Selling one’s body is often called the oldest profession. Men and women both have resorted to the last resource left them, to in order to survive. It’s a simple transaction that religion has demonized for millenniums and yet is the most basic of human instinct – using whatever is at our disposal to clothe and feed ourselves. A perfect symmetry really – our bodies; the central tool in a cycle of use as the singular enterprising asset through which it continues to be fueled and so remains operational. Still, this is not the point I sat out to make today.
We have evolved, become civilized they say and so most of us have many other options through which to feed ourselves. We pride ourselves on being able to give sex away for free, whether under the pretext of deep emotion or just for fun. My point today is that we are delusional in this. Sex is never free, someone always pays. There is always a seller and a buyer.
The buyers of sex have it the easiest and yes are often men, but women are buyers too. Our modern society has firm rules on what is acceptable payment for sex and these rules are laid out in the terms of dating and relationships. If you want to have sex with a woman, be prepared with the right currency. From the traditional payments for entertainment and meals, to the ostentatious material attractants of flashy clothes, cars and other material artifacts. Keep in mind, some women require other forms of payment, the words of affection, simple acts of sentiment, etc. Those tokens have even been described as “love languages” – truly, there are books, websites, etc. They outline what you or your partner need to feel loved, the language that communicates love for you – more like sex currency if you ask me.
Now we get to the really tricky part, the sellers of sex. There are the honest sellers, the ones who have intercourse to receive a direct benefit, namely a job promotion, new car, jewelry or cold hard cash. Of course, sometimes it’s not so obvious, we have sex to cover up the feelings of loneliness, or worse gain a sense of purpose from someone else. In this area, the lines between sellers and buyers become blurred by the simple act of enjoyment. Can a man who gets paid to have sex with women he is attracted to, really be selling? Surely the payment is but a bonus. I say it is still a transaction when persons have to receive or give something, as an impetus to have sex.
These people are both sellers and buyers of sex, as complex as it seems, one can even be simultaneously buying and selling, as sex is the only commodity that I can think of, that doesn’t diminish in its exchange. The roles are defined by who enjoys it more, or who gives up more.
Finally, I put forward that our standards are our sex currency, the payment that we will accept to give it up and why not. It’s all about supply, demand and the negotiation that needs to take place in order for intercourse to happen.
Even the best of intentions can be boiled down to a transaction.
Even when all we want is affection, aren’t we just using our bodies to buy love?