We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"the thing is, tho, that the moral or ethical question of entering consequentially into a stranger's life is not the same question as whether or not one is lonely."
His excellent phrase "entering consequentially into a stranger's life" got me thinking. As a psychotherapeutically-oriented shrink, most of my work is to "enter consequentially into strangers' lives," and that is a privilege and sometimes a frightening position which I am paid to do as a professional person.
Most adults are cautious, aren't we? - about who we permit into our lives, and to what extent. We may make exceptions with relatives, clergy, or people with white coats, but, generally, our interpersonal lives consist of concentric circles, admitting few to our inner sanctum.
The reason for that is, of course, because confiding in someone, being emotionally intimate with someone, cannot be inconsequential for normal people. Relationships affect us and affect our lives, so they are a serious matter and potentially dangerous.
Loneliness is painful. Lonely people, sad to say, and substance-abusers may be less discriminating about whom to let in. Fact is, though, closeness is always somewhat risky for both people involved because we humans get attached and thus vulnerable.
Buddy's comment, however, was on the topic of Sugar Daddies and mistresses, sort-of about the idea of sexual intimacy rather than personal or emotional intimacy. There is the hooking up culture of course. A college student recently told me that if he strikes out and doesn't get laid by a different girl each night of Spring Break in Nassau, he will feel like a loser. But I do not mean to be discussing purely recreational or athletic alcohol-infused sexual adventures.
What I am wondering about is whether it is possible for a Sugar Daddy and the gal, over time, not to form an affectionate attachment despite the basic free-market win-win foundation of the relationship. Or even regular co-workers.
Perhaps some people are more capable of inconsequential intimacy or exploitative intimacy than others. Not perhaps. Definitely.
I hope you told the college student mentioned in your antepenultimate paragraph that only if he were successful in his aspiration would he really be a loser. One girl in the break and forever after and he's a winner.
I believe, in relationships driven by market conditions, there is a tremendous amount of loneliness.
Sugar Daddies, I believe, are just as likely to be married as not. And I've read stories of women who have entered the escort business despite being married. The relationship may be intact in both cases, but it hasn't solved the essential issue of why people chose to become attached in the first place - the need for companionship and intimacy.
I don't see long-term free market arrangements remaining purely economic relationships. I suppose it can happen, but it just doesn't make sense to me. At some point in every relationship, even one at work, people have to confront the issue of intimacy that is linked to shared moments.
I have worked with many women in my line of employment, and have spent many late hours working with some. I have never jumped into that breach. I recognize the perils of not only breaking the marriage vows, but also the rules of the workplace. I know many people who have chosen to do so, however. Of all, I know only one which worked out in any kind of positive way (both wound up getting divorced and married to each other and are very happy, though I can't speak for their exes).
I think long term encounters of the economic or employment kind will always develop certain affectionate and romantic feelings and thoughts. It's very hard to avoid.
Once I took a stressful, all-consuming, 18-month long training course in the Army. At the beginning, the sergeant major came by and warned us that, if we sat next to a rock for that long we'd be foolishly attached to it at the end. We'd admire its shapeliness, its wonderful texture, how it's always there for us... but that's just the intensity of the shared environment. He warned us against doing three things with our fellow classmates: don't procreate with them, don't marry them without at least a year of cool-down, and definitely don't have an affair with them.
Roughly a third didn't take that advice, with predictably bad consequences.
As for the question of Sugar Daddies/mistresses, they too share an intense situation, so I would assume that they will share some sort of attachment. But it's all manufactured out of lies and play-acting. He gets to act the role of affectionate dominance, she gets to act the role of rich, leisured woman. But it's all false. The minute he runs out of money, or she gets sick/fat/old/whatever, it's over.
Living a lie gets you hurt when reality reasserts itself-- as it necessarily must.
Okay, now i have a swelled head and a crippling case of performance anxiety at the same time --anything can happen now --when the resistable force and the moveable object careen toward each other for the showdown --with the fate of destiny in the breach --and miss each other by a mile, causing the Great Celestial Choir to stop in mid aria, and say, "oh, poop"
I believe every single relationship has its consequence.
One can ignore them in the short-term all he or she wants, but the consequences exist, period.
It is the type of person that wants instant gratification who ignores these consequences in search of these "benefits" and someone, somewhere will pay the price. Someone does every single time...