Thursday, April 06, 2006

Trading Housing for Sex?

My family is full of colorful characters, so it's probably a safe bet that I'm going to refer to them once in a while. Today's Colorful Relative is Cindy, a woman who married my uncle when I was a teenager, and who is rumored to have been some kind of Madam. When I was applying to colleges, Cindy told my grandmother "I don't know why GC is bothering to go to college. She's such a pretty girl, I'm sure she could find some nice, older gentleman who'd love to pay her bills!" After the shock went away (she said that to my grandma, for pete's sake!), I brushed off her comment with a big dose of naivete and went on my merry way racking up huge amounts of student loans. In my little universe, which was otherwise populated with lots of worldly stuff like friends who did hard drugs, and teenage alcoholics, it never occured to me that women actually do stuff like that.

Now, nearly 15 years later, I just ran across an article that talks about postings on Craigslist, etc that offer housing in exchange for sex, and I'm torn.

In Atlanta, an online ad offers a room in exchange for "sex and light office duty." In Los Angeles, a one-bedroom pool house is free "to a girl that is skilled and willing." And in New York City, a $700-a-month room is available at a discount to a fit female willing to provide sex.

On the widely used Web site, some landlords and apartment dwellers looking for roommates are offering to accept sex in lieu of rent.

There's one part of my brain that's saying "If you're an adult and want to do this, go for it."
And another part saying "But it's likely that a woman is not doing this on a lark, to show how "edgy" she is, but doing it because she's broke and has no other choice, can easily find herself in a bad situation. Not to mention my gut is telling me that 98% of the people proposing this situation are men, who are in effect looking to either "save" a poor woman, or get off on having the power to boot a woman out if she stops putting out.

What does your brain say?


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