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Exorbitant expense of fornication nothing new, but still blows

By Lara Loewenstein

April 11, 2007 9:28 p.m.

After a recent appointment at the Ashe Center, I was informed that I would now have to pay $30 a month to not get pregnant, double the price of what I was expecting.

I blame the man.

Obviously drug companies, the government and my mom are out to stop me from living my life as I see fit. I’ve been told since I was young to “not have sex until you’re married” and “abstinence is the only safe way,” but now the greater powers have found another way to discourage me ““ money. And not just by increasing the price of birth control.

If you think I’m being alarmist, consider the following monthly balance sheet:

Hormonal birth control: $30; the boy hasn’t offered to split it.

Condoms, to be “extra safe”: $0 (after robbing Ashe Center).

Nice dinner, wine, etc: $20 after going dutch. (I’m a feminist.)

Victoria’s Secret “very sexy” bra: $45

Enya CD: $15

Laundry after roommate complains about bedsheets: $6

Handcuffs, lube, whatever other crap floats your boat: $20

Condoms, after it starts feeling awkward going to the Ashe Center on a daily basis: $15

Half of hormonal birth control cost, when the boy finally understands after a heated, but completely rational, conversation that “it’s for us”: $15

Total: $151! That could buy me cable TV and a Netflix subscription.

And compare that to a balance sheet for masturbation:

One rabbit vibrator, boasting turbo power and rotating beads: $75

Candles: $10

Fantasies (courtesy of my imagination): $0

My nipples: Free, courtesy of my mom.

Total: $85 ““ considerably less than Real Sex. And the vibrator is a one-time cost.

Furthermore, $151 is over five times the cost of high-speed Internet, which contains enough porn to keep me entertained for days.

And with the advent of teledildonics, once I realize that Internet porn isn’t sufficient, all I’ll need is the one-time cost of a dildo controlled via the World Wide Web to satiate my sexual appetite.

In other words, if the Actual Sex Industry wants to compete with the Video Tapes of People Having Sex Industry, the Simulated Sex Industry and the Self-Sex Industry, it needs to start lowering prices ““ and fast.

But certainly sex didn’t suddenly become more expensive than the available alternatives; it’s been that way for a while. For instance, consider the following balance sheet for sex in 2000 B.C.:

Wine and spirits: one chicken

Dowry: 10 he-goats, four cows, eight sheep, gold, frankincense, myrrh, one burnt offering

Adjusted for inflation 2007: 24 he-goats, nine cows, 14 sheep, three burnt offerings

And compare this with the cost of the available alternative:

Cost of sheep: one sheep

Other costs: probable castration and/or death, slaying of sheep

Adjusted for inflation 2007: four sheep and lifetime appearance on local sex offenders watch list

In fact, perhaps the Real Sex Industry has taken the cost of alternative sex into account, since until recently the cost of Real Sex has been steadily decreasing:

0 A.D.: sex more or less free, but foreplay can involve bondage, torture, wife-swapping, pederasty and other rather esoteric desires

1200 A.D. (commoner): sex itself free, but figure in costs of raising 10 children in serfdom

1200 A.D. (royalty): cost of shame associated with hopelessly damaged inbred offspring

1500 A.D.: Cost of church indulgence to prevent eternal damnation of soul

But whatever the price over the course of history we can take our existence as proof that the price of sex hasn’t hindered anyone’s desire for a roll in the hay.

In fact, with concerns about overpopulation, is the recent birth control fee increase just a first step toward less sex and, ironically, fewer kids?

Probably not. And it’s probably not the man (or my mom) trying to keep me from having fun either.

I think the fact is, college students or not, we’ll pay whatever it costs to copulate, and the forces that be in charge of pricing have finally realized they can charge whatever they think is permissible.

Sucks for us.

Loewenstein’s a nerd. E-mail her at [email protected] Send general comments to [email protected]

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Lara Loewenstein
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