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Sugar and Spice: What is a sugar baby anyway?

By Ms. Alice, December 6 2019—

There is a growing interest among students and young adults in the sugar baby lifestyle. In this economy, life is hard as a student and money gets tight. It’s easy to say that you wish you had a sugar daddy, but do we really understand what that means? I took matters into my own hands and decided to try out the lifestyle. There are many connotations and myths about sugar babies that make people either judge the idea or fear it. Here are a few things to consider when fantasizing about this luxurious lifestyle. 

Is it a relationship? 

Yes, it’s a relationship of sorts. When I first went into this, I had no idea what to expect and felt quite foolish asking questions. I had no idea if there was a normal type of arrangement, or if it was dating. I found out that the sugar baby arrangement is one where all parties involved receive what they want. The sugar daddy or mama will be searching for anything from friendships, mentorships, a travel buddy or someone to fool around with. Websites make finding an arrangement a bit easier as both parties will typically describe what they are looking for. Sugar baby relationships aren’t always sexual — that is something I learned quickly. Although there will always be people out there who use it for that reason only, most of the time they want an emotional connection as well. My first sugar daddy made it clear that we were friends and perhaps could become friends with benefits, but believed that sex should be off limits. 

Who has control? 

Often, I find the sugar baby has the most control in the situation. They have control over how quickly they want to move into the relationship, they choose what gifts they’ll receive and what the partner will receive in return. I have learned that a sugar baby either needs to be assertive or learn to be. A sugar baby needs to know what they want. The relationship depends on how you look at it. I have decided to look at my sugar baby relationship as just another source of income. It is an act more than a relationship. Since mine has a contract, I know this person will only be in my life for so many months, so there’s no use in getting attached. I know of other sugar babies that do commit to their partners as relationships, though. I have learned to be dominant in the arrangement because I know that otherwise, I will not get what I want. Communication is key for this type of lifestyle. Your partner needs to know and be told what you want and what they would receive for it. It does take time — just like any relationship, you shouldn’t be rude, especially if they are giving you things. There is a very big sense of respect for all parties involved. A sugar baby should respect their sugar daddy or mama’s outside life just as they should respect yours. Both parties always have the right to refuse anything that they do not want to do. No one should ever feel that they have to do a certain thing to receive something. If the other cannot respect that, then it’s time to leave that setup. I have always included in a contract or initial meeting that I have the right to say “No” and, if my wants are not met or respected, I have the right to leave without warning. 

What’s an appropriate age? 

There is so much negativity around age when it comes to life as a sugar baby. I find that to be just as bad as shaming someone for any sexual preference. Of course, the age of the partners should always be within the ages of consent. There are ideas about how these setups can become abusive based on age and unfortunately, I cannot say that is a myth, but just like any relationship, abusers will abuse, and it is never the victim’s fault. No sugar baby goes into this wanting to be hurt. When it comes to age, in my experience there is no set age group for sugar babies or sugar daddies or mamas. I have met sugar daddies that are still young adults, ones who are middle-aged and a few in their late 60s. Sugar babies can be young adults, middle-aged and older. I often find that the average age for sugar daddies are around 35–55 years old and sugar babies are anywhere from 18–27 years old. There is always somebody for everyone out there, it just depends on your preferences. 

What kind of gifts?

I say gifts because it’s not a form of payment for a service, at least it shouldn’t be. Gifts have always been varied for me. Often times, gifts will come as jewellery, expensive clothes, objects. Eventually in some cases gifts become monetary based on need. I’ve had offers to buy me a condo to myself with paid rent, offers to move into an apartment they don’t use, offers for monthly vacations. Dates and outings are always paid for by my sugar daddy. I have found that with time, gifts get better. 

With these considerations in mind, I hope this lifestyle makes more sense to you. In Canada, there has been an increase in considering this lifestyle among students, but it still isn’t talked about as much. It’s hard to know where to start or what to think of it all without direction. The lifestyle is not meant for everyone. If I could summarize it, being a sugar baby is a lot like dating, but with less involvement and more perks.

This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.

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