Will work for sex

According to an article at CNN.com, the stereotypes are true: women are dirty whores who will use their bodies to get what they want, and men are slobbering pussyhounds who will do whatever you ask them to if there’s a promise of sex in it.

A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren’t in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts — help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game — in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they’d attempted to trade sex for such freebies.

And although they weren’t hard up for resources, the students surveyed “recognized the value of this socioeconomic currency system,” says Daniel Kruger, research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who published his findings in the April issue of “Evolutionary Psychology.”

Emphasis on “laundry washing” mine.  And “this socioeconomic currency system,” is that what the kids are calling it these days? Funny, I thought it was “prostitution,” but what do I know? Then again, actual prostitutes, the kind you pick up in Red Hook, receive money for their services, rather than just getting their sheets washed.

The article quotes both a 27 year-old woman who slept with a Brazilian busboy so that he would agree to be her guide on a trip to the Amazon, and Rocky Fino, author of Will Cook for Sex: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking, who happily admits to letting his penis do the talking: “Give it to me first thing in the morning and I’ll play handyman all day.” Naturally, like men are hardwired to cheat and all women turn to mush at the sight of an infant, some scientist claims that we are biologically inclined to whore ourselves out for favors and expensive purses, despite finding TV programs like HBO’s Hookers at the Point revolting (or at least, I did).

Call it crass, sexist or gender stereotyping all you want, but there are thousands of years of biological programming at work here, says Dr. Chris Fariello, director of the Institute for Sex Therapy at the Council for Relationships, a nonprofit relationship-counseling group based in Philadelphia.

Plain and simple, a partner who provides more resources — wealth, shelter, home repairs — is seen as more attractive and stands to reap more sexual rewards.

Or, as Fariello puts it, “I don’t get anybody in my office who says, ‘My husband sits on the couch all day and eats bonbons, and I want to have sex with him all the time.’

Perhaps I’m missing a line in there where Dr. Fariello, or the reporter, actually explains the “thousands of years of biological programming at work here” part, if you find it let me know.  While looking up Dr. Fariello’s credentials, I noticed that his “expert opinion” was also sought on the Eliot Spitzer scandal and a report on the “growing trend” of something called “naked college parties.” You’ll have to pardon me if I’m not exactly buying that this is a common, normal thing for people to do, rather than a titillating excuse for CNN to spruce up a slow news day (and to use stock footage of a female leg wearing a garter belt).  It’s not exactly a stretch to claim that self-sufficient people, those who work and are able to support themselves, are more attractive (read: fuckable) than those who are unemployed and still living in Mom’s basement.  What is a stretch is applying this logic to the claim that women will offer sex to any sap willing to buy them a pair of $500 shoes, while men will all but give up a kidney to someone if it meant getting their dick sucked for it.  But that’s okay, because it’s natural.  We may have grown opposable thumbs and no longer have vestigial tails, but somehow, conveniently, we still treat our bodies as something to be traded, like a cow and some magic beans.  It’s sexier that way.  

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