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Why is it not prostitution?

Disclaimer: This piece has nothing to do with any engagement I may have had or will have in the near future with any female imagined or otherwise. This is merely for me to pose a question that has bugged me forever.

We all know what prostitution is; let us first accept that it is the exchange of currency for services of a sexual nature rendered or a person who debases himself or herself for personal gain. I do not care what any dictionary defines it as; we all know what it is. What is in my mind right now though is the opposite ie what isn’t deemed prostitution and why? Keep what is defined as prostitution in mind as you read on.

Now, say I take a girl out to eat at a trendy restaurant and at the end of the session I pick up the bill, as a gentleman should. And say that this goes on for however long until I have convinced her that I’m worth her getting naked for in this unfriendly Joburg weather. I then get to have my jolly fat way with her.

Say also that the said female was not impressed with my performance (this is purely hypothetical) and yet she carries on seeing me because I treat her well ie I take her out to all the high-society places, she dresses in the best from Milan at my expense and she gets to drive around in my snazzy German sedan to go see her friends or her other boyfriend whenever I have opted to bust out my classic Italian super car for the weekend.

I keep getting my jolly fat way with her, and as it always happens, I even stop caring about her own satisfaction and purely keep her around for my pleasure with the unspoken understanding between us that she gets to enjoy the “perks” of being with me.

Let us make it even more interesting — continue to say that we are both happy with this arrangement since we have been engaged in it for a couple of years. Now say I decide to pop the question, have the wedding of the year and she gets to show off to all her friends and colleagues with this super high-class bash, which I mostly fund.

Why is this not prostitution? Is this not receiving payment for a service of a sexual nature that is rendered, granted on a continuous basis, but rendered nonetheless?

Why is this acceptably socially, when doing the honest thing, and waddling down to Hillbrow, handing over sixty bucks to an African brother at the door, him handing you a grimy key with a tag and a room number penned on it with a smile and you picking a lady from the selection on offer, doing your business safely and heading home in time for the Late Show rerun?

Why is one a social taboo and the other given even a very normal name like “dating” and forms part of our culture?


I think men are more accepting of the knowledge that they are involved in a pseudo-illegal transaction. It does not matter to them much either way.

Like my friend, The Dark Lord, once said to me a long, looong time ago:

“Why would you feel offended if the hot model you are dating wanted five hundred bucks from you to help with her rent? What else can you offer her other than money? Status? You have none. A future? You aren’t gonna marry her.

“(Wagging his finger at me) You see … you still have delusions of grandeur, fat one. You still think you are someone special — a find, that they like you because you are funny or charming or cute.

“You are not cute any more, that time is over. We all look the same now, we are all middle-aged, or thereabout, almost successful men with beer bellies. We drive the same cars, live in the same suburbs, take girls out to the same places and give them the same treatment.

“What do you think makes YOU so special?”

I had no answer to that last question and rested as I do now.

I rest,

The Sumo

NB — Remember the disclaimer