What is transactional sex?

Transactional sex is a sexual relationship where there’s some sort of give and take. Usually, a person will offer sex or companionship in exchange for money or gifts. These are also known as blesser/sugar baby relationships. Here’s more.

Sexually Transmitted Illnesses

Transactional sex relationships often work when both parties (the blesser and sugar baby) see benefit in the exchange. However, whether it’s a one-night stand or a relationship, transactional sex can increase the chances of STIs, and unplanned pregnancies. There’s always a chance that either the blesser or sugar baby is having sexual relationships with other people. Always use a condom if you find yourself in this kind of relationship.

Power dynamics

In most transactional relationships, the giver/blesser has more power than the receiver. Often, people who enter in these kinds of relationships feel like there’s no other option of providing for their families, financing their studies or lifestyles. Because of this, it becomes easy for the blesser to take advantage of the situation.

The blesser can control all the decision-making in the relationship, leaving the receiver powerless. Things like using a condom, seeing friends/family, career choices and overall wellbeing can be controlled.

Being controlled is a sign of abuse, and abuse should never be tolerated. If you or a someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact POWA on 076 694 5911 for help.

What if I want a relationship and my partner only wants sex?

If you find yourself in a situation with someone who only seems interested in sex, it’s best to be honest with yourself and re-evaluate the relationship. If you’re looking for something meaningful with someone who isn’t interested in committing, you might end up getting hurt. You’re deserving of a healthy and respectful relationship. Don’t settle for anything less.

All types of relationships work when there’s good communication, respect and mutual understanding of boundaries. Always speak firmly about what you like and don’t like, to make sure that you and your partner are always on the same page.

Being in a transactional sex relationship can take away your power and freedom, and put you at risk of contracting STIs, including HIV. What are your thoughts on transactional sex? Share them with me in the comments.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).