This Is What It’s *Actually* Like To Have A Sugar Daddy
I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I’m a prude, but I will say that the topic of “Sugar Daddies” and “Sugar Babies” had never once crossed my mind. Literally not once.
Truthfully, I didn’t know they *actually* existed – I assumed it was just a term our generation threw around, rather savagely, to describe a woman who was dating a much older man with the implication that it was probably because he was wealthy. I didn’t know it was a formal arrangement service that has entire platforms dedicated to it, and I sure as hell didn’t know that those platforms existed in every Western country in the world, including New Zealand.
So you can imagine my surprise when I got asked by a handful of readers, separately, to cover the topic of “Sugar Daddies” on The Twenties Club this year. And that it would lead to a reader offering to share her own experience of being a Sugar Baby.
Here’s our conversation.
When did you first start entertaining the idea of being a Sugar Baby? Had you always been curious or was their a moment that served as the tipping point?
I read an article in 2016 about a website called ‘Seeking Arrangement’. I was at work at the time, and my colleague and I thought it would be funny to set ourselves up with profiles, mostly so we could browse the other profiles! We weren’t taking it seriously by any means until a week had passed and I noticed how many men had expressed “interest”, and something in my head just clicked.
When you thought about the prospect, what did that world look like in your head? Was the fantasy shopping overseas, dining at expensive restaurants and first class travel, or was it as simple as creating financial independence so that you had the means to pay for an unexpected medical bill or car service?
I was 21 at the time and earning a pretty average salary in my administrator role, so a large part of the appeal was that I might be able to get some of my expenses paid for or the opportunity to shop and travel. What I wasn’t expecting was how much more I would get out of the experience, beyond the financial side of things. The majority of men were at least a few years older than me and mostly businessmen who were really clever and had done incredibly well for themselves in life, so beyond the gifts, flowers and nice meals, I was able to be mentored by them, ask them for career advice and learn from them. It’s also important to remember that these men don’t want to feel as if they’re being used for their wealth so to have a proper conversation keeps both parties happy.
With one of my longer arrangements, I would fill an online shopping cart during the week and then come Friday the order would arrive! All he wanted in exchange was worthwhile conversations and a couple of dates during the week. It was so refreshing to not have to worry every time a bill came up. It was also nice to be spoilt!! At that time I was dating sporadically on Tinder, except ironically none of those guys wanted to “date” – they were just looking for a hook up. 21 year old guys couldn’t send flowers “just because” or take me out to a nice restaurant on a whim like the Sugar Daddies.
Where did you find your Sugar Daddy? I know in the States there are websites for setting this arrangement up, but what was the process in New Zealand? And did you put any restrictions on what you didn’t want in terms of age, monogamy, or general “seediness”?
All arrangements I had were from Seeking Arrangement. There are definitely a lot of dodgy characters to be weary of and men that purely wanted to pay for sex, or cheat on their wives; interestingly, I met a guy who had a wife but his wife knew he was on the website and was open to the concept – not something I could ever do in my own relationship but each to their own!
One of the first arrangements I had was with a guy from the U.S. who had been on Seeking Arrangement for a long time and was able to teach me the ropes in terms of what to watch out for and the positive elements. I wanted someone I could be physically and mentally attracted to, someone I found interesting, because you’re ultimately going to spend a lot of time talking to that person so why submit yourself to a dull or seedy conversationalist?
In terms of personal restrictions, I knew I’d never enter an arrangement with a man older than my Dad.
How many men did you have arrangements with throughout that 12-month period? Was there any overlap between arrangements or is monogamy assumed? Do you pre-establish how long you will “date” them or do you just go with the flow?
In that twelve month period, there were perhaps ten different guys I had arrangements with – but I would have spoken to hundreds in that time period. Plenty of the arrangements overlapped and I never had anyone specify that I was to only see them. Maybe they assumed I didn’t have more than one arrangement, but I’m not sure! Just like any relationship, some fizzled out sooner than others, and I’ve kept in contact with one of the men but those are only casual conversations.
In terms of the sexual element to these arrangements, did you feel any pressures or obligations to perform? Is it expected that you will sleep with your date each time you see them?
I never felt pressure and I made it very clear from the start that I wasn’t a prostitute. I was not there for sex. I explicitly told the men that if they wanted someone purely for sex then they should find themselves a prostitute. In fact, I never actually slept with anyone. I wasn’t opposed to it and if the attraction had been there and the time was right, then I’m sure I would have, but that was never the case and I was very aware of keeping myself safe. I always told my friends where I was meeting them so that if anything happened they knew my whereabouts, and I wasn’t willing to meet men in hotel rooms or random houses because you never know what a person’s behaviour is going to be like behind closed doors.
Was there any expectation for you to “maintain appearances” e.g. stay in shape, wear beautiful lingerie, be well-groomed? If so, was that something the date paid for?
One of my Sugar Daddy’s expected me to always look “on point” (his words, not mine) for work. He mentored me a lot and would always say that I wouldn’t be able to get ahead in life if I didn’t present myself well. He’d buy me clothes as well as makeup and skincare, and required that I send him a photo of myself each morning to ensure I was dressed to an appropriate standard.
And lastly, tell me a little about your life now! You mentioned that you’re the mother to a beautiful baby. How long after becoming a Sugar Baby did you meet your current partner?
My life is very different now haha. I live with my partner and we own our own home together with a young baby. I still work in Human Resources and often think about the advice I was given by those men. I met my partner while I was still Sugar-Babying but when things turned serious between us I disabled my account.