“Sugarbaby meaning…” what exactly? It’s a common question some people ask, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a sugar baby, and this week we’re going to do some myth-busting.
While younger women (and some men) becoming involved with older men is not new, thanks to the media and sugar dating websites like SeekingArrangement, it’s more out in the open than now, and some people feel threatened by people who choose to live in ways they might be comfortable with themselves. As well, if you spend much time on the “lifestyle sugar baby” sites like on Tumblr, there’s a lot of people there basically saying that “Sugarbabys just don’t know they’re prostitutes yet.” At the same time, we certainly respect those who choose sex work as a career, we think it’s damaging to lump everybody into one category, but it’s part of the popular myths around sugar dating. On that note, here’s a rundown of some of those myths:
Sugarbaby Meaning: Sugar Babies Have Daddy Issues
This has almost become a joke at this point; basically, it’s a bit of pop-psychology that says girls who grown up without a father figure in their life are just waiting to jump into bed with the first older guy who pays them a bit of attention. Hard to say where this one came from. We suspect it’s from maybe olden days when not having a male breadwinner in the household meant that marrying up was a way out of poverty. Who people choose to get into relationships with is pretty complex. At least in America, the economic class does seem to determine the type of household kids will grow up in. Other studies have suggested that the lack of a father in a girl’s life might make them bigger risk-takers. As for the bad relationship with parents, well that’s easy if you consider the most popular age range for sugar babies, it’s the early 20s, in other words, the time when young adults are discovering their independence – how many people do you know who had rough patches with their parents in their early 20s?
- Women in sugar relationships are looking for things that guys their age haven’t got yet, be it experience, maturity, a desirable lifestyle.
- Most women will still seek partners closer to their own age, mostly regardless of income, when they choose to.
- Sugar relationships vary in length, some lasting years, others lasting maybe as little as a few months.
- Because more women are seeking these relationships, they might not be the traditional “sugar baby” or “mistress” of yore.
Sugarbaby Meaning: Sugar Babies Are Basically Hookers
This is where a lot of the confusion comes in, between people who assume the worst when they hear “young women”, “men”, and “money,” and those who seek the apply the term”sex worker” to a broad spectrum of society.
In practical terms, SeekingArrangement, and most other sugar dating sites have policies against escorts using the website and also mention it in what’s not allowable in their profile guide, specifically no “Requests for sex or sexually explicit text”, “PPM” (pay-per-meet) or mentioning “Specific monetary amounts” Members are also asked to flag profiles that seem to be sex ads, but many do still appear.
Personally, in talking with people I did meet on the site, the difference came down to there not being hard and fast rules about what was expected and how much time people spent together. While an escort would have a rate based on time together and exactly what services were to be performed, there is much more give and take in a sugar relationship. In fact, there might not be any sex involved until a level of comfort develops. Ned-less to say, a “sex worker” in 2017 would find themselves frequently unemployed if they expected to earn hundreds of dollars for witty banter.
There’s also the level of exclusivity, a prostitute might have “regulars” eventually, but if a survey from Canada is correct, the average customer only buys sex four times a year, which means someone would have to have a small circle of “friends” to make any money in the business. On the other hand, a sugar baby might choose to be exclusive, or maybe a few partners, much like in regular dating.
In fact, the money isn’t that good for an escort anymore:
“…the price of an hour of sex with a female prostitute has been dropping fairly steadily in recent years. In 2006 the average cost was around $340. By 2014 it had dropped to about $260…[P]laces where local prostitutes had tried to standardise prices, growing numbers of migrant sex workers have made such unofficial price controls harder to sustain…[P]eople selling sex online…has probably boosted local supply. Meanwhile broader social changes may have reduced demand.”
The Economist (2014)
If you want to see all the gory details, The Economist did a study back in 2014 of what the money was like:
- Per-hour prostitutes are making less every year due to fewer men seeking escorts (blame Tinder, Bumble, Ashley Madison and pre-marital sex), more competition (again, the Internet’s fault)
- How “exotic” you are, your age, and what city you’re working in determine how much the average per-hour rate is (busty, athletic blonds with long hair enjoy an earning advantage, unsurprisingly)
- The cost of services offered has also fallen, leading to riskier (e.g. without condoms) services being offered to boost income
- Immigration (including, unfortunately, human trafficking) in larger cities can lead to more competition
While a prostitute offers only physical intimacy and is a short term deal, a sugar baby brings a lot more to their relationship than just sex. Most sugar daddies claim that being with a younger sugar baby brings out the best in them, and their business and personal lives take on a whole new dimension.
Sugarbaby Meaning: Sugar Relationships Are Fake Ones
This one is a variation of the “escort” myth. Most sugar relationships are real relationships, sometimes closer to a mentor-ship or a friends-with-benefits scenario than head over heels love affair from a romance novel. While some people seek NSA relationships in the sugar bowl, for the simple reason you are spending time together (and not just in the bedroom), many do become more than work.
Sugarbaby Meaning: They’re Dumb Bimbos (and Other Words)
Maybe this one comes from the idea if a woman is attractive, she can’t be bright too, or, if she’s so smart, why is she doing this? If you read the profiles, most people are in school or want to make something better of their lives. Sugardaddies, especially in the same industry as their sugar baby, can often provide mentorship or even just advice on getting into a field. Maybe people suggest people should mention their field in their profile so that like-minded people can find each other.
Sugar Daddies Are Ugly, Old, Bald Men
Well, that’s a pretty standard criticism for online dating, so no points for suggesting that. While the average age, according to one survey from 2013, seems to be 39 and falling, it’s still true that the men who have the ability to support a second person or provide good advice aren’t usually just out of high school. Many sugar daddies are just people who don’t want the complications of a typical relationship but would like to spend time with a sugar baby when they can. They are usually busy businessmen or working professionals who don’t want the added baggage of emotional investment. They can attract women even without a sugar deal but prefer the sugar lifestyle to remain stress-free and connected to people younger.
Sugar Relationships Are Only About Physical Intimacy
Again we’re back at the “prostitute” myth. Many sugar relationships are not based only on sex. In fact, if you really have sworn off sex, it’s not uncommon anymore for potential sugar babies to put “non-intimate” or even “online-only” in their profiles. True, this limits your choices a bit, but your life, your rules. In fact, if you’re not sure, put it in there. Even some sugar daddies buy into this myth, so be straight-up about your boundaries. That said, it’s not uncommon to become intimate. Some Sugar daddies like to spend time getting to know a sugar baby, while others may not. Their relationships are fun even outside the bedroom, and they also indulge in various fun activities apart from the usual fine dining and spending time in the pool. This is why it’s in everybody’s interests to put some of your interests in your bio – geez, this almost sounds like every other dating site.
Sugarbaby Meaning: All Sugar Babies Are Very Young
Obviously, being a sugar baby doesn’t mean she is a literal ‘baby’. All sugar sites should mention that the minimum age is at least 18; SeekingArrangement‘s terms of service require members to report any members who seem to be underage. In fact, most women seem to experiment with the sugar lifestyle in their university years. There are sugar babies of various ages, and sugar daddies enjoy spending time with sugar babies regardless of their age. Being a sugar baby is about being young mentally because sugar daddies want to feel youthful too. That said, most guides seem to suggest that the best age is after you’ve had a bit of life living, so if you’re just getting started, take things slow. On the other hand, there are women on sugar dating websites who might be closer in age to those women’s mothers. Realities like divorce and economic changes mean that there are sugar babies right into their 30s and upward.
Sugarbaby Meaning: Can’t Hold a Real Job
Many sugar babies have full time or part-time jobs. Being a sugar baby is not our only thing in life. Sugar babies can make money outside of the sugar bowl but also enjoy making money this way. The amounts depend on how much time a sugar baby can devote to a sugar daddy and go from being a little extra spending money to being a fully-fledged career. Many sugar babies use their money to pay off college tuition or pay off debts in addition to living a lavish lifestyle.
Sugar Babies Are Only Female
Nope, while most women on the site seem to be mostly straight (or listed as seeking “male/female”), there are many guys who are either looking for a same-sex daddy or an older woman. The term for guys seems to be “cub” or maybe even “gigolo” Fun fact: “gigolo” comes from the French word for male “dancing partner”, so any sugar babies looking to spice up their profile could refer to themselves as “gigolo” (female dance partners); then again “gigolo” in North America usually implies he’s a prostitute, so we’re back to that one – you can’t win!
Sugarbaby Meaning: They Don’t Know Anything About a Professional Job or Business
Now we’re back to either the “bimbo” or “prostitute” myth. Fact is, many women first try out sugar dating while they’re in post-secondary school. A post-high-school education is more important these days than ever before. Unfortunately, it also costs more, especially in countries like the U.S. As well as financial support, sugar babies know that the right sugar daddy might be able to help them get a foot in the door if they’re lucky. Others are single parents who don’t have the time to hold down another job while trying to complete an education or keep ahead of the bills. True, some sugar babies are just looking for fun money, which is fine, but most of them have goals.
Sugarbaby Meaning: Who’d Marry a Sugar Baby?
Lots of people are ready to marry sugar babies. Sometimes they disclose their lifestyle and sugar choices to their potential life partner; other times, they don’t. But having been a sugar baby in the past hasn’t stopped anyone from getting married.
We hope you liked exploring sugar baby meaning and myth-busting.