The sugar lifestyle – What is it? Is it prostitution or not?
I like field research. So I have decided to create a profile and sign up to a website called www.seekingarrangement.com , which is the most popular site in the world of sugar.
Ostensibly, as the designer of the website claims, there are 8 girls for one man there.
After filling up the details about my dress size, eye colour, height, ethnicity and a short bio stating what I can offer and what my expectations are, I have virtually became a sugar baby. For the next few weeks, I have been messaging back and forth with a plethora of men looking for, as they usually put it, a girl they could spoil. Spoil to insanity, spoil to death.
I even met up with a handful of these hunters of female prey. However, it might be a bit unfair to call them like that – most of the ones I had a face-to-face conversation with appeared relatively decent and well-mannered. Some I could possibly even deem as gentleman.
There is a whole variety of sugar daddies out there. Sugar mamas also exist, but I shall omit this topic for now. Certainly, we have creeps who just use the term SD* to get into a girls pants without any kind of arrangement. But guys who are willing to see if it can go further, having in mind a potential candidate for a wife/partner with whom they could have kids, also exist on this peculiar website. The diversity is quite amazing. There are as many types of sugar daddies and sugar babies as many arrangements they agree on. Some involve sex, some don’t (although, yes, the latter is extremely rare). Platonic relationships are hard to find, but not impossible. Generally, a sugar daddy who would be willing to give up on sex is in the age of your grandpa, has so much money that he has no clue what to do with it and is bored to death. You would think there is no one who wouldn’t pay you for your companionship? Wrong.
Generally, a monthly allowance of a sugar baby in Sydney oscillates between $2,ooo-2,500. If you get lucky, sums as $10,000 are not implausible. Most of the girls are in their 20 who cringe when the issues of tuition reemerge in their mind. The University of Sydney has dubious notoriety for the largest number of sugar babies in Australia.
Another issue revolves around the ongoing debate whether or not “sugaring” equals prostitution. Technically, you are selling yourself, so being a sugar baby strongly chafes at being a sex worker. On the other hand, you can look at things in another way. Legally, there is a loophole that gets sugar babies off the hook. If you do anything else than having a sexual intercourse with someone, no matter if it’s a massage, a chat or washing the dishes – you cannot be seen as a hooker, at least in the law’s eyes.
Also, someone once told me that all we do in life is for three main things: sex, money or power. That same person asserted everyone is selfish and even people who do charity work don’t do it because they want to better the world – they do it because they want to feel better about THEMSELVES. Anyway, moving back to my point, it seems like everyone has some kind of agenda. If you are in a normal relationship, you stay in it for some reason. In most cases, it’s support, either an emotional or financial one. It’s common knowledge (or at least I hope it is) that we all need a crutch in our busy, messy lives.
So, is being open about it (even while not acknowledging the philosophical side of it) and pursuing such crude pragmatism actually equivalent to being a more honest person?
Can the others be called hypocrites?
I am not going to answer this question for you. It is too sensitive, too subjective.
There is a growing community of sugar babies on Tumblr – they show off gifts they have received from their generous sugar daddies, exchange good and bad experiences, gather safety advice and also do not hesitate to scorn other men, so-called “splenda daddies” – men who aspire to be real sugar daddies, but do not have enough funds to attain that status. After perusing some of their posts, I have eventually arranged my very first date with a POT (potential sugar daddy).
I met Mark*, whose net value is $2 million and income amounts to $300 grand. We met at a cosy little restaurant in Pyrmont (where I was sure I wouldn’t bump into any of my friends). Over dinner, he agreed to talk about his experiences.
Mark: You know, my last date was a total disaster.
Me: Why so?
M: She seemed to completely not understand the concept of being a sugar baby and what it entails. I took her out to a nice restaurant in Balmain and she started this whole conversation of how we can take it slow, go to the movies etc. I just raised my eyebrows and realised how clueless she was.
Me: You mean she didn’t know that sex would be involved?
M: Basically, yes. She also had a boyfriend, who apparently knew she would be potentially dating someone else, someone older and rich.
Me: Oh, I see… So what did you talk about?
M: She wasn’t very interesting to be honest. Not the intellectual type, that’s for sure. She would just babble about her Instagram account. Also, she was a bit weird. For example, she told me she likes cheesecake so I got her a piece, and then she didn’t even touch it.
Another man, let’s call him Steve, 41 years old, complained how he felt used by a sugar baby:
Steve: I took her out to a fancy place and afterwards, her car broke. She seemed like a nice mature lady [she was 22] so I decided for pay for getting it fixed. It cost me $1200. Over the next days, she wouldn’t reply to my texts or answer her phone. I don’t want this to happen. I’m actually looking for a girlfriend.
Obviously, my research wouldn’t mean much if I didn’t delve into the realities of the sugar babies realm. My pursuit of the knowledge in this area wasn’t yet finished. I’ve created another profile on the site, this time feigning to be a sugar daddy. I was a hot, dark-brown haired CEO with an athletic body and impeccable manners. My interests included philosophy, wine and old Hollywood movies. I was looking for a lady as classy as me that I could take out to fancy dinners and events.
Not long after, 24 hours later to be exact, I found myself in a state of sheer shock. Previously, I thought my sugar baby account received a multitude of messages. Well, I had about ten times more when I accessed the site for the second time as a fake SD. Those girls were like famished hawks!
I also interviewed a sugar baby: Alex24. She said that dating older, loaded guys makes her feel empowered. More powerful. Yes, and definitely invincible at times. When I asked, doesn’t she think it’s just a superficial facade that will vanish one day, she indifferently shrugged her arms and replied: “it doesn’t really matter to me at the moment. I’m trying to make ends, so I can concentrate on my goals. It facilitates things for me and I’m aware that it won’t last forever, but why would I be troubling myself with that right now?”.
Does it sound harsh? Shallow? Pragmatic? Reasonable? Foolish? Delusional?
Who the hell knows.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I found the whole idea of an “arrangement” (or whatever you choose to call it) abysmal. Now, after I’ve done my research, I see the bigger picture and can imagine the struggles these young females might be dealing. Financial trepidation is no fun. We all get to choose and it is completely up to you how you handle your principles. But then again… What is a principle? What is morality? And how do both of them relate to each other?
I prefer to leave the ostensibly answerable unanswerable.