the writing life

Bringing it to the Table

Lately, my husband and I have been enjoying watching gold digger prank videos on YouTube. If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically guys or gals who use hot cars  to catch  and expose women/men who only want to use the car’s owner for money. Some of them are totally shocking.  Not only did these videos make me realize serial killers could easily get victims just by renting nice cars, but it also introduced us to the men going their own way movement. Going their own way because so many modern women just want to use them for their resources (i.e. money, attention, etc…) and throw them away.

To be honest, I am not surprised. The internet is full of video after video of shallow women (young and old) talking about men needing to pay, and viewing men as a meal ticket or an ATM. Or even just a handyman to help them around the house. And then having the audacity to whine about why they can’t find a good guy for a long term relationship. Well — duh….

For those ladies — men are actual living, breathing, feeling human beings just like you and I. Imagine that!  

What ever happened to dating someone because you have common interests or because you enjoy hanging out with them? What ever happened to this whole equality thing women love to shout as a battle cry, but the second they’re asked to step up and contribute something more than their body to a relationship, they start crying that the man needs to pay?  Because that doesn’t make you wife material. It makes you a woman who sells her body and sexual services for monetary gain. And while there’s nothing wrong with that (I’m all for legal, consensual, and safe sex work)- men don’t generally marry the escorts or prostitutes they hire.  You don’t usually get to have it both ways. 

I know, ladies. I know it’s not all women. I know a lot of the women reading this aren’t this type of woman.

I know this because I’m not one of those women, either. My husband and I met online back in the late 1990’s. Our first date was at a wonderful shabby, run-down diner (my favorite), and I’m pretty sure we each paid our own share of the bill. Our second date was a walk in the park (literally). Turns out we’re both VERY practical and down to earth about a lot of things including money. Neither of us like to spend it and we talk about purchases for months, sometimes even years, before we commit to it. We even drive paid off cars. ::gasp::

We have BOTH equally contributed to the bills, household chores, and decision making over the years. When he’s found himself out of work, I’ve covered the bills completely and he’s taken on more around the house. I have no doubt if the roles were reversed, he would have done the same for me (my career has been a bit more stable than his) and I would have taken on more around the house, too.  That’s how grown-up relationships work.  Everyone in the relationship contributes financially, mentally, and emotionally as circumstances dictate. Both partners also contribute to the household domestically as needed. For better or for worse. Right?

So, for the ladies who may think men are nothing more than walking cash machines, when a guy asks what you bring to the table, stop saying you are the table. That just sets feminism back and makes you look like an asshole. Maybe it’s time for you to take a long hard look at yourself  and figure out what your worth is beyond your looks and vagina. If you think that’s all you bring to the table and that’s all you aspire to, I’m sad for you.  There is more to you than your body and looks, isn’t there? Because eventually looks fade and you’re going to need something else to fall back on.

About this time someone in the audience says: Well what did you bring to the table then? I’ll tell you what I brought to my relationship table. Aside from a matching (in earnings) career and a very good credit score, we have plenty of shared interests and we also have interesting (to each other at least) hobbies. I also brought some domestic skills with me (as did he). While we are both one another’s extra set of hands around the house, we’re also each other’s emotional support, cheerleader, and companion. We both share similar opinions about important issues (politics, religion, money, etc). Both of us can start and hold an intelligent conversation (with each other as well as other people). That’s how my man and I fell into our relationship together  (20+ years now) — not by me waving my breasts in his face and promising blow jobs and sex in exchange for cash and prizes. So don’t be offended when a man asks the question: “What do you bring to the table?” Because he’s checking to see if you’re an expensive fly-by night who will dump him in favor of a wealthier guy, or leave him the second he loses his job or gets sick. And to determine if you’re potential partnership material who will stick with him through thick and thin and be able to step up and help take care of him when he isn’t able to take care of himself or take care of you. Men need some emotional and financial security, too, and shit happens. Careers change, vocations dry up, people age and get sick. If you expect him to take care of you emotionally and financially in rough times, then it’s only fair that he should expect the same from you. Equality, ladies.

Equality means stepping up, taking some responsibility, and being a man’s partner, not his paid-for plaything (unless that’s what you want to be, in which case, you don’t have a right to bitch about not being able to find a guy for a LTR).

UPDATED: For the women who are screaming: “Men treated women like slaves for years. Turn about is fair play!” Umm, two wrongs don’t make a right. Equality is equality. It doesn’t mean turning the tables and forcing a matriarchy on society while degrading and belittling men by using them and hating on them. That makes you no better than the men who do that to women.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at


  • Peter V. Fanelli

    Wow! My wife and I (married 29 years) have often thought about many of the same points you addressed. What happened to dating? Developing a relationship grounded in the real world. Ours began in a phone conversation. I was being coached by her on some personal issues. We had never met but her coaching was recommended by a mutual friend. We were coached by her and had conversations for 6 weeks on the phone before ever meeting in person. That ground of being turned into marriage and here we are. Colorado was also our home for 39 years (29 together)but moved 5 yrs ago to be closer to family in Ohio. Anyway, what you stated here can’t be said enough, the state of relationships that there is a growing cadre of “people users” is appalling. Thanks

    • Steph

      Yes! And people’s expectations are so ridiculous and unrealistic. Women think that real relationships are supposed to be like Disney and/or RomComs. The guy pays for everything and worships the ground she walks on, while she just sits pretty, gets an allowance, and doesn’t have to do anything. Some men are no better though. Some guys expect their women to worship them, be their domestic and sex slaves (and breeding stock), while also looking like a super model 24/7, and to never expect anything from their man (including money), but she’s also not allowed to have a job. So it’s really both men and women who have these weird expectations.

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