What Sugar Daddies Are REALLY Buying: Freedom

What Sugar Daddies Are REALLY Buying: Freedom

I have a viscerally negative reaction to stories like this.

It’s a tale of a journalist who explored a Sugar Daddy website for research, going on a bunch of dates with men who’d give her $5000/month to be their part-time escort/girlfriend.

The men described here are the worst of the worst: selfish, entitled, emotionally vacant, sex-driven, insecure, tone-deaf, and, of course, filthy rich.

There’s nothing wrong with being rich. I’m working on it as a side project myself.

But when your money insulates you from how real people connect (ahem, Romney), you can’t be too surprised when people find you distasteful.

when your looks or your money are your greatest forms of currency, it’s no surprise when your relationship goes south.

These men, as you’ll soon read, are undoubtedly distasteful.

HOWEVER, before you get all high and mighty and bash these guys, don’t forget:

There is no such thing as a Sugar Daddy site without WOMEN who ALSO seek such prostitute-like arrangements.

So if there’s a man out there who thinks he can buy favors and freedom with his money, it’s because there’s a woman out there who can be bought.

From the first line, “How different is this from regular dating?”, the article. reminds us that there’s always some sort of exchange in relationships.

The most common one – as evidenced by The Millionaire Matchmaker and its various copycats – is rich men/beautiful women.

And when your looks or your money are your greatest forms of currency, it’s no surprise when your relationship goes south.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    DinaStrange

    I am not quite sure if this is correct. This is a business arrangement and i doubt they are looking for emotional connection. As long as its treated as business transaction and it works for both parties, I see nothing wrong with it. Buyers/sellers = demand/supply.

    1. 1.1
      Jena

      I see plenty wrong with it when you are the WIFE of the piece of crap that is spending OUR money on this “prostitute”.. Hello.. being paid for sex… It’s disgusting..

  2. 2
    elizabeth

    Romney insulated from people and distasteful just because he has money, couldn’t be further from the truth.  Did you not watch the debate last night?  To even mention his name in an article about sugar daddys is distasteful on your part and pushing your political views in an aritcle that’s being read by people interested in relationship advice not a political forum.  I’m “unliking” your page.

    (@Elizabeth: I’m crushed – EMK)

  3. 3
    Andrew

    While money can buy beauty, it can’t buy class.

  4. 4
    RW

    >> I’m working on it as a side project myself.
     
    Me too!  I’m not very good at it yet 😛

    Interesting article and not very surprising.  The only surprising thing for me was that I actually felt sorry for some of the men in this article.  From the writer’s comments, half appeared to be garden variety rich jerks but the other half were probably socially incompetent (at least when it comes to women) and looking for some sort of emotional connection in the wrong place.  

    Gone are the days of the stereotypical rich man abusing the poor, beautiful girl.  I’m sure that still happens but not on these sites.  Almost worse than the men are the women.  For every sugar daddy taking advantage of his sugar baby, I’m certain there is an escort swindling her sponsor.

    Even though the whole thing makes me sick, I can’t say I see anything really wrong with it in today’s terms.  There was a thread on hookups earlier (which I resisted commenting on because my views are so wildly different from everyone else’s) and I’m not certain this is so different.  It’s dirtier, kinkier, more outlandish and the stakes are higher but the way I see it, there is no moral difference.  I’m probably going to get flamed for saying this but I’ll continue anyway.  Hookups are presumably for the pleasure of both people involved.  In this arrangement, one party gets money instead of pleasure.  If both are okay with it, what’s the issue?  The issue arises when one partner knowingly hurts the other (physically or emotionally) and really, that can happen in either situation.  Higher possibility in the escort/sponsor situation perhaps…don’t really know, haven’t done the research.

    Again, no judgement.  Personally, I cannot handle either situation but if you can hookup with your emotional health as well as your partner’s intact, go for it.  If you can participate in a sugar daddy/sugar baby arrangement and keep your moral compass pointing north, go for it.

    I’d be curious to hear from Evan’s male readers.  Would there be a difference for you between a girl who routinely slept with different men for her own pleasure versus if she was paid for it.  I have a feeling that the answer will be yes but I’m not really sure why.

  5. 5
    Jackie Holness

    I wonder how it feels to be the recipient of “sugar daddy” treatment over the long term…and where does one find these sugar daddies anyway? A good man is hard to find…It must be that much harder to find a good sugar daddy…lol…

  6. 6
    Lance

    Male reader here. Liked the article but disagreed with her conclusion. These situations don’t have anything to do with emotional commitment. These guys are looking for certain kinks, jollies, and excitement, and they’ll pay top dollar for it. I’m sure they’d be happy to emotionally commit if the match was right. If I was filthy rich and lazy, I would almost certainly dabble in high end escorts. Why? Because it’s super difficult to get certain women (younger/sexy/kinky/beautiful) in dating, but perhaps a little easier if you pay for it.

    So I got two things from the article. Sugar Daddies are generally super uncool. If they could fix that, it would be easier for them to pay for sex and probably easier to date normally, also. Secondly, women will at least entertain the idea of selling themselves for sex if the price is right ($1000s vs. $100) and if the guy is at least marginally cool. Huge gray area on both sides. 

  7. 7
    EA

    Well, first things first, Mitt Romney has been in a committed relationship for his entire adult life. I’m going to take a wild guess and say maybe his more analytic/business oriented personality is why he has trouble connecting with people prefer a touchy-feely engagement style.

    Second, I wish Evan would write more on this topic bc I have dated two men who were rich and bought me for freedom but in a real world setting.

    One loved to look in my eyes and tell me he loved me bc that’s how he got his rocks off. But I ALWAYS considered it a sincere relationship and it wasn’t until it dawned on me that his whole contribution was paying for things that I realized we were making a trade. Financial security for me, freedom for him. 

    The next time I attracted this same type of man, I understood very quickly it was the same type of deal but again, I thought we had both entered into with sincere relationship intentions. I remain friends with him and he dates only young women who work in bars. I am past the age where I could blindly hope the relationship would develop into a commitment  but these women are young and having fun and probably are naive as well. It’s hard to turn down free travel, booze and anything else you may want when you have time on your side.

    I guess my point is that the article was all about escort services but this type of thing happens in real life and the ‘arrangement’ is unspoken, but just as real. I would like to read more about that bc it’s an epidemic in my opinion.

  8. 8
    erica

    I usually agree with you – but not always.
    I do agree with your comment about Romney – it was funny, and a little jab about current events.
    It’s your blog and I think it’s fair for you to say whatever you want.
    It will be funny to watch a few people’s panties (or possibly briefs) get all bunched up over that and try to take this blog way off the reservation. I just sorta did 🙂
    So yeah, about this Sugar Daddy thing – I tend to look at from an evolution standpoint. Think of the sugar daddy as the caveman with the biggest cave, the most buffalo meat, the biggest muscles, fastest runner. You get the point. They get the youngest, most beautiful ( read: most fertile) women.
    It’s a part of being human, I guess. I read Sex at Dawn and it pissed me off, but I still liked it.
     
     
     
     

  9. 9
    Miranda

    Evan, I’ve been reading your blog long enough that I know you’re intelligent. So this post baffles me. I also know you don’t mind getting mouthy and being rude to a potential customer so I’m sure your response to this will not be kind but I wonder if you really thought your Romney jab through before posting it. I, myself, am not a Romney supporter. However, you have managed to make some people uncomfortable, obviously. Not only that, but you have clearly distracted readers from the subject of your post. Neither of which seem condusive to trying to become rich, even if it is only a side dream.

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Miranda

      a) I’m not rude to people who aren’t rude to me.
      b) Did I think through my Romney jab? No, probably not. But I’ve made a career out of not carefully calculating what I should say in order to appeal to others. I’m not about to start now.
      c) Did I make some people uncomfortable? It certainly seems so. Was that my intention? No. Was it the byproduct of me, speaking my mind in an unfiltered fashion? Yup. Probably shortsighted.
      d) Did I distract readers from the subject of the post? Clearly. My bad. But only because the blog has been hijacked by people who are so easily offended by an off-handed one-liner as to ignore the gist of the post itself.

      So while this is most definitely my “fault”, here is what I’ve learned:

      a) People are way too thinskinned. I made the same joke that 1000 comedians have made: Romney is a rich, disconnected, robotic figure who has trouble connecting with regular people. Does his debate performance change that? Not a bit. Is this relevant to dating/relationships? Not a bit. Yes, even though I mentioned it in the original post.
      b) Because people are way too thinskinned, I may be forced to think twice about posting anything remotely political. Which is kind of unfortunate for me. Because I’m pretty passionate about my belief that reality has a liberal bias. Sometimes, reality has a way of finding its way into my public musings.

      What’s going to happen now?

      a) If you’re really that surprised that a public figure would let his actual opinions seep thru on a public forum, get over it. This is my blog.
      b) If you’re really that sensitive about being conservative that you can’t take a very light, commonplace joke about the public perception of Romney, you’re probably going to be extremely sensitive about other things. Good luck to your future partners who dare speak their minds and don’t toe the line for fear of offending.
      c) If you’re really that offended that a guy who gives you free dating advice multiple times a week is (gasp!) an open liberal, in a world where no one dare speak his mind for fear of offending others for monetary purposes, then, by all means, stop reading this blog, unsubscribe from my newsletter and find a source of information whom you like and trust more.

      I will completely understand. But my guess is that if you really want to understand men and make healthy relationship decisions, my occasional liberal rants will not dissuade you from purchasing my products. And if they do – if it’s so intolerable that I have a different political bent from you that you can’t even listen to me anymore – then you’re ultimately spiting yourself. You give up amazing advice because you don’t approve of the person giving it. Who loses in that situation? Certainly not me.

      Back to our regular programming. No more comments about Romney or yours truly. Which means I’m deleting both positive and negative comments about me (and Romney) and attempting to get this thread back on track. My fault for not recognizing just how divisive a one-line comment could truly be.

      1. 9.1.1
        Marika

        Evan,

        I want to marry that answer 🙂

        Every joke I’ve ever heard about every politician has some truth to it. If it wasn’t for politics, stand up comedy clubs would go bankrupt. Lighten up, peeps!

         

  10. 10
    Nadia

    As for the article on sugar daddies… I get the allure in theory, from both perspectives. But the reality of what the writer experienced just made me go, Ewwwwwwww. I wouldn’t say it brings out the best of anyone.

  11. 11
    Karmic Equation

    I think “sex and money” in the same context always makes both unsavory. I have to admit, if I were young and hot and needing money, this might have had appeal, as long as the sugar daddies were reasonable looking. I still get the heebie-jeebies when I think of the Sex and the City episode where you saw an old man’s *ss. Ick! LOL

    Now that said, is this idea any different than when women would “spread their legs” (Fusee’s term that I really don’t like for some reason) for a “relationship” but not without one? Isn’t the “relationship” the currency rather than actual money? And how is trading sex for a relationship truly different than trading sex for money? Basically, the men in these sugar daddy relationships are saying “I’m substituting money for a relationship, you in?” — Or if you twist that perspective to a woman who requires a relationship before giving it up, the woman is saying, “I’ll only give you my body if you give me a relationship (or enough money).” Women are bargaining with the same sex chip, just the currency is up for debate.

    Guess my point is that if a woman only gives up sex in a relationship, while it makes us sound/feel moral and good and just, the “relationship” is a currency the man has to give up…So whether we give up our bodies for a relationship or give it up for actual money…That’s just a matter of perspective. If you find one ok, then the other should be ok, too.

    Moral of the story is the same one I’ve been preaching…Have sex because you want to and not for any other reason. If you don’t require a relationship then sex is just an activity, not a bargaining chip. If you require a relationship to be part of the bargain, well, that’s just another way of selling your body…And most women won’t want to look at it this way, because why? If women really eliminate  sex as a bargaining chip, what do we really have intrinsically of value to bargain with for a man? Kind of an unsettling thought, isn’t it?

    Perspective is everything…so if we twist the above once again, then what that means is that when it comes to men, a woman’s greatest power is her body. This is the power that men don’t have, so acknowledge that power and use it wisely (pun intended).

  12. 12
    Maria

    I have to add that some of these rich man are going through dating sites to offer you the world. In my case, I got few invitations to travel the world and even going shopping if I were to “date” these men. I totally ignored their emials because I was not there to look for sugar daddies but to look for love.

  13. 13
    CJ

    Personally I don’t understand the “sugar daddy” arrangement. I would feel used as the woman in this situation and the men have to know they are being used by these women. However, when it comes to things like this if they aren’t hurting anyone else and it works for them, so be it. 

    I think eventually people that have these types of arrangements realize that they lose out on the happiness and joy of real love. It makes me sad for them.

  14. 14
    David T

    Now that said, is this idea any different than when women would “spread their legs” (Fusee’s term that I really don’t like for some reason) for a “relationship” but not without one? Isn’t the “relationship” the currency rather than actual money?
     
    @Karmic12
    Because, dear Karmic, relationship means an emotional and even spiritual connection, and sex is inextricably tied to that even when we pretend or don’t want it to be.  If it wasn’t, we would be just as content satisfying ourselves instead of wanting it to be with another breathing human being and the words “spread their legs” might not make you uncomfortable. 
     
    I know you and I disagree about the fundamental tie between emotions and sex. You should  think, ask yourself and feel exactly why Fusee’s term bothers you. Based on your past posts, I am surprised it does.
     
     

  15. 15
    Goldie

    @ Maria #13, I was offered dinner once in return for pretending to be the guy’s girlfriend in front of his buddies. This was someone who’d initially emailed me on Match, but we ran into each other IRL later in a social group. He was 23 yrs older and seemed okay with the fact that he and I could never be a couple. Was nice and friendly, told me cool stories about his time in Vietnam etc. So when he emailed me that offer, I was shocked! Though, come to think of it, in our prior conversations, he kept bringing up his wealth, his two mansions, his investment accounts etc etc.
     
    Another much older man on Match, I emailed back, and stupidly tried to warn him that, by contacting much younger women who list their cutoff age at 20 years below his, he opened himself up to the danger of meeting a golddigger. (I was new to online dating and naive enough to think he’d appreciate my feedback.) Boy was he livid. Again, come to think of it, he did make a point of listing his salary and highly-paid profession on his profile, and mention them again in his email. So maybe, both of these men were in fact looking to make a business transaction — to find someone much younger and good-looking that would agree to date them for their money. 
     
    Re the article, I kept wondering as I read it if there are written contracts involved, and whether the women have to declare this income on their taxes. How weird am I? lol

  16. 16
    Goldie

    @ Karmic #12 — “Or if you twist that perspective to a woman who requires a relationship before giving it up, the woman is saying, “I’ll only give you my body if you give me a relationship (or enough money).” Women are bargaining with the same sex chip, just the currency is up for debate.”
     
    I think you have a point. This is probably one of the reasons why I could never get into the mindset of “no sex before commitment”. Just considering saying it made me feel weird, like I’d be using sex, like you said, as a bargaining chip to get something I want from a guy (commitment). Then again, it doesn’t need to be worded in exactly that way. If a woman (or a man for that matter) says “I cannot do casual, because I’m the kind of person that gets very attached as a result of physical intimacy — so, to avoid extra heartbreak, before we do it, can we make sure we want to be in a committed relationship with each other?” Now this sounds completely different, totally understandable, and not like trading sex for goods at all. Assuming, of course, that the person really does feel this way and isn’t playing some kind of game with their date.

  17. 17
    Fusee

    @Karmic Equation #12:
     
    That’s your prerogative to equate the process of building slowly and wisely an emotional connection for life with using ones body as a bargaining chip for a relationship. This recent comment of yours illustrates once again our different worldviews and goals: in earlier posts you have explained how you favor passion and romance and I have related my intention to purposefully build a solid, healthy, and happy life-long relationship. We’re just not on the same page!
     
    Now, I believe it to be extremely stupid of a woman to try using her body as a bargaining chip for a relationship. There is no way for such plan to end well. If she really wants to exploit her physical skills, I’d definitely recommend a financial deal with a clearly defined fee system. Much more empowering than manipulating an unwilling man into a commitment that could end at any time or worse lead to a very unhappy life.
     
    Although obviously not my thing because of how special the joyful sharing of physical intimacy is to me, I can certainly understand how tempting it could be to the attractive woman who already enjoys random hook-ups with stranger to consider doing it for money with the best looking and wealthiest men out there. After all, why not adding some financial benefits to an already satisfying deal?

  18. 18
    Ruby

    These are not “relationships”, they are business transactions, along the lines of prostitution. As David T (#15) wisely pointed out, a woman holding off on sex until a relationship is established is doing so not as a business transaction, but in order to protect herself emotionally, and give time to establish a real connection. Men and women in these “sugar daddy” relationships are not on equal footing, as the one with the money wields the most power.
     
    Even if these women are young and pretty, their options are more limited. If they weren’t, they’d surely find some other way to support themselves. And the men in these situations are often cheating on their wives, or are unable to form a deeper connection. Money and sex are the only currency they are able to offer.

  19. 19
    Clare

    Karmic # 12

    I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    The idea of sex as currency is, firstly, complicated by the fact that women also want sex. Using it as a bargaining chip is therefore potentially also hurtful to themselves. It’s not a clear-cut transaction as you describe, as a part of the woman wants to give sex, particularly in the case of a man she wants a relationship with.

    Secondly, your point about our bodies being our only leverage… If sex was the only item of value a woman brought to a relationship, that would indeed be sad. I will go out on a limb and say that in the best relationships, where the woman is loved and cherished, sex is almost the LEAST of the benefits she brings to a relationship. No man can adore you for your body alone. There has to be more holding him to the relationship.

    I reject the idea of withholding sex as a bartering chip for a relationship.  To me, that turns it into a power balance, which is I think entirely appropriate when the currency is money, as with these sugar daddies. To me, in a healthy loving relationship, it is more like a dance of back and forth, of which sex is one of the moves.

    You can choose to feel objectified if a guy has sex with you and then doesn’t want a relationship, or you can choose not to go there because you can’t handle the emotional consequences (I can’t), or you can choose to see it as a beautiful engagement between two people, but you should not see it as currency, in my opinion.

  20. 20
    henriette

    I live in a neighbourd that overflows with lithe, diamond-clad wives and their banker husbands.  The article linked above makes me feel uneasy but far less so than many of these marriages that surround me.   At least there is a semblance of honesty in the sugar daddy/ sugar baby, escort/client relationships that I can’t be sure exists in the marriages between many of these bald, dismissive rich men and their passive-aggressive, shopoholic, social-climbing spouses.

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