According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a “sugar daddy” is “a well-to-do, usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend or boyfriend”.3 Once in a while you may hear a friend joke about joining a matchmaking website to find herself a sugar daddy that will help finance her way through college and satisfy her taste for the finer things in life. Seeking Arrangements is the, if not one of the, most popular online services that matches “sugar babies” with “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommas” to assist in making “mutually beneficial relationships”.1 The site offers statistics and figures from July 2016 that include the typical profiles that register for their service. While the “average age of a Sugar Daddy in the U.S. is 40 years old”, “the average Sugar Baby in the U.S. is 25 years old”.4 Sugar babies are usually several years younger than their counterparts. Sugar daddies and mommas are usually more wealthy than their babies, and can be of any sexual orientation.
In a typical sugar daddy relationship, the baby provides some form of companionship, emotionally, mentally, or sexually, in exchange for lavish gifts, expensive trips, and even monthly allowances. It is up to the pair to decide what boundaries are enforced and what is to be exchanged. Some criticize the practice for being a form of prostitution because of the sex that sometimes occurs and the transactional feel that the exchange gives off. Some supporters defend the practice, claiming that real-life relationships work in the same way: that partners go on dates because they are both seeking something; the sugar daddy world is just more explicit about what each party wants. With over 10 million active members, Seeking Arrangements is the biggest site for this specific type of dating.1 The sugar daddy culture has greatly expanded over the last few years with the development of the internet and technology, and continues to steadily increase.
Typical Lifestyle of a Sugar Baby
The lifestyle of a sugar baby varies widely depending on what they and their partner are looking for; the amount of money the sugar daddy or momma has and gives, the amount of time they spend together, and the age of the pair may all vary. The pair may communicate only through tests or phone calls, may meet up on a daily basis, or may even live together. It is very common for sugar daddies and mommas to take their sugar babies on dates. Dates in the sugar daddy dating world can range from simple coffee dates to fine dining at a Michelin star restaurant to exotic, out of the country vacations. It is up to the couple to arrange the time and location of their dates. Sugar daddies and mommies sometimes give monthly allowances to their sugar babies.2 They may also buy them extravagant clothing, jewelry, or accessories.
There have been instances where sugar babies had their credit card dues completely paid off, while other sugar babies get their college tuition paid for, under the condition that they keep up their grades.2
The form of communication between a pair can range from phone calls, to video calls, to texts that can be daily, weekly, or spontaneously. Some may never even meet up in person and keep their entire relationship digital, opting out of any type of physical meeting. Some sugar babies have said that they prefer Seeking Arrangements over other dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, or Coffee Meets Bagel. They feel as though can actually get what they desire out of their particular partnerships, compared to the other apps where it is more common to have one-night stands with person who may not give them anything in return. Sugar daddies have even become useful connections that mentor their sugar baby and provide them with a large network of professionals that can help them further their careers.
It is a common misconception that all sugar babies must engage in sex with their sugar daddies. Although sexual encounters are common in this dating realm, it is entirely up to the couple to decide where the boundaries lie (i.e. only handholding or only kissing, or open to sex). Some relationships are purely emotional where a pair simply seeks the company of an intelligent person to engage in stimulating conversation with. This is often done over a nice dinner or over a simple cup of coffee. Other partnerships are comfortable incorporating sexual aspects into their relationship. Consent must be given before engaging in any type of sexual activity, otherwise it is sexual assault and can be reported to the authorities. If an individual does not want to engage in sexual encounters, it would be advisable to state this upfront, in order to avoid future conflict or misunderstandings.
The Reality of the Sugar Daddy World
Very rarely do these relationships end with the pair marrying; about half of sugar daddies are currently married. More often than not, the sugar baby realizes that they no longer need the money and gifts or that the whole exchange is not as rewarding to them anymore. It may interfere with their own life too much: spontaneous vacations become distractions, the constant need to text their partner becomes too overwhelming, it limits them from finding real love and settling down, etc. They decide to leave the establishment for their own benefit. If the sugar daddy or momma still desires to have a companion under the same circumstances, then they too will go back into the websites in search of a new sugar baby.
It is important to understand the importance of making decisions to promote your own happiness. No individual should be forced to participate in things that they are not comfortable with. You are free to do what you want with your life, whatever that may be.
1. “About Us.” Seeking Arrangement. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2017.
2. “I spent a month as a sugar baby to rich ‘daddies’ who paid my way.” The Tab, 11 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
3. “Sugar daddy.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 3 Dec. 2017.
4. “Sugar Daddy Dating Hot Spots.” Seeking Arrangement. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2017.
Last Updated: 7 March 2018.