Tag Archives: sex

Engagement Ring Shopping: Is All This Necessary?

My boyfriend and I have our seven year anniversary this month. I can’t believe we’ve been together seven years. For the last year, we’ve been on-and-off again shopping for an engagement ring. I told my boyfriend I don’t really want an engagement ring. It just seems silly to spend a few thousand dollars on a piece of jewelry. Rings bother me anyway when I type. But I also, deep down, have my mother’s voice in my head about how sad she never got her “diamond ring” for her wedding and I wonder if I’d regret not getting one later. I’d rather put the $5k or whatever to the downpayment on a house. And in that sense, I’ll just plan an entire wedding on Pinterest and invite my guests to a WebEx to look at it, while stashing the $30k+ from my dad into the house payment as well.

I feel so awkward going into jewelry stores, or any fancy stores for that matter. We went to a couple this weekend. I felt absolutely in love with a sapphire ring with four side diamonds (it was “estate jewelry” ie pre-owned) and it happened to fit perfectly on my now 6.5 size finger. The same person who was, just hours before saying that she didn’t want a ring, was ready to bust out her credit card to spend $6k on this beauty. Still, I don’t want a multi-thousand dollar ring. I’d be perfectly happy with a basic white gold band with some meaningful inscription on the inside. Or, as I joke with my bf, ten thousand $1 plastic rings, so I’ll never have to worry about losing them and he can still spend $10k. Continue reading

Thank Goodness Times Have Changed: NY Times Article on Women, Intellect, and Finding a Man

This weekend’s NY Times article titled “The M.R.S. and the Ph.D.,” detailing the sociological change in men’s respect for intelligence over the last century, can be summed up in the following quote:

“One physician explained the problem in Popular Science Monthly in 1905: An educated woman developed a “self-assertive, independent character” that made it “impossible to love, honor and obey” as a real wife should. He warned that as more middle-class women attended college, middle-class men would look to the lower classes to find uneducated wives.”

The article, which focuses on PhD-earners, goes on to highlight how our last century has, for a large part, been filled with a society that tells women to be or act stupid in order to catch a man. Women were taught to marry up, and men were ok with marrying down, so long as their female counterpart would showcase talent in two fields: cooking and cleaning.

My, how the world has changed…

“ONE of the dire predictions about educated women is true: today, more of them are “marrying down.” Almost 30 percent of wives today have more education than their husbands, while less than 20 percent of husbands have more education than their wives, almost the exact reverse of the percentages in 1970.”

However, the article goes on to highlight research done for an upcoming book on female breadwinners, where women said they wanted to be able to look up to their guy, and he would need to have an equal level of education in order for the equation, and the relationship to work.

Looking at my personal relationships, I find I’m like these women who want a man I can look up to an admire, though that’s more in terms of intellect than wealth. I don’t have a PhD or a MA, so perhaps with just a BA I’m still concerned to be less intelligent than the women this article focuses on. Regardless, I’ve found that I like to date “up” in terms of intelligence, and one of the reasons I love my SO that still gives me butterflies is when he talks to me about his excitement over physics or the inequalities of the world.

But there are still gender dynamics at play in our relationship. Even though I make more than him salary-wise (my $90k to his $20k), I’m still not “allowed” to propose to him. I have to wait for him to propose, even though we’ve been together 6.5 years. He is much less aggressive than I am in terms of asking for raises, and will remain this way throughout his life. While he is not motivated to pursue a professional life, in a way, I enjoy that he is intelligent but not obsessed with his career. This allows me to focus on my career, which is stressful and demanding, and then to come home to someone who isn’t stressed out in the same way. I’ve told him if he can cook and clean for me, I’d be ok in the long run for him to be the “stay at home mom.” I certainly understand why it’s nice to have one person in the relationship play this role, albeit not best from a financial perspective.

What do you think? Does intellect play a role in your deciding who to date and settle down with?

Regarding My Relationship

A few of you responded to my last post that I sound like I’m unhappy with my current relationship. After all, I’m jealous of my friend who has an engineer for a fiancee, who is paying for her house.

Yes, I am jealous. But I also have come to a point in my life where I know money isn’t everything. It isn’t even necessary for happiness.

I dated an attorney for 2 years. He was in law school when we first started going out. He claimed he wasn’t in it for the money, but he had a certain standard of living that it was clear he didn’t want to give up. He wanted to build on that. He now owns a nice 1.5 bedroom condo in a decent area of San Francisco. I broke up with him because he was too ambitious. He cared much more about his career than his relationship. There was a coldness about him too. Robotic, almost. He was in it, even more so, for the challenge of his job, the intellectual splendor of it.

A lot of people are like this. And I respect them. And some days I want to be dating them. But really, I know that’s not the life I can lead.

My current guy… despite lacking ambition… or being afraid of having ambition… is the sweetest man I have ever known. He’s truly a “good” guy. I love that we could spend an entire evening cuddling and watching old episodes of some series we’re trying to catch up on. Of course, the relationship isn’t perfect. I’d love if he would so much as ask for a raise at work, but he won’t. He lives at home, his mom has saved up enough to send him to grad school if he ever wants to go, so he doesn’t need to earn much. I’m his biggest cost… he buys me food every once in a while. Without me, he practically wouldn’t even have to work. He didn’t… for a year after he graduated college, he didn’t work. It took me nagging and him being annoyed at me nagging and me stopping nagging for him to get an internship and then finally a job.

So yea, that bugs me a bit. But it’s not like I’m Ms. Ambitious either. I’ve gotten “let go” more times than I can count because depression or anxiety got in the way. I happen to be doing… well, pretty good right now, but that can change at any moment. My lawyer boyfriend really looked down on me when I was going through a dark time in my life, when I wasn’t sure what I was doing with my life. My current bf, I know he doesn’t care whether I’m out there bringing in the bucks or just making ends meet. He loves me regardless. And I really do love him whether or not he makes $100k a year… or $25k.

I also am rational and know that one day, if I want to own a house or have a family, money matters. It feels like romance and a relationship should be different than the business partnership that is marriage. Yea, you’re super lucky if you get both, but I don’t like to mix my love life with business. It always ends badly.

Millionaire Matchmaker – Bravo’s Latest “Reality” Show

If you haven’t had a change to catch Bravo’s latest reality show: Millionaire Matchmaker, you’re not missing much. Take a bitchy Yenta from New Jersey, Patti Stranger, whose entire life is dedicated to helping super-wealthy men find the girl of his dreams. Surely it makes for a good business. She charges anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 a year to hook up the hotties and the notties (oh god, did I just quote a Paris Hilton movie title?).

The men who appeared on the television show were actually fairly attractive, but one has to assume for every attractive-yet-single millionaire willing to appear on TV, there’s another ten whose reflection would likely crack mirrors.

Overall, the show greatly offended me. The men, surprisingly enough, did not offend me at all. Sure they wanted women who were perfect everything and had unreasonable expectations, but what really got me is this woman, Patti, has no freaking clue what men actually want. She thinks she does, of course. Being that the matchmaking service is LA-based, looks matter a lot (even more than they would elsewhere.) At the beginning of the show they film her going through a series of headshots and she says “definitely not” to a women who is wearing glasses. You can’t see the photo up close, but the women certainly doesn’t look fugly. She just doesn’t have a glamor shot like some of the other girls. Given the right makeup, hair stylist and photographer, her pic would probably look just as “hot” as these other girls.

Meanwhile, this women definitely has a very narrow concept of attractiveness (ironically, she’s very unattractive). Redheads? They’re out. She even asked a redhead if she’d dye her hair brown.

The only thing I’ll give them credit for is that they did want to get women with an education. In the end, though, this proved difficult. And too much education wasn’t good either. They’d take women of top-notch pedigree (a graduate of the Ivies, etc) but not someone who used Dr. in front of their name while introducing herself.

Episode one featured two men… #1 “Sex Toy Dave” – a millionaire who made bank by selling – you guessed it – sex toys. On the Internet. His snazzy house featured such things as a view and a stripper pole in the middle of the living room (awesome). Of course, Patti wanted the stripper pole gone. Her interior designer suggested moving all sex related things to a “sex toy room.”

Ultimately the gal Dave picked, who I must say was actually a relatively good choice for him, was not offended by the stripper pole (though she was a little good two shoes and was slightly off put by it. She wouldn’t try it out herself.)

Meanwhile, the other guy was an older (46 year old) options trader. A Yale grad. He was a bit disillusioned with the type of gal he should be with. Patti wants to get these guys “younger” girls, but not with a 20 year age difference.

But her method of natural selection seems to go against this. She put the two men in a room with a dozen or so women and let them all have at it. The most impressive women got asked out on solo dates with the two guys.

Mr. Options Trader picked out a very hot, young brunette with blue eyes. Sex Toy Dave chose a women who seemed really cool. She had the Ivy pedigree, a great smile, she was laid back, and pretty but not in a porn star sort of way.

Still, in the end the pair didn’t work out. He was too much of a party boy for her.

I don’t really understand why these men spend thousands upon thousands of dollars asking this woman to find the perfect women for them. Maybe they’ll get laid (though that’s against the rules until they’re in a committed relationship) but find the perfect woman, i’m not so sure.

First off, any women who wants to be in the “Millionaire’s Club” is in it for the wrong reasons. Unless you literally find women on normal dating sites and think they’re perfect for someone rich, and ask them to join the “club” without the intention of marrying rich, you will get gold diggers and more gold diggers. Do these men really want that? Eh, maybe they do. They have all this money and sometimes it’s nice to spend it on designer clothes for your special lady. I guess.

I think if it weren’t for Patti, this show wouldn’t be quite so offensive to me. But she’s just a nightmare. She wants the men to change for women who she think would make good wives and mothers. What ever happened to pay someone to find someone who might like you for the way you are? Or… you know… just find them.

Patti’s club website: The Millionaire’s Club, is subtitled: Where successful men come to meet their beautiful and intelligent wives as girlfriends. Honestly, the site looks skanktastic. It’s one step above escort service.

Vibrators are Too Expensive (and they break easily)

I once spent $100 on a vibrator. It was a glorious instrument of pleasure, to say the least. At first glance, the purple translucent dong filled with “pearls” and adorning an attached rabbit head made me think of anything but sexy. Turned off, it looked like a foolish child’s toy meant to be fetched in the deep end of a pool. Turned on, it sounded like a continuous fart meets an earthquake.

But then, as bunny ears blurred into ecstasy via vibration, despite the symphony of mechanical buzzing, I couldn’t help but revel in my overpriced lump of plastic.

A few months later, my beautiful toy broke.

“Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” I screamed.

(Well, I didn’t actually scream that, but I like the sound of it for dramatic effect.)

I couldn’t run off to purchase another $100 vibrator. Besides, by that point I found myself a boyfriend and I felt he ought to replace my purple friend.

But, come on, can a boyfriend really work such magic?

I searched the Internet and local sex stores (which make me feel totally awkward btw — either they’re meant for dirty old men, or they’re designed like mini museums for women and gay men seeking out their masterpiece butt plug) and spent another $30 here and there trying to buy something cheap that would do the trick. I learned quickly that in the world of sex toys, the pricetag matters.

So… I called out my inner child… the one who discovered the wonders of the waterhead massager in the shower and the amazing vibrations of an electric shaver once the blade had been removed. Oh, and yes, the joys of the electric toothbrush, sans bristled head. Those were the days when in order to get off, money was not an issue. It was my fingers or whatever object I could find that would vibrate.

(Don’t tell me I’m the only girl out there who went through that “phase.”)

Since I wasn’t going to spend another $100 on a vibrator that would break in a few months, I instead went to the local drug store and bought myself an electric shaver for 5 bucks. And you know what? It was heaven. It wasn’t exactly the purple phallus of joy I had spent my money on during college, but it worked.

Moral of the story is… I highly recommend that when you have the money, you should try a quality sex toy at least once in your life. But if you’re in the mood for some self-pleasing fun and you don’t have a few hundred dollars a month set aside for a special “masturbation budget,” there are plenty of cheaper items you can use. Get creative! Just be sure to properly clean said item(s) in order to avoid icky bacteria infections. Store-bought sex toys are often designed to be cleaned easily, so you might have to spend extra time on the cleansing portion of your, uh, alone time.

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Define Gold Digger.

Long before I was born, the term “gold digger” had not been coined. Instead, it was acceptable to pursue a significant other of reputable financial status. At that time, women of worth did not have to work, so gold digging was probably the hardest job they’d have their whole life, especially if the woman came from a lower class family. Always marry up.

(This post is largely about heterosexual relationships, though it can be applied to homosexual relationships as well… except since gays & bi’s in same-sex relationships can’t get married, the money issues become even more complex.)

In today’s world, gold digging has such a negative connotation. There are definitely different levels of gold digging…

1. Date only for the money. Go on some reality show about dating a millionaire. Expect your boyfriend to buy you everything. Luxurious trips. Spa treatments. Jewelery. Clothes. A car. A mansion. You name it, he’s paying.

2. Date because you like the guy, and because he happens to be successful. Well, you say you are attracted to him because he is successful, not because he has money, but… you know that’s not entirely the truth. Life is expensive, and although you may work and bring in significant dough yourself, you know that in the long run you will have a dual income household and that second income will either help you buy a house… or a teeny tiny condo… or keep renting your whole life, depending on how big that income is. You want stability, and a future. You’ll date a guy who makes a good salary over one who doesn’t any day.

3. You date whoever. You don’t care what they make. Still, you like it when they pay for your date every once in a while. You enjoy nice gifts. You’re happy with whatever gifts you get, yet still like to be spoiled a bit every once in a while. Like on your birthday. But you don’t care about the cost of living in the future and you figure if all else fails, you’ll take care of that on your own.

Well…

I’d say I’m more or less #3. Or a cross between 2 and 3.

Let me back up a bit. A few years ago, I started to date a law student. I dated him because he had a good personality and I liked the guy. We became good friends fast and eventually we decided to give it a go. During the relationship, he was a student and then a law clerk, so he wasn’t what you would call “rich.” But I found out that he covered his law school tuition thanks to mom and dad before even enrolling. So he had some spare cash to spend. After he started his life in the professional world of law, I was a poor intern making about minimum wage. But he wouldn’t so much as buy me a movie ticket. Eventually, I got tired of his stinginess (because I am a gold digger?) and decided to move on. There were other reasons I made that decision, but I felt like if he had the money, he should want to help his girlfriend out.

Now I’m dating a guy who will probably always be in the middle class, like me. There’s nothing wrong with being in the middle class. I love this guy more than anything, and I can see spending my life with him. He’s just getting started out on his career… and while he dreams of making gobs of money and considered going to law school for that reason, he is probably going to end up in a less profitable career. If he ever decides to go to grad school, his mother is footing the bill. If he doesn’t, that money exists for such things as… oh… a down payment on a house.

So… in the back of my mind, I still feel comfortable dating this guy because I know there’s money there. I’m not dating him because of his money, but it’s kind of a safety net… in case my own career doesn’t work out the way I plan.

Meanwhile, my earlier boyfriend, the lawyer (who is still my good friend) now takes in over $200k a year at 29. He owns a condo. He still lives frugally (he loves buying things on sale at the supermarket) and he’ll surely save up lots of money to buy a huge house one day.

Sometimes I think of what my life would be if I ended up with him. I know in my heart that would be the wrong choice, yet to give up a life of financial security (although I’d definitely have to earn enough to cover what I wanted in life, but at least things like house and food would likely be covered) is tough to give up for the sake of love.

We’re all taught that love is what we should be looking for. But when it comes down to it, life is about the survival of the fittest, and the survival of the richest. Healthcare… yea, get married to someone who has good healthcare if you want to freelance on your own. That will make your life affordable.

Money has to play a role in relationships. Otherwise it becomes a giant problem later. So many relationships dissolve because of money issues. It doesn’t even matter how much you have, what matters is how you decide to spend it.

What do you think about gold digging? Is it bad? Do you do it? How does money define your relationships?