City Girls once famously said, “I’ll never snitch on daddy!” which I think sums up my experience in the sugar baby/sugar daddy realm very well. This special kind of “relationship” revolves entirely around discretion and trust. I, personally, use the infamous website <seekingarrangements.com> and one of their features includes restricting one from viewing a sugar daddy account’s pictures. The sugar daddy then may give you (the sugar baby) exclusive access to their photos when they are interested in you. At first, I was pretty weirded out by the fact that some profiles didn’t even let you see the bank account owner before talking to them, but eventually, I familiarized myself with the idea that some of these people have a reputation to uphold and cannot be caught on a website like this. To even further reinforce this idea of confidentiality, the website automatically deletes messages, interests, and favourites after 180 days. The “interests” function allows me to see who has viewed my profile and the “favourites” tab shows me who has bookmarked my account.
While a majority of women have tried to separate themselves from this “gold digger” stereotype, some, including myself, actively seek to fulfil the role today as their own form of empowerment. If men are going to objectify women, we might as well profit from it. In that philosophy, I can see the issue of perpetuating the male gaze in a patriarchal society. However, I see it as a game and gold coins are chiming, as an ode for me to collect them.
Now onto the juicy stuff!
Being a sugar baby goes hand-in-hand with both fun and expensive experiences. Once I had a sugar daddy take my friends and me out for the night. After a $1200 Copacabana bill, bottle service at some random Toronto club, and some extra allowance, my friends and I were on our merry way home for the night (no strings attached). Of course, this is one of the more happy-go-lucky dates that I’ve had. With that being said, there are various types of sugar daddies: the ones who like taking you out with no expectation of returned favours (my favourite), the ones who are on PPD (pay per date) basis, the ones who offer weekly allowance in return for companionship, and finally the arranged marriage. The arranged marriage sugar daddy is an experience I’ve only encountered once (he literally called it that). He is willing to commit himself to you entirely, but in return wants, essentially, a stay-at-home wife. This sugar daddy told me, “just accept it [the offer] and eventually you will learn to love me along the way”. For some obvious reasons, I did not go through with it fully. However, he did offer me a Waterfront Condo on the Queens Quay…I should call him.
Behind all the good, however, lies the bad. There are quite a lot of problematic points with <seekingarrangements.com>, obviously, one of which being its very binary culture. The terms themselves, sugar DADDY and sugar MAMA are very exclusive. As well, it just generally follows a very patriarchal custom. Most of the time, it’s men messaging (even though I have it clearly set to interested in men and women). Don’t get me wrong, sugar mamas do exist; the one time one of these unicorns messaged me, it was an amazing conversation. Unfortunately, this arrangement did not go through as I ghosted her after her persistence on meeting in the middle of a pandemic.
Being a woman of colour, I do notice a lot of fetishization around my Asian-ness, a lot of “hey :) I love your ethnic smile” and “let’s grab sushi and afterwards, I can wrap you up like a California roll”. First of all, I’m Chinese. Second, these types of messages really make you wonder if men believe this will work on a woman. Yeah, I’m here for the money, but I still have standards, man.
I would say 60% of the time though, the sugar people who are messaging me are quite chivalrous and charming. They want to get to know you, how you are, what are things you enjoy doing, and all of that kinda stuff. There really is a spectrum though; some conversations feel like any other dating site, but some feel like I’m in a boardroom meeting: very professional and a lot of negotiating going on.
After laying out all the good, the bad, and the ugly from my subjective experience as a sugar baby, this is by no means encouragement or discouragement to seek out one of these arrangements yourself. It’s fun and exhilarating, but also very hit-or-miss work. Whatever you choose to do though, my two-step guideline is as follows: always notify your trusted friends about your excursions (my location is always turned on and I have friends on stand-by) and to never go into someone’s car or home on the first date (or any date, judge for yourself). Ultimately, a good rule of thumb (for the purpose of meeting any new person) is to be wary of them and your surroundings. Be safe and have fun!