Hookups Reflect the Supply and Demand for Sex

December 13, 2008

 

Supply and Demand in Equilibrium

Supply and Demand in Equilibrium

“Women are better off when sex is scarce and men have few outlets for sexual satisfaction, because men will offer women more under those circumstances than they will offer when sexual gratification is widely and freely available. It is rational for women to try to restrict men’s sexual opportunities, and one effective way to do this is to enforce norms and informal pressures that hold women in general back from sexual indulgence.”

Symons and Barash, Sociobiology

Now that we have a better understanding of the hookup environment, let’s turn our attention to figuring out what you want and helping you get it.

What is it that girls really want?

When I was a girl my friends and I all wanted the same thing: a big, grand, passionate love. We were ready for sex, but we dreamed of having it in the context of being in love. And I believe that most girls today want that too, to be in love. Falling for someone who feels the same way about you is a pretty amazing feeling, maybe even the best feeling in the world.

Most girls live very full and busy lives, and many question whether they have the time to devote to a relationship. They don’t want to become so submerged in a relationship that they lose their own identity. Oddly, the only apparent alternative to hooking up on campuses is the “college marriage”, also known as “joined at the hip.” These relationships are characterized by a constant togetherness. Couples eat all their meals together, study together and sleep together every night. Most girls who are hooking up in hopes of finding a relationship are not looking for that kind of all-consuming togetherness, but an equal partnership that is both emotional and physical.

Girls can’t have what they want until they reclaim the upper hand.

Having come of age in the 70s, I can assure you there were many disadvantages to the traditional dating model, and women had fewer choices then, but we definitely had more control. In the hook-up scene, guys make most of the rules, so it’s not surprising that those rules result in fewer relationships all around. Hooking up as the way for girls and guys to get together is deeply entrenched in the culture and is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Girls say they don’t object to hooking up per se, only that it rarely goes anywhere. You need a strategy to hook up smarter, so that you can reclaim the upper hand with boys. Girls today do have more freedom and control over their own lives, and exercise it in many areas. Your challenge is to find a way to use all your strength, empowerment and belief in yourself in the area of relationships.

Start by seeking a healthy relationship with a Quality Boy.

What is a Quality Boy?

  • He respects your feelings, your body and your time. 
  • He is earnest and trustworthy. That means he does what he says he is going to do. 
  • He is mature, meaning he is emotionally available and demonstrative. 

 

You may be saying to yourself that you don’t know any boys like that. They are out there, although they may be hard to spot in the midst of all the hooking up. Remember, we do not blame boys for hooking up whenever and with whomever they can. They are only being true to their nature! Your job is to offer an alternative to a boy who demonstrates relationship potential, and to sell him on its benefits.

You need a strategy for success.

Now that we understand what you want and what you’re up against, it’s time to get down to the business of  formulating an effective strategy. We’ll continue to use the Strategic Problem-Solving Model to understand our target market (Quality Boys) and design our product. Let’s start by understanding the relationship between supply and demand in the marketplace.

The Law of Supply and Demand

The law of supply and demand is a fundamental concept of economics. It determines the price and quantity of a good on the market. It says that equilibrium will be achieved when the amount of a good being provided is equal to the amount of that good being desired. For example, if you have ten concert tickets to sell, and you have ten friends that want to buy them, everyone is happy. That’s equilibrium.

The law of demand says that the higher the price of something, the lower the quantity demanded. If something is very costly, people will think carefully about whether they want to spend resources on that or if there is something else they want more. If your concert tickets are $150, some of your friends might bow out. If something is super expensive, you’re going to think carefully about whether to buy it, and you may decide to spend your money on something else.

The law of supply says that the higher the price of a good, the more the producer will supply. The higher a price the consumer is willing to pay, the more eager the seller will be to provide additional supply to increase revenue. So if your favorite band can get huge ticket prices, they are more likely to go on tour. They may play more cities or tour more frequently than if they can only get $35 per ticket, for example.

To review, when supply and demand are equal, the relationship is in equilibrium. This means that both sellers and consumers are happy. Everyone has what they want at a fair price. You may not think it’s fair for any band to get $150 per ticket, but if they can sell out at that price, then we say “that’s what the market will bear.”

Equilibrium does not equal satisfaction for women.

The law of supply and demand can be used to think about any transaction, including sex. Girls supply sex, and guys demand it. Of course, guys supply sex too, and girls do demand it, but girls are much more likely to want the sex to be meaningful, i.e., committed. Back in the day when girls rarely had sex before marriage, guys had to put forth enormous effort to get it. They came calling to meet the family, stated their intentions, brought gifts, paid for outings, etc. They took things at a slow pace, made a commitment, and often had to marry a girl to have sex with her. Today there is so much sex available to boys that they literally need make no effort to get it. Oh, there’s a slight risk of rejection when they target a specific girl, but they are usually drunk enough to blunt the momentary pain of that.

So, if sex is the ultimate goal for guys (and we all know it is), then if you give it away for free you can expect to get very little in return. No respect, no treats, no romance, and definitely no relationships. Today there is a huge demand for sex, and a huge supply of sex to fill that demand. We could say the market is in equilibrium. So everybody’s happy, right? Wrong!

Girls (the suppliers) are going bankrupt in the romance department because they are literally giving away a valuable product. When you have sex with a guy for nothing in return, you’re making a very unprofitable deal. In fact, it’s worse than that; when you have sex with a guy and get nothing in return, you wind up feeling crappy about it. Which means you have less than you did before. You are essentially paying him!

Guys literally have almost all of the power today. Young women need to wake up and shift the dynamic. And that, girls, can only be achieved if you limit the supply by raising the price.

4 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • 11minutes

    Guys literally have almost all of the power today.
    It’s still the women who decide when and with whom they have sex with.

    The difference to pre-feminist times is that nowadays women do not have the materialistic need (birth control, access to entire jobs market), nor the societal pressure to “settle” into marriage.

    These are all advantages to women. They literally are on par with men these days.

    What you cry about is the result of twisted evolutionary psychology. While men perceive female attractiveness on a linear scale (ie. there is a steady gradient from ugly to hot), women’s preference is highly nonlinear (ie. there are few attractive guys for hordes of unattractive losers).

    The result is a skewed market situation – not quite like the one you outline here:

    Most women rival for the same few men, while most men rival for different women.

    The result is that nowadays few men enjoy large harems of girls while most men stand on the sideline.

    As a result, most girls are unhappy because they fuck guys who don’t fully invest in them (they have many other girls to care about), and most guys are unhappy because they don;t get any action.

    So, “guys have all the power” is plainly wrong. It’s the privilege of an elite – granted by the majority of girls…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      You are correct that women have the ultimate say in when to have sex. Guys want sex more than women, so women get to make that call. Guys have the ultimate say in when to have relationships. Women want relationships more than guys, so guys make that call. Trouble for young women today is there’s a whole lotta hooking up going on and not much in the way of relationships. What you say about hot guys may be true, but 20 years ago hot guys wanted hot steady girlfriends. Today they want harems, as you point out. Since it’s the hot guys who set the cultural standard, girls lose.

      • Wrong!

        The horde of guys cast aside would be happy to maintain a true relationship. It’s just that women don’t even consider them as potentials.
        Women want the few hot studs and they get what they want. Then you see posts like these about with women crying about *men having the upper-hand* and the *disappearance of commitment*.
        This is highly hypocritical.

        Let me state it simply,
        Women can get anything they want. They go for the few hot studs.
        The few hot studs get hordes of women and build harems or relationships, they are the gods.
        The other guys get nothing, no sex nor relationship. They can serve as self-esteem tools to girls while they try to catch a hot stud, that’s the most they can get (no sex nor relationships).
        Let me also say you that there will never be enough hot studs. So, what would have to change to fix that cryfest? And who is responsible for it? Who really have the upper-hand? This is assuming you really want to fix anything, but I am probably very naive.

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  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    Umm NO. NO. No. Please. Not again with the supply and demand silliness. It's wrong. It's silly. And it's old. Very old. And it's being used here in the wrong context of sociobiology & evolutionary psychology. Really.

    Let's cover only some of the salient points, as I'm not sure if anyone's interested or listening.

    Premises: 1. Guys & gals Want, Desire & need Love. 2. BOTH SEXES Like & desire Sex. Really. You know this. Why on earth would any woman want to try and deny this to try to gain some putative 'advantage' in some (any) marketplace? Reputation perhaps, but this is truly a different age. No a longer horse and buggy culture where 'fast women' are decried as the universal 'scourge of youth'. 3. How Much do the partners Desire sex & how much are they willing to pay for it? This is critically more important than any projected simple 'supply & demand'. Without this? There IS no supply, nor demand!

    What happens when you get email, a mainly almost costless & now ubiquitous communication system that can easily convey complex written texts & much more? The Post Office goes broke! It's users use it less, it's needed for fewer things, and it's volume never recovers.

    What happens when any bloke with an computer ($300+, sometimes supplied by parent) and an Net connection ~$20-30 mo. can download more images of beautiful naked women doing whatever he might imagine in his most wildest erotic dreams for essentially Free? The market is reconfigured. Now I don't think this is the main problem here, (what's wrong w/ a few serial 'college marriages', and why do you imagine this is somehow 'new') but it's a start to understanding the supposed 'economics of the 'marriage market'.

    So again, how to describe the market? It's really not a 'sex' market. Sex is now ubiquitous. It's everywhere. People can download high quality porn into their phones for amusement. It's mostly free too. More images of nakedness & skin than a small village might have viewed in a lifetime of illicit pleasures just 50 years ago. Available to any teen with a modem & a 'home' isp address. Again, this creates a disincentive for many of the guys to actually get up off the couch and meet 'real live girls'. After all, they're much more complicated to figure out, and the sex per expenditure on the 'real' gals is often in multiples of 10's -$100's over the 'fantasy' that's readily available on the net.

    So again, what is the market? It's perhaps, yes, a Marriage market, which means many things to many people. For most gals? Perhaps better than 80% of them? It's also about begetting kids and providing for same, within the context of marriage. Now that's a particular arrangement. All the Biology? Just speaks to the begetting & provision for kids. With or without marriage. Almost any female on earth, no matter how they look, can beget children, if they're of age, and so inclined. (We'll confine our remarks here to consensual relationships). It's in the provisioning for the young that everything begins to break down & look tenuous. Why is that? Economics. Male wages have been stagnant or declining for a generation by now, without many people noticing. (See EPI.org for details)

    Why is that important? Throughout history, it's the male who has made the home, and provided for the children. Typically he'd already have a home or the wherewithal to buy one Before he seriously courted anyone. What happens when you barely can keep your head above water in a dead end job? You're not considered 'marriageable' material. Sure, women will screw you every now & again, but they'd not consider you a worthy prospe3ct to 'raise kids with'. And mostly, that's a 'safe bet' too, and hence the dramatic rise of single motherhood too. So we see the phenomenon of single moms and 'baby daddys' that really can not marry due to their 'lower economic class status'. Hence the women that flock to be 'bankers' GF's etc.

    So what's the market look like for participants? For women? It's still a buyers market until they're out of fertility range. Then it gets interesting. If you desire a Family, you Need a Woman to have your child with you. If she needs marriage to do this, then if you're at all 'suitable' it might come off. It may not last long, but it can happen. If you're a single guy with a non exciting job, long hours of demanding and isolating work? You're almost invisible to the 'market'. You might be getting your sex where you can, but starting a family of your own is a distant & unrequited dream for many. For the women who want kids? There's many, many options, some more friendly and available than others. But for most, it's not much of a problem. It never has been if you're at all healthy. Marriage & a more serious LTR typically for them comes later, when they're done with the kids mostly. A sort of 'bifurcated' family life of 'serial monogamy', if that fortunate. There's plenty of single women with several kids by different dads who are still looking for 'the one' to marry & settle down with. In their dotage. And it can happen. But sex? Never really is being 'rationed' here. It's impossible, as again, it's costless, and available almost everywhere. And there's nothing anyone might be able to do about that, if if they so desired.

    So no, supply and demand don't work well here. But Other economic models? Perhaps. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, VJ, you're become a prolific commenter! Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and share your thoughts. I'll keep my response brief. Basically, I would posit that nearly everything in life can be explained by a supply and demand model. We have wants and needs. We find others who can provide them, and give up something the other party values in exchange for what we value. Sex is no different. What your analysis fails to reflect is the realities of the hookup culture today, especially on college campuses. In the end men and women may want the same thing, but that time tends to occur when men approach 30. In the meantime, women are increasingly frustrated with the lack of relationships available to them.

  • reality

    this is bullshit though because you can't change the “greater culture”. a woman on a micro level not participating in slut culture – sorry i meant hooking up – is not going to have any effect on the wider culture. media such as porn and mtv maintain a certain sexual culture also, and you can't combat that. feminist and sexual liberals like you unleashed anarchy, and it's not going back into the box no matter how many pseudo-intellectual “supply and demand” theories you want to put forward.

  • reality

    “In the end men and women may want the same thing, but that time tends to occur when men approach 30.”

    Projection, projection, projection.

  • reality

    indeed, on the point of projection I have to echo 11minutes' point.

    females do the sexual selection. females, by and large, determine the sexual culture.

    if there's a situation where the sexes “aren't interested” in marriage until “age 30″ (which incidently is when the biological clock begins to tick a little louder), then more than likely that trend can be put down to the female population.

    it's really so very elementary, if you weren't so caught up in projecting your behaviour and perceived failures onto others.

  • susanawalsh

    I'm not looking to change the greater culture. I'm looking to give women a strategy for effecting positive change in their own individual lives. I guess it's fair to say that the Sexual Revolution did indeed unleash anarchy. It changed the expectations of men, that's for sure! All a woman can do is redefine those expectations as they are applied to her. That is all that is under her personal control. Perhaps there will be few men who are willing to be in a relationship in order to have sex with her, but it's the only card she's holding.

  • susanawalsh

    reality, I've left your comments up here for the sake of frank discussion, but let me say that your snarky tone is unnecessary and unpleasant. You hide behind your online anonymity to express your anger and bitterness toward women. Change the attitude. You might just find that you get further that way.

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  • Martin

    Honestly it isnt that simple. You should respect the sexual freedom females have fought so hard for in the west higher. If you look at the world you will find a pretty strong correlation between sex is extremely limited outside marriage (supply is low), something like Afghanistan or Northern India, and places where being a female is something really depressive. This correlation is even true if you go back in the history of the US, in the fifties, yeah females probably waited longer for sex after a date but overall their lives was defiantly worse. Of course correlation doesn't imply causation but it is food for though. The main reason “for the hookup culture” compared to a place like Greece in the sixties is that females today actually have the freedom of choice, and I am sure it has made them happier overall.

    (oh and I mainly wanted to attack that worthless sociobiology quote with this post :p)

  • susanawalsh

    Hi, Martin, thanks for leaving a comment. OK, I get it that you are not on the evo psych bandwagon. I do respect and appreciate sexual freedom for women. I also agree that in countries where women are oppressed, the supply of sex is low outside of marriage.

    In the US in the 1950s, one could argue that the quality of life was lower overall, I suppose. Women certainly had fewer rights, and now enjoy something pretty close to equal opportunity. With that opportunity comes responsibility. If you are a woman who wants casual sex, it's all good. The supply is endless. However, if you prefer relationship sex to casual sex, you would be wise to hold off until you are in a relationship.

    Today's permissive sexual environment has not made women happier overall. On a typical college campus, there are few couples to be seen. Most guys are under considerable peer pressure to remain single, and to get laid. That leads to hooking up as the default sexual encounter. Women are not forced to participate of course, but it's the only game in town. College counseling centers are chock full of female college students who feel like crap because the boys they have had sex with now pretend not to know them on campus.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi, Martin, thanks for leaving a comment. OK, I get it that you are not on the evo psych bandwagon. I do respect and appreciate sexual freedom for women. I also agree that in countries where women are oppressed, the supply of sex is low outside of marriage.

    In the US in the 1950s, one could argue that the quality of life was lower overall, I suppose. Women certainly had fewer rights, and now enjoy something pretty close to equal opportunity. With that opportunity comes responsibility. If you are a woman who wants casual sex, it's all good. The supply is endless. However, if you prefer relationship sex to casual sex, you would be wise to hold off until you are in a relationship.

    Today's permissive sexual environment has not made women happier overall. On a typical college campus, there are few couples to be seen. Most guys are under considerable peer pressure to remain single, and to get laid. That leads to hooking up as the default sexual encounter. Women are not forced to participate of course, but it's the only game in town. College counseling centers are chock full of female college students who feel like crap because the boys they have had sex with now pretend not to know them on campus.

  • SpanxChix

    The vast majority of guys would be willing to commit completely and permanently to an average looking woman, for a sincerely loving and sexual relationship. I am one of them.

    The problem is that this type of relationship is generally not available to men. There is no shortage of women who would marry us, fully utilize all of our resources (past, present, and future), fully utilize all of our free time, say they love us with a hallmark card on special occasions, and have pity sex with us less than once a month. There is no shortage of women who would enter into such a marriage, because she can fully pursue her non-romantic interests in life, or maybe even hook up with sexy guys once in a while, and if she doesn’t like her marriage, she can get out easily, keep the kids and the house, and get him to pay years of child support and decades of alimony. Meanwhile the husbands, not wanting to ruin the lives of their children or wives, must endure years of loneliness and frustration, and after the divorce must endure legalized slavery known as alimony. Consequences for her? Less than zero. Consequences for him? Devastating.

    You think I am just a bitter and unusual case? Look around you. The vast majority of marriages and divorces are described in the paragraph above. Young men who notice the fate of men who marry, must settle for hookups. They also wish they could have more meaningful relationships.

    So here is my challenge to women who want to change the relationship playing field: plan and prepare to be good wives, and men will want to marry you. Stop seeking lifetime alimony just because you were bored with the marriage, and more men will consider marriage a feasible option.

  • bitter beta!

    Men in general would have to believe that your nature has changed for this strategy to prove successful.  There are few men left who don’t view women generally with a great deal of suspicion. or simply, we all think you are evil.
    The past 50 yrs has given men enough evidence to make the case that the only quality any woman can bring to a relationship is deceit.
    Moreover, the only defense men have against the wiles of women is to restrict access to relationship, why on earth would they give that up?
    When I was younger, I wanted a women, and I believed that women were essentially good.  Neither of those things are true anymore.
    For young men who haven’t gone through the meat grinder, who are raised to believe that women are good, this has a hope of working.
    For myself, it will only be adding insult to injury to restrict sex now.  But hey, se levi.

  • Doc

    Your Female Hypergamy page doesn’t display correctly, at least for me.

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/tag/female-hypergamy/

    So I don’t know what your opinion of it is. However, it seems to me that the problem with most of the analysis I’ve read on your site is incomplete in that it tends not to take into account that men and women prefer vastly different relationship arrangements.

    Remembering that perception is everything . . .

    Men tend to prefer exclusive, simultaneous access to a large group of fertile women. A few ‘apparently’ dominant (alpha) males manage to accomplish this with varying degrees of success.

    Women tend to prefer exclusive access (i.e., sans the harem) to one dominant (alpha) male at a time. A few ‘apparently’ high value women manage to accomplish this with varying degrees of success.

    The rest of us seriously settle.

    So we have a condition where, at the top of the human mating pool, dominant males and high-value females ‘prove’ themselves and do what they do. The rest of us are excluded from this exclusive ‘club.’

    Of course the inclusion lines are not clear and the membership continually changes. But artful posers can get in and may even eventually become naturals.

    So I think you’ve left out a big part of the proper explanation of how things really work. From a woman’s perspective, it might be that once a woman has found her prince charming, there should be, as you say, “a big, grand, passionate love.” But that’s only with prince charming.

    Rather than fight this reality, a more frank approach might be to simply acknowledge the truth. Explain to your readers that if they have taken a shot at fulfilling their human desires, and failed, here is a website that might help you accept your lot in life: settle.

    Doc

  • Marc

    It is ALL about supply and demand when it comes to dating/sex/marriage!
    ……
    I live in a country with the most beautiful women in the world, and very few “available” men, Colombia. Most of the men here are dead, short, broke, ugly, prison, womanizers etc. It is amazing because the women I date here would not give me two looks in L.A., South Beach or Las Vegas. Not that I am ugly, broke, etc. It’s just that there is a lot of competition there. (Supply). I choose to stay where demand is high for us, and supply is low. It’s a much better program….wink.

  • Abbot

    This seems to sum it up quite well. Oh the feminists are going to have a field day with it.
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/julieruvolo/2011/09/11/if-youve-got-it-charge-for-it-the-feminism-2-0-manifesto/
    .

    “If You’ve Got It, Charge for It”: The Feminism 2.0 Manifesto
    In the world according to Catherine Hakim, we’re all for sale – most of us just aren’t charging enough.
    .
    In her new book Erotic Capital, Hakim says sex appeal is our most valuable asset and we should deploy it without shame. It went on sale this week, and it’s required reading for anyone under 35.
    .
    Erotic capital is “the fourth personal asset, alongside economic capital (money talks), human capital (what you know), and social capital (who you know).”
    .
    Like money, you can be born with it, and like friends, you can work on getting more of it. It provides measurable and significant advantages to people who have it,just like being tall.
    .
    Women have a lot more of it than men, but men want more sex than women do, a global phenomenon Hakim calls the “male sex deficit.” That means erotic capital is a valuable asset in high demand and short supply. (“Male sexuality is worthless, because of excess supply at zero cost.”)
    .
    Unfortunately, we’ve never even heard of it.
    .
    Hakim says erotic capital is an “unacknowledged asset” that we’ve been tricked into giving away for free, and she blames an “unholy alliance” of the patriarchy and radical feminists:
    .
    Patriarchal men have always found it in men’s collective interest to… generally reduce the price of sex and erotic entertainments by lowering the value of women’s erotic capital (“Beauty is only skin deep, hence worthless”) and by squeezing the cost of sexual entertainment (“Only depraved women would sink so low”)…. Women who openly deploy their beauty or sex appeal are belittled as stupid, lacking in intellect and other “meaningful” social attributes.
    .
    We have special names for such ambitious women. Hookers charge for it and sluts give it away for free. Gold diggers want the ring for it and trophy wives are the lucky ones who get the ring.
    .
    Morality, Hakim says, is “deployed by men to restrict women’s ability to exploit their one major advantage over men and to humiliate women who do succeed in gaining money or status through those activities.”
    .
    She says the strategy is ironically supported by whole generation of Anglo-Saxon feminists “so brainwashed by patriarchal ideology that they have been quite unable to understand how sexuality and erotic capital can be sources of female power.”
    .
    The reality is we’re all for sale, whether explicitly or implicitly, whether we like it or not, in a “broad spectrum of deal-making” that extends from college girls to call girls. And all that separates you from the big P is the price and the currency:
    .
    Men have always had to pay for sex – in money, marriage, respect, long-term commitment, or willingness to help raise children. In the past, men accepted that they had to pay a price. Today, the sexual revolution in attitudes to sexuality leads many young men to assume that they should get full sexual satisfaction, free of charge, all the time.
    .
    Free love? Fairytale. Friends with benefits? Conspiracy to get it for free. Ditto on picking up the bill. Sexual equality? An intellectual swindle “even more disastrous to women than free love.“
    .
    Smart women recognize the value of their erotic capital and make the most of it, in one way or another, while the rest of us call them names and sell ourselves short:
    .
    Too often, women throw away their most universal assets, sexual access and erotic capital, because they have been brainwashed into believing that only money and qualifications have value. Recognition of the value of erotic capital and women’s unique fertility skills provides the basis for a truly feminist Manifesto for Women.
    .
    Which is all a fancy way of saying, “If you’ve got it, charge for it.”
    .
    It’s controversial as hell, it’s long overdue, and it’s frighteningly good advice for a younger generation that is not only primed for it, but appears to be taking it literally. Hakim may just have written the Feminism 2.0 Manifesto.
    .
    For Gen Y – we’re about 15 to 35 years old – feminism is a dirty word we associate with angry lesbians, The Vagina Monologues and general unsexiness. Which is really a shame.
    .
    Go ahead, ask someone under 35 if they identify as a feminist. Lady Gaga said, “I’m not a feminist. I love men.”
    .
    When Harper’s Bazaar asked Beyonce, she said,
    .
    I don’t really feel that it’s necessary to define it. It’s just something that’s kind of natural for me, and I feel like… you know… it’s, like, what I live for. I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious.
    .
    Gen Y grew up on Girl Power and Beyonce ballads. Indendent Women. Single Ladies. We reaped the benefits without burning any of the bras: birth control, better wages, less guilt about having casual sex. Add that all together and we’re enjoying a good extra decade of fun before we choose to settle down.
    .
    So it’s ironic that Gen Y hookup culture has its roots in the feminist movement we’re so quick to distance ourselves from. We might not want marriage or monogamy, but how about a text the next day?
    .
    Gen Y women have no idea what we should be asking for. But it’s high time we figured out what we want and started asking for it, whatever it may be.
    .
    Hakim suggests cash. “The puzzle,” Hakim says, “is not why intelligent and attractive women become prostitutes, but rather why more women do not choose this occupation, given the high potential earnings for relatively short work hours.”
    .
    There’s plenty of evidence to suggest the ladies of Gen Y already are.
    .
    Take, for example, SeekingArrangement.com, “a dating site for those seeking mutually beneficial arrangements” that has over 100,000 college women (as verified by their .edu address) registered and looking for sugar daddies (gag). Since the economy tanked the site has seen registrations rise, and we are not just talking aspiring dental assistants: registered universities include NYU, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, and yes… even Harvard.
    .
    This is not just an American phenomenon. Hakim says, “young women on Jiayuan, the biggest dating agency in China, say explicitly that they are seeking older rich men who will support their studies and pay for a desirable lifestyle.” They call it the “si you or four haves: a house, car, high salary, and a prestigious job or business.”
    .
    And why stop at your undergrad degree when you can pay for your PhD? Britain’s most famous call girl was known only as Belle de Jour as she escorted her way through her doctorate studies in forensic science. Belle enjoyed years of anonymity and two best-selling books before coming out in 2009.
    .
    Then there’s Katherine Frank, a cultural anthropologist who paid for her PhD working as a nude dancer. Dr. Amy Flowers worked part-time as a phone sex operator, which “led her to develop the theory of phone sex as an example of the tertiary relationships that proliferate in the twenty-first century due to the Internet and phones replacing face-to-face encounters.”
    .
    Gen Y is more primed for this kind of transaction than our elders would like to believe, and I think the internet is largely to blame.
    .
    Starting with the fact that the internet is for porn, and kids these days are growing up watching it.
    .
    (Internet porn, The Atlantic says, “bares an uncomfortable truth that the women’s-liberation movement has successfully suppressed: men and women have conflicting sexual agendas. Pornography neatly resolves the contradictions—in favor of men. They f*** with impunity. Women never dream of staying.”)
    .
    Cindy Gallop, the reigning Cougar Dame of New York and creator of MakeLoveNotPorn, says Gen Y is getting their sex ed from watching porn, then acting out what we learn in the bedroom.
    .
    Which is to say, hooking up is starting to look a lot like porn.
    .
    The result?
    .
    “Affection is not the point with young people’s hookups, and sexual competence is demanded, sometimes to professional standards,” Hakim says. “The dividing line between amateur and professional sex encounters vanishes.”
    .
    Professional sex doesn’t carry the same stigma for a generation that grew up on internet porn because it doesn’t look all that different. The truth is, Gen Y has a hard time understanding the difference between paying a professional for sex (illegal) and watching two professionals who are paid to have sex (legal).
    .
    Besides, porn isn’t even about professionals anymore, so why should prostitution be? The biggest porn site on the planet (by a landslide) is a webcam site called LiveJasmin, where you pay for a 1-on-1 live video session. So is that internet porn or internet prostitution, or are they the same thing?
    .
    The confusion extends offline into the hottest clubs for twenty-somethings, from New York City to Las Vegas. In the aptly titled Rachel Uchitel is not a Madam, Tiger Wood’s favorite lady says, “A promoter is a glorified pimp…. A bottle waitress means you’re half a stripper and half a pimp…. But then everyone is a pimp.” But wait, “money isn’t exchanged in most cases.” Wait, what?
    .
    If you really want to make your head spin, consider the rising popularity of “the girlfriend experience” (GFE for shorthand, Google it) among men paying for escorts. They want the trappings of a nice dinner and a sexy date along with the main entree. So now we’re treating professionals like girlfriends and girlfriends like professionals.
    .
    “We lump these things together but that’s only to spare ourselves any mental exertion, “ Tracy Clark-Flory argues in Salon. “Most of us don’t like to acknowledge the complex relationship between sex and money.”
    .
    For Gen Y, they all blend together even after profund mental exertion. The “broad spectrum of deal-making” looks like shades of grey. So the thinking goes – if they all look the same – why not charge for it?
    .
    That’s certainly Hakim’s recommendation, but that’s not all of it:
    .
    Women must learn to bargain and negotiate with men for a better deal. They must bargain for greater recognition for their contribution to private life before they can bargain successfully at work with managers, colleagues, and employers. if you cannot negotiate successfully with a man who claims to desire, love, and respect you, you are unlikely to develop the necessary skills for dealing with men who are colleagues in the same organization, or friends, or strangers such as deliverymen, service providers, and the myriad of people we all have to deal with in everyday life.
    .
    Whatever the currency we choose, it’s high time we ask for a fair exchange. And for Gen Y, anything is better than free.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Abbot
      Great article there. Feminism is coming down. Young women see the writing on the wall.

  • Abbot

    Feminism is coming down
    .
    To mockingly use their own terminology:
    .
    The counter-misogynary anti-patriarchal bizarronormative intersectionality of feminism, hypergamy, birth control culture and prostitution has arrived.
    ,
    The author Hakim is British. Not surprising. And confirms without a doubt that these ideas are generating and practiced in geographically isolated places with relatively small populations. We all know its spinning apart but boy it sure is fun pounding salt while it lasts.

  • Lou Briccant

    I could have summed up that article like this….
    “Your vag has monetary value, be a hooker”

    Mother nature has programed dudes to be more aggresive in seeking sex for a reason. It keeps the species reproducing. It doesn’t mean men enjoy sex more than women.
    …..
    Before thinking you should “charge” for your vag, remember it is nothing special down there, every woman has one, yours is no different. If you really want to lean toward the feminist side, try picking up the dinner check, it will get you further in life than being a scamp.

  • Abbot

    These feminists either do not want any type of value assigned to the vag or they want it highly valued and therefore purchased. What they also dont want is a man who will reject a woman when she is done with the sale period because she is considered unworthy for having sold it or prolifically used it, for money or otherwise. Its no wonder why young women today dismiss these charlatans as retarded maternalistic kooks

  • Liz

    I’d rather have a partner who wants a loving relationship, rather than a partner who’s merely willing to go through the motions of one for the sake of something else (be it sex, or whatever else). So, I’d rather not settle for a man who I could only attract by sexual manipulation. I also think the resulting marriage could end up with both partners playing games on each other and feeling increasing deprived and frustrated, with neither of their needs being met.

    Really, I think a better focus is how to find a partner who’s looking for a loving relationship for its own sake, rather than a partner who views affection as merely something to give to someone else in return for sex. So, I guess two options are: (a) have an initially non-sexual dating relationship with someone for the first several years or so, where there’s cuddling and intimacy but no sex; or else (b) sleep around knowing some guys just want you for sex, until you find a partner who still wants you for emotional reasons even when he can get sex regardless.

    For women who can’t stomach the idea of doing (b) without getting hurt feelings, I think the best idea is to insist on (a). A man who just wants sex will quickly wander off and find it with someone else — and these other women and porn clips and sex workers are doing you a favor because they’re taking the men who just want sex, and taking them off your hands by diverting their attention elsewhere. If sex was more scarce, some of the just-want-sex men would stay longer in a just-cuddling relationship so it would be harder to tell them apart from the desired type of men.

    For another thing, women have historically settled out of economic necessity, with marriage being viewed as a developmental milestone for women; marriage has historically been for women what a college degree is for men (well, sort of). So I do think overall the feminist movement is bringing good changes because women are moving towards more financial independence. Historically, we’ve been economically coerced into having to settle for the sake of achieving the developmental goal of marriage.

    One possible problem in strategy (a) above is that, whilst it will attract some good men, it may also attract men with sexist double standards who want to sleep with the “easy” women and marry the sexually conservative women. This is usually a possessive kind of male strategy that’s done because the guy doesn’t want his female partner sleeping with other men, so he wants a partner who doesn’t take sex lightly and couldn’t emotionally handle sex with anyone but him. Men who do this can be misogynist, plus they sometimes cheat on their end whilst taking advantage of the fact that the woman can’t cheat back because of how she is about sex and commitment. (I actually know quite a few men who are serial cheaters and cruise churches to look for conservative women to marry. These men also tend to say things like that women who dress provocatively are just asking to be raped, and stuff like that.)

    So, I guess strategy (a) needs to be combined with other strategies to assess sincerity on the man’s end. My conclusion is that strategy (a) isn’t necessarily a complete strategy to finding a good man, BUT any individual woman can follow strategy (a) without being hampered by other women’s choices to be more freely available for sex. If anything, the ready availability of sex with other women helps divert the men who just want sex, and helps an individual woman to weed them out using strategy (a).

  • Manda

    For a nice change of pace, I agree with you!
    I have seen a lot of this line of thinking and honestly I believe it makes a lot of sense.
    I don’t think that is all this is though. Women are chosing to go along with this model and this cannot be blamed on men. If more women were willing to be a little ostracized maybe this could change.
    Granted I also say this as a married 23 year old.
    I have always thought it was interesting as well that in Christian circles divorce is very high but marriage continues to be unusually young.
    What I would guess to be the ideal would be mid-20’s marriage without going through the hook-up culture.
    But this is just me thinking aloud!
    Thank you for your lovely blog!

  • VeriSeeker

    I am trying put this as nicely as I can. Your fundamental assumption about sex supply and demand is wrong.

    Both men and women supply and demand sex. Each half of our species has almost monopoly power in that they can hold out for the highest price for sex that they can get. The other half’s alternative is to pay the higher price for sex or practice some form of homosexuality.

    All that the “hook-up” culture shows us is that both halves of our species have increased the supply and the demand for sex. Society can blame porn, too many single parent households, greater access to birth control, and even feminism that has released women from the bondage of marriage and relationships. I personally blame the high divorce rate: exceeding 50% in many states. Both men and women are smart, therefore, why would either get involved in an institution that is only successful 50% of the time. Most thinking people would not invest money in something so risky – so why would they invest themselves?

    Additionally, women don’t need to “get something” out of a sexual relationship. Most women I know have careers, cars, apartments, friends, thier own lives, and everything that men have. They do not “need” relationships any more than men do. A relationship is a choice, not a demand or destination. It is illogical to assume that women in general (not the readers and contributors to this site) demand relationships for sex any more than men do. Again, feminism has given far more choices than they had in the “good-ol-days”. Unfortunately for women, these greater choices come with greater costs: women don’t need men to take care of them financially any longer so men are reluctant to do so.

    Economics is not a very efficient way to describe something as complex as human sexual relationships. Economics cannot take into account human emotions – that is what drives relationships.

    My advice to the readers of this blog would be focus on what men want in relationships (love) and eliminate what they do not want (drama). Learn to cook, keep a clean house, treat your man like a king – he will happily work hard to provide for his family and return home to you every night – this worked in the “good-ol-days”. My mother used to tell my sister: “do not send your man to work hungry or horny”. My sister refused to take that advice and she is still single at 39-years old.

    Something to ponder.

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  • Paul

    What a joke!! “there’s a slight risk of rejection when they target a specific girl”. Another clear demonstration of a female’s utter cluelessness of the male dating experience for the vast majority of guys. 98% of guys. Not just the pathetic ugly ass nerd dork loser types but ‘switched on’ got their shit together average to above average looking men.
    guys have almost all the power today??? that’s funny …guys with solid game skills or natural Alpha traits have much more power than the betas with no game skills learned. Because as men are ‘wired’ to spread their seed women are ‘wired’ to get soaking wet for the ‘alpha’ males or alpha emulating game skills using males in order to get the highest quality ‘seed.’ It’s why well executed game is so effective in getting men sex….the caveat here being “well executed”.
    as long as women have vaginas they will ALWAYS have the power as the gatekeepers to sexual access. They can always say NO and there is nothing males can do from that point on other than forceful methods in which those said males should be taken out and shot immediately for the scum they would be!!!
    anyway i digress…sexual access to women is easily available to a small portion of the male population. Those who are extremely good looking , those who are “naturals” ie alphas / douchebags , and those who have mastered the art of game…the remainders which imo are about 98% of men get sex rarely in the hookup culture at least with women who are desired and attractive to most men ie 7 and ups (i hate scaling but for lack of a better way ).
    why do you think you see the multitudes of men standing around with beers in their hands at the clubs looking needy and depressed? Because they are watching all the hot girls hooking up with the aforementioned minority of guys who “get it”. but as pointed to earlier most girls are clueless to this reality. rant over.

  • Jake Danger

    This article is demeaning to women:

    “Girls (the suppliers) are going bankrupt in the romance department because they are literally giving away a valuable product. When you have sex with a guy for nothing in return, you’re making a very unprofitable deal. ”

    It sounds like a pimp trying to convince a girl to come work for him as a prostitute, no matter whether the currency is cash or commitment.