Friday, December 12, 2008

My Gold Digger

Apparently there's an article/blog causing a small kurfuffle in the how-will-this-look obsessive feminist circles about a chick from Pennsylvania who was raised wealthy, but couldn't get a job that allowed her to live the lifestyle she was accustomed to (as a young person, straight out of college - image that), so she became some guy's concubine, with the posh apartment and the clothes in exchange for a few mattress rides.

"Holy pearl necklace, Batman!" they wonder, "Isn't this the same thing as prostitution?!?!"

Of course, Robin. But... well, let's come back to that.

I once knew a girl who's stated goal in life was to find a sugar-daddy. Last I heard, she had.

She informed me of this goal before I really got to know her (and I do NOT mean in the Biblical sense, more on that in a bit), and I was kind of shocked - partially because I'd always been somewhat provincial and naive when it comes to the complexity and variety of sexual mores out there. Eventually I have come to realize that there are a lot of folks out there who will fuck at the drop of a hat. To them, it's a just a function, or an activity on par with playing a round of Wii with someone. I never quite located the sexual boundaries of the lady in question - let's call her "Lolita" for convenience and because she wore the iconic heart-shaped sunglasses - because they were either not there or out so far on the horizon as to be invisible.

Lolita was engaged to a frat boy when she announced her sugar-daddy procurement life goal. She had even moved in with him as he attended college and was working in a lowly video store with me, biding time until her wedding day. (I was there because Ronnie Raygun's slashing of education funds had put graduate school out of reach for me; I had to drop out. I was cooling my heels, planning my next move since more edumakation wasn't going to be it.) (Oh, and here's a story about her when she went to help some poor unsuspecting onanist find a porno - scroll down to "TLD: Quick side story.")

I naturally assumed the fiancée was going to be that sugar-daddy; after all, he was the president of his frat, was majoring in business, and appeared to already have access to lots of cash.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that she was regularly screwing one of the store managers after closing time on the risers in the showroom where we had our TVs (which were by several large windows), before she'd head home to her betrothed. Said manager told me this one day when I was defending her honor because some of the other employees were talking smack about her. Btw, the manager had steady girl, too, so he was a cheating SOB as well.

Then she started talking about being abused by her fiancée. Once he reportedly he punched her so hard that her head bounced off the passenger car window.

Well, hussy or not, no one should put up with abuse, so I agreed to help her move out when he was supposed to be out of the apartment one day. Sure enough, mid-move he arrives and starts the male silverback gorilla displays. Eventually he was gonna blow and start swinging at us, so I told Lolita to cut bait and pick the stuff she had to have, and leave for another day anything expendable. Luckily, we had managed to get everything and were on the last load, so off we went. He stood at the door, shirtless (and amazingly hirsute), arms raised and yelling at us, punching the door jam for emphasis. We had gotten out just in time.

She had a passing resemblance to Jessica Lange (as I mention in my side-story in that other post I linked to above), though a little more girl-next-door plain Jane, and somewhat of a doughy body, which she liked to show off. Over all, though, she was still a looker. It was obvious that most guys thought "I'd hit that" when they saw her (though that particular phrase did not exist back then).

She was a charmer, too. She once talked a security guard into letting us onto a private beach that only neighborhood residents were allowed to use. We were the only two people on the beach who were under 50, under 200 lbs., and not sporting a George Hamilton leathery tan. One guy was so brown the he probably got a funny look at the DMV when he claimed he was a white guy.

I mention that because this she is the ONLY woman whom I found attractive where I had no desire whatsoever to "hit that." She just didn't do it for me on that level for some reason. To this day I still can't explain it. For the most part, what Billy Crystal's character says in When Harry Met Sally is true: "no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her." Lolita was the one exception in my life so far.

And it was to this extreme: one day we were at the park sun-worshiping together, laying face to face, and her boob popped out. We've all heard of the "flight or fight" response; well, young men have a third just-as-automatic biological imperative that kicks into motion when they see a real live nekkid women, or any pink part thereof. To my surprise, mine merely glanced and went back to whatever it does on its own time. I said, "Your boob popped out." She said, "Oh, sorry," and put it back. And that's all there was to it.

Let me give you some perspective on how that usually goes. Once, I was buying a record, and when the salesgirl bent over to get a bag, her sweatshirt fell open enough that I got a full view of the grand tetons. My ears began to ring, I blushed so violently that I could even see my own nose turn red, and I started to shake. As I was leaving the store, I walked into the door and bounced off as I hadn't even attempted to open it. I found I had utterly lost the ability to speak. Outside, I nearly walked into a parking meter, and I walked off in the opposite direction from where I had parked. Now THAT'S a proper "spotting a breast in wild" response.

TLD: Btw, the end of our day in the park was inauspicious. Being Midwesterners, we sill hadn't grasped most of the racial politics of the south (the south east, to be specific). The park we were in was patronized by only whites in the day (and we'd noticed it was rather lily white when we arrived but naively chalked it up to black people not needing to suntan), but as dusk approached, a quiet, swift changeover took place. I don't know if we had our heads down dozing or what, but we both looked up at the same time and noticed we were the only white people there - and we noticed everyone else really noticing us. We got up and packed with faux casualness and made our egress. As we approached our car, someone yelled out, "It's about damn time!" A couple people even smacked our car as we pulled away. That, as they say, was a close one.

Anyway, after we had some adventures together, and her affair with the store manager (and others, reportedly) had petered out, she went back to her home town. One of the women at the store who stayed in touch with her said she'd gotten a call from Lolita about three months later where she ecstatically announced she'd found her sugar-daddy; that he was decent-looking and somewhat old, so he'd probably die within just a few years, leaving his money to her. She was so happy!!!!

Godspeed, sweetheart.

Anyway, back to the initial concern, is this essentially prostitution? Yeah, kinda.

But so what - in a current-cultural-trends sense. Here we are, in an age where gay people are trying to change the law to recognize their relationships as legal entities so it's more expensive when they break up, the same as secular marriage between a man and a woman. And, where liberal editorialists, when they write about relationships, almost always genuflect to queer theory that everyone is really gay inside if only they'd face it (scroll down to "And as for girl-on-girl diversions").

So if a gal decides that a posh apartment is a fair trade for essentially being a sex slave, and this person is a consenting adult - why is it ours to judge her when we are supposedly moving towards acceptance of other sexual lifestyles that have been considered taboo, too?

(Do I think this is morally squishy myself? Yes. But that's about how I choose to live my own life, not about what I would impose on others. As long as those others are consenting adults.)

Just imagine what it's going to be like when the Mormon splinter groups foment for polygamy. That's gonna be big fun. Can't hardly wait.


Sya said...

My initial thought on this was that as long as no one got hurt and that everyone was consenting, then she could do whatever she wanted.

Then again, I think the issue really is less about taboo sexual lifestyles and more about body commodification. I mean, it's one thing about gays and polygamists getting married--in those cases, theoretically the people in these relationships care for each other and aren't getting together for profit. Selling sex is, well, like donating blood for cash. It's using your body as a product and not treating it as human. That, I think, is what makes it morally questionable.

yahmdallah said...

Sya, gotta hand it to you, that's a great analysis/breakdown of it. I would never had thought of that angle.

So, would selling your body to science for autopsy's be the same thing?

Sya said...

I find the "selling" part of it to be somewhat ethically problematic. (I have no problem with donating, though.) But then again, there's the whole live/dead thing and the cultural mores that say that a dead body is still human although you and I know that it is categorically different than a live person.

What it comes down to is whether or not we think that the altruistic consequences that result from selling your body to science outweighs any potential harm it might cause anyone. First of all, you're dead--so you aren't harmed in any way. Your friends and relatives might be harmed psychologically though, knowing that someone is cutting up your physical body. Then again, future doctors will be learning from your body and they'll use that knowledge to help their patients. Any organs used for transplants will save other people's lives. In this case, I think the positives of saving other lives outweigh the potential psychological trauma (which is probably mostly cultural rather than innate) of your loved ones.

In the case of the concubine, people benefit, but they only benefit selfishly. There is a selfish component to selling a corpse, too, but that's not the only component--and that has to be taken into account.