#55 Dollars And Sex Economics

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“I’m interested in how people change their relationships when they don’t need to depend on a partner to satisfy their sexual needs.” Economist, Dr. Marina Adshade

I think it's funny that when I meet people and I tell them that I’m an economist, they think "how boring". But when I add that I specialize in economics, sex, and love, their first reaction turns to what do those things even have to do with one another?

When we have relationships with people most of the time money’s not involved so it’s not like common markets, but there are also barter markets where no money is exchanged. Example — one farmer has cows that produce milk, another has chickens with eggs, so they swap goods, one gets eggs one gets milk. When we’re searching for people to have relationships with it feels very much like a barter market.

When people get together they are exchanging all the qualities they can bring into the relationship. They trade those for what the other person brings to the relationship. If the other person is offering what I’m looking for, and if I am offering what they are looking for then we get together and maybe stay together.

Expectations of what men and women bring to relationships are changing. Meeting men’s sexual needs is what women have done throughout time, but more and more women are not willing to have that as a one-sided arrangement.

Women look to be in a relationship with people who want to fulfill their sexual needs. Women are not willing to provide all the childcare and do all the housework. It’s almost like there’s a higher price expected from men now. It’s changing who marries whom, and how long people stay married. It’s fundamentally changing the nature of marriage. Most of the talk in society is about women and their needs, but we have different expectations of men now than we ever had in the past.

I think the biggest change, and you will see it in the next 10 to 20 years is more individualism in marriage. People having individual ideas about what their marriage will look like and not having what marriage must look like being dictated by society.

I think it’s actually pretty great as a concept, but admittedly life was much easier when society told you what you were going to go through every step and every transition of your life. Now it requires a lot more individual thought. But that’s what so great about having these conversations, that people can actually think about what their options are, or that there are options.

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Chris Kennedy