Commercialization of Intimacy and 'Compensated Dating' in Moscow, Minsk, and Kiev: Survey Results
Chris Swader’s report at the regular LCSR seminar
Chris Swader, LCSR senior research fellow, delivered a report on "Commercialization of Intimacy and 'Compensated Dating' in Moscow, Minsk, and Kiev: Survey Results" at the regular seminar of the Laboratory on December, 20, 2012.
Chris delivered a progress report on his project ( in collaboration with Irina Vorobyova) aimed to study the commodification of intimacy. He presented the results of a quantitative analysis of the phenomenon of ‘gift-for-sex’ barters on the Russian dating scene.
The quantitative part of the project aims to answer 2 questions: what are contemporary Russian practices and perceptions of compensated dating (receiving gifts for intimacy), and how can these be located in contemporary economic culture.
The commodification of the dating sphere seems to be quite natural in the frame of shifting family structures, friendship networks, values and moral boundaries that take place in post-soviet Eastern Europe. Such kind of barter when people trade intimacy for gifts is widespread and well studied in Eastern Asia, though this analysis have not yet been properly made for Eastern European countries.
The study is built on 3 groups of theories: commodification theories, ones of gift-giving and those connecting economy and intimacy. The sample of the study includes 678adults aged 18-55 in 3 Moscow, Minsk and Kiev. The quantitative analysis is aimed todetermine the propensity and variety of exchanges of gifts and payments for sex. Logistic regression shows that the likelihood of having received something in exchange for sex is higher for women who highly evaluate love and leisure and use dating web-sites. Accordingly, the likelihood of having given something in exchange for sex is higher for men who are dating web-sites users. These results are quite similar to all 3 cities.
The quantitative analysis is the fourth part of the study that also includes content analysis of dating web-sites and forums, speed-dating focus group and in-depth interviews.
by Victoria Remezkova