Over the last month, I have come across several articles and have engaged in many Facebook conversations about sugar daddies or “sponsors” as some people call them. These conversations seem to start with someone saying “if we are dating then he should help me with my bills otherwise what is the point”. I am not judging women (or men) for holding these beliefs if it works for you and your partner then more power to you. It has gotten me thinking though about the price that seems to be affixed to the female body and her affections. Personally, I’m of the mind that if a man asks me out he will pay for the date. If I were to ask a man out I would, and have, pay for the date. To me that is just normal dating behavior. The part that always confounds me is how do you go from this was a fun movie to “I need money for my car payment”? I commend people who can have these discussions and get their needs met it just seems a bit too clinical for me.
I did a quick google search to figure out how involved this culture is because people seem to have no real problem saying it or thinking it. I discovered that there are entire dating sites devoted to “sugar babies” meeting “sugar daddies”. There is no pretense here. The men on these sites state how much they are willing to provide as an “allowance” and women who sign up on this site set their “monthly allowance” requests. Then the rest flows like a regular dating site except the expectation has been set up front so if there is a connection both parties already know what is expected. While this may all seem cold and calculating I can actually appreciate the thought behind it. It seems to eliminate what I would assume would be an awkward conversation about money and then people can focus more on the getting to know you portion. Now one thing that didn’t miss my notice was that most of the men on these sites listed themselves as married or involved so this adds another layer to this type of relationship. There were plenty of people who listed themselves as single however I have doubts about their actual relationship status.
What seemed to come up regularly in the conversations I had with people was that if the man (or woman) in question was married then the expectation goes up exponentially that they would provide financially for their partner. Is it compensation for being a mistress? Is it a way to assuage the guilt the person feels for being engaged in a romantic relationship with a married man? Is it hush money to keep you from speaking about your arrangement? Or is it just that this person has disposable income and wants to shower his mistress with gifts? While it would be great to receive financial assistance from a romantic partner I personally can’t bring myself to ask no matter how dire the situation may be. In fact, I’ve only ever asked a boyfriend for money once in my life and I felt horrible about it for the entire 31 days until I could pay it back. I did have a non-romantic friend offer to give/loan me money and I turned it down. I think it is just that I don’t like owing anyone. The only person I don’t feel too bad about asking for money is my mom and even then, I am usually at my wits end and have tried everything else known to man.
Lastly there is the sex factor. While I have heard that there are people who will give their partner money just for the joy of having someone to spend time with, I’m sure those scenarios are outside of the norm. I would assume that if someone is shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars they will be expecting more than witty conversation. Would one wait until after starting the sexual part of the relationship before bringing up money or before? Is it more expected if the sugar daddy is older or married? When does the money change hands? For me I am not able to have sex with someone I don’t have a connection with and part of that connection would have to be physical attraction. After perusing a couple of sites and even a few “how to meet a sugar daddy” type of tutorial blogs I realized that this type of arrangement just isn’t for me. I will just have to deal with the late fees or work overtime if needed but it is fascinating to me that there are scores of people who find these types of relationships mutually beneficial and as long as both parties know what they are getting in to then more power to them.