“They want the perfect girlfriend—in their eyes,” says Miranda, the young woman at our table.* “She’s well groomed, cultured, classy, able to converse about anything—but not bringing into it any of her real-world problems or feelings.”Miranda is 22 and has the wavy bobbed hair and clipped mid-Atlantic accent of a 1930s movie star; she grew up in a Texas suburb. He gave me money to help out with my living expenses.”It ended when she went on a school year abroad and started meeting men on Seeking Arrangement, the Web site and app which match “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies,” whose company the daddies pay for with “allowances.” Now, she says, she has a rotation of three regular “clients”—”a top Austin lawyer, a top architect, and another tech guy,” all of them married. “I signed up for Seeking Arrangement when I couldn’t pay my rent.
“I’ve learned how to look like this, talk like this,” she says. She adds, “Their relationships are not my business.”She confesses she isn’t physically attracted to any of these men, but “what I’m looking for in this transaction is not sexual satisfaction. But I was held back because of the stigma if anyone finds out.”“What right does anyone have to judge you for anything you do with your body? The most surprising thing about Miranda’s story is how unsurprising it is to many of her peers.
My primary research questions are as follows: (1) what are the basic psychological and biobehavioral processes underlying the formation and functioning of affectional bonds; (2) how are these processes related to sexual desire and sexual orientation; (3) what are the implications of affectional bonding for mental and physical well-being at different stages of life?
In addressing these questions, I use a diverse range of research methods, including in-depth qualitative interviews, controlled social-psychophysiological experiments, and assessment of naturalistic interpersonal behavior.
My research focuses on two distinct but related areas -- the nature and development of affectional bonds and the nature and development of same-sex sexuality.
The common thread uniting these lines of research is my interest in the psychological and biobehavioral processes underlying intimate relationships and their influence on emotional experience and functioning over the life course.
“And it’s kind of a joke, but it’s also not because you actually . You just need a computer.”“Basically every gay dude I know is on Seeking Arrangement,” says Christopher, 23, a Los Angeles film editor.
“I don’t understand how women standing up for legalizing sex work can’t see the ripple effect of taking this position will have on our idea of a woman’s place in the world.”A ripple effect may already be in motion, but it looks more like a wave.Some beat people up in professional “dungeons”; others did “scat play,” involving sex with feces.They did what they felt they had to do to pay their bills. And no, that isn’t a rhetorical question.‘It just seemed so normal, like no big deal,” says Alisa, 21, one night at Nobu in Los Angeles, a place she’s been with her daddies.” asked the cover of in May—again apparently a rhetorical question, with an argument made for decriminalization that seemed to equate it with having “respect” for sex workers.(In broad terms, the drive for decriminalization says it will make the lives of sex workers safer, while the so-called abolitionist movement to end prostitution contends the opposite.)The piece elicited an outcry from some feminists, who charged that it minimized the voices of women who have been trafficked, exploited, or abused.