The “Sugar” Life: Is it Really That Sweet?

Ava is a sophomore in college. She’s your average college student. She’s a public relations major, likes to go to frat parties, and is a sugar baby to pay the bills.

College is expensive, okay? Student debt is rising, cost of living is rising, and if you think my books that cost a thousand dollars a semester are getting paid by my minimum wage job, well you seriously need a wake up call.

So if working retail, bartending, and being a waitress aren’t covering the bills…what are college students doing to cover tuition? Women and men all over the country are investing in a new “career”: being a sugar baby.

A sugar baby is typically a younger woman who dates an older man (the sugar daddy) in exchange for gifts and money. While there are many different sites that match sugar babies with sugar daddies/ sugar mommies, the most popular is Seeking Arrangement. Ava uses the site for all of her sugar matches.  “It’s something to do when I’m not in class”, she explains. Seeking Arrangement is sort of like a dating site, only the lines are more blurred.

Nobody is really looking for a lifelong commitment, and a hookup isn’t just casual sex. There are still commitments, hookups, and creepy guys with obnoxious bios (hi tinder boys, talking to you), but everything is treated as an exchange.

Seeking Arrangement isn’t just open for college students, but they do have their own Sugar Baby University. UNLV ranks number eight on the list of having the most Sugar Babies with Georgia State ranking as number one. UNLV isn’t a super expensive school, yet according to Seeking Arrangement, there are 583 sugar babies using the service to pay for school.

Ava prefers platonic interaction with her sugar daddies in exchange for gifts. “My bag collection could probably pay for a semester”.

She also doesn’t have sex with her sugar daddies. “I use it like any other student would use a job search site”. She refers to it as “Linkedin with perks”.

It’s hard to believe that an old, rich guy would be okay shelling out tons of cash on Gucci and Chanel bags just to talk to a pretty girl. Ava explained to Karley Sciortino that it isn’t actually that hard, “There’s all kinds of ways of being a sugar baby”.

Ava insists that her relationships with different daddies is always nonsexual and explains to them before meeting that she is just looking for someone to mentor her and help with making business connections.

It is common for sugar babies to go on Seeking Arrangement not just looking for quick cash, but looking for those connections to help get them out of their financial troubles altogether.

Candygirl000 started a thread on Reddit AMA to explain her reasons for becoming a sugar baby and try to take away some of the stigma around having a sugar daddy.

“Raised dirt poor, I hesitantly became a sugar baby.”  Candygirl000 outlined everything from her most successful relationship with a longtime sugar daddy, situations to avoid, and even what originally pushed her into pursuing the “Sugar Life”.

“I was just backed into a corner. Needed money, was motivated to succeed”.

When asked to give advice for a potential sugar baby, Candygirl000 replied, “Do you want to have a career someday? I would not recommend doing it as a way to make money on its own.. for me, it was a catalyst for doing what I really wanted to do”.

Seeking Arrangement does a yearly summit for sugar babies and daddies. At this event, sugar babies learn how to be in control of their situation, while also pleasing their sugar daddy. Tips for the sugar babies include on how to perfect their makeup to attract and not scare, how to dress sexy and not slutty, and how to finesse as much money out of your sugar daddy as possible.

Many other events are hosted for potential and current sugar babies on Seeking Arrangement.

Sugar Coach Brook Urick even suggests to create a spreadsheet to give your perspective sugar daddy. (Just not on the first date). “Daddies don’t just want to buy you a Prada. You need to have a spreadsheet with your expenses so that you can share that with a sugar daddy”.

Despite Urick’s advice, it seems that there are still men who want to spoil pretty girls for little in return.  There are countless Youtube videos dedicated to sugar babies showing off prized possessions their daddies have gotten them (think anything from a designer handbags to an all expenses paid trip to Budapest).

Some sugar babies have no problem sharing what they have done for their sugar daddies and for how much.

Meet Sugar Baby Chris Franando.  He started being a sugar baby after graduating high school.

“Once I seen I could profit off of it, get good money, and save for school and stuff, like that, that is when I started taking it serious”, Franando said on Youtube. Like many others, Chris started the process of becoming a sugar baby through Seeking Arrangement.  It’s basically like any other dating website, “You have your profile, what you’re looking for, what you do, height, weight, all that stuff”.

Being a sugar baby is about more than signing up on a dating site and talking to older men. For a lot of sugar babies, it is their full time job to please their Sugar Daddy. Most sugar babies are sleeping with their daddies, having to look and act a certain way to keep the cash flowing, and are engaging in a lifestyle most people don’t consider normal.

Sugar babies are often considered being similar to a prostitute. Say what you will, but most babies will say they aren’t sex workers. Yes, many of these women are exchanging sex for money and gifts. However, these women feel that because they are in control of the situation, they are above being called a prostitute. Social media and a hostile political climate has proved how many men feel about women and their rights, so why shouldn’t women take money from men that are so eagerly willing to give it away.

There are other alternatives to being a sugar baby. They could get jobs. But most jobs that are given to college students aren’t cutting it anymore. Your morning Starbucks Barista is also a babysitter on the weekends, bartending every other night until three in the morning, and you wonder why she’s falling asleep in English 101?

Now, not every sugar baby considers this a short term plan. Some really like the presents, the sex, and the adoration from an older man. Cool.

But college student sugar babies are trying to avoid the exhaustion of working multiple jobs, the fear of not being able to afford rent, and are hoping to make connections to actually find a job after school is over.

Just like any other job, you have to be committed and willing to put in the time to be successful. I don’t think everybody can be a sugar baby, and I’m sure as hell not promoting it. But who am I, or anyone else, to judge how someone makes it through the day? Even if it means selling your soul for some Gucci slides.

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