So if you are not familiar with the phrase “Carrot and Stick” I don’t know the origin but it refers to the act of getting a donkey to move by placing a dangling carrot on the end of a stick near his nose to temp forward motion. The act is somewhat cruel in that the donkey keeps thinking it will get the carrot, but no matter how hard it tries, the carrot is always just out of its reach.
I have really been out of the dating pool for almost a decade, and I can’t say I am doing well in my attempts at dating in any capacity. I attract lots of age inappropriate men, both too young and too old. I also attract plenty of men who just want to have a sexually based relationship with as little emotional attachment possible. And I attract stalker types, which are the most distressing.
But since I have been out of it for so long, one change that I have seen since my twenties is the “carrot and stick” approach so many men use when trying to win me over. Sometimes there are subtle and sometimes they are not so subtle.
- I could get you voice over work
- You know I could open up some professional opportunities for you
- I could get you a job in my office
- I could record your demo in my recording studio
- I would be your sugar daddy (And yes, that was the exact phrase )
Now as someone who has worked in the entertainment industry, I can assure you the casting couch is alive and well. Sometimes it is subtle such as
- “I think we need to spend some time together before I take you on as a client, can I take you out for a drink?”
and sometimes not so subtle
- “If you sleep with me, I will make sure you get a part in my next project.”
Most of western culture has been set up this way for centuries. Up until recent history women were relegated to little more than another piece of property to barter and trade. So since women are in some ways still viewed as a commodity, some men think they need to offer up something in return for our companionship and loving devotion. And women do this too, not only do they play into these informal bargaining agreements, they also openly sell their wares in the form of prostitution or they many variations of relationships that have some direct monetary incentive involved. Straight women, gay women, gay men, straight men, bisexuals and transgendered there are examples of this across the spectrum. I don’t judge others actions or life choices. If this type of situation works out for both parties, then it really isn’t my concern. But this is not what I want in a relationship.
For me I just see it has a profoundly insecure thing to do on the part of the man. I mean when do these situations work out well? And wouldn’t they want a woman to like them for who they are rather than for what they may or may not give them? Some guys go out of their way to become sugar daddies, thinking that the more money, power and influence they can throw around the more USDA prime pussy they can attract. But to most of the outside world, the older man with the much younger and more attractive woman is something to pity, not envy. Even men will comment on how pitiful some of these situations appear. We can never say what is actually going on in any relationship like these because maybe the woman is indeed attracted to man’s winning personality. A twenty year age difference? Maybe. It really does depend on the specific individuals. But a thirty or forty year age difference? Isn’t it just obvious that the younger party is in it for something more than the sparkling personality, charm and sex appeal of the older partner?
Typical scenarios include the young widow suing the rest of the family for a larger share of her inheritance, the much younger bride openly carrying on with the pool boy, the younger wife murdering her wealthy husband for the insurance money and inheritance. The stepchildren annoyed and humiliated by the new spouse who is only a couple of years their senior. The gold digger who publicly degrades the entire families reputation. And then there is the celebrity or wealthy businessman that keeps trading in wives every few years for the younger version.
What is a relationship anyway? Just another extension of our capitalistic based religion of free markets and constant never-ending growth? Are spouses and partners merely an extension of how well we are doing in the world?
I was briefly what is commonly described as a “trophy girlfriend” many years ago. At first it was exciting to date someone with a high paying fast-moving career, but then the shine wore off. After all a trophy is just supposed to sit on the shelf and look pretty. It isn’t supposed to have a point of view, or talk, or decide its own future, its own destiny or have any obligations whatsoever except to the person who put it on the shelf. So after that brief relationship I adopted a new rule, a person doesn’t have to be overly ambitious or well off. My only criteria is that they not be as bad off as myself. And I make next to nothing, so that includes nearly every man I know. 🙂
I don’t trust the “carrot” and I wish men would stop pulling this crap on me. I want to make my own money, and control my own life. Right now I am in a bit of a funk and maybe that is what is really causing this phenomena. They see a weakness and pounce. I would rather meet someone who just liked me and supported what I did, and didn’t try to win me over with promises of materialistic and monetary glory. Don’t we all want that? Someone who will support us, not overly judge us, and not try to change or mold us into some idealized version of perfection? Maybe I am just naive in thinking that this isn’t just how things go, or maybe guys in their twenties simply didn’t have anything to offer, and that is why this is all new to me. In any event I find it rather sleazy. I want to grow my own carrots and eat them when I feel like, and have a partner that is perfectly OK with that situation. Is that really so crazy a concept?
- Carrots vs sticks: some principles (stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com)