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 The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, 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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