You may have been asked a certain question before donating blood, or even during a regular doctor's appointment or STD/HIV Testing. That question is "Have you ever received money, gifts, or other things in exchange for sex?" I'm sure most of us respond with an immediate "No" (followed in our heads by "Of course not! I'm not a prostitute!").
If you have ever worked in Africa or the development field, you have probably further discussed or encountered this idea/issue of "transactional sex". We typically define transactional sex as having sex in exchange for money, gifts, goods, or other services.
Today, I want to look at and think about transactional sex in an even broader way... as sex in exchange for something else. Today, I am wondering what really qualifies as transactional sex? What are our different motives for having sex? And are they, at times, transactional?
Have you ever had sex just because you feel lonely? Just because you want a man to hold you or cuddle you? Yes, I have. Sex not for love or even just for the sake of sex, but sex in exchange for cuddling.
Have you ever (even if partially joking) offered a blow job in exchange for a massage or other favor? Yes, I have. I give you something you want, you give me something I want.
Have you ever had sex after your partner brings you flowers, or takes you to a nice dinner, or does something around the house? Yes. Thanks honey, that was so sweet of you, here's my body now. Sex in exchange for nice gestures or household chores.
Have you ever had sex because things in your life just don't seem to be going right, or maybe you feel ugly or unwanted? Maybe you have sex just so that in the heat of the moment, you can hear someone compliment you and tell you that you are sexy. Sex in exchange for verbal praise and validation.
I think that many of us, if we look deep into our past relationships, may find some situations like this. Or maybe not. Maybe it is just me that is screwed up when it comes to sex. Maybe that's how I ended up here in the first place.
Anyways, I urge you to think about and consider your own motivations for having sex. Are your desires for having sex purely about being intimate with your partner? Or are you simply having sex in the search for something else? Are you having sex to fill some other void or to gain something else from it?
This kind of sex usually leaves you feeling just as empty as before. Is it really worth it?
I am 28. White. A Female. And a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I am HIV Positive. This is my story of how a few months, a few people, and a few events in Zambia changed me and my life forever. This is the story of how I contracted HIV and brought my Peace Corps Journey to a crashing halt... and how I am working now to pick up and put back together the pieces of my life as a newly diagnosed person living with HIV. This was not the journey I had originally planned... my path has traumatically and dramatically changed... but it is the one I am on now. There is no going back. There is only forward. I welcome you to follow along with me as I attempt to explore this new life ahead of me, whether you are someone from the Peace Corps community, or someone living with HIV. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions. Let us go forward together. To start from the beginning, click here He Gave Me More Than A Bracelet.