Just as a note: the writing is anything but fanciful – it’s very straightfoward, really, but I wanted this to be published because the number of people joining seekingarrangement.com has been consistently increasing in the past few years, especially from a lot of notable higher education institutions. I did a lot of research in being a “sugar baby” before I joined, but all I could find was videos on Dr. Phil, etc. of sugar babies who honestly were really just out for the money and the glamour. I wish I had some sort of testimony from someone in my shoes; someone who wasn’t looking to find support for the rest of her life, but simply wanted a short-term experience. I want to be able to give a more realistic view of the pros and possible cons of getting into this kind of situation.
Let’s start with the facts: I’m female, in my early 20’s, and if I may say so myself, moderately good-looking. I went to a prestigious university in the United States (think Ivy League-status) and after graduation, I moved abroad to learn a foreign language, teach English on the side, and to explore the world. Half a year ago, I became a sugar baby.
Why become a “sugar baby” (SBs, as they’re known in the SeekingArrangement.com world)? It’s not that I needed the money – I come from an upper-middle class background, and though I’m not making a fortune teaching English, I make more than enough to sustain a comfortable living. If I really needed it, I know that my parents would be able to offer a means of support. Instead, the main reason is simple, really: I was bored. Though I’ve met amazing people and had fun outings while living abroad, I’ve never truly found my niche. Instead, I’ve always found myself to be “friend-hopping” if you will; hanging out with different people every week, having some good laughs, but never really belonging to a single “group.” I don’t have a best friend here, someone I can call up at any odd hour to hang out with. Frankly, at times it just feels lonely.
Another slightly smaller reason though, is that quite honestly, I missed sex. A few weeks before I signed up at SeekingArrangement.com, I met a guy at a mutual friend’s apartment party. We went on a few dates, and then after one particularly drunken night at a club, we hooked up. He latched on rather quickly after this, and I, being the commitment-phobe that I am, broke it off with him. This experience did, however, make me realize how much I missed sex. And after battling it out in my head over whether I should continue things with too-clingy-too-fast-guy just for the sex, I found SeekingArrangement.com. Perfect, I thought. If I just wanted sex without commitment, what really is the difference between finding a friend-with-benefits and finding a friend-with-benefits-with-extra-benefits?
Let’s not get into the morality of my situation. I’m well aware of how many people view these relationships, and I know the implications that come along with it. Rather, I just wanted to share what I’ve learned from being a sugar baby.
1. Keeping with the “terms” of the arrangement can be tricky.
When I first met my sugar daddy (SD for short), I was clear with what I wanted: a non-committal arrangement that would end when I returned to the States. My SD agreed, and told me that he understood. That would’ve been the end of major potential problems, but I didn’t bank on one thing: my SD falling completely head-over-heels for me. I’m not trying to make myself out to be some seductive vixen, but the fact of the matter is while I have never wavered in terms of my feelings, my SD’s feelings has only deepened. And this is a relatively difficult situation to maneuver around in when you gain thousands of dollars worth of gifts, with no way to pay him back (at least monetarily). And this brings me to my next point…
2. You’ll feel indebted.
Since meeting my SD, I’ve gained 6 designer bags, a number of designer clothes, and wined and dined at countless fancy restaurants, many of which are Michelin-starred. I’ve flown first class to 5 (and counting) different cities, been picked up by limo service at airports to be driven to and from 5-star hotels…the list can go on and on. The point is, I really honestly have been spoiled beyond belief. The trouble however, is that this comes with a loud awakening of my conscience. Though my SD has constantly assured me that I owe him nothing, I can’t help but feel that even if he doesn’t expect anything from me, I still need to pay him back in some way. This has resulted in dinner at least once a week on weekdays and sleepovers every weekend. I find myself choosing to spend time with my SD over time with my friends, not necessarily because I want to, but because I feel like I owe it to him. Sometimes, I catch myself wondering when my conscience will decide that I’ve paid him back enough.
3. These “arrangements” are nothing like real relationships.
If you ask me, real relationships involve a balance between the two parties involved. In my case, my SD does everything for me. He cooks and cleans for me, buys me things, constantly asks me what else he can do for me. He says he’s happy to do these things, and I believe him; however, this just isn’t a real relationship. I personally could never settle down forever in a relationship where one party holds all the power. I could never live off of someone’s money. The reason why I decided it would be okay to find a SD in the first place was because I knew it would be short-term: it would end when I went back to America. My SD has constantly offered to help me find a job when I returned home; goodness knows he has a lot of powerful contacts, but I’ve always refused him. I don’t want the rest of my life to have been jumpstarted by his assistance. I don’t want to have to owe him my entire life. In addition, the break-up will be different. If this were any sort of normal relationship, I could break up with him and just be done with him. Never have to talk to him again, see him again, think about him again. But, as I’ve mentioned before, because this isn’t a normal relationship and because there is some feeling of indebtedness in this whole thing, I feel like I should honor his wishes to “stay friends.” This doesn’t mean to me that I need to sleep with him for the rest of my life, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like it will be as clean of a break as I’d like.
4. You’re constantly on guard.
I’m not a very self-confident person. In fact, throughout my life I’ve constantly been conscious of how I present myself, and of overly-caring about what others think of me. Thankfully, I live in a large city, and so chances of running into someone I know while out with my SD are low. Even so, I find myself slightly bowing my head while I’m on the streets with him gripping my hand, donning sunglasses when I can, just because I fear the judgment that may be going on in a stranger’s mind. This happens even when we’re in a city where I would certainly never find a familiar face. The fact is, unless you’re 100% self-confident, you probably will also feel a certain sense of shame when out with a sugar daddy. In our society, these types of relationships still aren’t considered normal. And so you will attract some sort of attention, one way or another.
5. It’s never truly “enough”.
Even with everything that I’ve said above, I find myself in a constant struggle between desires and realities. I’m leaving for home in a few months, and I know that if I want to return (somewhat) guilt-free, I should spend the next few months not spending his money, but still spending time with him. And even though I know this is what would make returning easier for the both of us, I can’t help but keep thinking about things I want in my head: a new camera, a new Chanel bag, some BCBG dresses… I find myself caught up in the present-time, in the fact that as of right now, I still have at my disposal a good amount of spending money. And at the same time, I’m a little afraid of having to adjust to “normal life” once I return to America. I’d like to think that this isn’t going to be a problem, but the fact that I’m casually buying $50 lipstick and $100 dresses while out shopping – something I’d never do pre-arrangement – worries me a bit.
I know it sounds like I don’t like spending time with my sugar daddy, and that’s not exactly true. I think he’s a great man – he’s always treated me beyond well, and he’s kind and considerate. The issue though, once again, is the difference in our feelings. If I felt the same way about him as he does about me, there would be no problems. However, I don’t reciprocate his feelings, which makes the situation difficult. It’s not so much the sex, but more about the emotions that are associated with these acts. I’m already not a big romantic, so all the cuddling, the hand holding, the emotions makes me uncomfortable. But because I feel like I owe it to him, I put up with it.
Do I regret signing up to be a sugar baby? Well, not exactly. I admit that there are times when I look back and think about how much simpler my life would be if I had just gotten over my sex cravings and stuck with my normal routine. And honestly, I do sometimes wonder about how this will affect the rest of my life: will he be stuck on me forever, will I continue to feel the obligation to keep him in my life? What happens if/when I get into a serious relationship, do I tell my boyfriend/fiancée/husband about this period of my life? There are a lot of things for me to think about, but I guess for now there’s not really anything I can do. All I can do is wait for my flight back to America, and see what happens next.