Imagine trips across the world, access to a network of wealth and being pampered by someone who appreciates you.
Welcome to the world of sugaring, according to a real sugar baby.
"Sugaring," or a sugar relationship, is a consensual relationship that provides companionship in return for being pampered and looked after in a variety of different ways.
It differs from prostitution and escorting because these sugar daddies are not paying the girls to satisfy their sexual desire. It's a little more complex than that.
Here's the definition of "sugaring," explained by a woman in the business I interviewed:
Sugaring is not about selling yourself as a product. I think of it more as providing affection to people who desire it. As a sugar baby, I offer my company and establish relationships. It's not a one-time thing where you disappear from their lives when the night is over. It's more of a part-time girlfriend situation.
As the premier sugar dating service, Seeking Arrangement states,
Sugaring is a lifestyle choice, not a profession. A sugar baby is a woman who wants to date financially secure men who can provide her with the lifestyle she desires. She's selective about who she dates. Prostitutes are paid to perform a service, while Sugar Babies sometimes receive funds as an added benefit of dating a generous man.
Millennials are facing a completely different world, nothing like that of prior generations. College students are faced with crippling debt and are taking jobs in cities like New York, where it costs thousands of dollars a month to rent an apartment the size of a closet.
It's extremely difficult to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle, so if an opportunity arises to make a large sum of money and be pampered, then why not take it?
The sugar baby explained,
Since I started being a sugar baby, I've made around $20,000 in just a few months. Additionally, I've gotten free trips to Australia and Florida, massages, expensive dinners, an Apple watch, lingerie, Broadway tickets, cross-country train trips to see family and an Uber account that pays for all my rides in the city.
A large majority of individuals out there will think this is wrong, but why?
Our sugar baby has a blunt answer for that:
What is actually wrong with providing companionship to men who can't necessarily find that, whether it be from work commitments or time constraints? There's a demand out there, so why not satisfy the market? These men provide support, whether it's monetary or not. The purpose of all of this is not to have meaningless relationships or to simply provide sex. There are often real emotions involved.
There are many websites and applications created to facilitate and operate the sugaring world.
Typically, a sugar baby wakes up to a dozen messages a day from new men, especially if she lives in a big city. She is then able to analyze their profiles to see if they are compatible.
Even though it seems as though all sugar babies have an easy life, there are some negatives and unfortunate events that occur with sugaring.
The sugar baby continued,
I have been scammed and tricked into thinking I was setting up an arrangement with a decent guy, who instead turned out to be a real asshole who robbed a broke college student of a few hundred dollars.
Sugaring can also be quite hard to balance with a daily schedule. People work, go to school, have internships and extracurricular activities, so to be able to find a time that works for both parties can be stressful.
I am a full-time student and I also intern in the city, so the scheduling gets a little complicated, especially because some of the sugar daddies want a little escape during the day to split up their incredibly busy days of being millionaires.
Believe it or not, it actually takes a physical and mental toll. She said,
Mentally, you have to prepare yourself to not be discouraged by how people react to seeing an obvious age gap. Physically, you need to make sure you always look your best, as your sugar daddy might want to see you with little notice. These aren't the worse possible things to happen to someone, and at the end of the day, it's a choice these babies make in order to have a benefactor that cares for them.
Despite materialistic benefits, being a part of the sugaring world is like being a CEO of your own company. You learn both entrepreneurial and management skills, just like those of other CEOs.
It has taught me a lot more than I would learn in any form of education. Being able to be confident, savvy, selective, mindful, aware, tenacious, ambitious and determined are all things I have developed from this and I'll carry these attributes with me for the rest of my professional and social life.
The stigma surrounding sugaring should be broken, as it's not as cold as selling your body for sex.
Instead, sugaring provides mentors, friends, new perspectives, networking, opportunities, experiences, and culture on top of a larger wardrobe and fatter wallet. Why do we condemn these girls for taking advantage of a market someone else created?