not in Primary anymore

i am not a movie ticket

By Tinesha


Last week, I hung out with someone I’ll call Drew. We had a great time—I really liked him and he really liked me. We’d kissed a few times before but this specific night and it was great. However, this night I was hoping that we wouldn’t. I just didn’t want to.

That night, since I am car-less, he had picked me up.

He had been so sweet and caring and listened to my feminist rants.

All in all, it had been a good night. But I still didn’t want to kiss him.

Finally, Drew asked if he can kiss me and I still didn’t really want to. I have a battle with myself. I didn’t really want to. But, I argued with myself. He’s been so nice. And he picked me up. I can’t just have someone pick me up and drive me around and not reciprocate? Right? No, of course not. Just say no.

I ignored my feelings while I leaned in to kiss him. Then I quickly pulled away. Then I heard myself say,“I’m so, so sorry. Not tonight.”

“Okay,” he said, and we continued to talk about other things.

I went home and I re-evaluated the situation. I realized how ludicrous it was to feel like I owed someone physical intimacy and said sorry for not wanting to do something that I would be an equal participant in. Upon further reflection of the situation, I realized how many other women had told me So he paid for the movie and so when he held my hand I was like, ugh, I don’t want to, but then he did pay 9 dollars or even I didn’t want to even hug him good-bye but I couldn’t just leave him hanging, he was pretty nice and stuff to me.

In society and movies, the culture of romance entails this basic idea that boy meets girl. Boy is nice. Boy listens to girl’s problems and buys her nice things, and in return the girl reciprocates and “pays back” with physical intimacy. Women are inundated with these images in the media (think Twilight and every Nicholas Sparks movie) and believe that their partner is entitled to physical intimacy. Even I—someone who spends a lot of time reading feminist lit and knowing intuitively that I don’t owe physical intimacy to anyone, found myself feeling bad that I didn’t want to kiss someone.

And so I made a promise to myself that night when I got home after hanging out with Drew. First, my body and my physical intimacy is not for sale.

I do not owe any guy I go out with physical intimacy.

I have the right to say no to physical intimacy without saying sorry.

No woman’s feelings and body are equivalent to a nine dollar movie ticket or a car ride.

15 Responses to “i am not a movie ticket”

  1. Brittany

    Great post. I think it’s natural to want to repay people for the nice things they do for you, but we have to be careful to distinguish between wanting to bake someone cookies and feeling pressured to makeout (or more) with a boy just because he was a nice human being.

  2. Derrick Clements

    Excellent post! We all are inundated with the false idea that relationships are transactions. I see couples who have been in relationships for decades in the same boat, and I don’t want that for myself at all. Also, I think separate strict gender roles totally comes out of / feeds into this tradition.

  3. bdallmann

    Great post. I’ve experience this first hand myself. I once met up with a guy, having told him beforehand that I wasn’t interested in getting romantically involved with him. He offered to buy me a drink, and I accepted. He drove me home since we were out after all the public transportation closed. When I wouldn’t kiss him goodnight, he actually said, “But I bought you a drink….I drove you home.” I still said no. He harassed me via text message for several days afterward calling me a bitch who’s only good for sex, among other things. Shouldn’t he have known first-hand that that couldn’t be true?

    So yeah…women definitely shouldn’t feel like they owe men physical intimacy just because they paid for a couple things.

  4. Brandon

    I completely agree than physical intimacy isn’t something to try and bargain for. I kind of feel, however; that most people understand this and generally accept this principle (maybe I live in a world with an overly optimistic view of people, who knows). Its one thing to not feel obligated because a guy does nice things for you, its another to subject a guy to your indecisive mood swings, especially when you guys apparently already have some sort of relationship (poor guy!) Maybe next time you should buy your own ticket to prevent any false expectations. equality right?

  5. Anonymous

    I’ve felt it before. I’ve even felt it that once a guy is turned on, I suddenly feel like I need to “help him out” in that regard because I turned him on, when in reality, I don’t need to feel any pressure to do so.

  6. Florencia

    So my problem with this is why you kissed him before. I think that if you are going to end your post the way you did with these resolutions and statements then be a little more clear about the type of relationship you share with this guy. It’s okay that you didn’t feel like kissing him that day. There could be many reasons as to why you didn’t want to. But were you dating before? How long? You said you kissed him before and that you liked it. Why did you kiss him? is he your boyfriend? If he’s not your boyfriend, then again why did you share such an intimate thing like kissing with him? You see, based on your story he didn’t force you to kiss him and was okay with you saying no. But it makes total sense to me that this guy would want to kiss you (because you already did it in the past) and would expect you to want to kiss him not necessarily because he took you out on a date but because you’ve already shared that. If I kiss a guy and I like it and he kisses me back and then we continue dating, it’s obvious that there is attraction between us. If he is taking you out, spending his time and money on you, after having hung out before, then it’s obvious that he is interested in you and you are letting him do these things for you. You DO have to reciprocate nice acts and gestures. NOT with physical intimacy but maybe with sincerity and clarity on how you feel about him. When does your feminism kick in? when it’s convenient for you? I say this with respect. I am a 25 year old girl (mormon) who despises feminism (and chauvinism for that matter) 🙂
    PS: I completely agree with you that you don’t sell yourself for a movie ticket, date, etc. I can’t imagine myself kissing a guy that I’m not in a relationship with just to return a favor. But I do have problem with misleading or taking advantage of others (not saying here that you did that). It sounds like he’s a nice guy.

    • tinesha

      The point of this post is not to highlight my relationship, but rather to highlight the idea that I felt I needed to reciprocate, something society has taught me. I don’t think my relationship needs to be debated or explained.

      My feminism is part of me. It doesn’t “kick in”.

      • Florencia

        Of course! Those were rhetorical questions. You don’t have to debate nor explain your relationship. It’s your life 🙂 But if that was the point and you are talking about a nice and sweet guy, then yes I think it’s important to reciprocate. You can show gratitude and appreciation without kissing, in my opinion. And in fact I think you should. Not YOU personally, just in general.

  7. lovethedatinggame

    Completely agree with you. Similar thing happened to me last weekend & I felt the word ‘sorry’ was going to come out of my mouth… But I held it back in. Sorry for what? Right? 🙂

  8. Steve Clemens

    Man, while I agree with the main point (shouldn’t use nice gestures as a way to get physical intimacy) I couldn’t disagree more with the situation that you used to illustrate it. I mean if I didn’t kiss a girl I was in a relationship with just because I didn’t “feel” like it, she would freak out on me and I would be labeled a heartless insensitive jerk.

  9. tlinslc

    I agree wholeheartedly that a woman should not feel obligated towards any intimacy just because a guy buys her a movie or drink. However, I still make sure that such an arguement does not arise by always buying my own drinks and movies if I am going with someone I have no intimacy interest in.


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