In college, my radio practicum professor gave me free range for our final feature project. The feature would be played on the school radio station on a designated day and time.
While all the clichéd topics paved the way in my class, like homeless shelters and recycling, I shook the room when I told my professor I would be doing my feature on college girls with sugar daddies.
While it took me a sit-down or two to explain to him what it entailed, he finally got on board. I dropped small hints about my topic to people, and, miraculously, sugar babies started talking to me about their experiences.
The full feature on the topic can be found here, but after speaking with them, I found the common beliefs about sugar babies and sugar daddies aren't completely true for every relationship. Some of these truths might even surprise you:
1. It's Not Always About Sex
Although some relationships are outlined around sex, there are plenty of instances where people are just looking for companionship.
Now, before you say friendship is free, think of all the things people actually pay for, like used underwear or sex dolls. Buying a friendship doesn't seem so farfetched now, does it?
Some of the benefactors were even widow(er)s and wanted someone younger to talk to, who can keep their mind off their sadness.
One person even described a relationship that was a mentorship between the two: One was pursuing the career the other was already majorly established in.
2. It Goes Both Ways
People assume that being a sugar baby is just for girls, but there are men benefitting from having a wealthy “friend” as well.
Sugar mamas aren't just sitting on the sideline watching others play — they're taking part in this emerging game as well.
The double standard that lies in these relationships is interesting. Women have been called prostitutes for having this type of relationship, while for men, it's just them having fun and reaping the benefits of a woman willing to take care of them.
3. It's A Life-Changer
Some of the girls I spoke with said they genuinely didn't know how they would have gotten through school without this generous benefactor.
A lot of the times, sugar babies are seen as money hungry people who don't want to work and just want to be waited on hand and foot. But that couldn't be any further from the truth.
Most of the women I spoke to were just trying to make it through college. They had limited resources from family and were simply trying to stay afloat with the crappy currents college can have.
Now, maybe this isn't the route for everyone, but it worked for these women, so why all the hate?
4. It Can Turn Into More Than Just Money
While many sugar baby/sugar daddy relationships start because of money, they often become more about emotional support.
When you designate a certain amount of time a week to someone, for money or otherwise, you may become reliant on that time or even getting through the week because you're eager about those plans.
Just because money starts something doesn't mean it has to be all that matters in the end. Like I said before, some of the benefactors were looking to get away from certain aspects of their lives and just explore a different worldview through someone else.
The sugar baby/sugar daddy or mama relationship has been going on long before before we put a cute little label on it.
Some pay for cars and jewelry, others pay for companionship, and that's just the world we live in.
You don't have to condone the lifestyle, but it's clearly more complex than it's often given credit for. When thinking about these young men and women (and their sugar mama and daddy counterparts), make sure you keep an open mind.
There's always more than what meets the eye.