A professionally kept woman

Just read an interesting article over at The New York Times called: Keeping up with being Kept written by a Ruth Padawer on April 10th 2009.

The basic premise of Seeking Arrangements (the website) is one of the oldest in the book: Men with money and possibly power (Sugar Daddies), looking to connect intensely and have a deep .. but shallow no-strings, no-commitment relationship with a young, beautiful, interesting woman (Sugar Babies).

The article points out that it’s true, this has been one of the oldest trades of time: trading money for sex with youthful beauty.

Sugar babies outnumber daddies 10 to 1, Wade says, providing what one sugar daddy called “the best fishing hole I ever fished in.”

There’s the 18-year-old from France asking for $5,000 to $10,000 a month from “a mentor who can provide me with the finer things in life and keep me happy!”

And the 49-year-old investor from upstate New York willing to pay $5,000 a month for a “daytime playmate” for “intense connection without commitment.”

Many men are married. Some in loveless marriages, trapped for the sake of their young children.

Others are just looking for something that is missing in their lives and even though the site says: no commitments, some of the sugar daddies (that word really gives me the creeps) say the following:

“It’s very clear with this site that she [a sugar baby] is getting something out of this, hopefully emotional support and mentoring advice and fun in bed, but also something financial, so don’t come back to me and say that you were used or that I left you high and dry,” he said.

“I like that aspect of it, but on the other hand, it would be nice not to have the money involved, because you always wonder:

Would she still want to be with me even without the money?

Does the money make me more attractive than I really am?”

ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF ARRANGEMENTS on the site involve the daddy paying an “allowance,” and the rest provide the baby with incidental cash, shopping sprees, gifts, travel or the fleeting illusion that theirs is a high-end, easy life.

And it’s not all just men paying for sex or companionship. Some, just pay in gifts and a fabulous lifestyle.

“I get flown to whatever city I want,” wrote a North Carolina college student, who goes by the name gurlnextdoor on the site’s blog, a mix between an online support group and a kaffeeklatsch. “He pays for it, takes me shopping, we talk, laugh, go out to eat and do whatever we want to do for our days together. . . . I don’t bring up mundane problems about my home life, and he does the same. . . . If I wanted someone to talk to about my life problems, I’d get a boyfriend or a therapist.”

The article can be read here in its entirety – 7 pages from The New York Times excellently written by Ruth Padawer April 10th 2009

I was a bit disgusted, or shocked at first. I am not going to lie.

But as I read through the entire article, maybe it’s Ruth’s writing, but I saw it as a simple business transaction. Men are willing to pay. Women are willing to give, for a price.

Even without the site, these relationships will still find a way to exist in any number of socially accepted relationships such as marriage, rich boyfriends, escorts…

Not all the girls on there are poor or in need of tuition for school (although a large amount are begging for tuition), some of the girls are actually from rich families and they cannot afford to upkeep the lifestyle they’ve been used to based on their current salary, so they supplement with a rich “boyfriend”.

E. C., a 23-year-old sales-and-marketing coordinator in Toronto, says she already earns $40,000 a year as well as commission and the use of a company car. But having grown up in a wealthy family, her current salary doesn’t allow her to live in the manner to which she’s accustomed.

Clearly, each party is getting something out of it, and I suppose I can see the appeal of the whole situation — easy money, easy lifestyle.. but what happens when these Sugar Babies become Sugar Mamas? Or Grandmas?

The cutoff age must be quite low, around 35 or less. No man in his right mind, would pay $1000 a month for a woman over 50. Which is kind of sad if you think about it, but nevertheless, a harsh reality.

And the “exploited” Sugar Babies say that they don’t feel exploited, although I am sure that since they are not telling their friends and family what they’re doing, they’re clearly embarrassed.

…a 22-year-old named Mercedes told me, “I don’t see how people can view this as exploitation.” Mercedes is a junior who pays her own tuition at a Georgia university.

She has had six sugar daddies in the past year to supplement her wages busing tables and washing dishes at a bar. “I could go out and work three jobs and still go to school and probably make decent grades, but is that really what I want to do?

I make more money this way, and I have a lot more fun because I get to go out to concerts, go shopping, see movies and make money off of it.

If instead of this I was just dating a rich guy, it’d be almost the same thing, and society wouldn’t look down on that.

You know with a sugar daddy that they’re spending a lot of money on you and they clearly want something in return, but is that really any different than how it is with a boyfriend?”

She makes a good point, but I am still uncomfortable with the whole idea.

Personally, I’d rather be the type of girl who slaved as a waitress to make the cash, instead of spending all of this time worrying if the guy is going to move on to another girl and cut me off from my monthly stipend.

There’s too much to worry about. Your age, your looks, what people are thinking, how to hide it…

It’s also all a bit hollow, spending time with a man you can’t really be attracted to (bad breath, too fat, too short, bald, kind of all around wrong, or maybe he has a nasty personality), and doing it with the expectation that you WILL put out or at least, give something up of yourself you aren’t normally willing to.

Plain and simple, they’re escorts. It’s just that instead of going through an agency, they’re going directly to the customer.

It’s almost as though the guys have a kind of complex, that makes them want to eagerly help and nurture a poor, helpless Sugar Baby, so that they can feel like THE MAN, so they get a bit of a warm fuzzy, charitable feeling out of doing good….. all the while paying for it.

Some Sugar Daddies even send money to these girls, to pay for their trips to visit their real boyfriends!!!!

It’s ingenious and incredible at the same time.

At least this explains why beautiful women are with some of the unlikeliest creatures.

You see plenty of women with men who are clearly not in the same league as they are, and this site just matches those expectations.

I do have to admire the straightforwardness and the brutal honesty of the whole situation, but it’s just not for me.

But, it’s not all fun and games. You can also be a victim of extortion in the process, as a Sugar Mommy/Daddy. The heir to the DuPont fortune, was slammed with extortion because he was frequenting that site.

So what do you think? Could you ever play either role? Sugar Daddy, Mommy or Baby?
(Damn these names suck.)

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.