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Abstract

The Yale Journal of Law and Feminism Sex for Sale symposium identified many instances of uneasy matching between sexual intimacy and commercial transactions. My own contribution is not to multiply examples, but to fit those particular sorts of difficulties into a more general pattern of negotiation between intimacy and economic activity. Let me stress four points: intimacy and economic activity. Let me stress four points: 1) The widespread belief that money corrupts intimacy blocks our ability to describe and explain how money, power, and sex actually interact. 2) The opposite belief-that sex operates like an ordinary market commodity-serves description and explanation no better. 3) The intersection of sex, money, and power does indeed generate confusion and conflict, but that is precisely because participants are simultaneously negotiating delicate, consequential, interpersonal relations and marking differences between those relations and others with which they could easily and dangerously be confused. 4) In everyday social life, people' deal with these difficulties with a set of practices we can call "Good Matches."

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