You may have heard about sugar daddies, sugar mommies and blessers. These are usually older people who will give money and gifts to their partners, with the expectation that the person will have sex with them in return.
The gifts can be cash, clothing, handbags, rent, airtime or cellphone contracts, groceries and clothing or trips. This is known as ‘transactional sex’ because there is a transaction (some sort of payment, incentive, motivation for material gain) made in exchange for sex.
Sex work differs from transactional sex in that with transactional sex, young girls/women and boys/men are referred to as girlfriends and boyfriends whereas with sex work, a set payment usually in the form of cash to those who provide sex professionally is made and it ends there.
There’s nothing wrong with your partner taking you to nice places, buying you nice things, or supporting you financially. But it’s not okay when they expect or pressure you for sex in return. You have the right to choose what you do with your body. If you feel like you ‘owe’ someone else sex or need to ‘thank’ them by having sex with them, it means they are taking advantage of you.
Remember, no matter what someone gives you, it doesn’t give them the right to have sex with you. Sex should be something that you both want to do, not something that you feel obligated or pressured to do.
Find out about consent (which is very important!) in this article
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Sex when you’re dating can be fun and can make you feel closer to your partner, but sex can be violent. Find out more here