Honey Money | Catherine Hakim

Summary of: Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital
By: Catherine Hakim


Welcome to the summary of ‘Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital’ by Catherine Hakim. In this book, you will discover the significance of erotic capital in achieving personal success and happiness. Hakim sheds light on the concept of ‘erotic capital,’ which expands beyond mere physical attractiveness and encompasses beauty, social skills, liveliness, sexual competence, and more. Throughout the summary, you will learn about the advantages beautiful people enjoy in various aspects of life, including career and relationships, and how the male sex deficit boosts women’s erotic capital. The book also challenges certain stereotypes and beliefs, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and making the most of one’s erotic capital.

The Power of Erotic Capital

Isabelle and Pamela’s story highlights the importance of erotic capital in personal success. Despite similar backgrounds and education, Isabelle’s attractiveness and confidence gave her a significant advantage over Pamela, who struggled with insecurity and failure. The concept of erotic capital contradicts feminist ideals by recognizing the value of attractiveness in personal achievement. People with little to no formal qualifications can use this asset to succeed. Good-looking people experience early benefits from positive attention, which reinforces their confidence and develops their social skills rapidly. Although the playing field evens out later in life, those with erotic capital still hold an advantage. The recognition of erotic capital as valuable as economic, social, and cultural capital suggests that attractiveness is an essential personal asset for both men and women.

The Power of Erotic Capital

Erotic capital is a personal asset that incorporates aesthetic, visual, physical, social, and sexual attractiveness to other members of society. In all social contexts, individuals who possess this capital share seven distinct characteristics: beauty, sexual attractiveness, social skills, liveliness, dress and appearance, sexual competence, and fertility. Beauty is universal and valued in all cultures, although it varies according to societal standards. However, erotic capital is often ignored by the social sciences due to a patriarchal bias that parallels the social hegemony in most societies. According to French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, personal power is represented by economic, cultural, social, and now erotic capital. The more patriarchal the culture, the more any display of erotic capital is repressed and punished, particularly to prevent women from exploiting their advantage. Despite this, people continue to invest in their appearance through gyms, cosmetics, hair styling, clothing, and other accoutrements to enhance their allure in an image-driven society. Why there are rare exceptions, the human concept of beauty is universal.

The Advantage of Being Attractive

Being attractive comes with a host of benefits: better social skills, higher levels of confidence, and more opportunities for success in both personal and professional endeavors. In court, attractive defendants often receive more favorable outcomes, and they generally receive more help from others. Additionally, attractive people are less likely to experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, or other adverse mental health issues. Unfortunately, highly qualified attractive women may face challenges when it comes to landing managerial positions due to biases around their perceived femininity and masculinity-associated traits. However, overall, being attractive can lead to higher salaries, more promotions, and better career opportunities. If you’re not naturally attractive, fortunately, there are ways to improve your looks, such as dressing well, losing weight, and using cosmetics. Cultivating good social skills, charm, and manners can also help improve your personal interactions and overall quality of life.

The Economics of Sex

The book exposes the truth that men desire and value sex more than women, and that women hold the upper hand in sexual bargaining due to their erotic power. The author argues that the feminist myth of equal sexual interest between genders is unsupported by research and that women’s attraction to sex declines with age while men’s doesn’t. The book blames male-dominated cultures for restricting women’s use of erotic capital, which includes gifts, respect, commitment, and other rewards with the exchange of sex. “Sexonomics,” or sexual economics, acknowledges the reality of sexual exchange between genders, with male sexuality being a female asset. Feminists’ attempt to reject women’s erotic power only reinforces gender power imbalance.

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