Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Love, Money, Sex and Other Complications

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

Today’s post is one of those rambling, all over the place messes where I try to tie a bunch of things together into one coherent theme. Lots of parentheses and tangents ahead. You’ve been warned.

The weather in NYC has been freakishly warm and I’ve been taking advantage of it. I’ve been forcing myself, no matter what else is going on, to get out and walk every day. Long walks through the city.

Not that it’s a burden. I love taking long walks, even in crappy weather. But sometimes I get busy…

Anyway, the other day I was out walking. Standing on a street corner I heard one woman say to another, in a loud and rather angry voice,

“He wouldn’t pay for my new shoes. Can you believe that?”

I didn’t hear the friend’s response. Or maybe it wasn’t her friend. Maybe it was a sister, or colleague. Whatever. I have no context. For the conversation or the situation. Maybe she was talking about her husband. Or a boyfriend. It just made me think (more) about the weird relationship(s) between men, women and .

It’s 2012 (hard to believe but true) and we’re still rehashing the same old issues related to this stuff. Men sometimes (frequently) have more money and power than women. Especially older men. And some women feel comfortable trading their youth and good looks for (expensive) stuff. Let’s assume that and/or love are probably also part of the deal.  Which is what it is. I try not to judge.

Did you know that one of the fastest growing sectors of the online dating industry (at least according to recent news reports) are Sugar Daddy type sites? Wealthy men looking to spoil younger, attractive women. Again, trying not to judge. Just stating a fact.

I know men (acquaintances, not friends) who’ve bought women cars, computers, clothes… and these were women they were neither married to or living with. Because they loved them. Or maybe just liked having sex with them a lot. Either way, major cash was spent.

I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel about any of this. Well… that’s not true. I’ve already written in pretty great detail about how I feel about dating and paying for dates.  The short version: I’m not comfortable having guys pay all of the time. And so I can’t imagine letting a man shower me with super expensive gifts (small, very nice gifts are lovely). The idea that there are women (of any age) who’ve come to expect major gifts from the men they’re sleeping with is just kinda icky to me. And yet, instead of being a thing of the past, it seems to be as common as ever. In 2012.

It is what it is. I guess.


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17 to “Love, Money, Sex and Other Complications”

  1. I guess for me it would depend on how I felt about the person. If I were genuinely in love with someone (and he with me) and he happened to have a lot of money and chose to spend some of that on me, I honestly dont think I’d have a problem with it. But dating/sleeping with someone JUST for the expensive gifts? To me that’s basically the same as prostitution, isn’t it? No judgment, it’s just not how I roll.
    Momma Sunshine recently posted..I BelieveMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I think many people would feel similar to you. The growth of those Sugar Baby type sites, however, would seem to show that there are plenty of women (girls, really) who are perfectly comfortable seeking financial reward up front. Not cash, but comfort.

  2. sandyvs says:

    I don’t think a lot of women realize the high price THEY end up paying for expensive gifts…

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yep. I’m with you on this one. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a free lunch (or a free anything). But sometimes I feel like maybe I’m in the minority.

  3. whocares says:

    Wondering how you could finish such an article without including the word “prostitution”, not even once.

    Of course it’s not prostitution, but trading sex for money.

  4. sandyvs says:

    @Whocares, it’s more than just prostitution. A prostitute takes the money and is gone. With that type of arrangement, the woman is left owing a LOT more for her gifts.

  5. Ella Coquine says:

    “He wouldn’t pay for my new shoes. Can you believe that?” Yes, I can. Your boyfriend isn’t an ATM.

    What a misguided young lady…

    Great post focusing on an argument that I have with my girlfriends all the time.

    I think this kind of thinking where the guy pays for everything and the women are little princesses derives from the major entitlement trend that’s going on in America these days, no thanks to shows like Real Housewives, (to give one example) where being ostentatious is cool. So it’s no surprise to me that girls looking for sugar daddies are the most popular request on dating sites.

    While I certainly love when my boyfriend takes me out and buys me gifts (what girl wouldn’t!?), I love picking up the tab and giving him gifts just as much, after all, I do love HIM and want him to feel treated by me too. A healthy relationship is a two-way street where gifts should not be the defining factor.

    Someone close to me is serving as a sugar daddy for a little twit who spends all day burning through his money, uploading her findings on Facebook and gets annoyed because she feels that he doesn’t respect her, she feels like she’s at his beck and call and has to act a certain way at functions.

    You don’t get somethin’ for nothin’…!

  6. NikkiB says:

    I don’t even like dudes buying me a drink at a bar – unless I know them well enough to get the next round or I want them to be picking me up. And then I buy the next round.

    Sure, in a mutual relationships where there is buying nice things for each other once in awhile, I get it. Otherwise? It’s just weird. I don’t like the power dynamic it sets up. Money can’t, actually, buy me love.
    NikkiB recently posted..Can’t we bang already?: Balancing social narratives & individual choice.My Profile

  7. It is fun to buy gifts, and fun to receive gifts.

    Yesterday one of my friends told me “You know how many times in my marriage my wife has offered me a beer when I get home? Seven. I cherish each one because she knows what a day I had.”

    What bothered me about any relationship is when the person starts to expect gifts, and feels “entitled” that is always a relationship killer. Happened in my last relationship- to the point where it was beyond silly.

    It is fun giving gifts – giving without expectation of anything in return but appreciation – genuine, warm appreciation. And fun to receive a gift- even if it is getting a beer (I don’t drink beer, but the idea is nice)

  8. D says:

    As Dan Savage would say, it’s prostitution with a veeerry exclusive clientele. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think the rise of these sites is a good thing. Society has too many hangups about money for sex, and I think the criminalization of prostitution actually hurts the women who do it more than the service they provide.

    PS I tried one of these site a couple times just for the heck of it. Met some very cool women, but none that I wanted to commit to. None of them were looking to get diamonds & trinkets. Rather, they just needed extra cash, often to pay for school.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I didn’t think this post was all over the place at all! I totally agree. If a woman wants a nice pair of shoes, she should go out and buy herself the nice pair of shoes. Or not, depending on her financial situation. But to expect that someone will do it for her is just unbelievable to me.I’ve never expected anything from a boyfriend but sometimes I like to treat, and sometimes it’s nice to be treated. Basta.

  10. ryan says:

    Some of the women who get sugar daddies seem to be not that smart and flaky. I know to some that getting someone else to take care of you is a smart decision, but they end up controlling you and using you for sex, then that is where the decision turns stupid.

  11. Jeremy Wahl says:

    I didn’t think the post rambled either. I thought it was quite coherent.

    Men have been showering women with money for sexual favors for all of human history. Just because it happens to be 2012 is irrelevant. PEOPLE have not changed in any significant way for tens of thousands of years.

    I agree with D that there’s nothing inherently wrong with men “purchasing” (one way or another) the sexual attention of women. The only thing that bothers me about it is the hypocrisy.

    It’s fine, even admirable, for a rich man to give the women who fuck him expensive trinkets, but going out and hiring a woman for the express purpose of fucking is illegal.

    There truly is no bottom to the depths of human stupidity.
    Jeremy Wahl recently posted..Are Women Attracted to Looks? Men Are STILL Wondering!My Profile

  12. Sex should come after love and love doesn’t come unless there is intelectual interaction. Physical interaction only without the intelect only bring more confusion.
    vincent sylvan recently posted..My Formula and StubbornnessMy Profile