Prostitute or Professional Girlfriend: What's the Difference?


sex and the city
Sex and the Psychological City; A Relationship Blog and Love, Sex, Friendship and Intimacy

Gilles' payment of Carrie for her escort services leaves her "unsure whether to take it as an incredible insult or an incredible compliment" and sparks a discussion among her girlfriends about when and how and whether it is okay to take money from a romantic interest. They debate whether Amalita is an "international party girl" or a "hooker with a passport." Samantha says "men give and women receive, it's biological destiny" and asserts that women should enjoy their sexual powers which are equivalent to men's financial ones. Miranda is totally offended and says these are the very arguments that have been used to oppress women for centuries. Charlotte ponders the hysterical question of whether she should allow the famous painter Nevil Morgan paint her vagina in order to secure his participation in an exhibit at her Gallery.

The question of whether or to what extent to allow a romantic interest to pay for you is obviously a timeless one. While the show boldly depicts an extreme, the issue of money is virtually unavoidable when it comes to dating. Men, too, struggle with this question, as increasing numbers of women earn more than the average guy they date. So, what do you think? Is it okay to let someone else pay for you when you are dating and barely know them?

My advice? The question of dating and dollars spent basically boils down to expectations. If a guy is a gentleman taking you out for a nice evening, this is totally appropriate, as long as there are not expectations of returned acts of service. The same is true if someone you date buys you flowers, or a gift, or any other romantic gesture. However, the more cash someone spends, the greater the liklihood that expectations are involved. It is worth discussing expectations directly, especially if you sense that your intentions and expectations are different than those of your escort. Such discussions can be awkward, but try saying something simple, kind and direct like:

Thanks very much for a lovely dinner, I just want to make sure you are comfortable taking things at my pace.

Consider that Carrie ultimately feels insulted, not complimented, and wonders:

We had such a fantastic connection. Then he leaves me money. I don't understand, what exactly what about me screams whore?

When Carrie runs into Amalita and her brand new escort, Peter, the suave Italian who resides at the Carlyle, and the dashing Mario tries to lure Carrie to his palazzo in Venice for the film festival. Carrie admits that she is seriously tempted, but she ultimately declines and rationalizes her choice to let go of the jet set and hold on to her values:

Just because Venice was sinking, didn't mean I had to go down with it!

Check back next week to consider episode six: "How Many of Us Are Having Great Sex with Someone We Don't Want to Introduce to Our Friends?"

For more information check out and follow Elisabeth @elisjoy

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte


Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Elisabeth LaMotte:

Robin Williams And Cinema Therapy


Cinema therapy is an aspect of psychotherapy that is gaining attention these days. This approach involves the therapist's suggestion of various films that relate to the issues the client wants to address. Film's power to help and to heal, and therefore complement that therapeutic process, may be one of the most interesting aspects of practicing ... Read more

How Our View Of Relationships And Breakups Changes As We Age


Intimate relationships are a primary focus in psychotherapy. Through therapy, people examine their closest relationships in order to determine what aspects of their approach to others work well for them, and what aspects of their approach they might want to change in order to form healthier attachments. In order to figure this out, it helps to look at current ... Read more

Is Your Teen Or Tween Struggling Because They Feel Different?


If you have tween or teen daughters, it is highly likely that you have already heard an earful about John Green's bestselling novel and subsequently recently released film, The Fault in our Stars.  Even if you do not have teens or tweens, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the hype about Hazel Grace, Augustus Waters, and their ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.