October 21, 2021

SEX ON THURSDAY | Trader Joe’s and Transactional Sex

Print More

As a rule, upon interacting with him for the very first time, I filter a potential fuckbuddy through a single qualifying question: “Do you have access to a car?” It might seem shallow of me, but if he gives an affirmative response — and if the vibes are right and he seems like a non-murderer and whatnot — then, as far as I’m concerned, he’s made the cut. Because sex is nice and all but, for a car-less college student like me, sex plus a cheaffeured drive to Trader Joe’s and back is much nicer. 

The hope is that we eventually settle into a sort of mutually understood trade relationship, where he receives pussy if I receive a ride to pick up my prescription first, or he gets head as long as I can hitch a ride to Wegman’s afterwards, or I provide no oral services until I’ve gotten my weekly bag of TJ’s frozen orange chicken. Once I’ve established this dynamic with at least a couple guys — and so getting groceries, getting some sexual satisfaction and getting anywhere I ever need to go have all fused into one simple task — my life is made much easier.

In my case, there is a very blurry line between transactionality and transparency when it comes to longer-term sexual relationships with men. Rather than pretend I came, or pretend that I’m totally happy making him cum without reciprocation, I make sure he’s aware that he in fact did not make me come. And that he’s welcome to take me to Trader Joe’s next time in compensation, though I usually frame this bit as “just a joke” if I’ve only just met the guy. If he catches on to what I’m really saying, and if he enjoys the sex enough, I’ve got myself another personal driver. 

Transactionality is a big part of my sex life. I rarely derive much romance from my sexual relationships, nor do I ever derive as much sexual pleasure as the guy seems to, so I seek reward elsewhere. And if I’ve got to spell things out for the guy in rather transactional terms, or negotiate a slightly prostitutive business deal as some might see it, then so be it. As long as I’m receiving my due benefits, he’s receiving his and we’re both on the same page, it’s a pretty good deal. 

Of course a transaction like this one doesn’t need to be so frankly outlined. It usually isn’t — many are in sexual relationships mostly or only for the not-so-heartfelt perks they get out of them, like free coke or physics tutoring or the sex itself, without ever actually verbalizing that fact to the other person. But after years of those sorts of relationships, and the confusion and painful misunderstanding which can sometimes result from the lack of honest communication, I find that sometimes I prefer a more blunt and forthright approach. 

So, when I want to hang out, I might text him something like, “Take me to TJ’s later? We can come back to my place.” That way, I can count on getting a regular Trader Joe’s haul, he can count on getting more than his gas money’s worth in weed and head, and we can both count on there being no hurt feelings.

Brat Baby is a student at Cornell University. Pillow Princess Diaries runs alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester. Sex on Thursday runs every Thursday this semester