Liberal feminism reveals truth that real empowerment comes in the form of oysters and handbags

Maybe feminism would be more effective if we were better at monetizing our vaginas?

For most of my adult life, I’ve made choices about which men I date based on whether or not I wanted to fuck them. I didn’t realize how wrong and unfeminist that was until just now. Thanks to Jezebel, I know better. What I should have been doing was dating old creepy men who could pay me to pretend I like them. What, after all, could be more empowering than having sex with someone you find repulsive, and who only wants to hang out with you because it makes them feel powerful?

I mean, have you ever tried having sex with a man whose dick you don’t want inside you? I have. And boy oh boy does it feel great. Did you guys miss all those sexy stories we heard this year about actresses having amazing, empowering sex with disgusting (but rich and powerful!) old men because they wouldn’t be able to make a living if they said no or spoke out about it? You’d think savvy feminists like me would have learned a thing or two.

I guess my problem is that I’m just not entrepreneurial enough when it comes to my vagina. And being entrepreneurial when it comes to our vaginas is what feminism is all about. Let’s not forget that traditional feminist rallying call: “No woman is free until a man old enough to be her grandfather has paid for her body and compliance fair and square.”

Luckily, Aimée Lutkin, a writer at Jezebel is here to advise us on how to cash in on our vaginas and have bad sex with gross men at the same time!

On Friday, Lutkin attended the Sugar Baby Summit, a conference organized by Seeking Arrangements, which was founded by radical feminist millionaire, Brandon Wade, in order to liberate women who might otherwise have been fucking men they actually like.

Lutkin explains that “sugaring is mostly for rich men… who want companionship and are willing to pay for it.” In other words, men who value women as full human beings and care about their interests and desires a lot.

Lutkin says the conference included panels like “Sugar For Entrepreneurs” and “Cultivating Confidence and Understanding Sexuality In The #MeToo Era,” which I assume explored how having sex with women who are repulsed by you, but need the money so have to fake it, builds confidence, and also how paying a woman to rape her can stop rape. Lutkin also talks to lots of Sugar Babies who explain that this isn’t prostitution, just “another style of dating” wherein men financially coerce young women into sleeping with them because the idea of being with a woman who you have to treat like an equal and who might hold you accountable for your behaviour is very very unsexy.

One woman named Shannon Roy-Wyatt tells Lutkin that “People are scared of what they don’t think is traditional,” which is demonstrably true, because clearly all these Sugar Daddies are modern men who don’t feel women are chattel.

Lutkin points out that lots of dates and men are terrible, which is true. She also says that men on dating apps message her all the time asking for what she calls “free sex work.” Lutkin writes, “They don’t want to spend money on a professional, but they also don’t want to invest the time and energy connecting to a regular date before asking for explicit sexual favours.” I cannot speak to the truth of this claim personally, because the idea of meeting men through dating apps seems like a depressing nightmare and because I prefer to go on dates with men I already know instead of rando internet strangers, but I certainly believe that men on dating apps act like entitled, perverted assholes on the regular. I guess what I’m mainly confused about is why a man suddenly becomes desirable or less of a perverted creep if he compensates you?

Lutkin says that at least Sugar Daddies are “recognizing that what they’re asking for has value,” that “women’s time has value,” and that “looking good costs money.” I think maybe part of the problem is that to me “value” doesn’t necessarily translate to “should be paid for” or “commodifiable.” I personally think I am a valuable human being even when a man isn’t buying me a purse or paying me to pretend I want to fuck him. And maybe it’s just my low self-esteem talking, but I tend to want to spend time with people I actually like. I guess I always thought that what feminism should be fighting for is for women to be treated with respect by men even when those men weren’t fucking them and against the idea that women exist to make men feel better about themselves. Alternatively, we could just give up on ever being respected as full human beings and at least try to profit from misogyny? Profiting from exploitative systems that reinforce violence and oppression has always worked to the benefit of the marginalized in the past — that much we know for sure.

Though proponents of Sugar Dating often claim it’s not about sex, Lutkin discovers this isn’t true. It turns out that Sugar Daddies are “annoyed with all the women seeking ‘platonic’ arrangements” on Seeking Arrangements and that “unsurprisingly, the option to just be a man’s hot companion at gorgeous events is basically a myth.”

In the end Lutkin decides that she “respect[s] the Sugar Babies who figure out how to use the effort they put into finding love to a secondary purpose, whether it’s paying for college applications, travel, a new handbag, starting a business, or just finding someone who can afford to show them more of the world than a split bill at a dive bar.” I like dive bars and am largely uninterested in handbags, so maybe that’s part of my problem. But I do like shellfish, and one Sugar Baby told Lutkin that she’d never had oysters until a Sugar Daddy introduced her to them and now she gets to eat oysters all the time, which is a really good point actually because oysters are definitely a fair trade off for selling your soul.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Zoë Lafantaisie

    Wow Ms. Murphy! You are on fire! Extremely well done!

    • Meghan Murphy

      🙂

  • Simone Firestone

    Your articles give me life. Thank you for all that you do in the name of ‘real’ feminism.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • Vanessa McC

    Please keep up with the devastating sarcasm. It is a response so totally appropriate this this sort of utter shit.

    How can a “feminist” write an article which refers to grown women as “babies” throughout and not for a single second consider the implications of this?

    • Simone Firestone

      Well-said. It reminded me of what Simone de Beauvoir powerfully said about infantilisation in The Second Sex – that men know childish drama touches a woman’s heart and that men will deviously use this knowledge to their advantage, to assert their manly superiority. Women in turn suffer in becoming adults and remain babyish.

  • Celia Wangler

    It feels like someone has redefined the words “feminism” and “empowerment”. While being confident and financially independent are part of becoming empowered (and is living off a sugar daddy being financially independent), to be empowered you have to have an understanding of the forces that seek keep you dis-empowered.

  • Addy

    My favourite line…”Profiting from exploitative systems that reinforce violence and oppression has always worked to the benefit of the marginalized in the past — that much we know for sure.”

    Meghan, I’m so glad to know that you now have a reliable source for shellfish! Happy days!

  • Laura P.

    In before some dudebro mansplains that it’s just another choice womyn can make over their own bodies. That is not what choice means at all, and all sane people know it.

  • Jani

    Sugaring??!!! There’s a word for it? Just when you think it can’t get any worse… As for Understanding Sexuality In The #MeToo Era, WTF is that all about?! I mean these guys are clueless about female sexuality not that it matters when the real purpose of this workshop is probably non disclosure agreements to avoid accusations of rape and sexual assuault later on. Brilliant article, BTW.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Thom!

  • Wren

    Only Meghan Murphy can make me laugh at this insanity. It would be very dark times indeed without FC.

    • lk

      Yes, I just love it when Ms. Murphy writes articles like this!!

      • Meghan Murphy

        <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    I do often wish I could just do parody all the time ha

  • Meghan Murphy

    True.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t go on dates with men because they offer me ‘shiny objects’. I go on dates with them because I’m attracted to them…

    • -Jane Don’t-

      I think the mind & personality are much sexier than “shiny objects,” myself!

  • MissLaLaFla

    I love your website, Meghan. I come here when I need a break from the insanity and toxicity of society, and the inevitable psychological nightmare that it creates in my mind. I actually even come on here for some therapy sometimes, to hear others speaking the same thoughts that torment me. In other words, it is comforting to know that I’m not the only one who’s been very damaged by an evil culture that most are ignorant of.

    I felt that I needed to say that first before I offered some constructive criticism to you. “For most of my adult life, I’ve made choices about which men I date based on whether or not I wanted to fuck them.” I find it a bit odd that you chose that to open with, when your entire article is basically slamming men for thinking and acting the same way. Sure, you opted to offer a harsh, and deserved, rebuttal to a “feminist” (she sounds more like a female pimp to me) by the name of Aimée Lutkin. But you musn’t forget that you are the creator of a blog that thousands of women from all across the world read. And many of them are lost and scared and looking for help and wisdom. And your website is an invaluable resource for those needs. So, in essence, you have a responsibility to live up to. And belittling dating and finding love to someone that you’d want to “fuck” or not, is somewhat shallow and definitely vulgar.

    So please, for myself and others, live up to the standard that we all need you to and know that you can. Thank you if you gave my comment any consideration.

    • Meghan Murphy

      The entire tone of the post is glib and doesn’t intend to encompass every single reason a woman might choose to date a man. This post isn’t intended to offer wisdom, but mockery. In many cases I’ve written more seriously about the topic of heterosexuality and dating men, but this is definitely not one of those cases.

      All that said, it’s true that the primary reason I date men is because I’m attracted to them and want to have sex with them… If I didn’t and wasn’t, it’s unlikely I’d end up in relationships with them… In fact my life would probably be a hell of a lot more simple if I wasn’t attracted to men and didn’t want to hook up with them… This is a reality, regardless of whether it sounds shallow and vulgar to you. (I should point out that my attraction to men is never superficial… It is completely wrapped up in their personalities, for better or for worse. I don’t ever date men purely because of physical characteristics… There is a hell of a lot more going on there when we talk about attraction.)

      • MissLaLaFla

        It was not my intention to insult you, and it appears as though I made a mistake in assuming that you only date men that you find physically attractive and don’t focus on their personality or character. When I am considering getting into an intimate relationship with a man, I always take into account who they are as a person and the level of integrity that they possess. I believe that these two things are far more important than anything else. Especially considering the amount of abusers and predatory males out there, it should be a priority. My apologies for misinterpreting your words Meghan.

        And there is little else that makes my blood boil when I see other women encouraging misogynistic ways to other women. “And being entrepreneurial when it comes to our vaginas” really got a laugh out of me. I think it’s so sad that so many young women are being bombarded with all of this shit in society and they have nowhere to turn to find the truth through all of the manipulation out there. Anyways thanks for answering Meghan. I liked your article, as always, and I very much appreciate all of the time and effort that you put forth into this website. You are truly doing a great service for women.

        • Meghan Murphy

          I *wish* I could say I entered into relationships with men primarily due to their integrity, but that wouldn’t be true. My history demonstrates that I “choose” partners primarily based on attraction (which, again, includes all sorts of things, most of which could not qualify as superficial — I honest to god don’t find model-looking guys attractive.) But I’ve never been particularly rational about the men I date/sleep with/enter into relationships with, much to the detriment of my heterosexual relationships.

  • Sometimes I like to check out what Jezebel is up to and then I go. I **INSTANTLY** regret going over there, every single time!

    • lk

      I have the same feeling…I also get that feeling when I read basically anything on everyday feminism…

  • Alienigena

    Is mutual but differential (in terms of power) exploitation really non-traditional? Seems very traditional in many cultures (and historic in western cultures). Though the agents in most of these cultures are parents or professional matchmakers. Parents benefit in cultures that encourage child marriage, in this case we are supposed to believe that the young women benefit directly. But I imagine if these women ever decide to come clean they would admit these arrangements have a soul destroying element.

  • lk

    That line of the article really jumped out at me.

    Everything that is sexist, traditional and conservative liberalism has now reframed as modern/nontraditional and rebellious.

    Liberalism has embraced everything from marriage/taking your husbands last name/prostitution/plastic surgery as being nontraditional.

    But really, what is more traditional than the idea that women are merely objects to be bought and sold? What is more traditional than men using their economic power to get what they want from women? What is more traditional than a woman changing her personality and looks so that she is more buyable/sellable to men?

  • lk

    Sugaring is just another name for prostitution, no matter how much babies and daddies (I feel creepy just typing that) try to dance around it.

    Its just about the same old sexist nonsense: that women can be bought, that spending money on a woman entitles a man to sex, that women are pretty things to have on your arm and that spending time with woman without sex on demand is a waste of time.

    I absolutely despise the idea that sex and women are commodities, things to be bought…what price can you put on access to a woman’s body?

    For people who claim sugaring is empowering (lol), I’d be curious to know how many of them want their daughters to be sugar babbies. The only people with power in this situation are the rich older men.

    A few years ago, I watched the first episode of this is life that focuses on sugaring. I recommend watching..it features Brandon Wade and Seeking Arrangements:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Hsqca0SN0

  • Wren

    They’ll say “it’s non-traditional” lifestyle, but then “it’s the world’s oldest profession” (and yes, I’m equating sugaring with prostitution). Lies are always so illogical.

  • susannunes

    “Mate selection.” Good old evo psych hogwash.

  • Virginia Howard

    ““People are scared of what they don’t think is traditional,” which is
    demonstrably true, because clearly all these Sugar Daddies are modern
    men who don’t feel women are chattel.”
    –I had a good, long laugh over that one!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed, this was my next comment… If I could choose so easily, I feel like I’d choose to be a lesbian…

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    True

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ha. Will consider!

  • Hanakai

    There is some research that indicates that liking and attraction grow the more time people spend together and the more they come to know each other.

    In one of the studies involving dating, women rejected men if they were not wildly attracted on the first date. But if the women went on additional dates with the guy, they often started to like them and become attracted. While there may be something to the “love at first sight” phenomenon, there is also the phenomenon of the heart growing fonder with knowledge of the other.

    The psychologically immature person is attracted to superficialities, to a handsome or beautiful person and calls that love, but it is not. To the psychologically healthy person, love creates beauty and attraction, and whoever one loves becomes beautiful to the lover. While there are other factors involved (smell, pheromones, imago, etc.), in the psychologically healthy person, attraction has to do with seeing and recognizing the goodness in another.

    If you are finding yourself attracted to cruel or violent or depressed or pathological specimens, then you need to take a good look at your own psyche and best work to heal yourself. Seriously, psychologically healthy people tend to make healthy relationships. Broken people make pick other broken people and create broken relationships.

    • Mmmeee

      Hi thank you for your long response, sorry for my spelling mystake with the word “pheromones” (I was drunk when I wrote it) and your statement makes sense :

      “Seriously, psychologically healthy people tend to make healthy
      relationships. Broken people make pick other broken people and create
      broken relationships.”

      You’re completely right and this reflects my own experience but sometimes you don’t realize how broken or how sick you are and have better to not engage in a relationship at all; When I realized it due to a very serious illness I didnt engage now for 18 years. Now I’m fit again but it took it’s time, you see…

  • Just Me Resident SchoolMarm

    I politely disagree. Cryptocurrencies are the future. And women should be making investments in them. But you need to do the research. There are certain cryptocurrencies out there that aren’t legit. But the technology is here to stay and will become a fixture in finances and business.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ugh the chase/game drives me nuts.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I sort of hope I eventually give up on relationships with men since they generally drive me crazy, but I can’t seem to help myself, for now…

    • will

      It’s a broad spectrum from lover/boyfriend to partner. For a long time I expected to find a partner, but never did. I have stayed financially independent my whole life and have had my most recent boyfriend for over fifteen years. I expect we’ll stay together, but if we don’t, my work life and my financial stability won’t be negatively impacted or destabilized. I think it’s possible to have space in your life for a man but I strongly recommend not giving up one’s ability to stand alone.

      • Meghan Murphy

        For sure. This is what I’ve learned… Give up nothing. Giving up your independence for a man never pays off and is, in my experience, only harmful. I’ve struggled against co-dependency with men in recent years, which helps a lot, but it’s still tough for me to find a healthy balance, in terms of dating men but not feeling pressured (whether that pressure comes from within or without) to do ‘relationships’ in the way we are taught we are supposed to.

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3 <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    The dude I’m seeing recently told me he didn’t believe me when I first told him I didn’t want to have babies!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmmm I am fairly certain that this kind of behaviour means a man has a wife or girlfriend but is kinda keeping another woman (or some other women) on the line in case their primary relationship falls through…. Definitely don’t take it personally.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The not wanting to meet up forever, I’m almost positive, means he was at least dating someone else and seeing if that worked out, but wasn’t all in, or was not sure whoever he was dating was all in, so wanted to keep his options open. He may well have not been married, but yeah, just dating someone else. I’ve been around this a lot and, to be honest, have done similar things myself… Not malisciously, but like, if I’m seeing someone new and not quite sure where it’s going or if it’s going to go anywhere, so staying in touch with other people but not really going out of my way to meet up… Like I said, I really doubt it was personal.

  • foamreality

    This is hilarious. Thank you!

  • I did! Someone linked to here from there and I never looked back.

    • Rachel

      Yay! That’s awesome 🙂
      Also maybe there’s something in that… Linking back to here and showing them the light … Hmmm