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‘There’s Nothing Wrong with Using People’: New York Musician KAMAUU Explains Why Transactional Relationships Are Romantic and ‘Bartering’ Is OK

Describing relationships as “transactional” doesn’t usually generate positive reactions or feelings about dating.

However, one music artist shared a unique take on what “transactional” means to him in relationships on the “See, The Thing Is” podcast with Bridget Kelly and Mandii B.

Casual relationships and “situationships” are the best examples of transactional relationships. Two people engage in intimate exchanges and flings to receive a level of intimacy and companionship from each other without commitment.

Mandii B (left), Bridget Kelly (center), and music artist KAMAUU (right) on See, The Thing Is Podcast

However, people who enter relationships with serious intentions to grow and mature with another person don’t want to feel like they’re being used or that they’re using someone else for affection. They want meaningful experiences.

Related: ‘Women Should Learn a Few Things from Gold Diggers’: New York Dating Coach Explains Why Men Who Ask Women to Split the Bill on Dates Are Disrespectful 

However, KAMAUU, a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist, rapper, and poet offered an elaborate and thoughtful take on how all relationships are transactional. A clip of it caught tens of thousands of views on Instagram.

“Everything is transactional,” KAMAUU begins, who released his first EP “Gorgeous Fortune” in 2016. His music distinctively combines rap, reggae, soul, with a doo-wop feel. His most recent album was released in 2019.

“Breathing is a transaction,” KAMAUU continued.

Podcaster Mandii B counters by saying she hates the word transaction because of its connotation. The hosts discuss “all things pop culture, music, and media through the minds of women.”

“A transaction means I’m bartering, to me,” Mandii B says. “It means that I’m only coming to you because I need something from you … using each other.”

In response, KAMAUU spelled out what transaction means in his eyes:

“We’re a social animal,” he began. “We need each other to survive. Parents need their children to continue the bloodline, aka to not go extinct. So, there’s nothing wrong with needing.”

“There’s nothing wrong with using people,” KAMAUU continued. “Using people incorrectly, that’s how you break stuff. You use a hammer to hold open a door, you break the hammer. You use it as a fork, you break your teeth. Fundamentally, if things are truly transactional from a very clear space, everybody benefits because you’re valuable to me.

“How are you valuable to me? Because you have value, which means you’re useful, which means you’re to be used. You can’t say someone is valuable to you and say you don’t believe in transaction. Saying ‘this is valuable, I want this, I need this.’ That’s a beautiful thing. ‘I need you because you’re so valuable’ is romantic.”

Many commenters approved KAMAUU’s take, with some saying that the word has a new meaning to them from the artist’s interpretation.

“I hated the word transactional but he broke it down so perfectly that I like now. Use me, need me, value me, but don’t misuse me,” one user posted.

Another person commented, “I have always looked at it that way!!!!! Healthy transactions!!! No taking advantage of and entitlement but the nature of need from others!!!!”

“I really like the way he broke that down. I’m big on words so his literal definition of things really works for me. Transactions generally don’t take place unless there’s Mutual value,” one commenter said. “And the value that we have to each other is important. For some people it could be material but oftentimes it is an emotional currency that we’re dealing with. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“‘Quid pro quo’ is something for something, You need to have a high level of maturity to handle this level of exchange romantically,” one user explains. “It’s OK to ask a man or a woman what benefit I get from being with you, around you, or being part of your Eco system and how do I grow from this.”

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