Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Sex and money
I estimate I've been on about 100 first dates in the last 5 years. I never kept exact count, and I was sort of keeping track by a system I have just at this moment decided to call "vague fives". At the beginning it was easy to remember that I'd been on 5 dates, then 10, etc. So I was able to keep rough track of when 5 more had occurred. And this would seem about right, 20 dates in a year, 1 date every 2.5 weeks or so, though more clustered than that. Actually, now that I think about it, I may be overcounting. When you lose count it can be easy to inflate. I feel like the average is more like 1 first date per month, which would come out to 60 over the last 5 years. But I feel like I've met more than 60 women. My "vague fives" system was working pretty well up to 50.... Let's say 75 and call it a conservative estimate. That's 15 per year, or 1 date every 3 and a half weeks. The bulk of these occurred in the first 2 or 3 years, I would say. The last 2 years have seen a bit of a slowdown as my motivation for dating was often lower than normal during this time for various reasons. Anyway, okay, 75.
Now a typical first date costs me about $12, I believe. Many first dates only last for one drink, and I would guess I pay for both mine and hers slightly more than half the time. (This decision being the one part of dating that never gets less awful or awkward.) Sometimes I manage to get out after paying for just myself (Guinness, $7 incl. tip.) Other times a date will progress to 2nd and 3rd drinks, by which time, in nearly every case, we each pay for our own drinks. These dates cost me about $20-25, but they are less common than the $7-14 dates. So, doing some wild guessing, this brings me to an average of $12 for a first date. I could be hopelessly wrong about that, but let's go with it.
This means that I've spent about $900 on first dates in the last 5 years. Somehow that feels low, but I want to err on the side of not exaggerating the situation.
Now then, I've had intercourse with 9 different women in my life, all in the last 5 years. So, to have sex with someone new, I'm spending about $100. I had sex with a few of them more than once, for a total of about 20 times. This, of course, involves second, third, fourth, etc. dates. So for those "extra" 11 times I've had sex, assuming the same $12 average per date, I've paid $132. Let's call it $130 to keep this nice round number thing going. So, $900 + $130 = $1030. $1030 / 20 acts of intercourse = $51.5 per act of intercourse. Let's call it $50.
So, keeping in mind that I was a straight-B math student, our final figures are:
$100 for sex with someone new.
$50 for sex with anyone.
(For the purposes of this study I'm not including dates that involved "lesser" degrees of sexual contact than intercourse. My math skills are not up to dealing with those subtle variations.)
Now, please understand that I am not complaining about any of this. It's how life works, this cost of dating. It must be done, and I'm happy to do it. I'm just imparting these figures in the same spirit that a park ranger might recite the statistics of the Grand Canyon, with a sense of wonder and awe at the impersonal, ancient, and terrifying beauty of nature.
Hope you found it informative. Let me know if you have any questions or find any errors in my calculations or know of any aspects I failed to consider. Have a nice day.