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How we spend our money says as much about our priorities as the people we choose to share a bed with, and often, those two decisions are hopelessly intertwined. Sex, dating and relationships are expensive: flowers, hairdos, clothes, contraceptives, lube, cabs, texts, dinners, (breakfasts?) — how much does it actually come to? Is being single really more expensive than being in a relationship? Are people who make $20,000 spending as much as those who make over a hundred grand?
We asked nine people to spend one month diligently tracking every dollar spent in pursuit of sexual gratification — everything from trolling the bars to getting off solo to full-blown romantic intercourse. Some of the results were surprising, but numbers don't lie, baby.
Indie Scenester Husband-to-Be and Indie Scenester Wife-to-Be started dating a few years ago after a "friends with benefits" epoch. They live together and are getting married next year. Indie Scenester Husband-to-Be is a twenty-eight-year-old software architect. Indie Scenester Wife-to-Be is twenty-seven-year-old web designer/programmer. Their combined annual income is $120,000.
Granola Sunshine is a bisexual twenty-nine-year-old freelance writer who makes around $50,000 a year. She is single and dating, and favors a distinctly outdoorsy romantic life.
Twenty-nine-year-old TV editor Coffee Yupster is a straight male who recently got out of a long-term relationship. He earns $55,000 a year.
Biology Babe, twenty-nine, is a science research assistant earning $38,000 a year. She's straight, single and doggedly proactive, her objective being more about finding a man for the long haul than random one-nighters.
I Love the Nightlife is a gay male administrative assistant in two open relationships. He's twenty-four and earns $28,000 a year.
The Long-Distance Cougar is a thirty-year-old female freelance writer who earns about $25,000 a year. She's dating a twenty-two-year-old guy.
A twenty-two-year-old journalist (not, however, the Cougar's boyfriend), The Dude is single, straight and earns $20,000 a year. He has cerebral palsy and a serious porn habit.
Mom of Two is thirty-four, has been with her husband for a decade and was so busy working (as an editor, earning $50,000 a year) and chasing after her kids that she barely had time to turn in her diaries.