Adjusting my dress, I slipped on my high heels before leaving the house. Ready for a night out, I wasn’t meeting girlfriends for cocktails. I was meeting a stranger for dinner – and being paid for my time!
For the past four months, I’ve been working as a sugar baby. I get taken on dates and given money and gifts in return for spending time with older, rich men – known as sugar daddies. And it’s completely platonic. The closest we ever get is a kiss on the cheek.
I never imagined I’d be doing this. When I moved from Hobart to Bondi, NSW, I wanted to be a musician, but never had enough money. My friend Mikey, 18, mentioned a segment he’d seen on TV about sugar babies. ‘You should do it!’ he joked. While I knew it was controversial and that some people wouldn’t approve, I was young and single. ‘Why not?’ I figured.
I never imagined I’d be doing this.
On impulse, I signed up to the website Seeking Arrangement. I couldn’t believe it when I opened my inbox a few days later to find dozens of messages. One from a man in Sydney on business caught my eye. Do you want to go out with me tomorrow night? he said. I could see from his profile that he was in his 50s, slightly overweight and balding. Chatting to him over the phone, I discovered he didn’t enjoy dining alone. Wanting to be clear from the start, I told him I didn’t want to take things any further than dinner. I felt strangely calm and I knew we’d be in a public place so I felt safe.
Meeting him outside his hotel and walking to a nearby Thai restaurant, we chatted about his work and my life in Sydney. It felt like going out for dinner with a friend’s dad! Afterwards, he paid the bill and gave me $200 for my time. ‘Do you want to come back to my hotel room?’ he asked, but I politely declined. Clutching two $100 bills, I couldn’t believe how easy it had been. Since that first date, I’ve met eight or nine more sugar daddies.
More savvy about who I meet, I always do research online to make sure they are who they say they are. Most of the men are in their 50s or 60s. But I was also contacted by an attractive 30-year-old man.
Clutching two $100 bills, I couldn’t believe how easy it had been.
‘Why are you paying to date me,’ I asked. ‘You’d have no problem finding a girlfriend.’
‘It’s more straightforward to do it this way,’ he replied.
I’ve had sugar daddies pay my phone bill and one is even renewing my passport for me. My next big date will be to the Grand Prix when it comes to Melbourne. I’ll be flown there to spend the day in the VIP area sipping champagne
Most of the men I meet seem lonely. They’re happy to have someone to chat to and enjoy my youthful enthusiasm. I could make more money by sleeping with the sugar daddies, but I always make it clear I won’t do that.
Most of the men I meet seem lonely.
When I told my mum Anne, 45, she wasn’t mad but she was concerned for my safety. But I’m always very careful. My friends also worry I will regret it when I’m older but if I were to find a boyfriend, I wouldn’t carry on doing it. Until then, I love being a sugar baby!
As told to Riah Matthews
Originally published in that’s life! Issue 9, 2016