You might think you know what a sugar baby is; someone who trades ‘services’ for gifts and pampering by a generally older and wealthier sugar daddy.
Many have gone so far as to liken the practice to an escort service or even prostitution. But 23-year-old Anna, a uni student living in Coogee, NSW, is here to set the record straight.
Anna, who wishes to remain anonymous, was curious when she heard about the world of sugar dating and decided to sign up to the website Seeking Arrangement.
“I thought I would do it just for fun,” Anna tells Be. “I had no expectations. I was very curious and intrigued by the world.”
According to the website, sugar daddies or mummies are successful men and women who know what they want. “They’re driven, and enjoy attractive company by their side. Money isn’t an issue, thus they are generous when it comes to supporting a Sugar Baby,” it reads.
The site sets out to help connect people within an arrangement – “where people are direct with one another and stop wasting time”. It allows people to define what they need and want in a relationship and state their expectations clearly.
Anna says there are many different kinds of sugar babies and different types of arrangements.
“A lot of people think being a sugar baby makes you a prostitute or an escort. But it’s not all like that,” she tells us.
“There are girls that really offer their ‘services’ – more intimate things – and they even have how much they charge in their profile.
“There are also girls that sell their pictures. Sexy pictures, bikini pictures and that. Or sometimes a guy might request something specific that a girl might sell.
“There are also sugar mummies that want best friends and take you out for breakfast, fancy lunches.”
After signing up to the site, Anna started getting messages within a few hours. But admits she’s had some very “weird and exotic” requests.
“I’ve been asked to dress up as Britney Spears from the video ‘Baby one more time’,” Anna reveals.
“I’ve been asked to attend a BDSM school to learn techniques, someone wanted me to cut their toe nails in exchange for a Gucci bag, people have offered to pay for me to send them a lock of my hair.
“A sugar mummy once asked for me to pretend to be her daughter for a week and lover at night.”
However these, and many others, are requests Anna declined.
“I know that there are people with weird fetishes out there, and I guess the easiest way to approach people about that is online,” she says.
The student even turned down the opportunity to live rent free in an apartment in Sydney.
“This guy wanted to give me an apartment in the city and give me everything I needed to take care of all of my expenses, but I had to act like I was his wife,” Anna says.
“And he actually had a family. He wanted me to be his secret wife. But I said no. I do not support anything that has to do with breaking up families. Or affecting other people’s lives.”
Anna has only ever had two sugar daddies, neither of which she ever had a physical relationship with. While she admits there was attraction there, it was more about the connection and company than anything else.
Her latest sugar daddy was a 45-year-old widow and said he contacted her because she reminded him of his late wife.
“He really treated me like a princess,” she tells us. “I think he felt like he was with his wife again, but he never compared me. And after that painful time it helped him feel better.
“He took me to different places, I went with him to events, but not as his girlfriend, just as a companion.”
While she never expected anything in return for spending time with her sugar daddy, Anna was gifted everything from a Louis Vuitton purse and wallet, Tiffany jewellery and Pandora bracelets, charms and rings.
But she was completely blown away by a near life-changing act of kindness.
“I had a phase where I had nowhere to stay,” Anna says. “I didn’t have a job and couldn’t pay uni. One afternoon he called me and said he’d left something at my door. I expected flowers.
What was actually there was a pink box filled with gifts as well as a card, and a cheque for $5,000 to cover her uni fees.
“I didn’t feel comfortable accepting it at first. It didn’t feel right. I turned it down a few times but he kept insisting,” Anna says.
While she has since stopped seeing her sugar daddy, Anna is still active on the site.
“I always like to meet new people,” she says.
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