home
RSS
Sexonomics: Putting your 'erotic capital' to work
Madonna performs during a concert as part of her MDNA world tour on July 4, 2012.
July 12th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Sexonomics: Putting your 'erotic capital' to work

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Madonna’s got it. So do George Clooney, Tina Turner and Robert Redford.

These celebrities are certainly good-looking, but they also possess what sociologist Catherine Hakim has dubbed “erotic capital” - a term that describes a certain je ne sais quoi that includes, but isn’t limited to, sexual attractiveness.

Harness your erotic capital, Hakim boldly suggests in her recent book by the same name and you’ve got the potential to not only land a mate, but to get ahead at work and in society as a whole.

Sociologists and economists have long recognized three main types of capital: social, economic and cultural. Your capital depends on the assets and resources you can potentially use for gain, whether that means making more money or making more friends. But we’re neglecting a fourth important kind of capital, Hakim argues.

By her definition, erotic capital is more than just good looks and has six main facets:

1. Beauty

2. Sexual attractiveness

3. Social skills/likeability

4. Liveliness

5. Style

6. Sexual competence

While one of these characteristics might make you gorgeous or funny or fun, you need the whole group to maximize erotic capital. And you don’t have to be born with it - erotic capital is cultivated and learned and has a lot to do with your self-esteem.

Even if you’ve got “it” you might not be capitalizing on it. Hakim says women have more erotic capital than men do — and that they should be exploiting it more as a result.

She bases this idea partly on studies that suggest that men tend to have stronger libidos than women.

“Men’s demand for sexual activity and erotic entertainment of all kinds greatly exceeds women’s interest in sex,” Hakim writes. In this line of thinking, sex has a market value, and women have the potential to leverage their ability to supply men’s demand for it.

I find this theory interesting, although I certainly don’t agree with it fully. As I’ve discussed in an earlier column on low male libido, there are plenty of couples in which the woman wants more sex and is coping with a male partner who has a low sex drive. And as the recent frenzy for the erotic trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey” makes clear, women have a voracious appetite for sexual entertainment.

At the same time, we live in a culture that has become increasingly centered around sex. Many women already feel as if they need to compete with porn stars, strippers and celebrity sex tapes for male attention. Are we really suggesting that society needs more of this, not less?

Just as sexism still exists, so too does “looksism.” People considered attractive, regardless of their gender, tend to be treated more favorably than their less-attractive counterparts.

In his book “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful” economist Daniel Hamermesh contends that good-looking men earn approximately 17% more money than not so good-looking men, while attractive women earn 12% more; as a whole attractive people earn a total of $230,000 more than those considered unattractive (based on average wage of $20 per hour), according to Hamermesh.

While most would respond that “appearance-discrimination” is an unsavory aspect of our society that we should be seeking to transcend, Hakim maintains that erotic capital has been largely ignored because “it is held mostly by women, and the social sciences have generally overlooked or disregarded women in their focus on male activities, values, and interests.”

Yet she also blames feminists for neglecting an opportunity to exploit female erotic capital; feminist theory, she says, encourages women to choose between using their looks and using their intelligence to succeed.

As you might imagine, critics bridle at many of her claims. As Anna North writes on the post-feminist blog Jezebel, “The bottom line is that ‘erotic capital’ is all about others’ perceptions of women, rather than about things women themselves can do or acquire. That’s the main reason ‘soft power’ isn’t real power — because when your influence is based on someone else’s desire, he’s the one who’s really in control.”

I do think Hakim makes some compelling points. Sure, strippers, porn stars, cocktail waitresses and even geishas are financially dependent on their ability to take advantage of their erotic power by making themselves appealing to men. But erotic capital may have subtler effects, too.

Who among us — male or female — hasn’t found that a smile, laugh, and a little harmless flirting can have the potential to open doors, whether that means getting a better table at a restaurant, a raise at work or securing a second date?

And erotic capital isn’t solely the domain of women. “Men now find it necessary to develop their erotic capital as well,” admits Hakim. “They are devoting more time and money to their appearance, work out in gyms to maintain an attractive body, spend more on fashionable clothes and toiletries, and display more varied hairstyles.”

Perhaps they’ve realized that a little erotic capital never hurt anyone. And if the success of the hit male stripper film "Magic Mike" is any indication, women are happy to share the power.

Post by:
Filed under: Living Well • Sex

soundoff (2,224 Responses)
  1. panda express near me

    This page definitely has all of the information I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    http://atchafalaya.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dennys near me

    http://www.realestatestockexchange.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=hootnholler.net

    June 13, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. dq near me

    Very good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep it up!

    http://illongconstruction.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. us bank near me

    https://bonus-books.com/campervanrepairshop-com/

    June 13, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. appomannoni

    erectile injury kayamy is erectile dysfunction covered by medicare
    solutions erectile dysfunction slilicy are erectile disorder coverage under aca
    erectile examination sicAdofs order erectile dysfunction pills from india

    June 13, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 마사지출장

    I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you've any? Please let me recognise so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

    June 13, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bong da luu

    Trực Tiếp Bóng ĐámythethaoTrên băng ghế đào tạo, Lebanon đã bửa nhiệm Ramiro Lopez cơ hội đây 3 tuần. Nhà nắm quân nhân viên Tây Ban Nha nhà yếu làm việc tại Ý và từng có thời gian thực hiện việc trên Kuwait.|Và NHM bóng đá Việt Nam đang chờ Minh Trí cùng đồng đội hóa giải đối thủ để tạo lợi thế cho trận lượt về sau đây hai ngày. Chelsea đã cần trải qua 8 phút bù giờ không thở được bảo đảm an toàn thắng lợi.

    https://sepiswestwood.com/detail/kq-bd-tr-tt-91383.html

    June 13, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Buddy Truehart

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. Cheers

    https://zenwriting.net/weymouth-truck-insight/weymouth-massachusetts-automobile-brake-system-repair-why-its-best-to-get

    June 13, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. truck stops near me

    http://garden-state-farms.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.xyz

    June 13, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.at/url?q=https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    June 13, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bryan Hollister

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

    https://zenwriting.net/weymouth-truck-insight/weymouth-mass-vehicle-rotors-fix-why-you-need-to-get-it-corrected-once-you-can

    June 13, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ashley Shilts

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn't happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    https://www.google.li/url?q=https://www.twitch.tv/msquarevn/

    June 14, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. CrulkAsd

    order cialis soft tabs [url=https://cialisjla.com/ ]generic cialis[/url] cialis generic canada pharmacy

    June 14, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Corina Salts

    Hey! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

    https://cse.google.co.id/url?q=https://disqus.com/by/Msquareshop

    June 14, 2021 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Kathe Paluck

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you really recognize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally seek advice from my website =). We could have a link exchange contract among us!

    https://writeablog.net/quincy-mass-suv-info/auto-brake-resolved-in-quincy-mass

    June 14, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. family dollar near me

    https://localbusiness.nwfdailynews.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.incomewolf.com

    June 14, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lasonya Zale

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you're using? I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    https://quincy-suv-vlog.werite.net/post/2021/06/02/Auto-Brake-pad-Fixed-in-Quincy-Massachusetts

    June 14, 2021 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 창원출장안마

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the site is also very good.

    https://beamloan3.werite.net/post/2021/04/23/The-Benefits-of-Lymphatic-Drainage-and-Decongestive-Remedy

    June 14, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. appomannoni

    erectile function after prostate cancer kayamy erectile dysfunction treatment
    icd 10 erectile slilicy erectile dysfunction clinic
    icd 10 erectile sicAdofs erectile pumps

    June 14, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Britney Studzinski

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

    https://braintreemass-minivan-blog.werite.net/post/2021/06/01/Braintree-Massachusetts-Vehicle-Brake-Repair-Things-YOU-NEED-TO-Know

    June 14, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. huntington bank near me

    http://timemapper.okfnlabs.org/view?url=https://developingprospects.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Linsey Fleurissaint

    This actually answered my drawback, thank you!

    https://squareblogs.net/braintreemassachusetts-truck-info/brake-system-pad-replacements-vs-brake-system-repair-in-braintree-massachusetts

    June 14, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 양산출장안마

    After going over a handful of the articles on your web page, I honestly like your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site as well and tell me how you feel.

    https://www.openlearning.com/u/massage6clientbank5/blog/TriggerPointMassageAndHotStoneMassageARelaxingAlternative

    June 14, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. gunsmith near me

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    https://directory.vnews.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.quotenearme.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Micah Quandt

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

    https://blogfreely.net/quicymass-truck-blog/quincy-ma-vehicle-oil-change-services-to-check-out

    June 14, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Zenaida Ainge

    Well I really liked reading it. This tip procured by you is very practical for accurate planning.

    https://squareblogs.net/quincy-truck-website/quincy-massachusetts-vehicle-oil-change-services-to-check-on

    June 14, 2021 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. appomannoni

    erectile vacuum kayamy does erectile dysfunction affect desire
    erectile pills in canada slilicy erectile on demand
    is erectile dysfunction mental sicAdofs top erectile dysfunction doctors in tx

    June 14, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. fun things to do near me

    https://autocar.co.nz/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://www.rvmarketingexperts.com

    June 14, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 파워볼 전용 사이트

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

    http://www.phycn.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=555505

    June 14, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. hardware stores near me

    I truly love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal site and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Kudos!

    http://asm.com/Pages/Press-releases/ASMI-ANNOUNCES-AVAILABILITY-AND-TIMING-OF-THE-FIRST-QUARTER-2018-CONFERENCE-CALL-AND-WEBCAST.aspx?overview=www.seopostfalls.com

    June 14, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. chloroquine generic

    hydroxychloroquine sul where to buy aralen dosage for hydroxychloroquine

    June 14, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Mozell Funkhouser

    Great web site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks on your sweat!

    https://images.google.bt/url?q=https://www.plurk.com/phukiendulich

    June 14, 2021 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. drive thru near me

    https://www.creativecommons.org/choose/results-one?field_attribute_to_url=https://www.maseratis.net

    June 14, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Taneka Slaven

    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    https://maps.google.com.py/url?q=https://audioboom.com/channels/5053881

    June 14, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. appomannoni

    erectile issues in men over 50 kayamy erectile disorder treatment
    erectile wow video slilicy ace inhibitors erectile dysfunction
    cheapest erectile dysfunction pill sicAdofs how to erectile dysfunction

    June 14, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 구미출장안마

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the site is very good.

    https://diigo.com/0ke0ba

    June 14, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 경주출장마사지

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and use something from their sites.

    https://pastebin.fun/gipVww9ZUb

    June 14, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    http://www.jtzys.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=264359

    June 14, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 파워볼 사이트

    Right here is the right blog for anyone who would like to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for decades. Great stuff, just wonderful!

    http://url.ie/1tas5

    June 14, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. visit this page

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes which will make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!|

    https://yellowstem9.bravejournal.net/post/2021/06/14/Household-Style-Accessories-You-Need-To-Purchase

    June 14, 2021 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Emely Lindinha

    I was more than happy to find this web-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely having fun with each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

    https://squareblogs.net/quincymassachusetts-car-vlog4/quincy-automobile-body-repair-shop-what-to-expect-from-your-own-auto-set-shop

    June 15, 2021 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Howdy! This blog post couldnít be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I'll send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://pinggu.zx110.org/review_url_ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-universal-city-california

    June 15, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Santa Ana

    https://spotlight.radiopublic.com/images/thumbnail?url=http://onefiveent.com/comment/36397

    June 15, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Alfreda Steudeman

    My spouse and i felt really thrilled when Ervin managed to round up his inquiry from the precious recommendations he came across using your web pages. It's not at all simplistic to simply be freely giving helpful hints which usually other people could have been trying to sell. And now we figure out we have got you to be grateful to because of that. The main explanations you have made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships your site make it possible to foster – it is everything extraordinary, and it's really letting our son and our family recognize that this concept is awesome, which is rather pressing. Thank you for the whole lot!

    https://writeablog.net/quincy-vehicle-overview9/quincy-automobile-body-repair-center-what-to-expect-from-your-auto-fixed-shop

    June 15, 2021 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. appomannoni

    erectile solution ratings kayamy does erectile dysfunction go away
    erectile booster method book slilicy erectile cream for me
    erectile natural diet pdf sicAdofs best erectile dysfunction treatment

    June 15, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Nearby RV Repair

    I was able to find good information from your content.

    http://sv.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-parts-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

    http://floridasbdc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=creativecommons.org

    June 15, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 파워볼 전용 사이트

    I couldnít resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://www.51bonjour.com/discuz/home.php?mod=space&uid=33491

    June 15, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    https://feedroll.com/rssviewer/feed2js.php?src=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-la-palma-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. appomannoni

    erectile doctor memphis tn kayamy treating erectile dysfunction without drugs
    erectile tension rings slilicy best erectile dysfunction medication
    erectile photos sicAdofs erectile dysfunction when trying to conceive

    June 15, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Leave a Reply to 먹튀사이트


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.