Erotic Capital

August 22, 2011 § 8 Comments

Erotic capital, according to Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, divides into six categories.  These are beauty; sexual attractiveness; social skills such as charm, grace, discreet flirtation; liveliness (a mixture of physical fitness, social energy and good humour); social presentation (including dress, jewellery and other adornments); and sexuality itself (including competence, energy and imagination).  Hakim has written a book, Honey Money, which I confess I have not read and so cannot comment on it – though I guess I would probably side with the brilliant Will Self (in the Guardian on Saturday) and his unease at its very dodgy-sounding premise.  Having said that, I am much enjoying the coverage of it as it seems to be whipping reviewers and interviewers up into a right old lather.

Whatever one thinks of the book or its author, it is good to ponder upon the loathsome phrase and dubious notion of “erotic capital” with regard to planktons.

On a scale of one to ten, I know where I feel we ought to rate.  In a word: highly.  This is because most of us look after ourselves and make an effort sartorially, physically and socially; and are of an age where we have a sophisticated sense of humour and a certain grace and sexual competence (though I should like to know how on earth this last is measured?  Actually, no, before any of you men comment on this, I would really rather NOT!) and experience.

But where we ought to rate and where we actually stand in the eyes of society are entirely different things.  And I think you can probably guess where I think we actually stand – indeed it is one of the reasons I am writing this blog: Rock Fucking Bottom.

 

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§ 8 Responses to Erotic Capital

  • Sarah says:

    I don’t think erotic capital has anything to do with relationships, and a lot to with sex – being attractive to the opposite sex with the aim of getting laid.

    For relationship material, planktons may be at a disadvantage, but as far as getting laid is concerned, if you want it you can get it. Planktons who look after themselves have a pretty high erotic capital, although less in areas such as sexual attractiveness compared to a younger woman. Still, honey money is all about sex, so if you have what it takes you can get as much as you want.

  • AnonW says:

    As the male equivalent I look in the mirror and don’t see what I’m supposed to be. But like can be very boring and just a bit lonely. On the other hand I have the best therapist in the world st my beck and call. She’s called London and it is -pleasure as we explore my new life together.

  • DAN says:

    Plankton as i have said, umpteen times before,STOP PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN ALL THE TIME !
    Other wise you will start believing this and it wont help your situation one little bit.
    It has been proven over and over again that confidence in onself can be seen by others and therby attract other people. Everybody wants to be with a winner, but also by the same token , dont want to be seen or have contact with a looser ,if you get my drift. IT just draggs them down as well !
    Which by the way i am not insinuating for one minute that either you or any other person reading or subscribing to your blog is a looser, but that might be the signal you are sending out there to people for whom you meet for the first time.

    Have more faith in yourself, and instead send out the confident, witty, and funny side of your self that we all know you possess.
    See how that goes and let us all know.

    DAN.

  • Lydia says:

    This is the fascinating thing. I’ve no idea who plankton is but she may well be no worse than I am. (We are both late 40s, divorced with chidlren) Yet I think I’m reasonably attractive and have erotic capital and that any man would be lucky to have me.

    I have ordered CH’s book although I have found her earlier writings a bit sexist.

    It is quite nice to think that women might have a power men don’t but it’s dangerous for gender politics to say women get on by being sexy rather than just good at their work. It smcks of making women the power behind the throne when plenty of us are more than happy to leave men to the power behind the throne and to be up there as supreme leader ourselves in the work place.

    However if attractive sexy women can use their sexuality (as well as their brains and superior skills) to advance in work and financial terms then let them. Some men might think that is unfair but they have enough advantages of their own more than sufficient to balance out.

    I just don’t get that late 40s women are rock bottom plankton. Whether you’re male or female 40s are wonderful. Your life is sorted out. Your career is probably going well. You are probably at or almost at peak earnings. You are secure (even if you’ve had to pay out a big divorce settlement to your husband as plenty of we non plankton superwomen have). You’ve had your babies and you’re not over 78 and getting too old. It’s a great. It’s one of the nicest times to be alive. You’re not even in the menopause. It should be the best time of you life and you don’t need a man or even regular sex for it to be so.

    There are lots of advantages to being single aren’t there? If you’re single, so what – you can take more decisions alone and in some ways that’s easier. Just look on the bright side.

  • “Erotic capital, according to Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, divides into six categories. These are beauty; sexual attractiveness; social skills such as charm, grace, discreet flirtation; liveliness (a mixture of physical fitness, social energy and good humour); social presentation (including dress, jewellery and other adornments); and sexuality itself (including competence, energy and imagination)…”

    To quote Millhouse Van Houten, “Somebody put it in a book, so it’s got to be true!!”

  • DAN says:

    WELL SAID LYDIA !

    But not alone that, i also feel that the trend and tide of things are slowly beginning to show a change in favour of women in this decade.
    More and more women are taking over the position of the throne, and men are now falling into the power behind that throne!
    But not through sexism, or all the opperations or treatments that they may have had , that they might use just to give their own confidence a boost, but rather possessing the skills, and knowhow of fullfilling their role in a much better and diplomatic manner to that of their male counterpart.
    Some men in these positions tend to beat with a whip so to speak while women have a tendancy to use both ends of the stick and know how and when to use both models of dealings with each seperate situation, that is to say ,beat with a whip when required, but also feed with a carrot when that particular situation arrises.

    Good on ye. Keep going and the best of luck to all of ye!

    DAN.

  • Lydia says:

    I think it’s great we live in the UK which gives us lots of choices women (and men) in other countries do not have. We can choose not to use the erotic capital at all but be very successful in work. We can flaunt it in just the right way to let it pay off financially (or with a man). We can adopt the burka or cropped hair and dungaree vicar’s wife look. Entirely up to us.

    Let us hope we can reatin those freedoms to be different, eccentric, conformist or whatever we choose.

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