The Lisa Files: Bang for Your Buck

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Index |

November 5, 2001

Grab a pen and paper. What’s the most you’ve ever spent on sex? You could arrive at your figure by adding up the expenses of the date(s) leading up to it, or your outfit, or the sexual apparatus used, or the travel to the object of your affection, or the sex itself (if you went to a prostitute). Or maybe you’d include the aftermath: What is the cost of a lifetime of herpes? Hopefully your story is sweet, but sometimes the deeper your heart is opened, all the better to infect you with.

I never buy anything in my normal life. I’m one of those people who will wipe off tinfoil if it’s not too gross and re-use it to cover some other food. But for a date I’ll spend hundreds. I like to pretend I don’t even notice how much money is dripping out of my pocket all night long, but really I’m counting every penny and gloating over my unfettered generosity. What a fake!


Probably the biggest love-spender of all was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for thirty-two million rupees in his wife’s honor when she died mid-seventeenth century. Even though he had three other wives, he really loved this one. Built entirely of white ivory, it was supposed to represent Woman, with courtyards that looked like vaginas or wombs or heavily made-up eyes. Jahan’s son went on to depose his father and lock him up for the rest of his life in one of the vagina towers! None of the participants in this week’s poll has the Shah’s budget, but if they did, I bet some of them would spend it all on a skyscraping sex organ in the name of love.

Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

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