Understanding sexual relationships as trade

By Serge Kreutz

Heretical and unromantic as this may sound, sexual relationships are best understood as trade. All sexual qualities of a person are merchandise. The sexual qualities of beauty in women, or attractiveness in men, and youth in either sex are trade values, and thus properly defined as merchandise. Just like sexual or romantic services, even looks and freshness are exchanged. They may be exchanged for similar qualities in a sexual partner, or for emotional commitment, or for the social qualities of protection and status, or economic benefits.

This analysis doesn’t advocate that all women just be prostitutes. Indiscriminate sexual contacts lower the trade value of female sexuality, and usually, females with a history of selling their sexuality cheaply have a harder time going for a big deal, such as a marriage to a rich man.