Cash fan! Or "Half of what I owe my therapist."
I am forever trying to convince Julie and Madeline to get their rents paid for by rich old dudes. It just kills me that they are the perfect age and body type, to do so and yet they’re walking around paying for their own shit like suckers.
I am fully aware already that no one is going to like this article. Just like nobody liked this one by Emilia Echolls on Learnvest, about why she wants to marry rich. Emilia makes a point to say that she isn't looking money at the expense of love; it's just that money is a priority for her, and since she's not buying that old adage about how women can "have it all," she's choosing to delegate what matters least to her (work) in favor of family and home.
That's fine with me. But it would be fine with me if she was approaching marrying rich as a straight transaction, too -- a mutually beneficial arrangement on the far end of the sex work spectrum. If two adults want to enter into a financial agreement on the level of one night, one year, or a lifetime together, what's so wrong with that?
There seems to be this overriding mentality that leveraging your looks and sexuality for financial gain is somehow the "easy way out." I dare say that whosoever thinks that has never been sweated all over by a 70-year-old man or pretended to just love spending time with a pompous douchebag on a free trip to Paris. Sex work is hard work.
As a young New York City transplant, I briefly threw my hat in the sugar daddy ring, posting ads on Sugardaddy4me.com as "bustypinup." I had dates with a few guys, but found it difficult to gauge what they were willing to give me while maintaining the illusion that I was enjoying the pleasure of their company.
Even though we met on an explicit sugar daddy site, in person they hemmed and hawed and danced around the subject of finances. I wanted to know exactly what I would be getting before being plunged into the job of pretending to like them. The last thing I wanted was to accidentally sleep with somebody for free.
I did once have lunch with a guy who walked me to an ATM afterward, taking out 1,000 dollars and handing it to me. I never saw him again. It was amazing.
The whole time I dabbled in sex work, I was acutely aware that I was holding a ticket of youth and relative good looks and sexual availability, and that I had a limited time to try to cash in my chips, to trade them for access to a more lucrative life.
In the end, I wasn’t willing to. I didn't value the beautiful life as much as I did enjoying it with a true companion. But many women feel differently, and I don’t blame them for choosing to trade independence for security, for the Amex with their name on it and the rent-free apartment. I don’t begrudge them their big payday.
When it comes to placing a tangible value on my body and the sexual acts it can perform, I'm coming from a straight-up victim perspective, like that Ani Difranco lyric that resonated with me as a teen: "I want you to pay me for my beauty. I think it's only right, because I have been paying for it all of my life."
In a lot of ways, this female body has done me no goddamned favors. In fact, it's been taken advantage of from the time I was 12 years old and coerced by a boy at a party into putting my mouth on his penis in a parked car outside, while his friends hooted and hollered and banged on the car windows.
If we, as women, are going to be objectified and exploited at the first sprouting seeds of puberty, why not beat the world to the punch and "exploit" ourselves, for our own benefit? Because along with the lingering flavor of his salty spunk, I tasted power.
In a perfect world, maybe, people's bodies would not be available for sale or rent, but I don't live there. Frankly I find it a comfort to know that I'm literally sitting on a plan B should my fortunes take a turn for the worse.
And I don't believe anyone has to subvert their individual needs to some ideal of sexual equality that won't be seen in their lifetimes. Fuck that, get yours.
It's just like that other wise song that has been my soundtrack to this article says,"What would you do if your son was at home/Cryin' all alone on the bedroom floor cuz he's hungry/ and the only way to feed him is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money."
And to those who it's not the "only" way to feed him: A) Maybe for you and B) It's an option. And who's to say it's a more or less degrading one than toiling at the sprocket factory for 6-9 dollars an hour?
And while we're at it, who are you to tell that single mom with 3 mouths to feed she's perpetuating a sexist system? Who are you to tell 19-year-old me I didn't earn every penny?
So I say, Marry rich if you want to. Put your ass in Playboy, hit the pole, accept gifts from an investment banker, take the free vacation, let him pay your rent, be a professional mistress, buy everything frivolous and excessive and necessary that you want. Hustle, baby.
I'll give you a cash fan if you follow @msemilymccombs on Twitter.