What is a sugar baby?
According to Wikipedia, 'sugaring' is a slang term for a young female or male who is being financially pampered, or cared for, by a ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mama’ in exchange for companionship. The game is so serious that there are dating sites dedicated to helping women find men who will pamper them, and even summits, that show women how to hook a rich man.
Back in 2013, I co-wrote my first screenplay about a financially frustrated young woman who went looking for a man to take care of her. Yes, she was a sugar baby and was looking f0r a sugar daddy or momma to pay her bills and pamper her, in exchange for companionship.
During the first few drafts of the story, my husband and I were broke and ended up homeless. As much as we love each other, we both thought about cheating on each other in exchange for someone with more money. We’re best friends, so when we eventually started talking about our thoughts, we opted for prayer instead of infidelity.
But everyone is not married to their best friend. The enticement of creating a companionship with another person outside of their relationship, in exchange for money is real for some people. Take Donald Sterlings sugar baby Vanessa Stiviano for instance. She made headlines after putting the Clippers' owner's racist rants on blast last year. Throughout their sugaring relationship, she was gifted with a $1.8 million duplex, and $800,000 in cash handouts and luxury cars including a Ferrari. She was sued by Sterling's wife who said Stiviano manipulated her 80-year-old husband, and in April, lost a lawsuit which required her to hand the $2.3 million in gifts, property and cash back over.
Every sugaring relationship is not going to end like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
What I can tell you is that I learned a great deal about the men and women who live on the edge of, what is essentially, the sex industry and it was very interesting to say the least.
This what I learned:
Feminists have been preaching the idea that any woman can go out in the world and make something of herself. Although it can be true, there are women who find this concept difficult for several reasons.
One, some women find it easier to hustle a man who will care for her, than to hustle a job. The hypocrisy lies in the women who hustle for a man to care for them, and then look down their noses at women who are vocal about the amount of money a man must make in order to be with her. Whether this kind of woman gets a man with a factory job, or a man with a white collar job, they’re essentially doing the same thing.
Also, a lot of sugar babies have full time jobs. Some are lawyers, doctors, beauticians, fitness instructors, “Instagram models” you name it. “Sugaring” is more of a side hustle for them, than a full time gig. Probably because they realized long ago that they are not interested in making a way for themselves by themselves.
2. Sugar Babies are different from prostitutes.
Just because the relationship is arranged, or doesn't follow the rules of traditional courtship, does not make it illegal. There are huge differences between sugar babies and prostitutes.
According to Seeking Arrangement:
A prostitute and a client have a transactional relationship. They meet, exchange funds, and participate in some sort of physical act and part ways. Typically, this is a one time occurrence. A job. There is no relationship, and no possibility for a relationship. And that is the key difference really: Relationship.
Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies have on-going relationships, not transactions.
Sugar 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; a prostitute isn’t picky about who she takes on as a client.
3. Real sugar babies move in silence.
Remember the xonecole.com article, “Dear “Rich” Instagram Fashionista, You’re Giving Me Anxiety”? The writer of the article was right when she said that a lot of Instagram fashionistas have a leased or borrowed lifestyle.
But a real sugar baby will show off what she has as a way to “market” the lifestyle, and a lot of times what she is showing you is 100% paid for (at least with the sugar babies that I’ve met). You’ll never see her face, and she’ll never mention her sugar daddy’s name. Those are the rules.
Why? A lot of people meet their benefactors on social media.As she shows off her lifestyle, the “potential”, or pot, will know how to approach her if you can’t afford what she’s showing you in the photo, then step off.
There’s also some sugar babies who “market” the lifestyle as a way to show newbies the game. They want you to DM them so they can help you to not get ripped off by a pot, because they were once vulnerable themselves. This part of the game is pretty deep. All you have to do is search “sugar baby” on Tumblr, and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
4. They will do anything to keep their kid(s) from going hungry.
The first sugar baby that I met, Laila, was a the divorcee with six children. I listened to her story about how her husband left her high and dry with the house, the car, and the bills to go with it.
With no job skills, and an empty refrigerator, she entertained a man for a few hours in exchange for money. $30,000 later, she was able to feed her kids something very nice, and probably organic. (Oh, and please note that not all sugars can yield that kind of paycheck her first time. Leila just got lucky.)
She absolutely could have done something different to improve her financial situation. But as a mother, when times are desperate, you’re not going to ask many questions about what you could do to improve your situation. You’re just going to make immediate changes. Sometimes without thinking twice about what you’re doing.
5. Some women fall into the 'Sugar Baby' game to pay off debt and build wealth.
The first two sugars that I chatted with online were both beautiful black women who were students. Their wants were the same as any other college student to get an education minus the debt.
A Pew Institute study states that Millennials are the besteducated generation in history, and 34 percent of them have at least a bachelor’s degree. But a 2009 study of 25,000 Millennialsfound that nearly 20% of the employees polled between the ages of 21 and 30 had seen at least one pay cut since 2008, and 14% suffered a layoff
Compound that with out of control student loan debt (In 2011, twothirds of college graduates average someone around $27,000 in student loan debt); High unemployment (53 percent are either jobless or underemployed); And the 36 percent of young adults ages 18-31 who are still living at home, and it’s easy to see why college students flock to the sugar lifestyle.
What I also learned was that many sugar babies aren’t just using the generosity of their sugar daddies to pay off student loans, but they’re also using their money to build wealth. One of the best sugar babies in the game, Taylor B. Jones, teaches sugar baby college students how to turn the money they receive from their benefactors into a profit. They’re actually using their money to build a future, which is essential for sugar babies, especially when they decide to leave the lifestyle.
6. They stay in their lane, and will even go through extra strides to keep his wife happy.
If you are a sugar baby, you don’t surprise him on the job, and you may never do things publicly in the city where you both live. You’re there to make him happy, and often times do what his wife isn’t doing for him at home.
Laila told me this story about how she would use use her benefactor’s credit card to buy his wife gifts on his behalf. Her logic was simple: happy wife, happy life. It was obvious he was messing up his marriage if he was cheating with Laila. That’s where she came in.
She purchased his wife Tiffany’s bracelets, Red Bottoms, and other fancy gifts all the time. Unfortunately, the wife was so short sighted, that she didn’t really take a good look at her husband’s actions to realize that the signs of him cheating were right there in her face. She was too busy admiring her new shoes and jewelry.
As long as his wife is happy, then the relationship can continue, which means that the sugar is still getting paid.
7. No 'brainless' women allowed.
Wives often have this idea that if her husband is cheating, it’s with someone young and stupid. That’s not always the case. Some sugar daddies/mommas want someone intelligent as they are beautiful. Oh, and if a benefactor finds that his sugar knows how to build his wealth, then his sugar is going to be around for while, probably.
Don’t get me wrong, there are benefactors who are only looking for someone pretty, young, and brainless to play with. But a sugar baby’s job is mainly to build a relationship with the person they are involved with. Some sugars never sleep with their benefactors.
8. You're not going to date Richard Gere, he's not an ATM.
This is game is not "Pretty Woman" and you're probably not going to date Richard Gere. In fact, The Escort Lover says on his blog that new sugar babies should be prepared to date below their normal standards. Whether you like it or not, Christian Grey probably won't be on Seeking Arrangements looking for a sugar baby. What you may end up getting is what Robin had to deal with when she slept with her co-worker Michael in Waiting To Exhale.
You must also remember that your sugar daddy is not your personal ATM (although his generosity can make you feel that way). Your relationship is built on mutual respect and trust.
Also, don't jump into a relationship if you're not prepared to date someone that may be fat, ugly, have a Jheri Curl, or still wears a Members Only Jacket.
9. Rape, kidnap, and drugs are real.
Simply put, some sugar daddies/mommas are butt holes, and no woman or man is above being raped by anyone willing to do it.
Many things can happen if they’re not cautious. For example, a sugar baby may have a benefactor like Laila’s, an elderly man who slept with another sugar baby and died on top of her after a coke binge. Or that one time Laila went out of town with a different benefactor, and he basically kidnapped her and kept her in a hotel past their arranged dates. You have to really protect yourself.
What I ultimately learned is that, although I personally wouldn't do it, I don't judge or knock their hustle. Sugar babies go into the game wanting a partner they can learn something from, especially when it comes to building and maintaining wealth. It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a business arrangement that, in many cases, is helping them to secure their future.
The real question is, at what cost? Is getting paid to spend time with someone you may not have any attraction to or want to build a future with worth the money? And what if it leads to sex? As the saying goes, nothing in this world is free--especially if it comes with a hefty payoff.
Have you ever been or considered being a sugar baby?