It’s Not Prostitution; It’s Just an Arrangement #Sex #DadChat

Category: Weekly Columns

Lips and Money - girls and gold-diggers

As often is the case, a dinner conversation can be the fodder for a good column. At dinner with my wife and a female friend we were talking about how the sexual habits and views of sex have changed so very much in our lifetimes. When we were young, the words “hook up” or “hooking up” simply met meeting a friend. Now they mean having sex. So, it’s no surprise that the “friends with benefits” idea would extend further than simply a consenting couple having sex now and then. Now there are “arrangements” where financial terms are discussed up front in exchange for sex.

Cameron Diaz scene

Some dating websites cater to those interested in extra-marital affairs. There are sites like Tinder where you choose a “match” almost exclusively by photos and a minimum of text. And there are the mainstream sites such as eHarmony (which I didn’t like AT ALL), JDate, Match.com and others that operate as mostly traditional dating venues. But, with some sites such as Tinder, you will see women who seek those “arrangements” and are explicit in wanting a “Sugar Daddy” or “Arrangement.”

Both are fascinating twists on the oldest profession in the world and I would bet that all the women that post such “ads” for a Sugar Daddy or Arrangement would bristle at the notion that they were acting more or less like a prostitute. After all, aren’t all relationships really “deals” or as our own therapist says, “Let’s Make a Deal?” Indeed, most marriages have implicit if not explicit “arrangements” and understandings within their vows.

Relationship vs FWB chart

In Judaism, it’s traditional to actually sign a religious marriage contract – called a Ketubah — that lays out the responsibilities of the husband and wife. The contemporary equivalent of the Ketubah is the Pre-Nuptial Agreement. So, why is it really any different if a woman is willing to exchange some sexual favors for the rent?

Well, for one thing – and it is VERY important – there is marriage involved in both the cases above whereas the women looking for an “arrangement” often don’t even care if the man is married as long as he meets “her terms!” Marriage IS more than a piece of paper. It’s a societal more that has existed for centuries and ONLY in my lifetime has it been torn asunder and rendered meaningless in many circles and political discussions.

Sex quote

Is a woman being very up-front about her (financial) needs much different from a woman dating a man and making “requests” (aka “demands”) of him for certain gifts and favors? Is it really wrong to be so direct as to ask for a specific gift or money in exchange for sexual favors if one is doing the same without “specifics” in a dating relationship?

Has our culture just become crass? We see Beyonce do an entire album about sex and no one bats an eye. She is a role model for many young girls and women and she espouses open sexuality in her music, as do so many of her peers in music, film, and television. Any notion of sexual sanctity being reserved for marriage is really so very old-fashioned, isn’t it?

Mae West quote

Most men – especially when dating – are after one primary thing. Yes, there are those oddball men that actually desire something more lasting such as a long-term monogamous relationship or, gulp, marriage and children. But for the others, what is wrong with knowing what IT is going to cost for that “primary thing?”

Let me be very clear about how I feel about all this. While I’m asking all these questions, I am quite unhappy about the rampant sexuality in our society and casualness of it all. These “arrangements” demean both men and women and reduce our intimacy to a business deal with no sense of propriety or value for society as a whole. It’s cheap. It’s dirty. And, I don’t like it.

Money buys love

I worry about my boys and their relationship futures. Will they marry? Do they even care about marriage? At 21 and 18, it’s too early to be posing that question or putting ANY parental pressure on them in that department. I see the influences in their lives in media and this changing attitude of reckless carelessness towards sex and it concerns me.

How would YOU feel if your daughter was advertising for an “arrangement?” If you found out, what would you say to her and how would you react to her casual disregard for any of the societal traditions that YOU grew up with? If she called you “old fashioned” and “boringly traditional” and she were 21, what would you say or do?

Sex and Money

I’m glad I don’t have daughters. God was kind to me given I know male nature SO WELL. Please let’s have some dialogue on this and please share your thoughts…

Quote about being a golf-digger

  • jack43

    I’m reluctant to respond to this only because it’s a serious question that requires a serious answer, one that requires far more than a sentence or two or even a paragraph or two. Thus, the brevity of what follows should be the jumping off point for further discussion.

    Fundamentally, casual sex is immature behavior. There is no depth of feeling or commitment. A simple “Thank you, ma’am,” is all that follows the “wham, bam”. Sadly, the participants could achieve the same sexual gratification through masturbation with a helluva lot less muss and fuss and fewer hurt feelings (on the part of those who are seeking something more).

    This is not a judgment. I don’t necessarily find anything wrong or sinful in immature behavior. I simply find it sad that many never grow in maturity as they grow in years. They will never know the real heights of sexual gratification.

    Marriage is for the mature. It’s primary purpose is to promote stable family relationships which are essential to the success of the human race. Children not raised in traditional two parent homes (with two mature parents) have no example to guide their growth and sexual maturity.

    All this being said, I would rather that men and women have access to instant sexual gratification (either paid or unpaid) than to see couples procreating without hanging around to guide their children by their mature example.

    One last thought. The rise of sex education in our schools is the logical result of the failure of mature families to perform this duty. The failure of sex education in our schools is largely the result of it being conceived and directed by men and women who are largely frustrated tyrants whose only real motivation is to control others whom they deem inferior.

    That should be enough fodder for many arguments. Now let’s you and them fight it out while I enjoy the show…

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      As always @jack43:disqus, you provide interesting commentary – I’m especially in agreement on the folly of “Sex Education” and those that prepare the course material. So much to talk about here – let’s see if others take your bait!

  • David Weber

    You raise a good question when you ask how one would feel if it were his or her daughter who was involved in the “arrangements” approach to interpersonal involvements.

    I doubt I would like it, although I guess some important points to consider in the development of a final response as a father would be: (a) how satisfied or happy she is with the “arrangement” in question, (b) what is this involvement doing (or not doing) to her sensibility about what OTHER and different options (e.g., conventional monogamous romantic relationship, marriage, etc.) may be available for her after the “arrangement” experience has ended and (c) is she in physical danger with the man she has made “arrangements” with.

    It certainly seems like a woman or a man is playing with fire with this kind of relationship.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – let’s take “C” off the table and debate the others…As for “playing with fire” some might say that makes life interesting?

  • ginavalley

    Having an “arrangement” where sex is the product being offered is a business, not a relationship. If I hire a chef to provide meals for me, the chef is my employee, not my significant other. I may be tremendously fond of my chef. I may have no attachment whatsoever. Perhaps, I might feel an allegiance somewhere in between. But, either way, this is an employee/employer situation, not a personal relationship. It’s business. I may enjoy the product tremendously. I may feel such great joy that I don’t think I can live without my chef. But, it is still a business arrangement, not a relationship.

    The same is true when someone hires or “arranges” for someone to provide sex for them. It’s business situation. It’s not a relationship.

    There are business I don’t want my kids involved in. One of my sons was courted by a medical marijuana business. The pay he was offered was unbelieveable. But, I told him flat out that I could not abide him being even tangentially involved in that business. I explained why that business violated the principles I am trying to instill in him. He declined the offer.

    Were anyone I know to express interest in entering into an “arrangement” or business to provide sex I would handle it the same way. That business violates the principles I want my family to live by.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @ginavalley:disqus – You mustn’t have seen “Pretty Woman” ???!!! Wasn’t “that” a “relationship?”

  • http://moondustwriter.com Leslie Moon

    I have two daughters and I am surprised at what is acceptable now. Sadly, I think women are too often “just for sex…”
    That notion is as old as time. A thoughtful article Bruce. I hope you explore it more even though you don’t have daughters.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Thanks @moondustwriter:disqus – the “value” of women is less the issue than what women have been doing to “value” themselves! Very complicated and so sad in so many ways!