Have you heard the term “Sugar Daddy?” We’re willing to bet you have. Dating is a concept that has been continuously modernized as time passes and as our daily lives and desires change. For example, one of the first trends in dating was blind dating, then came Match.com, then we were introduced to the world of Tinder, and now the hot topic is “sugar dating.”
Sugar dating is a phenomenon that is sweeping the nation with force and we simply had to learn more.
In January 2016, over one million college students in the U.S. were seeking Sugar Daddies on SeekingArrangement.com
Clearly, there is a strong prevalence in sugar dating all around the world, but none of us outsiders seem to know much about it. This article is an exploration into the world of sugar dating, a world that seems to be hiding in plain sight.
What is “Sugar Dating”
“Sugar dating” is described as a “mutually beneficial” relationship in which a wealthy individual seeks companionship (typically from someone younger) in exchange for money. While the most commonly thought of arrangement is the exchange of some form of sexuality or a sexual relationship for money, there are many other types of relationships that are considered sugar dating and we looked into a few. Undeniably, single men seeking out young women are the most common sugar daddy profiles.
With that being said, 33% of sugar daddies are married (HuffPost Canada, 2013) and their motivations for joining the sugar dating community differ. In addition to those men, there are also couples that are looking for a third person to join their partnership in some way, shape, or form (anything from shared experiences, sexual or otherwise, to an actual relationship).
There are also men and women that are seeking platonic relationships (approximately 10-20% – Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). While it may seem odd that someone would pay someone thousands of dollars to be their friend, there are a variety of motivators that may lead one to look for a sugar baby. There are even sugar daddies and mommies on SeekingArrangement.com that want a sugar baby to move in with them to show them how to “live the luxurious life.”
So, after looking into the different types of relationships, there is a lot more to it than we has initially thought. With that being said, we want to know why someone decides to try out sugar dating.
Sugar Daddies AND Mommies
On average, the monthly allowance for a sugar baby is $2,200 (SeekingArrangement). Though it may not sound like the most handsome of salaries, in retrospect it is a ton of money for an individual to spend on companionship. We wanted to know what makes it worth it for sugar daddies and mommies to invest in these kinds of relationships. While it is true that a lot of sugar daddies and mommies go onto Seeking Arrangement for sexual reasons (ie. sex, flirtation, attraction, etc.), there is a whole array of motivations and desires one is trying to fulfill that may propel them to sign up for a site or service of this nature.
For individuals making a lot of money (we are talking a lot of money), they may not have much time to go on dates and find love. Some individuals that are incredibly busy with their jobs use SeekingArrangement.com to find a partner to go on dates with, take to events and on trips, and to have the company that they don’t currently have time to find.
In addition, there is the concept of control and dominance that is played around with by many users on SeekingArrangement. The dome, the individual that holds the power, is often the sugar daddy/mommy and they may be dominant in a variety of ways. They could be getting off on the fact that their sugar baby is financially dependent on him/her or he could like being the one who makes the decisions about what the baby will do, each, wear, and say.
On SeekingArrangement.com, sugar babies are defined as “attractive people looking for the finest things in life. They appreciate exotic trips and gifts. Sugar babies come to experience a luxurious lifestyle, and rich people are satisfied on a regular basis.” The motivations for someone to choose to become a sugar baby are not as curious. By creating an account on SeekingArrangement.com (for free), young men and women are matched with wealthier individuals nearby them to connect with.
One of the primary motivators for an individual to become a sugar baby is financial assistance. Like we said before, sugar daddies and mommies offer a lot of money for the company of a sugar baby.
This money is often used for tuition, rent, and loans (SeekingArrangement offers a Premium membership if a sugar baby signs up with a university email). While not all sugar babies may be comfortable with certain conditions that sugar daddies or mommies put forth, they are never forced to enter into a relationship that they are not comfortable with.
Alongside the money motivation, there are other reasons that people become sugar babies. Some women and men join SeekingArrangement to feel real, authentic love and a connection. Others are looking for a way to experience the luxurious life with clothes, jewelry, events, trips, and more, sometimes even moving in with their sugar daddy/mommy.
So, we know the what, we know the why, and now we want to know the who. SeekingArrangement.com claims that over one million college students and over 3.25 million people total are using their website in the United States alone but if that is the case, where are all these users? Are they all around us? Is the concept not so taboo after all?
Without a doubt, the most popular membership in the Sugar Dating culture is sugar babies. In the United States, there is approximately six babies for every one sugar daddy. According to SeekingArrangement.com, 89% (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016) of sugar babies are females, 44% (HuffPost Canada, 2013) are college students and on average are 25 years old. In addition, the website also claims that 2% of adult females in the United States are signed up to be sugar babies on their website.
The highest concentrated state for sugar baby females is Nevada, where there are 51 sugar babies for every 1,000 adult women and for male sugar babies, the highest concentration is in New York The average sugar daddy is 40 years of age (Seeking Arrangement, 2016) and 33% are married, down from the previous 44% (HuffPost Canada 2013 As for the most concentrated state for sugar daddies, it is Nevada with 9.4 sugar daddies for every 1,000 adult men and sugar mommies are most densely populated in New York.
While these two states are the most popular for sugar dating, some cities that are close behind are Scottsdale, Arizona, Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California (HuffPost Canada, 2013). It is important to note however that there is a sugar culture in every state in the United States, regardless of how prevalent it is.
One of the perks of SeekingArrangement.com and other sugar dating websites is that users are not limited to searching in their state. Because sugar daddies and mommies have a disposable income, they are often willing to do long distance relationships, as long as their sugar baby is willing to travel to meet them, on the sugar daddy’s expense of course.
While it is free for sugar babies to register on SeekingArrangement.com, it is costly for sugar daddies and mommies to create and upkeep a legitimate profile on the website. First, there is a standard fee of $60 per month to keep their profile on the website. From there, they can pay an extra $5 to make SeekingArrangement unrecognizable on their credit history (THESIS). In addition, there are three different levels of membership, Basic Membership, Premium Membership, and Diamond Membership ranging from no additional costs to $1,200 extra a month.
One of the most notable aspects of sugar dating is that the income and net worth of sugar daddies and mommies are on their profile. SeekingArrangement.com looks at tax return data to verify the net worth of their sugar mommies and daddies and confirm that the information provided is correct. In order to be seen as a legitimate profile, the users can pay an extra $50 to get an Optimum Screening Background Check on their profile. Here, it looks for criminal records, address traces to verify the user’s identity, warrants out for their arrest, and social security number to verify personal information given. If they pass, they get a verified check next to their name, which is more desirable for sugar babies when looking for a daddy or mommy.
As for payment, there are a few different methods. After reading a few different blogs and forums, we uncovered some of the different payment period options as well as how the money typically gets from sugar daddy/mommy to sugar baby. Some of the most common ways someone is paid are cash and venmo and sugar babies tend to get paid either per visit or allowance, depending on the conditions of the relationship, how often they meet, and how long they’ve been seeing each other.
So, do we have you convinced? After delving into the Sugar Dating culture more in depth, it is not as daunting as previously believed to be. The point of sugar dating is for both sides to be open and honest about what they are looking for in a relationship. Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com, has explained in many interviews that he does not see the point in people pretending to be something they’re not and want something they don’t. So, if a sugar daddy or mommy is looking for someone to take out to dinner, bring to work parties, and only talk to when they feel like it, they can say so and if a potential sugar baby is just looking for financial support and designer products, she or he is more than welcome to put that in their profile.
But how does it work? On SeekingArrangement.com, it is free to sign up as a sugar baby. In addition, if a user signs up using their university email, they automatically gets the title of a “Premium Member” that comes with certain perks such as saving sugar daddies to “favorites” and customizing searches.
If you are a straight female seeking a male, here is a low down on what you will be asked when setting up a profile. When creating your profile, first you will need to create a username, add a picture, and create a short header to grab the interest of potential sugar daddies. In addition you will include your birthday, the gender you are interested in, and the lifestyle you are hoping to achieve (ie. negotiable, practical, substantial, etc.)
Next you will need to fill out questions about your physical features: height, body type, ethnicity, hair color, education level, occupation, relationship status, language, drinking and smoking habits, and number of kids. Lastly, you will fill out several descriptions about yourself and what you are looking for. Before your profile goes public, officials on SeekingArrangement.com review your profile. They check to make sure that your information is filled out completely and that you are not offering sex nor are you only offering an online relationship, neither of which are allowed.
If a sugar daddy is interested, he can message you and/or save you to his favorites. From there, you browse, explore, chat, and maybe even get a sugar daddy or mommy out of it!
So, if you were going to enter into a sugar dating agreement, which role strikes your fancy? Comment on this article and share your thoughts!
Bahadur, N. (9 Apr. 2013). The Cities With the Most Sugar Daddies. HuffPost Canada. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/sugar-daddy-capitals-best-cities_n_3045119.
Seeking Arrangements (July 2016) Sugar Dating Heat Map. Seeking Arrangements. Retrieved from https://www.seekingarrangement.com/sugar-dating-heat-map
Seeking Arrangements (Feb. 2018) Sugar Dating: How it Works. Seeking Arrangements. Retrieved from https://www.seekingarrangement.com/es/how-it-works
Sellinger-Morris, S. (10 Sept. 2016) Inside the World of Sugar Relationships. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-10/inside-the-world-of-sugar-relationships/7822586