This is Matthew Lesko, also known as "that question mark guy." He will be our "You Asked It" mascot here at Rookie.

Do you really think that sex sells, and why?
—María, Barranquilla, Colombia

Dear María,

You know what? I do think sex sells. I think romance sells and I think “love” sells too. But who’s buying?

Everyone wants to believe they can buy a fantasy, and certain advertisers would like us to believe we can buy it from them, but we can’t, because it’s a big fat capitalist lie! Don’t believe it, María!

In the end, corporations make a lot of money while the rest of us are stuck with a bunch of unrealistic ideals. Sex is not Sookie and Bill in the middle of a misty forest under the full moon sucking each other’s blood. It’s not that nervous chick and the hot dude from Twilight either. It’s not (usually) silk sheets and fine wine, and it normally doesn’t happen on the beach (rolling around in the sand is not ideal for sex).

That being said, I love True Blood and watch it weekly. I love all kinds of rom-coms and sexy things. I like fantasy. It’s fun. But it’s just that. I have to make sure I remember that it’s not real life.

I started smoking cigarettes because I thought it looked cool (sex). I wanted the popular jock to fall in love with me, the weirdo, in high school, because that’s what happened in Pretty in Pink (romance). Now I just smoke cigarettes and can’t quit and spend $13 on a pack and might die from them. When I made eye contact with the popular jock in high school he laughed in my face.

The good news is that even though “sex sells,” the real life, non-fantastical version of it is better. Yes, it makes us nervous, awkward, wear the wrong things, sweat too much. That’s the real feeling of something that no one can buy or sell.

Real romance doesn’t take place under silk sheets while you’re listening to R. Kelly or whatever. Real romance is when maybe you accidentally spill your water all over the sheets and feel stupid. It happens when you trip over your words, or a crack in the sidewalk, and you blush and feel embarrassed and vulnerable and the guy or girl you like still likes you anyway. Actually, it makes them want to kiss you more. Then you feel crazy rushing feelings in the pit of your stomach that you don’t know how to explain. That feeling is actually butterflies having sex with other butterflies; it’s a scientific fact. So let me ask you this: do you think that’s something you can buy?

I hope that answers your question.