I Bought Your Drinks, So You Owe Me Sex – Why Do Some Men Believe Dating is a Transaction? by S. Gallagher
June 18, 2019
“If she doesn’t want to sleep with me after I’ve paid a lot for a first date, I’ll weigh up the likelihood of that being the case next time. If she’s simply ungrateful or disrespectful, I need to cut my losses and find another prospect.” These are the words of Ali, 29, who believes paying for a date entitles him to sex.
If a woman is not interested in a man sexually, then he says she shouldn’t accept dinner, drinks, or even a coffee from him. “Physically I’m not the kind of person who easily gets dates, and it’s been a while since I paid directly for sex, so flashing a credit card is about the only way I can get that kind of company,” he tells me.
The night before we speak he had taken a woman for dinner, and “100% felt” he deserved her time and attention after picking up the tab. “In the business world no one likes a corporate luncher,” he tells me over email. “I hope I never meet a girl who agrees to meet because they want some freebies.”
Many men would reject Ali’s transactional approach to dating, finding it embarrassing and disrespectful. But others recognise that for some men, payment for dinner and expectations of sex are linked.
When Chlo Matthews, a student paramedic from Hull, recently shared a text from a man she met on a night out, it quickly went viral. It read: “Could you transfer me for those drinks I bought you last nite since we didn’t go home togeva wasn’t really worth my time was it lol x”, and Matthews joked she would be retiring from nights out as a result.
Some were incredulous that any man would behave this way. But Matthews is not the first to share her experience of being billed after a date: Lucy Brown’s date reportedly requested £42.50 for her meal and drinks after she said she didn’t want to go on a second date; Lauren Crouch said she was asked to pay £3.50 for a coffee a man bought her; and Abby Fenton was asked to reimburse a man £6.50 after they didn’t sleep together on a night out in Sheffield.
…Some researchers have suggested this is a case of individual women using the old-school gender dynamics to their financial advantage. David Frederick, a professor of psychology at Chapman University in California told HuffPost UK: “As social roles start to change, people often embrace the changes that make their lives easier, but resist the changes that make their lives more difficult.” This may be one arena where women (even subconsciously) resist gender changes more than men.
Data shows that men, however, often resist women wanting to pay. In a 2013 study of 17,000 people, researchers found that 58% of women still expected men to cover dating expenses in the first stages of courtship. But the number of men who felt the same was much higher – 84% of respondents. Four years later, a YouGov poll found 40% of men still thought splitting the bill on a first date wasn’t an option.
In 2018, a study showed more women than ever reaching for their purses, with 65% saying they now preferred to pay their way. But that still leaves a third who do not…
…When I talk to women for this article, many report trying to pay but not being permitted to do so….
…So while many men resent feeling like they have to pay, Beckett argues that some also choose to do so as a tool to exercise power and control over women. “Many men feel they have in effect, invested in that woman and therefore she should repay him in some way – usually with positive attention.”
It can also be hard for women to not buy into that narrative. I talk to Lynn, 57, who says she stopped dating because she felt so obliged to have sex with people who were picking up the tab, and it was eroding her self-worth.
… Even as society changes and dating appears transformed, Beckett argues that we are still likely to come up against the belief that an exchange of money entitles men to goods. “It all comes down to the man feeling entitled to exercise power and control over women, having ‘paid’ for this interaction. This often leads to a backlash if the woman does not ‘repay’ him with the positive attention he is expecting,” she says.
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
(Link): Nice Guys Aren’t So Nice After All: Men in the “Friend Zone” Often Have A Hidden Agenda, Say Psychologists (Daily Mail article)