Pay for play or payola is a common term in the music industry. Paying people to play your music on radio stations is an illegal and frowned upon practice. However, payola is a common practice in the relationship realm.
For some women, it is dinner and a movie. For others it is many dinners and a pair of YSL pumps. And for others, it is simply the YSL pumps. For those most prudent of us, it is a wedding ring. But no matter how significant the gift is, we all participate in some form of pay for play.
Pay for play in its most deconstructed form is sex for cash. That leads me to ask, are all relationships an evolved form of prostitution? Sex for cash usually equals a prison sentence; but as soon as the words “I love you” or even “I like you” are uttered is clemency automatically granted?
I once had a man buy me a pair of $600 Chloe loafers. We weren’t dating. In fact, we barely spoke twice a week. He claimed he bought them for me because we were friends and he liked my company. Even though I enjoyed every second of the calfskin leather, I was immediately his indentured servant. I suddenly had to answer when he called, accompany him to purchase jeans, meet his mother; it was like the payment for my wonderful shoes was a pseudo relationship. After about a week of this, I began to look down at my feet and wonder if the shoe jewelry was worth it.
Do men understand the currency of love? Is it an understanding between the sexes that there is an exchange rate? Are there women out there that are in their right minds that do not expect a nice dinner etc… before the play begins? But then you factor in the exchange rate. One woman’s dinner is another woman’s engagement ring. It is like pesos vs. dollars and with the market as it has been in the past year, our expectations have plummeted like the Dow.
It is all very confusing if you ask me. It is like we need our own personal brokers to manage the exchange rate, or is that a pimp? Which brings us back to prostitution. Are our relationships just prostitution + the exchange of I love you?