Trading for Sex: Are You Having Sex Because You Want to Have Sex, or Is There Some Implied Bargain Going On?
Today we are going to explore the rather controversial topic of “trading for sex.” I certainly would not be the first person to suggest that marriage is often a form of legalized prostitution. But it surely is not the only arena where implied trading for sex is happening. Perhaps if you are willing to be honest, you can remember times in your own life when you had sex even though you did not really want to have sex. Because you were going to get something that you thought was lacking in your life.
You were trading for sex.
Recently I found myself in a situation where a man was doing all kinds of “nice” things for me. And I noticed the temptation within myself to “repay” him with sex. I did not want to have sex with him, but it would have been easy enough to do. I could almost justify it in my mind. After all, didn’t I now “owe” him something because he had been so “nice” to me? Shouldn’t I “repay” the “debt”?
This is trading for sex.
Fortunately, though, my heart and my intuition are a lot more powerful now than they used to be. I caught myself falling into the trap of feeling “obligated” to “repay” this person with sex. And I stayed in integrity with myself and said no.
What is this ritual we have of men paying for dinner? It can have all kinds of interpretations, of course. I enjoy spending time with abundance-minded people, and a man sharing his abundance with me does not feel much different to me than the “free” stuff I am receiving from the Universe (not always through men) on a regular basis.
But what about when it’s not just a simple sharing of abundance with no expectation of anything in return? Maybe it’s actually trading for sex.
Recently I saw an old friend of mine who had broken up with his girlfriend. They were together for several years. It was never a relationship of equals. He is extremely wealthy, and she is financially insecure. She gave him sex, and he let her move in with him and paid all her expenses. Which was all fine and good and relatively harmonious until she realized that he meant what he said at the beginning: he had no intention of getting married. For her, getting married was an implicit part of the “bargain.” And as her friends gave her a hard time about it, she was sensitive to other people’s opinions, and the sensitivity grew when she hit a particular birthday … they broke up.
I myself once had a “sugar daddy” relationship. I don’t envision ever getting into a situation like that again. At first it felt like a princess fantasy. He would take me to Nordstrom and buy me 15 pairs of shoes at a time. He would take me to the most expensive stores in San Francisco and drop $15,000 at a time on dresses and shawls. He took me to the finest hotels and restaurants, and we flew first class to far-flung destinations like the Caribbean, Argentina, and Brazil.
Did I realize that I was “trading for sex”? No, I was not that conscious at the time. It all just kind of “happened.” I even persuaded myself that I loved him.
At a deep level though, it felt like he was overcompensating for the fact that he did not feel like he was my equal. He was trading for sex. And also trading for affection, love, approval, and who knows what else. Over the course of the relationship, that icky feeling started to increase. My respect for him gradually diminished. Before I knew it, I was almost two years into a relationship that I knew would not be permanent.
And it started to get very dark. I remember one time he urged me to quit my job, and my intuition screamed “no.” “No, do not let yourself be financially dependent on this man.” I started thinking about other men, and he became very jealous. One time I was staying at his multi-million dollar vacation home with some of my girlfriends. He claimed to be occupied at another location, yet he drove several hours to arrive unannounced to “check up on me” (i.e., make sure I was not with another man). I had never cheated on any of my boyfriends, but his constant paranoia led me almost to cheat on him. When we broke up, he had an engagement ring that he said was “burning a hole in his pocket.” I never saw the ring. It was all so … ewwwwww. I broke it off, and he married another woman about six months later. I kid you not. Which made me even more glad that we were not together. To me, it was all driven by his not feeling complete as a human being standing on his own two feet. Trading for sex.
There have been lots of other times in my life where I could have married a man for money, for social status, or for some other kind of “value.” And sometimes, let’s be honest, there were times I even had sex for far more trivial reasons. It was just “easier” than saying no.
The “sugar daddy” situation made me a lot more wary of men attempting to “buy” sex from me, one way or another. At this point, I am glad that I have spent a solid amount of time single. When we have learned to be solid all by ourselves, it is a lot more difficult for us to be manipulated with our insecurities. I don’t get lonely anymore, so I have no need to have sex to fill a void in my life. Back when I had a job that I hated (when I was dating the “sugar daddy”), I fantasized about a wealthy man “rescuing” me from having to work. I did not understand at that time about patterns of co-dependency and how destructive they are. Now that I have learned to stand on my own two feet as an entrepreneur, the idea of marrying a man for money just seems ludicrous. The only kind of relationship that appeals to me is a co-creative partnership of equals. The only kind of relationship I can envision now is uniting with another person who recognizes his wholeness and does not need to “get” anything from me, nor I from him. No more trading, no more trading for sex or anything else.
Life does not “just happen” to me anymore. I am conscious of my choices, and I am in charge of my destiny. So when my intuition flags a situation of a man trying to “buy” sex from me, whether with money or by doing “nice” things for me … I just say “no.” And every time I do, my self-respect increases a little bit more.
After all, knowing what you want and being willing to stand firm until it manifests … without “caving” in to social pressures or personal insecurities … is what it means to Become Fearless. And after living fearlessly, you’ll never want to go back to conventional living ever again :)
Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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