A Sugar Baby’s Perspective

When my friend Tricia* first confessed to being a sugar baby, I didn’t know what to think.

For as long as I’ve known her, she was (and still is) the career-minded ladyboss who often took life’s obstacles in her stride, with a cheeky smirk and a middle finger raised up high.

But beneath her strong exterior, I saw someone vulnerable, someone who, despite her chatty nature, fell silent when I asked if she was comfortable being labelled an escort.

“I had no choice,” she finally said, “It was the only way out.”

How it started

Growing up in a single-income household, Tricia’s life took a turn for the worse when her abusive stepfather robbed the family’s savings and left.

Penniless, she worked various part-time jobs to cover family expenses, but as a full-time student, her limited work hours didn’t suffice to make ends meet.

Although she was aware of the stigma surrounding the sugar daddy culture, a look at the attractive ‘fees’ offered on sugardaddymeets.com convinced her to try it out.

She crafted an alluring profile, and within two weeks, was on her way to meet her first sugar daddy.

Life as a sugar baby

In the beginning, Tricia escorted three middle-aged men. The first two offered S$200 for a quickie, whereas Joe*, a divorced businessman in his mid-50s, paid her S$350 for her time.

“With Joe, it felt less transactional and more personal. We would chat about my aspirations over lunch and he would offer me business advice.”

She would receive her payment after the deed was done, and the money usually paid bills and tuition fees while a small portion was kept for her personal allowance.

On dating men twice her age

When asked about how she felt towards sleeping with a man twice her age, she joked that older men were “surprisingly more attentive” and made her feel “less insecure”.

“They didn’t mind that I had stretch marks. Guys my age made me self-conscious all the time!”

Jokes aside, she knew flattery was only masking the fact that she was selling her body for money.

“I’d still cry alone at home, but I told myself to suck it up because life isn’t fair for everyone.”

The turning point

Tricia’s weekly affairs lasted for three months, before she broke down during an intimate session with Joe, and decided to end their arrangement.

Although the money she earned barely covered her family’s debt, she felt the ‘fast cash’ wasn’t worth sacrificing her mental well-being for.

“I felt dead on the inside. I couldn’t recognise the girl in the mirror anymore. That was when I realised I’d rather be broke and still love myself than to be rich and hate who I am.”

Sugar Babies VS Prostitutes

My final question to Tricia was whether she considered her job similar to prostitution. With no hesitation, she agreed they were one and the same.

“Exchanging money for sex makes you a sex worker, whether you like it or not.”

Surprised by her blunt remark, it made me reconsider my stance on prostitution and the sex trade.

Like many others, I assumed sex workers were uneducated and slutty when the reality is sometimes the complete opposite.

“Sex work is still work. And women shouldn’t have to feel terrible if they’re using what they have to make a living.”

However, this isn’t to say that Tricia encourages prostitution.

While the sugar life may sound tempting to some, she hopes that her story will caution young girls to think carefully before putting a price on their dignities.

*Names have been changed to protect identities