From "pay to play" to "skew to screw"

Most everyone is familiar with the phrase “pay to play”.
In particular, it comes up frequently in articles about corrupt governments,
where businesses desiring government contracts (the “play”)
must grease the hands, by means of varying legality, of political decision-makers (the “pay”).

A really analogous situation has arisen, which can justifiably, if perhaps vulgarly,
be described as “skew to screw”.
By “skew” I mean altering or changing one’s position on an issue.
“Screw” is the common, but considered vulgar, term for the act of coitus.

Indeed, according to no less an authority on politically-active women than Salon,
“It’s a theme as old as ancient Greek theater:
Women give or withhold sex in order to achieve some sort of political end.”

This situation was described in the fiction of the ancient Greeks,
in Aristophanes’s play Lysistrata.
So far as the Wikipedia article goes, the situation was only fictional, not real.

However in modern times we have seen the situation realized.
I am not sure if it arose during the push for women’s suffrage in Britain and the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,
but I would not be surprised.
It certainly did arise
during the period of the Vietnam War
in the United States
in the 1960s and 70s,
when a common phrase
on college campuses
“GIRLS SAY YES to boys who say NO”,
meaning saying no to the draft.

In the 1990s, there was the well-known comment by journalist Nina Burleigh,
referring to then-under-threat-of-impeachment President Bill Clinton, that
"I'd be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal."

In 2008, it was “GIRLS SAY YES to boys who say OBAMA”

In all of the above examples, some women politicized sex, either offering it to men who did as they wanted, or denying it to men who displeased them in one way or another.

But of course women have used sexual favors for personal as well as political gain.
The most blatant case of course is out-and-out prostitution.
But the classical marriage contract was characterized by some feminists as just a slightly hidden version of prostitution.
Indeed, in that classical contract, women granted their husbands “marital rights”, i.e., the use of their bodies for sex, in return for the financial and personal security the marriage offered them.
Certainly this was socially approved at that time.
Intermediate between out-and-out prostitution and marriage, there were various quid-pro-quo arrangements where women granted men their sexual favors in return for what they wanted, in situations ranging from the Hollywood “casting couch” to Manhattan apartments to many other situations.


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