The Other McCain has a post up titled Insta-Whores, about social media prostitution. As McCain notes, the lines here can be blurry, and either way this is likely to corrode social trust:
Much of the behavior enabled by this emerging online market isn’t exactly prostitution — not a straightforward fee-for-service arrangement — but in general, social media is a mechanism by which good-looking young women may discover the cash value of their youth and beauty…
One result of this phenomenon — so-called “sugar babies” vending themselves to “sugar daddies” — is widespread cynicism and distrust. College girls who become accustomed to jetting off to Miami, Palm Springs or the French Rivera for “vacations” with well-heeled clients are not likely to be impressed with their male classmates, who can’t afford to spoil them in this manner. And a young man never knows whether the attractive woman with whom he’s trying to strike up a conversation is secretly engaging in such commercial activity. Recall the experience of Anthony Johnson (“Hypergamy Doesn’t Care,” April 23) who says he discovered his ex-wife had been engaged in prostitution for years. Once you become aware that this hidden sexual marketplace exists, the awareness changes your perception of women’s behavior.
But this also raises the question of what we expect young (and not so young) women to do while they delay marriage. Nearly all people are troubled by the idea of a woman marrying at 18, 19, or even in her early 20s, and most would be troubled to learn that she did so without having sex with other men first. How can she be ready to marry if she lacks “life experience”? Once married, we fear she will stay married if she no longer is happy honoring her vows.
Collectively, our biggest fear isn’t that our daughters will become whores, but that they won’t become whores. We just tell ourselves whoring is good so long as no money changes hands.
But again, what do we really expect young women to do in the interim, as the median age of first marriage continues to advance? In theory they are supposed to be looking for their soulmate, but while busily sampling their options are also not supposed to find him too soon. We expect young women to engage in the sexual marketplace, and we tell ourselves this is good so long as they don’t marry, and don’t accept cash or excessive gifts. They must whore for the joy of whoring, or it would be immoral and possibly illegal.
A few years back AXA Equitable ran a hilarious commercial about a woman who was too busy planning for retirement to notice her soulmate:
If anything, conservative Christians are even worse in this regard. The 700 Club’s Wendy Griffith is in her mid 50s and has yet to find a husband. Instead of a cautionary tale, this makes her a role model young Christian women want to follow. What was Griffith’s epiphany after failing for decades to find a husband? She wasn’t picky enough!
In Griffith’s case she claims to have retained her virginity as she drew out her husband hunt well into her 50s. I have no reason to doubt this, but I do doubt that this is common for Christian women, including the very women who read her book.
The reality is that both Christians and non Christians are deeply uncomfortable with Christian sexual morality, and we have reordered our society accordingly. With this in mind, our sudden fear that our young women are turning into whores would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.
Related: Losing control of the narrative.
Update: See The Other McCain’s response here.