How many times have you heard someone joke about dropping out of school to become a stripper, start an OnlyFans, or find a sugar daddy somewhere?
I've definitely laughed about it to myself a few times, but one day recently, the joke...turned into a legitimate plan 😬
Living abroad and trying to get creative about income, it just hit me. This is something I could actually do. All the better if I could find someone internationally, in fact. I wouldn't even have to be bothered with it when I got back home.
I'd heard years ago about a website called SeekingArrangement that was meant to connect aspiring sugar babies with sugar parents. Once I saw it still existed, I decided to sign up (although it has evolved a bit from its origins).
I went into it with modest, albeit it lofty and naive intentions to find some middle-aged guy who would pay for casual phone calls, cute selfies, and mayybeeee a lunch date just for the sake of having company. I knew I wouldn't be comfortable with sending nudes or performing extreme favors, so I was genuine in my hopes of keeping things someone distant with no strings attached.
To preface, I'd had an intriguing experience a few months beforehand with a customer at my restaurant job that primed my mindset on the matter. He wasn't even really my customer; I actually approached him to tell him he had seated himself at someone else's table and would have to get up and move 😂 But before I could say much, he told me he recognized me from elsewhere and was excited to see me.
...chile, I had no idea who he was.
But I also didn't care because he asked me for my CashApp, sent me $100 right then and there, and left.
Could it really be that easy?!
The man didn't even contact me again until months later. He sent me a text out of the blue asking for a picture. I thought that was weird so I ignored him until it occurred to me that he may have been trying to use that first exchange to feel me out for a potential arrangement. How did sugar daddies find prospects?
.(That was a miserable fail, by the way; he just turned out to be a thirsty creep.)
But it did open my mind a little bit more to the possibility that being a sugar baby might not be as bad as I'd believed.
Thinking long and hard about the concept and whatever it may imply, I remembered talking it over once before with people who were more familiar with the experience. I'd always said I couldn't take it seriously because I didn't want to compromise myself (or rather, be compromised) in any way. And further, I never wanted anyone to be able to say they "made me" or gave me my shot. I wanted to make honest money and find success based on my own merit. My friend, Ariel shared her perspective that money is money, and the concept of an "honest living" is a construct based on external perception and isn't truly reflective of personal values. Giving of your time and energy - as you would with any job - is performing a service, and the "legitimacy"of it doesn't have to be more or less than it is in any other supply-demand construct. Anything you treat like business is in fact business, and therefore it's a personal choice what the terms and conditions are and whether or not you want to participate.
Convincing enough 🤷🏾♀️ a side hustle...on my terms. Might even turn out to be fun.
Creating My Profile
You first identify yourself as a man or woman interested in meeting men, women, or both. There weren't any non-binary or undeclared options. You then select between matches with "success & wealth" or "looks & charm."
I chose a cute picture from my Instagram and an ambiguous username that was suggested automatically by the website.
They ask for your height, ethnicity, and body type: curvy, slim, athletic, average, full, a few extra pounds...
Next, input education level, alcohol intake, smoking habits, number of children, and relationship status.
Finish by choosing up to 7 tags to describe what you're looking for, and write a bit about yourself for display on your page.
With my profile complete, I was actually hopeful that my selections would lead me to finding an arrangement that fit the criteria I'd set out. Little did I know I was in for yet another miserable fail.
Verdict on the Matches
When you view a potential match, their page provides data like their occupation, net worth, annual income, and ideal partner age range in addition to the aforementioned stats like ethnicity and number of children. They will be able to see that you've viewed them and given the time of your last visit to their profile (and vice versa).
Assuming they were telling the truth, there were plenty of men with $sizeable$ incomes who said they were generous and "willing to spoil."
At what cost?
Many profiles require approved photo access, have faces removed from photos, or don't have photos at all.
A good number of men were “Married but Looking” - and the alarming majority made no mention of being in an open relationship or seeking a third, mutually-agreed upon partner. Some flat out tell you they need discretion because they’re hiding their activities from their wives.
Lots of profiles talk about how obvious it should be that no one’s on the site looking for a “childish” arrangement. Some of the profiles include direct descriptions of sexual preferences and make clear that platonic relationships are unwelcome.
Weeding through that, and getting past the few who were straight up strange or obnoxious, I did still manage to find potential matches that seemed kind. Even that made no difference because these 👏🏾 men 👏🏾 didn’t 👏🏾 read.
I wrote clearly in my 'about' section that I was a recent college graduate from the U.S. studying abroad in a foreign language program, using the tags to specify that I was looking for platonic relationships or mentorship opportunities. Yet the vast majority of men who were interested only wanted long-term emotional connections or immediate dates. As soon as I said the "p" word when asked what I wanted, or explained that I wouldn't be able to talk to them outside of WhatsApp or meet face to face right then and there, the response was "that doesn't work for me." Why send me a message at all?! I was even blocked by some who probably thought I was a catfish or a scammer.
The few - and I mean very few - who were accommodating were inconsistent. They said they wanted to get to know me but then only exchanged a few messages before dropping off the face of the earth.
I didn't last more than 48 hours with this. And maybe that's not long enough to form a complete opinion on things, but I think it's fair enough to say I'm not built for the sugar baby life. Too much frustration involved and definitely not worth it for something I wasn't completely committed to.
🤷🏾♀️ C'est la vie.
Would you give it a try? Why or why not? Have you had a different experience? Inquiring minds need to know!