The Top Ten Reasons Not to Pay Your Friends for Sex

Before you offer to pay your friend for flesh, you should know these things.

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Jun 29 2012, 6:00pm

If you’re in your early 20s, you think this title is a joke. If you’re in your mid-to-late 30s, you’ve either already paid your friends for sex, been paid by your friends for sex, or you don’t have sex because you can’t have sex, or nobody will have sex with you no matter how much you pay. But if you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, this is for you, because you are probably wondering, or about to wonder, if paying your pal for sex is a good idea. It is not. But here’s the temptation:

You’ve known so-and-so for a long time and there’s always been an attraction. You almost knocked boots once or twice but so-and-so was dating a good friend of yours or someone you found repulsive, and it never quite came off. There was that one time so-and-so came over to your house at 3 AM, but you were totally sober and so-and-so was running around your apartment smelling of gin and cocaine and knocking the pictures off the walls, which did not, to your way of seeing things, set the mood. There have been times in your relationship when you had no money and you called so-and-so to moan about the tragedy and injustice of it all, and there were times when so-and-so bitched and complained to you about a live-in who’d get high and spend Saturday night with the neighbor. You feel like you’ve been through it all and now you have a little money because you have a job you hate and you want to share the wealth because so-and-so is broke and divorced, but you don’t want to dole out cash for nothing and coincidentally you’re not getting any and so-and-so is looking pretty good. The two of you talk about this woman who pays her carpenter his day rate even if he never gets out of bed, or this businessman who goes to visit his old artsy girlfriend once a week and gets a blowjob and leaves 50 to 200 dollars on the table. (The numbers in these scenarios are contingent on how much you think your friend is worth, or how much your friend thinks he/she is worth—this is how negotiations begin, delicately.) Hey, you tease, wouldn’t it be a funny idea if we—but this is why you need to print this post out and fold it up and stick it in your back pocket, because before you offer to pay your friend for flesh, you should know these things:

They’ll Want Too Much Money

You’re likely to make a pretty good estimate on your friend’s “true value,” but they’ll likely have an inflated sense of self-worth. Since part of friendship is giving people the benefit of the doubt, just picture yourself saying, “Aw shucks you’re right,” while peeling off another hundred.

(A subcategory of this reason is if you end up becoming a rockstar or senator or whatever it is you want to do with yourself, your friend might decide that what you paid didn’t amount to squat in the big picture, that he/she deserves much more, whether it’s money or favors or work. Another spin on that: Your friend decides he/she is not a two-bit hustler, he/she is an extortionist. Now you’ve got to decide whether or not you should pay up, or maybe kill your friend, and your life has become a straight-to-DVD black comedy.)

They Won't Leave

You don’t pay for sex because you want companionship. But you’re likely, after the act, to feel all guilty and uncomfortable and won’t be able to tell them to leave. In other words, you’ll be hanging out.

They’ll Think It's a Joke

OK, it’s all moving along just fine. You negotiate a reasonable price, your friend agrees to leave when it’s over, you get what you bargained for, and then you go get your wallet, and your friend says, “Oh, I thought that was a joke.”

They’ll Think It's a Relationship

Continuation of scenario #3: “Oh, I thought that was a joke… You know I’m in love with you.” Now you’ll have to have a talk.

They’ll Snitch You Out

“That wasn’t a joke? I just texted that asshole you live with.”

They’ll Start "Dropping In”

OK, so it turns out they are just as willing to put out as you are to pay, and none of the above happens, but then your friend starts dropping by before he/she goes out—to pick up an extra few bucks. You don’t know how to say no, and your friend is siphoning off your income, and you don’t have the energy to date. You’re not a john, you’re an ATM.

They’ll Want Dinner, Too

You pay, you do the deed, but then you feel guilty, so you’re like, “let’s go out,” which leads to a nice meal or top-shelf martinis, and you feel bad so you spring for the check. The next morning you wake up hungover and penniless.

They Will Want Reciprocation

You think they’ll really be happy getting paid just to get you off? Now you’re paying to take orders to please someone else.

They’ll Ask for "Advances"

You are very likely to extend credit—this is, after all, your friend who’s been sold into slavery. But at any point, your friend can say, “I don’t think what you did to me was very nice,” and drop you, and/or tell everyone what a sociopath you are (see #5).

They Won't Take the Money, or They’ll Give You the Money Back

You’re handing over the 60 bucks, your friend says, “No, I changed my mind.” Or, you get a check in the mail for $512.60 (both of you are cutthroat negotiators). And a check might be just fine with you, if it weren’t for the fact that your friend is pregnant. Nice trick, huh?

The thing about friends: you can't trust them. They know too much. Phone numbers. Addresses. Names. They know what you like and where you’ve been. They know how to fool you, how to mislead you, how to lie to you, how to manipulate you, how to cheat you. The silver lining? If one of your friends is offering you money for sex, reread the above.

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