The Oldest Profession


Let all mankind this certain maxim hold
Marry who will, our sex is to be sold.
With empty hands no tassels you can lure,
But fulsome love for gain we can endure;
For gold we love the impotent and old,
And heave, and pant, and kiss, and cling, for gold.


-Alexander Pope, Paraphrases from Chaucer


    You may not like it, but you can’t deny it: all women sell sex to get what they want. Well, except for the ones that avoid sex altogether, and the one in a thousand nymphos that can’t stand to go without it any longer than a man can. Women trade sex for a variety of things: cash, trinkets, security, love, prestige, affirmation, entertainment, or attention – but sex itself is rarely enough. A man, given a chance, will not hesitate to fuck a good looking stranger of his preferred sex, but a woman thinks, “Who is this person?” – i.e., “What’s in it for me?”


    Women almost always deny that they are “materialistic”, because they’ve been taught that they shouldn’t be. But you’ll never see a pretty girl walking hand in hand with a homeless guy or going on a date in a crappy old car; you’ll never meet a woman who is comfortable with her boyfriend being unemployed – even if she doesn’t need his income at the moment.


    Women often claim to be attracted to intelligence; it ain’t so. Women are attracted to earning potential. Most seem to have some mental block about this; for example, a female friend of mine once insisted that money didn’t matter to her, and started babbling this nonsense about intelligence. “You’re smart,” she said, “I bet you could really make something of yourself.” When I pointed out that “making something of yourself” meant material success, she got angry – but of course she couldn’t explain it away. Women like intelligent men exactly to the extent that they see that intelligence as a source of money and prestige.


    A key attribute of the typical feminine ideal of the “perfect” man is having wealth or power (preferably both). Not that all women fantasize solely about millionaires; not all women are interested primarily in getting money for sex. There are plenty of other things to get. But every woman has a minimum standard of prosperity a man must possess before she will consider him – she may be willing to sleep with a working class man, and will cite this as proof of her disinterest in money, but of course she wouldn’t sleep with some bum who didn’t even have a job. And given a choice between a rich man and a poor man, few women will resist the temptation to go with the loot, no matter what they might do when the poor man is the only thing on the menu. This works even when the woman has a good income and no need for a man to support her – the attraction is instinctive.


    Like all purveyors of goods, women are jealous of any competition. The highest price, generally, that can be got for sex is marriage. Plain cash money is actually the lowest price – as one would expect from competition in an open market. Women who trade sex for intangible rewards like attention or love also drive down the market price. This is why women despise “sluts” – it’s the resentment of a unionized worker for a scab. And don’t let female babble about “love” fool you – to them, love is isn’t real unless it’s accompanied by a long term financial commitment.


    You might, at this point, be thinking that I’m a misogynist – especially if you’ve never had a girlfriend. If you’re a feminist, hopefully you’ve had an apoplectic fit and died, thereby making the world a better place.


    Surprisingly, I like women, and not just for fucking. I don’t happen to think there’s anything wrong with trying to get something in exchange for sex. It’s the way human beings are made – we’re governed by biology, like any other animal. Men naturally want sex and women naturally want security, and there’s nothing wrong with either, anymore than it’s wrong for a wolf to be born with an appetite for meat. All of us have inherent qualities that can be annoying to other people; some of these are predominately male, some are predominately female, but none are exclusively male or female and many of the worst are prevalent among both.


    If women are “shallow” because they want men with tall statures and deep pockets, men are surely shallow for wanting women who are young and pretty. But I’m not suggesting that the sexes are equally unprincipled; rather, the principles we’ve been taught to give lip service to – like the notion of valuing “personality” foremost in a romantic/sexual partnership – are bullshit. Anyone who tells you you should love someone “for who he/she is” (whatever the hell that means) is a fool. A person is a composite of many attributes, some of which are physical and circumstantial and very important to real-world love relationships.


    It’s natural for people to want things, and we shouldn’t expect otherwise or judge people for not giving away their bodies or their commitments without asking for anything in return. We do not, after all, despise people who insist on being paid wages for labor, or who take a job for double pay when it is offered. Loyalty is a virtue, but every virtue has its limits. Sexual relationships are ultimately driven by biology; that’s how the whole “men marrying women” thing came about. No one would blame you if you declined to start a sexual relationship with a grotesquely obese person; why would you be obliged to continue in a sexual relationship if your partner gained two hundred pounds? For love? I love my mother but I don’t sleep with her.


    The only way a romantic relationship is going to work, long term, is if both partners are getting a reasonable return for what they give. “Love” and commitment are not enough (you might stay together, if you’re masochistic enough, but you won’t like it). The man who won’t keep a job and the woman who “lets herself go” have both failed their duties and cheated their partners. When any relationship ceases to have value for both participants, we should expect it to end – conversely, if you want it to last, you should make the necessary effort to be a worthwhile partner at the most fundamental level, and keep love alive at the very root. That root is physical and material needs.


    You may think I have a cynical view of human nature and relationships, and you might be right, but there are benefits from our selfish sexual behavior. If men weren’t driven by sex, or if women were inclined to give it freely, no human civilization would ever have progressed past the stage of hunting monkeys with pointed sticks and running from lions. Men are indolent by nature; we prefer lounging in the shade or playing games to building huts, plowing fields, or working in factories. Given the opportunity to have all the sex they want while doing only the minimum of work to keep themselves fed, few men would feel the need to do more than pick berries and occasionally slaughter small animals. Men don’t stockpile goods, work overtime, or buy on credit because they like to work or even because they like to own a lot of stuff. Men only care about that sort of thing to impress women, they only work hard because women want them to, and they only care about impressing women because they want to get laid.


    Prostitution is, as they say, the oldest profession; and of necessity; whether one calls it by name or by some euphemism such “love” or “marriage”, it is the motive behind all men’s labors. The whole history of human society is the history of what men have done for sex. How ironic that we should look on the most important transaction to our species, the driving force of our entire culture, as degrading and antisocial.

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