Week eleven of collaboration with Maddie Berky, where we tease apart, examine, and discuss things surrounding intimacy, relationships, sex, and other juicy topics. Welcome to the conversation, we’ve been waiting for you to show up and enjoy the dialogue of our different perspectives.
We’re a pre-nup family. It was the only thing discussed in relation to love and cash flow growing up. Love whomever you want, but sign a pre-nup. Protect yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sign an emotional pre-nup at the beginning of a relationship too? Ensuring our emotional assets the same, or better on the other side? Hurt tendered somehow.
Pre-nups weren’t personal, they were law. But money is personal. I didn’t realize it was personal to men, or to some men, until a man I dated constantly made jabs at mine. His goal, to make up for a power dynamic that wasn’t in his favor. I didn’t realize that it was personal to me until I felt the wash of shame from those jabs.
Most men I’ve dated don’t give a shit that I’m financially stable. But a few key players have run from it, unsure how they can protect me when I don’t need saving. And perhaps more so, in disbelief that I can love them without their pillar of financial superiority.
Is masculinity still bound up in wealth? It feels that way when men seek to make me weaker or to run when they realize I’m not. Or is that just fear? That without it they’ll have nothing to offer me. That they won’t feel like men.
What do we do about that now that the world is slowly pivoting? In a society that has constructed masculinity around wealth, what needs to shift as women begin to lessen that gap?
The common thoughts I have in how to be attractive are looks, intellect, or money. It’s hard to be attractive and dazzle without societies perception of “good looks” and when you’re not the perfect conceptualization of it. It’s pretty hard to fake and it’s the same with intellect. I try to appear smart but that can be seen through and the realization of reality is pretty quick. Money, for whatever reason, is one that I used to try to fake all the time. Money is a very common thing that’s used to win others over… but it goes both ways. We have shame about having it and we have shame about not having it.
And some have it all, they have looks, intellect, and then they have the loot too, I hope those fuckers rot in hell. Just joking.
There have been times in my life that I’ve had money and there have been times in my life that I didn’t. I much prefer having money. At times when I didn’t, it was hard to remember that being without, because of whatever circumstance, was relative and temporary. Sometimes when I thought I was “poor” I might also think I would stay “poor” forever and I feared that it would make me undesirable, unworthy, and my intimate partner wouldn’t want to be connected to me. I really did believe this. I played some crazy games to hide this. The truth is, if and when I’ve had money, I didn’t want to be attractive for this alone.
When I was growing up my family didn’t have much money. I’ve been all over the spectrum on disclosing this. I’d hide it. I’d reveal it early or often or both. I’d portray certain things to create certain perceptions. I did all of this because I was and can be afraid. Fear has many names; stress, anxiety, self conscious, etc etc. One of my favorite code names for fear has often been stress and I sure can get stressed about money. When should we no longer be afraid?
I find myself taking the trash out at times for the wrong reasons. I know, I’m supposed to do this but hear me out. Sometimes I’m doing this to try to compensate for not being enough. I’m making up for my so called shortcomings by doing things to be liked or gain favor. And the trash can be just the start. When do I stop compensating or trying to make up for being less than and unworthy?