Penny For Your Thoughts: Women Who Use Men for Money–Sad Or Smart?

June 8, 2015  |  

The other day, my friend witnessed a baffling encounter between a man and a woman. After she left the scene, she couldn’t wait to tell me about it. When I heard it from her, I couldn’t wait to tell it to you all, dear MadameNoire lovelies.

If you remember the song “Get Money” and if you’ve ever questioned or looked down on women who “get money” from men (or if, perhaps, you’ve secretly aspired to be one of these women), then consider this a real-life Lil’ Kim throwback incident. Now, bear with me as I recount the events in the present “you” tense as if you’d been in my friend’s shoes that day to see what she saw. Here we go.

You’re out and about, walking on a somewhat busy sidewalk in your neighborhood, and you run into an old sisterfriend. The two of you are so happy to see each other that you hook arms. As you hold onto each other, you can’t stop smiling like fools and talking in giddy tones that are an octave higher than your normal speaking voice. Your audible excitement draws the attention of onlookers and passersby, one of whom starts walking your way. As the guy approaches, your sisterfriend smiles in his direction but under her breath she whispers, “Girl, don’t mind him. He’s always around. Every time I see him, he tries to get with me, but I won’t give him any play.”

Soon enough, the guy is standing right in front of you and your sisterfriend. She looks at him, smirks and asks, “What you want?”

“C’mon,” he says. “You know I love you.”

“What happened to my spa day?” she asks. “Don’t say you’re gonna do something and not do it. You had me looking stupid. You’re trying to get with me–I’m not trying to get with you.” 

With the ball back in his court, he says, “I’m gonna take you to dinner tonight.”

“Please,” your sisterfriend says. “You always talking some sh*t. Here, give me some money. I gotta buy some stuff from the corner store.”

“How much do you need?” he asks.

“Lemme see what you got,” she counters.

The guy pulls out a wad of cash from his pocket. Your sisterfriend grabs it and at first, he holds on to the money, too. Then, he relents, and you look on in disbelief as your sisterfriend begins thumbing through the bills. While she’s counting (20, 40, 60, 80, 100….40, 60, 80, 400), she’s griping to the guy about about how these are the consequences of his actions and he still owes her after stiffing her on the spa day. When she finishes counting, she takes out a few bills and hands them to the guy. She puts the rest, which is the bulk of the cash, in her own pocket.

“That didn’t hurt you did it?” she asks, mockingly.

“No,” he says, smiling.

“Good,” she says. “Well, actually, I didn’t care anyway.”

Having just witnessed what appears to have been the “got eem!” of a lifetime, you stand there dumbfounded as the guy walks away. Then, your sisterfriend tugs on your arm as if to say, “Let’s get out of here.” Before you can even ask her anything–“Who the hell is that and what the hell just happened?”–she gives you the scoop. The gist: No, he is not her man (currently or formerly). No, she does not like him. No, she has never even been on a date with him. Yes, he has given her money before.

“That’s what I be telling these girls out here,” she explains. “You don’t have to have sex with these ni**as to get money from them. That dude ain’t never seen the skin on my shoulder. You saw that back there? That’s what happens. You know how I do.”

Now, that’s basically the gist of the story. But let’s go back to the woman saying, “You know how I do,” because what if you had no clue how she “do” or why she did what she “do”? My friend certainly didn’t. In fact, that was her first time ever witnessing any kind of transaction like that between a man and a woman who weren’t dating or father and daughter, or otherwise related or involved.

Granted, her sisterfriend could’ve been lying about her own chastity and the “never seen the skin on my shoulder” part. Or she could’ve technically been telling the truth but deliberately obscuring other, say, sexual facts. Still, what transpired between the guy and my friend’s friend seemed harsher than gold digging. She was entirely unsentimental as if the guy were an ATM machine.

I know it’s not every woman’s goal to “get money” from men. I certainly wouldn’t identify as being that kind of woman myself and I know my friend wouldn’t either. Nevertheless, I could hear so much excitement in her voice as she told me the story about having just seen a woman pocket some guy’s cash. She was astounded! She was impressed! She was…envious.

Her lingering thought: What am I doing wrong? She had just watched a woman walk away approximately $400 richer after an encounter with a man whom she barely knew…and in less than five minutes!

While I didn’t believe my friended needed to take a refresher course in Get Money 101, I could appreciate her incredulousness. Indeed, there is something about women who receive money from men that makes you wonder, “How does she do it?” Do these women know something other women don’t? Is it empowering to ask men for money? Or is it a sign of desperation?

If I were as rich or financially comfortable as I’d like to be, then I probably wouldn’t even be intrigued by those questions. But honestly, there’s a tug of war going on within me. Ultimately, I want to be in a position to not need money from anyone. But until then, I admit, I’ve occasionally requested money from men (boyfriends and ex-boyfriends). Recently, a guy I date from time to time gave me $80–without my asking for it, I should add–because he’d heard me use the phrase “on a budget” in something I’d said that day.

At first, I declined the money. But when he kept pushing it in my direction, I finally took it and thanked him profusely as I put the cash in my wallet. Later on, I checked the wallet to see how much money he’d given me. I counted $80.

I wanted to kick myself. I thought, “Damn, I should’ve counted it in front of him. I would’ve asked for another $20 to make it an even $100.”

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