things in perspective here. This is a girl who lives in Manhattan and has $20,000 in student loans. Christ, I have $25,000. And I make dick.

    I understand the point you are trying to make, but your leap from financial need to having no alternative to sex work is…not convincing.

  • Everybody pays for sex. Whether it's a nice dinner, new jewelry, a movie ticket, a drink at a bar, or listening to her talk about her day, everybody pays for sex

    Cynical or not, if you aren't paying in money, you're paying in time. This is absolutely true.

    Until you get married. Then you pay for a built in audience to completely ignore your sexual wants, as opposed to when you were single and had to cast about in vain for someone to do so on a temporary basis.

  • I also find the assertion that prostitution is "intrinsically" emotionally damaging. There are many professional sex workers who would vehemently disagree with you, and unless you want to claim they are somehow incapable of evaluating their own lives (an approach I find hopelessly paternalistic), then your assertion is a bit overboard.

    It's not my assertion. It seems to be what the evidence tells us. A thorough literature review is beyond the scope of a comment on a blog, but I'll see if I can find an easily linkable something. Even within states that have decriminalised soliciting (or equivalent), and within contexts that are perceived as safer (inside, in saunas or apartments) harm appears to pertain.

    There is a real issue about women's agency, and there is a risk of those in favour of a Swedish, criminalising-demand model sounding as if they are accusing prostituted women of false consciousness. However, I think there is another risk, which is that those identified as spokespeople for 'sex workers' (and I agree with the commenter above that this is applied in a very elastic way, ranging from telephone operators through lapdancing to street prostitution), are the most privileged (in many ways), and least likely to be working in the most dangerous, and traumatic end of the industry.

    I was very tangentially involved in a bit of policy development on sex work (I do some work in a couple of related fields) and it's an incredibly contested area of work. We are still at a relatively early stage in terms of looking at different regulatory and harm-reduction regimes around the world, and there are a huge number of different policy actors who all have issues that are tied in to commercial sexual exploitation. There's also the problematising fact that, globally, most 'women' and 'men' actually enter prostitution as children.

    Organising models haven't delivered for prostituted women, although the Germans gave it a really good go with a big piece of work to organise of sex workers into the ver.di union. The German state was highly politically motivated to support this, because it was hosting the football World Cup, and it was under scrutiny by the entire sex work research monde because sporting events and prostitution go together like gin and tonic. Despite waiving union dues, and membership guaranteeing holidays, health services, and other benefits, only 100 women out of ~400,000 joined.

    The goal (for me) is to find some kind of policy solution that reduces the harm to women, men, and children, and to the wider community. From the evidence, it seems that the Swedish / Icelandic model might be more likely to offer that than the Dutch or German models, from the stats on associated crime, trafficking and child prostitution in those states. I think it's essential to continue to listen to prostituted men and women talking about the realities of their work as policy develops. However, there are real issues about representation, and it's also essential to find a way to hear the voices of those who don't go to the consultation events, and meetings with politicians, to explain how being a prostitute is a sexually liberating, financially lucrative fun time.

  • @grumpygradstudent

    Some of my most fulfilling and pleasing work (in hindsight, now that I have a degree and a careerish job) was as an hourly wage janitor, construction worker, and farm hand. With the right attitude, a good long day of "labor" can be just the opposite of "emotionally harmful." And how you can describe a mechanic or a machinist as "low skilled" is beyond me. Methinks you need to get out in the world and finish your "education," and I don't mean backpacking through Europe.

  • grumpygradstudent says:

    I also grew up in one of the more impoverished counties in Southern Indiana, so take your salt of the earth bullshit somewhere else.

  • grumpygradstudent says:

    @Elle,

    Saying that, on average, prostitution seems to harm prostitutes, even controlling for the institutional regime, is not the same thing as saying it's intrinsically harmful. Obviously, as you concede, there are at least some people in that field who enjoy their work, or at least don't find it any more unpleasant than most people find their jobs.

    Also, how is harm measured? Why is it harmful? Perhaps it's harmful in the same way that being a gay kid can be harmful…because other people will treat you like shit if they know you're a prostitute. The mechanism here is important. If the mechanism is that society is fucked up and backwards about human sexuality, that implies a different policy response than saying the mechanism is that the act of exchanging sex for money causes the harm.

    And, finally, you didn't address my main point in the comment, which is, compared to what? What evidence do you have that prostitution is any more emotionally damaging than other kinds of work? And of course(this is where asshole Ike above appears to have misread my comment) , many people engaged in dangerous or taxing work enjoy or don't mind their jobs too much, but I'm sure lots of people hate their jobs with a passion and find daily life in a capitalist economy exhausting and humiliating and generally emotionally damaging. Or are you saying there is some different TYPE of emotional harm that accrues to prostitutes?

  • cromartie: do you honestly feel that way? That you're paying, in time or in cash, for sex, and that marriage means you're paying for someone to ignore your sexual wants? If you don't like the company of the people you've dated (or married), and sex is the sole deal maker/breaker in your approach to love, then a prostitute would be your dream date. She'll have no delusions that you care about her for anything other than sex, and you'll get your money's worth, no time wasted on wooing someone who doesn't come across with the goods. If you're okay with that, go forth in joy, not bitterness; problem solved. The alternative is trying to find a woman who wants loveless relationship in which her presence is only wanted for sex, and I promise: she will either be a sad little doormat (possibly your cup of tea) or by god she will expect payment in return. Quid pro quo, Clarice.

    And @sadness: I don't think the art of wooing is dead, personally; I only wish to promote it as a reminder that while the mating itself is crucial, the mating dance itself should be a trial run at future fun. If a guy makes himself miserable taking a girl dancing every night to woo her, then wonders after marriage why she doesn't want to skip clubs forever in order to watch sports with him all weekend, they will be wretched together or live separate lives.

    Too, I wish people would not automatically consider themselves great catches. We all may be special little snowflakes (our mamas tell us so,) but no one deserves love. It happens, or it doesn't — and it's not based on looks, it's not based on being a Good Guy ™, it's not based on expensive cars and wristwatches or plastic surgery and hair extensions. But it will never happen to people who bitterly dismiss the opposite sex, or desperately yearn for love, rather than being themselves and understanding what sort of person that will attract.

    One of the saddest things I see is the heterosexual person who can't stand the company of the opposite sex. I've known so many guys who truly dislike women (their emotions, biology, smells, everything) and bitterly resent being held hostage to the pussy monopoly. — And so many women who think boys are likewise icky (poor company, foul smelling, only after one thing) but are willing to allow boys into their lives if-and-only-if they are immaculately groomed and ready to take orders. It's so hostile. If you don't like each other, are not charmed by each other, and are not even sufficiently energized to show off a little, don't bother!

  • @grumpygradstudent

    Things can be intrinsically harmful, even if the person that are harming doesn't know they're being harmed. The fact that cigarettes do not cause cancer in 100 per cent of the people who smoke twenty a day from the age of fourteen, does not mean that cigarette smoke does not contain carcinogens. I have no doubt that there are people who work as prostitutes who remain entirely unaffected by ther experiences, and have excellent physical and mental health. The mass of international evidence suggests that their experience is the minority. This does not, of course, mean it should be discounted, but is a weak argument for proposing policy prescriptions that would only work if this was the majority experience.

    You are right to say that we still don't know enough about the exact mechanism by which prostitution is harmful. Sadly, the reality of prostitution, however 'high-class', includes significant levels of violence, requires behaviours inimical to good sexual health, and is strongly associated with addiction. If you are being prostituted, you are much more likely to have experienced sexual or physical abuse as a child. Prostitution is also obviously gendered, and related to other forms of gender-based violence. (There is very little intra-state demand for commercial sexual exploitation by women, although there is evidence of demand internationally, usually in the form of white western women exploiting young black men from the global south.) Violence and oppression are themselves obviously physically and emotionally harmful.

    The best that seems to have been done, in terms of trying to unravel all of this, are multi-country studies that look at the impacts of prostitution across different contexts. (Sadly, there is no state free of gender-based violence and women's economic inequality that could provide us with an indication of what happens when some of these other factors affecting women's wellbeing are absent.) I'm sure there are more recent studies, but Farley's 1998 work across five countries identified that 67 pc of prostituted women responding to a questionnaire met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Other work places the impacts of the experience of prostitution on a par with experiencing torture.

    We know a great deal about occupational health and the impacts of work on people. We are too content, in my opinion, to allow some risks to mental and physical health, like working nights, be compensated for by wage premia, or handwaved away as irrelevant. Slack labour markets enable laissez-faire around occupational diseases, and occupational health programmes (in some EU states) have been twisted into management bludgeons of sick and incapacitated workers. Having said that, except in the cases of unusual events (people committing suicide by jumping under the train you're driving, emergency responders attending multiple shootings / fires / plane crashes) work does not tend to cause PTSD.

    As I've said, this isn't really my field, but the small amount of experience I have in working with prostitution as a topic (some policy work, and serving as an advisor to a demonstration project working with women who experience rape in prostitution) was extremely persuasive to me on the complex, and negative, impacts on individual women of prostitution.

    I believe that it's possible to construct a theoretical space in which the exchange of sex for money was not traumatic. It requires some greater measure of economic equality, and it requires gender equality, and it requires a construction of human sexuality that includes a lot less fucked-up-ery. As we don't seem to be there yet, the question that we should ask is what we do in the meantime?

  • Grumpygradstudent says:

    @Elle

    You raise a lot of compelling points, and I'll have to look into this research to get a sense of the methodologies being employed. But assuming that what you say is correct (that the average experience of prostitution is harmful, but that there is variation) then that minority of sex workers who don't suffer from their work are extremely important to study. Something about their experiences is different than the average experience. What is it? Why are they not suffering like others suffer? Understanding those workers may hold clues to how to improve outcomes for others as well. Variance is just as important to understand as expected value.

  • Something about their experiences is different than the average experience. What is it? Why are they not suffering like others suffer? Understanding those workers may hold clues to how to improve outcomes for others as well. Variance is just as important to understand as expected value.

    Unfortunately, it's not even as simple as that. Many women who exit prostitution talk about their perception that they were happy, or at least emotionally well by some measure, at the time of being prostituted, but later identify this as a coping mechanism to deal with a hugely negative experience. This is a fairly standard response to trauma. No one wants to be a victim, and it's often impossible to process emotions about traumatic experiences while they are ongoing.

    Many of the women who advocate for sex-workers, and who are involved in organising sex-workers, are well-educated, articulate, and seem to have significant levels of agency and autonomy. None of these things is a criticism, and that's what I want for all women, but relying on their analysis of street prostitution, for example, is rather like expecting the CEO of AT&T to give a good account of what it's like working in their contact centre in Bangalore.

  • Grumpygradstudent says:

    Well, your first point smacks of the same false consciousness approach that I criticized earlier, and frankly, I refuse to second guess people's self reports of their own well being in exchange for other people's "better judgment." But that's probably a deeper philosophical disagreement than is appropriate here.

    To your second point, that happy sex workers are unrepresentative and that that makes them useless pieces of evidence for policy purposes, you're assuming that their autonomy and agency is unrelated to policy (or rather, your argument assumes that). If it is precisely distinct public policy choices (about economic development, about de jure gender equality, about penalties for prostitution, etc) that contributes to that autonomy, then they certainly aren't useless.

    Ok…I'm done with this now. I'm going to go buy some hookers and pay them well and enjoy having sex with them.

  • Ed and some others,

    Do you feel better now that Jennifer has been sufficiently demeaned and denigrated?

  • Learning to rationalize your life choices has been a part of college for the past hundred years. It's the intersection of rationality and alaysis. And so have high-class escorts/prostitutes for the wealthy, so I'm guessing this story is more anecdotal than a growing trend.

    That said, I'd contend your point that rationalization is the biggest benefit of a liberal arts education (funny to hear a social sciences ph.d decry the liberal arts. Perhaps you think you'd have been better off studying materials science?). A large percentage of jobs in today's economy are closed off or very difficult to get for anyone who is not a college graduate. It's not that class tendencies didn't exist before mass higher education, it's that education became one of the key divides in our society.

  • @ grumpygrad: wow! You're even grumpier than me, and I'm a cranky old fart. Eh, it gets better (actually, I'm lying – it only gets worse and then your body gives out, so enjoy what you get while you're getting it).

    @cromartie:
    "Until you get married. Then you pay for a built in audience to completely ignore your sexual wants,.."
    Man, are you married? Then you better look at yourself a bit. Maybe it's different for me because I got involved with a pretty woman who liked to screw for fun, and we ended up getting married because we both liked to screw for fun, and we're still married 25 years later because we still both like to screw for fun. She does many of the things I really enjoy because I've spent almost 30 years consciously figuring out and doing a lot of the things that make her rebound off the ceiling. Maybe it's worth putting in the effort to get the rewards. Women are often funny that way. Of course, maybe you're just unlucky.
    Anyway, I agree that many woman who are getting sex are trading it for something else they want, whether that explicitly involves money or some other expression of value. On the other hand, one thing that has impressed me over the years is how many women now are explicitly approaching sex like men usually do – as a casual method of entertainment with little or no quid-pro-quo. I'm sure there have been reams of earnest Smith College-type papers written about this ultimate success of the Feminist Movement. So, now we have a pocket hurricane here about this young woman who is trading on her youth and sex appeal to get money and other goodies. So? Is it that she's doing it, or is everybody outraged that she's saying "I'm not a whore, I'm not a whore. [They dressed me up like this!]" Sure, she may implicitly be saying "Fuck you, all you nasty lower-class non-white dirty sluts that I wouldn't soil my expensive shoes kicking off the sidewalk!", but then again, maybe that's not what she's saying. Personally, I don't care, and it beats me why so many people seem to care so deeply about it. Maybe you all need to get laid more.

  • @grumpygradstudent

    Nope, no one is being accused of false consciousness. What is clear is that the research you are describing as helpful, in which we would try to figure out what the factors are that mean that some prostituted women experience trauma, and some don't, would need to be done on a longitudinal basis. Otherwise, trauma that becomes evident only after individual women exit prostitution would not be captured.

    As to the second point, I'm not saying that any data points are useless for throwing into the policy development process. Nor am I saying that public policy around education, economic development, welfare, criminal justice, or housing does not factor into the apparent additional resilience of women who advocate for sex workers. (Although, even in states where gender mainstreaming is a de jure – if not de facto – reality, the links between all of those policy areas and prostitution are infinitesimally likely to be made.) What I am saying, is that the personal accounts from those with access to consultation processes, and other policy influencing mechanisms, cannot be allowed to drown out the harder-to-reach majority.

  • "Learning to rationalize your life choices has been a part of college for the past hundred years."

    Which, I just have to jump back in to add, is surely how so many of our best and brightest manage to live with themselves.

    Some of our best-educated rationalizers don't sell sex. They sell their labor fully-clothed, writing and passing funding cuts that hurt the poor and powerless, working tirelessly to deny people health coverage, creating think-tank strategies to roll back the New Deal, selling wars, denying climate science, re-writing the tax code to make the rich richer, defending an unstustainable and unsatisfying materialistic culture, poisoning workers, killing wildlife, writing propaganda for all of the above, and whatever the hell else Satan himself is happy to pay "smart" people to do.

    Sure, some of those people are true believers. But not all of them. A lot of the people in those jobs – or jobs that directly support those jobs – just have bills to pay, you know? Or, maybe they can explain to you how what they're doing is okay, because it's not REALLY….whatever.

    In the grand sceme of well-educated rationalizers, Jennifer and her coworkers really don't register on my Rationalizing My Job on the Death Star 'cause I need a Paycheck scale.

  • In the grand sceme of well-educated rationalizers, Jennifer and her coworkers really don't register on my Rationalizing My Job on the Death Star 'cause I need a Paycheck scale.

    Amen. I'm kinda with Dante Hicks on that one.

  • @JohnR: 25yrs eh? Most day brightening words I've read today. Thanks.

    I've been with my girly for almost two years. We're both Christians, which means sex without the ring is off the table for us. As I'm studying (again) and the job I have is pretty crap – though where the economy is heading this job is better than no job – makes the getting of the rings difficult. But this gives me the impetuous to get a better situation happening for myself. We exchange ourselves in the relationship, not stuff. The situation is what we'd want it to be, (eg. our own private island in the Whitsundays) but it is what it is, and we're making do with what we've got.

    So for you guys who can't get your shit together and have the attitude that ladiesbane highlighted, try reading "The Way of the Superior Man" by David Deida. Might help you get over your bitterness and learn to appreciate a/your woman, or help you become a man that a/your woman can appreciate.

  • What I really don't understand is why she went to college and racked up the $20K debt in the first place. Did she need a pretense?

  • I would love to see the entire transcript of Jennifer's interview–oh, the FJM that would need to be written!

    Her quotes become a lot more believable when I imagine her saying them with a mouthful of semen from her newest "friend" while she's holding the PayPal confirmation for the transaction. That visual lends a lot more authenticity to her statements.

    i do think, however, that there's a strong possibility that many young women with 5- 6 figures of student loans will try to extract some debt relief from their parents with the threat of turning to this new line of work.

  • Ladiesbane:

    There are plenty of women who are strong, independent, and could care less about money. If I made double what I made now, however, I would be getting more dates/sex, easily. It's not "misogynistic", it's reality.

    Is reality misogynistic? :-o

  • Ah, Turok, I said that it *sounds* misogynist, but that it's not. Of course you can get more dates with more money, just as girls get more popular if they diet to skeletal thinness and get boob jobs. Does it make them worthwhile company? Does it make you a canny agent to pursue them? No. You understand the difference between quality and quantity, right?

    My answers tend to go all over the place, but I hope you understood my basic point. Is the sort of girl you want to date the kind of girl whose attraction to you is based on your income? If so, why? If not, why do you think low income equals shitty sex life, as you put it?

    Girls (and guys) are not grapes; you can't weigh them in a bunch. Cultivate a taste for interesting people, and try to be interesting enough to merit their attention. Be a mensch, and don't waste time on petty fools. Like draws like, amigo. But if you're wondering why you can't get your money for nothin' and your chicks for free, I can't help you.

Comments are closed.