Sprinkle Sprinkle: Talking to TikTok’s Transactional Love Trend - Bubblegum Club

Sprinkle Sprinkle: Talking to TikTok’s Transactional Love Trend

Let’s be honest, the boy-meets-girl trope is a thing of the ancient past. In today’s dating world, it’s more like dog-eat-dog. With the inevitable decline of marriage and traditional gender roles, it’s no wonder people are finding new ways to win in the game of love. Contemporary relationships have seen transactional love become prevalent, evident in the rise of platforms like Only Fans and the normalisation of sugar daddy culture. The Sprinkle Sprinkle movement, predominantly led by women of colour is a stellar example of this phenomenon. 

While influencer culture used to be dominated by privileged white women flaunting their wealth, more and more women of colour are emerging as leaders in dispelling the misconception that women of colour are destined to break their backs to earn a buck. Akin to “mic drop” or “I said what I said,” SheraSeven’s catchphrase “sprinkle sprinkle” advocates for the soft life, urging women to prioritise financial stability in dating, by pursuing older, wealthier partners instead of wasting their time with “dusties”. 

SheRaSeven, also known as the “Sprinkle Sprinkle Lady,” gained fame on TikTok for “sprinkle sprinkle,” originating from her content on her YouTube channel. Her approach to dating is made unapologetic through the use of the phrase. She uses it to wrap up her straightforward dating and relationship advice. Obviously, people have been coming hard for this woman. Despite facing criticism for her views on hypergamy and being a “kept woman,” SheRa has amassed a significant following on YouTube and TikTok.

Of course, the Sprinkle Sprinkle movement has been criticised as anti-feminist, which is interesting because it emphasises financial independence as a pragmatic approach to navigating oppression, contrasting with neoliberal feminism’s focus on power and privilege for affluent white women, which neglects intersectional oppression. As Sprinkle Sprinkle advocates for marginalised women, especially of colour, the neoliberal critique of the trend tends to reinforce existing power structures and divisions within the feminist movement.

At the end of the day, Sprinkle Sprinkle wouldn’t exist if there were no necessity (“Women are tired!”) and the Internet has hosted many previous and current iterations that speak to this. Platforms like SeekingArrangements.com have become common, and even the rise of Femme rap has become a signifier of this new form of loving. Many of the lyrics in these songs openly glorify sex work and transactional love. This tells us that the allure of financial stability often outweighs romantic desire, which is why transactional love has become so mainstream.

For a certain period, I believe it is necessary for women, particularly women of colour to prioritise the pursuit of financial stability and if the best way to do that is through dating, sex and love, then so be it. The time for Black women to live the soft life is long overdue and if it is not offered, then it must be taken. The best-case scenario is taking it from the oppressor, Robin Hood-style, but hey, we will take it where we can get it. Easily accessible wealthy men are a good start. There should be no shame in trying to close economic gaps.

But where we should be cautious is when securing the bag takes precedence over genuine human connection. One of the reasons why Black women deserve everything is because they have birthed, nurtured and cared for humanity since the dawn of time. That is our strength, and we cannot let Internet trends distance us from our superpower. The commodification of love and intimacy should not lead to a loveless society, especially not at the hands of Black womenthe true masters of love and care. 

As an advocate of sex work, I am myself in full and unwavering support of all forms of transactional love, but I do caution against minimising the “love” part in this phrase. In fact, the rise of transactional love should teach us to love more, deeper—better, in order to heal the wounds of the past. The human desire for love, sex and companionship is the whole reason why marginalised women can capitalise. While we are learning to no longer give it away for free, we should not allow ourselves to be gaslit into not giving it at all.

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