“No Bruk Pocket Man” – Jamaica’s Money for Love Culture

Today if a young woman talks about love, people look at her as if she is living in a Fairyland or a woman without ambition. They say “which ediat gyal think love can carry go a supermarket? Me no want no love, me want money” and then women complain that men are users when they created a transactional concept that allows men to exploit them without consequence.
 A man who loves a woman will do anything for her.  Therefore how did this shift to money over love come about where one notion seems to eclipse the other. The big question is whether people who spend money are buying love and those who are selling love, if it is actually love the buyer gets or the illusion of it? 
“Me want money money money weh you bruck fah? Weh you come a tell me bout love fah?”
“Me no want no bruck pocket man!”
The dating notions among young Jamaicans, influenced by the ethos of Dance Hall culture has changed somewhat.  Love equals money in Jamaica. Some might say this only happens in the Ghetto and among Working Class people but this idea that Love is dead and money is the new prerequisite for relationships is steadily becoming a mainstream concept. It may seem that nowadays people do not want to build a life together. Some folks want someone who is already “built up” so that they can benefit from what they did not contribute to simply because that person finds them attractive.
women in Jamaica want men with moneyOn my visit to the market on Saturday, I asked a few persons if they thought true love existed in our contemporary society. The MEN maintained that the women love money and the women claimed that men were users. One lady said “If you can get something offa them fine but no put too much inna them. You haffi just take weh you can get and eat a food”


These are the opinions of SOME Jamaicans and do not reflect the ideologies of ALL Jamaican men and women.
 The dominant ideology is that if a man spends money without receiving or expecting sexual favors, he is considered a good man and some men might say he is a fool “to make gal a nyam him out”. The man who has nothing to offer is a worthless man who should not get any woman but marry to Miss Palm and her five daughters. The scarce resources and the tight flow of money in Jamaica’s brittle economic climate have impacted our relationships in a transcending fashion. Men with money get the most love even if they are not sharing it and the females have no guarantee that they will get any. A number of Women on the streets say ‘no money! no love!’ but will credit “it” to a man in a BMW quicker than one who rides a bicycle. One farmer states. “Me nuh have a problem paying for it but some girls take your money and pretty up to go out with man who not giving them anything inna criss car. Me nuh like those things!”
A woman will say that she wants a man with money and in her pursuit of a rich man she ends up meeting men who treat her like a prostitute. They will have sex with her and pay her for a non commitment encounter. Once it becomes common knowledge that a woman can be bought then men will approach her with offers and not sincerity. Money takes the guesswork out of this game of deception, men give money to avoid commitment and women give sex in order to get more money. True love is redefined by how willing a female is to remain with a man when he has little to offer her. Maybe that is why men refuse to give into the female mantra of ‘wanting a good man’. A number of men are of the opinion that females only want money.  A construction worker opined that women have babies not to start a family but to trap some man into giving her more money and women lack sincerity, everything a woman does in a relationship is to secure money. “ Girls bleach their skin, put in horse hair and wear low riders just to get some money man to buy them more bleaching and more hair” He said.
Women develop this idea of money for sex to give validation to their bodies. There is a warped ideology that ‘once a man is invested in you’ then he is less likely to leave you’.( If he spends a lot of money to sleep with her then he will not be quick to abandon his investments) . This Money for love business is a form of security for some women, if a man uses a girl and the affair was costly then the female can boast that he did not exploit her for free. This notion cushions her bruised ego albeit she knows deep inside that even with the “chump change”, she suffered a great lost. One entrepreneur contended that it is still a man’s world and women are not winning at this game for a man will allocate a lump sum of money to spend on a particular love interest and “anywhere that pop off it done”
The entrepreneur went on to say that ‘‘a man will take a woman to a five star restaurant and she thinks she is special and yet this is where he eats every day. A man spending money on a woman does not mean she values more; it might be that he can afford to squander a few ‘Manleys’ without hurting his pocket. ‘
The woman in her fight for freedom of sexuality has managed to inadvertently allow men to use her sexual liberation against her. Men will readily offer money or commodity in order to get sex and as long as a man is spending his money then commitment is merely an option. Some men trick girls, flash a wad of cash and Boops! Panties fly!
Men in the bars share jokes on how they show girls wallets stuffed with newspaper and got them into bed in the wink of an eye. Young men laugh at how young adult women will do anything to sit in the front seat of a Grand Vitara. 
A good girl will tell you that she cannot stand up for what she believes in, if she insist on higher standards, a man will drop her like a bad habit and date the next bombshell who drops her panty at the sight of a Shearer. Times are hard and morals do not pay the bills. But even so from a financial standpoint, the vaginal stock is not worth much on the streets.  This is not a scarce resource and therefore even the most ambitious stockbroker cannot convince an investor to spend solely on appearance. The Vendor on the street knows that because they are so many fruit baskets on the market that a man will come pick up her mango, feel, squeeze it and put it right back down without making a purchase. Most stockbrokers lose their share value as they get older.
On the other hand it is not just women who are pushing the envelope for money to be a central determinant of dating but a number of men especially younger men. Some young men state that they want women who can buy Tyre put on their high end vehicles, if you cannot afford the Tyre or the Gas then you cannot sit in the front seat. Some young men are “flipping” the script, saying they are “broke” already and they do not want someone who “bruck” like them. One pushcart vendor states.  “How me fe go take up smady worst than me?”
But how long can this money for love business survive? The person you spend money to get, you will have to spend more money to keep. There will be people out there who are wealthier than you. Why would one base a relationship solely on financial advantage? Those who have gone this route know that money cannot buy love. When your money is gone, that person will leave you as well. You got what you paid for. A blogger stated. ‘This person did not say that they loved you, you offered to buy their affection and they merely accommodated you. Now when you become broke, you lose your bargaining power and the relationship ends.” Fair Enough! Everybody is confused, men will say they will spend the money to get love and when they get only sex, they get angry and in some instances women have been killed for taking money and refusing to commit.A woman will bawl, stalk and throw tantrums at wealthy men who “pay as they go” after she inferred that she wanted money when in truth she wanted a commitment. 
Bob Marley – “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, 
your search for happiness will never end.” – Bob Marley


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Crystal Evans

Crystal Evans was born in Westmoreland Jamaica. She is the author of several books centered on her experiences growing up in rural Jamaica and the Jamaican cultural nucleus. She is a voracious reader.

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