What It's Really Like To Be A Sugar Baby
“People do a lot for money.”
Maggie works as a student ambassador, assisting her fellow students in their day-to-day life at University: making sure they’re safe, coping well in terms of their mental health and are attending class. Oh, and she’s also a sugar baby.
It’s a side hustle that allows her to financially survive a debt-ridden three years in full-time higher education, while also volunteering on campus and, in her own words, “maintaining a modicum of a healthy social life.”
But what’s being a sugar baby actually like? In terms of sexuality, is ‘gay-for-pay’ a thing? How much can you really earn? So many questions - which Maggie sat down to answer for us below.
What brought you to live life in the sugar bowl?
For me it’s easy money. I read an article about an American student sugar baby whose daddy paid off her student debts so I hit up Google, signed up to a site, and it went from there.
Oh actually, let’s talk about my first time.
Okay, sure. Go ahead and tell us all…
I was working in a kind of working men's club, one without any strippers or direct association with the adult industry, but the men there would often ask for our ‘time.’
Inside you were only allowed to purchase champagne and it’d have to be bought by the bottle, so they had money. Like, a lot of money. There I met a guy who wasn’t necessarily a sugar daddy, in that he didn’t approach me in that way, but his actions said otherwise.
He paid for us and one other girl, that I got to choose in order to make me feel comfortable, to go on a trip to America after I told him the places I wanted to visit in conversation.
He spent over £10k on us and he didn’t even ask to hold our hand. It was fun. It’s all fun.
Wait, hold up, so he just dropped £10k on you?
Yeah [laughs]. Beforehand he asked for my passport details and I was wary since I’d not done anything like that before, but I gave them to him. Stupidly lol, don’t do that. But tickets to the US dropped in my emails the same day.
He told me I was just coming as a friend and it turned out to be true. We went to NYC, then LA, and onto Miami. His friends asked us if we were escorts, I was like "nah, nah," and when we asked him why he’d taken us away with him, his answer was that he liked to share his wealth. I wasn’t mad about it, let’s be real.
Urban Dictionary describes sugar daddies as ‘a little old,’ is that always true?
They don’t necessarily have to be old. I’ve had sugar daddies who are quite young. They’re often men with high disposable incomes that are too busy to invest in a proper relationship, who are simply looking for company.
This can be in the form of dinners, sex and everything in between. Sex isn’t usually the norm as you’re paid for your time, not for any ‘favours,’ either monetarily, with gifts or trips away etc. It varies person to person though.
Do you have to go into the industry with dos and don’ts?
Definitely - at least I did. My don’ts involve any sexual kinks like SNM. If sex is all they’re looking for, it’s a no from me. Unless they’re hot [laughs]. I have a rule that they can’t be older than my actual dad either. But that’s about it. Then again, money talks.
I mostly look for non-sexual relationships, it pays less but it’s more fulfilling. There also has to be a spark as there’s only so long you can fake it, and to go for dinner and get £150 is a lot easier than having to sleep with someone for £500. Facts.
Is being a sugar baby a business then?
I don’t pay taxes, so we’ll call it a hobby [laughs]. Tax evasion takes place big time in this industry as it’s more of a cash-in-hand agreement, and yes, the envelope under the table sitch happens.
I’d definitely consider it as a job though. But unofficial.
What are your tips on how to survive being trade?
It’s important to make sure you set up the type of arrangements you’re looking for. Whether that be pay-for-meets or a monthly allowance. What are they looking for? Establish that beforehand. It helps in terms of safety. You always have to put your own wellbring and state of mind before money. Even if someone is offering you a lot. Always be safe. Tell a friend where you're going. Share addresses, have a code word you can message a friend, and have your wits about you.
If you, at any point, feel uncomfortable, then get out. It's easier to take the financial hit than put yourself at risk. It's all fun and games until it turns nasty.
Anyway, like I said earlier, payment is usually in cash. Being educated is important. If you’re not, read a Wiki page and fake it. You can charge more. You have to be a form of armchair psychologist. You need to be able to read a man, find out what he’s looking for without straight up asking, and always be yourself.
One time I lost a sugar daddy who was paying £300 per meet for simply going to dinner, the west end etc., because when he asked about my background he turned around and told me that he was looking for someone who’s a native English speaker, even though my English is great. I smoke weed too, and I described myself as 4/20 friendly [laughs]. He didn't like that.
But then, is that discrimination or a preference? With it being a paid-for role…
I do think it’s fair. It’s not the same as normal workplace discrimination. He’s paying money, so he gets to choose.
I just kind of see it as whoever is paying gets to have the say. The role is paid for based on a girl’s looks. Physical attributes. It’s the same as them asking for a blonde or a brunette.
What're your thoughts on the stigma surrounding being a SB?
People get confused with what’s sugaring and what’s sex work. Australia is one of the world’s leading economies and forms of sex work, such as brothels, are legal to run.
Sugaring is intimacy. You provide your time, personality and company. Prostitution is more direct. It’s sex. But there’ll always be a stigma surrounding any roles within the adult industry.
I don’t believe anyone should be judged for what they do unless they’re harming someone. It’s a consensual choice, so that’s that.
What’s your craziest experience?
A man once paid me to do naked yoga [laughs]. It was weird.
He told me he didn’t want sex and just wanted me to recreate his yoga moves in his hotel room while we were both naked. He was completely flaccid throughout. He was just admiring my body, complimenting me, and nothing else happened. That was it.
My colleague, so to say [laughs], got paid £500 to have cocaine snorted off of her ass for an hour by this guy. He then paid her another £500 to spend a second hour with him while he was high. The stories you hear across the industry are wild, but you kind of have to have that personality to make it work if you want big pay outs.
What advice would you give people entering the industry?
Be safe. Always. It's the most important aspect of the job, making sure that people know where you are at all times. I personally share my live location with a friend permanently. It may sound extra af but it works nicely.
I also send the address I'm at via text as and when I move locations, just to be sure. But also, don't fret too much. Sugaring is different from sex work in general as the sex part is not a requirement. Meeting for a dinner in a nice location, which is usually busy with other people, is as safe as it can get. Just don't go anywhere private with a client that you don't know, or trust.
Your gut is your best friend.
Are you ‘gay-for-pay?’
If the price is right, yeah. I’m straight but if the girl was pretty and I didn’t have to perform oral myself, I’d be down. I’ve taken part in threesomes before but it’s very rare. So I guess you could say my working sexuality differs from my personal one.
People do a lot for money.
*Maggie’s name has been changed for confidentiality.