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I've never really been comfortable with the prevailing patriarchal narrative of a man "earning" some display of female affection in exchange for heroism - or, as the case may be, for basic human decency. It doesn't really matter if it's fifty blowjobs or a kiss on the cheek: in my mind, it devalues and de-legitimizes it as an expression of intimacy, which, in turn, devalues and de-legitimizes (or, at least, throws into question) all future kisses and/or blowjobs. It says "I'm not doing this because I actually like you or are attracted to you, but just because you did something for me and now I'm obligated".

I don't pretend that this is some principled feminist stance on my part, though. It's purely an emotional gut reaction to the concept. Oddly enough, in cases where a woman wins (or buys) my affections, I find it thrilling and empowering and legitimately seductive. Perhaps I'm wired to be a man-damsel. A mansel, if you will.


(Tuesday afternoon, INT: MH's apartment, bathroom)

MH (looking at some pills): Two blues and one white.

JH (holding a glass of water for her): You're sure? I'll be very upset with you if you're lying to me.

MH: Two blues and one white.


(INT: MH's living room, MH and JH are on the couch together)

MH: You know, you don't have to do this. I was pretending. I was lying. I do that. I'm a liar.

JH: I know. Doing it anyway.

MH: Don't worry about me.

JH: I'm not.


[they sit in silence for a while]


MH: Y'know, it's really too bad you're monogamous and shit, 'cause you know you just earned yourself, like, fifty blowjobs.

JH: Aaaaand we're back.