I’d Rather Talk About My Sex Life

It’s not every day that I talk about my sex life. I’m a pretty private person. In spite of that, there is one thing that makes me more uncomfortable than sharing what I do in the bedroom.

What’s that thing, you ask?

My salary.

When my friends were kissing and telling, I’d stay quiet. I love watching shows like Girls and Insecure that depict carefree relationships among friends who share everything, including the intimate details of their relationships. But for me, questions like, “How was your first sex?” feel invasive.

issa-rae

Issa and Molly on Insecure (SOURCE: Blatimetravel.com)

 

So, I avoid such conversations like the plague.

If you put a gun to my head and tell me that I have the choice to discuss my income or my sex life, I’d start talking about my sex life. I’ll provide you all the gory details — more than you ever wanted to know — before I’d tell you how much money I bring home.

Related: Honest Ain't The Best Policy and Three Secrets To Keep

I landed my first real job 8 years ago. I was fresh out of graduate school, armed with a shiny new master’s degree and a chip on my shoulder. I found a job through my excellent networking skills and kick-ass resume. I didn’t accept the salary that was offered to me. I followed my big cousin’s advice and asked for $5k more. The hiring manager chuckled and said, “I like you.” And she granted my desires right on the spot.

I was on Cloud 9.

I had the job of my dreams. I was getting paid 15% higher than the nation’s average income and was proud of myself and I wanted the world to know.

Simple Border Health Quote Instagram Post (4)

I told my parents, my siblings, my cousins, my friends. I think I even told my grandmother. My earnings might as well have been tattooed on my face because I’m pretty sure that if you said, “Hello,” I’d tell you about my big girl job and my big girl salary.

It wasn’t long before I started to regret my decision. Nowadays, I have a strict policy. I don’t share my salary with anyone but my husband and career advisor. It’s better for everyone else to be in the dark regarding such matters. Here are three reasons why.

Others feel entitled to your ends.

When you go to a restaurant with relatives to eat, they insist you pick up the tab. After all, “you’re making money now.” Nevermind that you just paid rent, utilities, and put some money away for a rainy day. They don’t care about what else your money is dedicated to, they want you to spend your money their way.

Others ask you for money and if you don’t give them the amount they want, they label you as stingy. Or even worse, they badmouth you behind your back.

Your frugal habits are criticized. “Why are you doing that? You can afford to buy cable or park in the premier parking spot in front of your building,” they’ll say.

They judge your spending habits.

People spend their money on based on their priorities. Yet, people judge others by what you have, regardless of your circumstance.

For instance, if someone owns a nice car, people assume they are making a lot of money. I knew a lady who earned $25,000 per year at a contract job. As soon as the job became permanent, she purchased a brand new Mercedes Benz.

Our common friends were in awe. “Wow,” they thought, “She makes good money.”

Meanwhile, I’ve heard of millionaires who drive a hooptie. Society is so shallow that they’d praise the woman earning $25,000 and driving a Mercedes Benz and look down on the millionaire driving an old car.

They might resent you.

A few years ago, I was unemployed. I was collecting monthly employment checks and living with my parents. My cousin, on the other hand, was making a pretty hefty salary in her executive role but wasn’t satisfied. She felt she should have been making more.

I let her vent for a little while then told her I had to get off the phone. I was annoyed. She was complaining to an unemployed person about her salary. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tiny bit of resentment.

There are so many things that people use to justify their mistreatment towards you. Sharing my salary just gives them more ammunition. It’s unnecessary.

I’ve been anti-income sharing for the majority of my career. Recently, I had a conversation about the topic with Krystal of Let’s Build Futures. She says that there is no way that we can beat the income inequality gap unless we share our incomes. She had an excellent point, but I’m torn. Sharing my income makes me vulnerable. I would become aware of income discrepancies in the workplace and among friends. Such information would make me a better negotiator, but it might cause a strain on my relationships with others. It would leave me vulnerable to criticism and manipulation. Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?

Let’s chat in the comments section below!

31 thoughts on “I’d Rather Talk About My Sex Life

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Krystal in theory and recently heard a Ted talk on a company that does this for the exact reason Krystal mentioned. But I also haven’t had this discussion with any of the coworkers that were just hired with me on a new job, it seems odd to ask since we’re so programmed not too. I am much more open to sharing this info with coworkers to compare salaries than I am to disclose this to family/friends for the exact reasons you stated!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thenakedwriter says:

    There’s a Ted Talk by Luvvie that’s all about pay-crimination …. I sort of agree that we should share this information to keep companies from pimping us. I shared my last salary with a group of 9 women and only ONE had the guts to share her salary with me. People have made this taboo to talk about and it shouldn’t be 🤷🏾‍♀️ We all know that Hoda Kotb makes $18million LESS than her predecessor… because someone decided it was necessary to share this kind of information… and it is, so that we can see exactly what’s going on behind closed doors of negotiation.

    Great piece! Thanks for sharing, about not sharing 🙃😏

    Liked by 2 people

  3. After The Party says:

    I made the mistake of telling my ex how much money I made, and it became a big issue when it was more than him. I will not make that mistake again. I think it is natural to be proud of yourself when you are doing well, but not everyone is going to be happy for you- sometimes they just want you to pick up their slack (ex did, for sure).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. letsbuildfutures says:

    I love it! You eloquently discussed all the points that we talked about and you definitely brought to light very important reasons to keep your money hush hush from those who can use it to judge, manipulate and envy your pockets. I always keep my cash flow from family or friends because of many of those reasons. I also think that sharing or not-sharing is all about great balance and discovering the reason behind disclosing such valuable information. Great spin and topic as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. DGGYST says:

    I am of two minds on this. I would never ask someone how much they make, but if they were to leave the room for any significant amount of time, I would rummage through their mail…..haha! I think that wage disparity is a huge problem, and money should be discussed……but people also have serious boundary issues. Its a tricky thing, money. Sex though, I’m always down to hear about that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. talkswithtati says:

    I remember when I was working as a HR Assistant, the lady that hired me said “don’t tell Kendra how much you make” or “be careful with saying things like “i’m good with what I make” in front of kendra” — all because I was making 50cent less than Kendra and Kendra was a supervisor while I was just an assistant.. She knew if Kendra found out what I was making Kendra would flip out or treat me horrible.

    Liked by 2 people

      • talkswithtati says:

        I never mentioned it, but Kendra eventually found out because she was nosey and wanted to know for herself after I made the comment of wanting to trade in my car. Honestly, my degree in HR is what got me that amount and my kick-ass interviewing skills lol Kendra was only making what she made because she been there 15 years.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Soul & Scribble says:

    Talking about money has always been a slippery slope, and I really do think it is for everyone, especially for family members and friends — people in our personal and private lives. I do still think we need to talk about money. Especially in regards to how much our big bosses make.

    I recently told my mother how much money I’ll be making to write for a non-profit I really believe in. She wasn’t very enthusiastic. Although I believe in the work, she would prefer I make more money… and probably takes this entire situation as me being irresponsible and immature simply because I want to do the work more than I want to make more money.

    Anddd this is why I will stop telling my Mother about how much money I make. LOL. Unfortunately, as a writer, you’re already not taken very seriously. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      I agree. Money is such a complicated topic. I don’t know what it is about it that makes everyone uneasy. I know it’s a challenge being a writer full-time, but I admire your dedication to your craft. I tried for a brief moment to write full-time, and I couldn’t do it. I admire you for following your dream, despite the pressure to make more money. After all, what’s the point of making more money if you’re unhappy?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. driftyness says:

    I think it’s a fair point that talking about how much we make is a good way to close wage gaps. I’ve been hearing influencers make a similar argument: they might end up getting low-balled If they don’t know what to charge. I like sites like glassdoor and payscale because they give me salary information without all the awkwardness of having to have a conversation about money. Personally, I feel the same as you, though. I don’t ever talk about what I make, not even to my parents. People start acting really funny once it comes to money, and I’ve heard all kind of horror stories about how friendly coworkers turned into gremlins once they worked out that someone made more money than them. My policy is that unless you’re employing me, helping me with my taxes, or collecting said taxes, you won’t know what I make. I just think the potential for drama is too high and I hate conflict so…I’ll just quietly collect my coins and go home.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Adie // The Cupcake Witch says:

    I think discussing salary is a good thing, particularly with people you work with and others in your field. Employers want you to keep your salary a secret, so they can continue to hose everyone else. If someone goes into a job interview and is offered $50K, but everyone else they’ve spoken to in their field makes $70K doing the same work, then that person is probably going to demand more money. But, if that person doesn’t know how much others are making, they’ll probably settle for the $50K because they think it’s standard. It’s also important to talk about salary when the CEO of a company is making $250K a year, but lower employees are only making minimum wage (especially in cities where minimum wage is not a living wage). Transparency is key–you should not be buying a solid gold dog bed when your employees can barely afford food.

    I think it’s different when talking to friends and family and I definitely understand that hesitance. Personally, I think anyone who gets bitter over how much you make and you choose to spend (or not spend) it has some personal problems they need to deal with. Like, with your cousin… were you really angry at how much money she made, or were you angry because you were in a shitty situation and she wasn’t considering your feelings? If you’d been employed at the time and making a similar salary, would you still have felt that resentment, or would you have commiserated with her? I agree, you probably shouldn’t complain about your six-figure salary to someone barely making ends meet; not because money should be taboo, but out of consideration for their feelings and struggles they’re going through. Probably the same reason you wouldn’t complain about how small your house is to a homeless person.

    But, the points you make are still damn good points. Even if those persons’ problems are with their own lives, they’re still projecting it onto you and that’s not any fun to deal with. And in many of those cases, you can’t just cut the person off–I mean, are you really going to stop talking to your mother because she expects you to pick up the check? Are you going to break up with someone who wishes they made the same money you do? For example, when I got a raise at my old job, I told my then-fiance and instead of congratulating me, he started complaining that I was making almost as much as he was and an implication was made that I didn’t deserve it because he was a harder worker than I am (he worked in a grocery store meat department as a meat cutter and I worked as an office assistant doing data entry… two completely incomparable jobs). It started a huge fight and made me feel so hurt and unappreciated. He apologized when I pointed that out, but that damage had been done. So, I definitely understand why you might want to keep your income to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      Hi there! So good to see you in my comments feed. I did a little dance when I saw your name pop up.

      I love the question about why I felt uneasy about my cousin’s salary because it forced me to really evaluate myself. First, yes, I felt she was being a bit insensitive. At that point in my life, I was unhappy, so I was extra sensitive to anything. That part was on me so I don’t really blame her for telling me such information. Second, I also felt like she was making a lot of money. I wished I could have been making as much when I was working. Why couldn’t I have moved up on the ranks at my former job? Was there something wrong with me? You’re right most of my problem was ON ME. But what I failed to mention, is that I’ve been in situations when roles have been reversed. I was talking to a friend about how much money I made and she shut down. She was unhappy with the situation because apparently, she was making significantly less. So the undertones of her comments were “Stop complaining, you ungrateful jerk.”

      So here’s my point: in most situations, nothing good ever comes out of blindly sharing your income. People are touchy about it. They overstep boundaries. They shut down. They might even start throwing a mini tantrum. Your arguments about this being a personal problem is valid. Yes, it is a personal problem, but is it necessary that I share such information with friends that could eventually ruin our friendship because of their personal problem? No. I don’t think so. It’s not worth it because my friends do not need to know what I make.

      Most people are hung up about salary. That’s just it. Yes, we can try to convince them to change their ways, but who has time for that? We’re all broken people trying to get through life the best way we know how.

      I agree with you. We both see the importance of sharing salary. Keeping it a secret only benefits the corporation, not us. So, yes, we should DEFINITELY be sharing our salary. But, we should be sharing it with people we trust that will not hold such information over our heads. It should be shared strategically with others who work in your industry. Maybe we should develop a group of others within our industry to discuss such matters. They can tell us what we’re making and why so we can make well-informed career decisions.

      Thanks for your insightful comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adie // The Cupcake Witch says:

        Yes, I definitely agree that it’s something worth being selective about sharing. Like you said, most people are hung up on it. Maybe they shouldn’t be, or they should redirect their anger somewhere else (like their own bosses for underpaying them), but humans are flawed, bitter creatures and not everyone does. I agree, it’s not worth losing friendships over.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. LaLa says:

    Great topic and insightful comments from other readers. To me it seems the topic around sharing salary is more sensitive than I think it should be. It seems to be a secret that most people do not want to share. In my humble opinion its totally fine to share salary information with close family and friends, mentors and other people in your field. I believe we may gain more from those conversations than they may harm us. I am not saying you should stick that information on your forehead but share it if asked by the right person and in the right context. I have personally learned a lot from people through salary conversations. It has taught me to empathize with people i thought were making a lot more than they actually did. I have said things like, “oh my, how do you survive on that salary”, “ Lets get you a better job because you can earn more based on your qualifications”. If I didnt know their salary information, i would have been less likely to help them thinking they could make ends meet when they truly couldn’t. The flip side of it is that the recipient of your salary information should NOT use that against you. Personally I’d rather talk about my salary than my sex life 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      You have an excellent point! The first job that I interviewed for after my most recent master’s degree was at a tech company in NC. I wasn’t crazy about the job, but felt that the pay was pretty darn good. I told my classmates what the job would potentially pay. And girl! I’m so glad I did. The pay was wayyyy too low! I had no idea. I didn’t have context, so I thought they were offering me a pretty good package. I ended up not taking that job.

      Obviously, the discussion about salary in this context was beneficial. But it wasn’t my salary. It was just some job that I interviewed for. So, that helped me sleep at night. It seems like you’re using their salary information to help determine whether you want to mentor them or not. That’s good. Is that the only context that you’d exchange salary information?

      You say, “I’d be less likely to help them thinking they could make ends meet when they truly couldn’t” is good in theory, but salary only tells us part of a person’s story. For example, there are people that bring home $500k per year. But within that salary, they maintain 2 homes, pay child support for 5 different children, car payments on 3 different luxury cars, support their moms/pops/cousins, AND have medical bills for a chronic disease they battle. At the end of the month, he may have $50 to put away in savings. Take another person who makes $20k per year, lives at home and doesn’t pay rent and has very few occurring expenditures. He has $500 to save at the end of the month? Doesn’t $20k salary per month have it better than the guy making half a million dollars? Also, $20k salary doesn’t have to pay a buttload in taxes. Guessing what people are not always accurate, cause you don’t know what lies under their hood.

      I think talking about finances in general with friends is good. It’s good to talk about financial habits and such. I know I used my friends who worked in my field as a sounding board when I was negotiating salary. I’d say things like, “What’s a fair pay in this industry?” That helped me gauge whether I was being paid fairly or not.

      Appreciate your comments 🙂

      Like

  11. LaLa says:

    I agree that salary is only a part of someone’s financial picture. Therefore if you are a close friend or family member, I probably already know about the responsibilities you highlighted. As a result, sharing that salary information is giving me a better picture. I see it as knowing people I care for a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ely says:

    Amazing post! Ugh!!! COMPLETELY agree with you!!! Let’s talk sex baby but not about money!!!! Awful! Money is the devil! It makes you and breaks you at the same damn time.

    Liked by 1 person

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