Sugar Baby In Singapore
Stacey is a 26-year-old who enjoys playing tennis and going for high tea on the weekends. By day, she works as a full-time financial analyst. At night, she studies for her part-time postgraduate Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course.
Stacey is also a sugar baby.
Over the past two years, she has been in three dating-like arrangements with significantly older men. In turn, her sugar daddies have showered her with gifts and provided her with financial support.
Entering the sugar community was a chance occurrence. A friend introduced her to the lifestyle and to Sugarbook, an online sugar dating website. There, Stacey found her first sugar daddy and embarked on her sugar baby journey.
Being a sugar baby
According to Stacey, a sugar baby is someone who “enjoys [a] luxurious lifestyle and the finer things in life” who prefers to date “mature and financially capable men.” She doesn’t hide the fact that dating her sugar daddy affords her extra money to “enjoy life a little more.”
Most sugar arrangements involve a younger woman and an older man. However, anyone whose relationship dynamic fits the above definitions, regardless of their gender or orientation, can be in a sugar relationship.
At the initial stage of getting to know each other, Stacey explains that pay-per-meet (PPM) arrangements are quite common. In the sugar world, this is akin to casual dating. Only if the chemistry is right will the sugar baby and sugar daddy settle into a more long-term arrangement.
Stacey’s profile on Sugarbook. Photo courtesy of Stacey
Stacey looks for sugar daddies like this: first, she will message potential sugar daddies on Sugarbook. Then, she’ll text and video call them before meeting up and having meals together. She shares that most people are upfront and will dive right into what they’re looking for within the first few texts.
Stacey’s current sugar daddy is a Singaporean whom she meets up with twice or thrice a week. While she admits things can get heated in the bedroom, safe sex and consent is always key. Sexual health is something they pay particular attention to and both of them go for regular STD check-ups.
Staples from Stacey’s designer bag collection. Photos courtesy of Stacey
In exchange, he gives her a monthly $4,000 allowance. He also covers all their meals, entertainment and travel expenses. Stacey spends half of the money her sugar daddy gives her on personal grooming as well as shopping for designer bags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton. The other 50% goes towards paying for her school fees.
Interestingly, Stacey admits she does not need her sugar daddy’s money to support herself. To her, being a sugar baby is like having a side hustle. She sees it as a fast track to building a life that would otherwise take years to achieve on her own.
Dating and falling in love with her sugar daddy
Aside from the ability to financially support her, Stacey’s preference for sugar daddies is older men who are caring and upfront with their intentions. And because she is quite tall (172cm), she wants to date guys who are at least 180cm.
Her current sugar daddy checks all her boxes: he is 38 years old, 182cm, and holds a lucrative position in the finance industry. Stacey describes him as “very charming and caring” and has introduced him to her parents. Sometimes, he hangs out with her family.
When asked if her parents know that she’s a sugar baby, Stacey pauses before breaking into nervous laughter. “They don’t know I’m a sugar baby. They do know there’s a guy but they know [him] as my boyfriend. They’re actually quite happy because there is someone [who] can pamper me.”
“I’m kind of falling for my current sugar daddy because he’s single and rich. And he treats me very [well]. We did briefly talk [about marriage].”
This is not the first time a transactional sugar arrangement has turned romantic for Stacey.
Stacey enjoying the view at Kam Shan, Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Stacey
Her previous sugar daddy was a 45-year-old Hong Kong businessman who would travel to Singapore once or twice a month. Eventually, they developed feelings for each other. When COVID-19 struck, he asked that she move to Hong Kong to be with him but she refused.
Pandemic or not, Stacey maintains that she would not have given up her finance job and life in Singapore; her career is her priority. So, they ended the arrangement. “I [felt] sad to call it off, but bobian lah (no choice),” Stacey laughs.
Sugar baby versus sex work
However, Stacey clarifies that not all sugar relationships turn serious. At the core of being a sugar baby is providing companionship and/or physical intimacy as a paid-for service. It would do most sugar babies well to remember that a sugar daddy is a client, not a boyfriend.
This exchange of young bodies and time for money and a lavish lifestyle is why some associate sugar babies with sex workers. Stacey explains what sets being a sugar baby and a sex worker apart is the freedom of choice.
Like their sugar daddies, sugar babies can decide who they want to be in an arrangement with. They can either have one or multiple ongoing arrangements, but usually see one person a day. They can negotiate for what they want and are willing to offer; physical intimacy can be completely off the table. Sugar babies and their daddies do build an emotional connection with and care for each other. If they feel the sugar relationship is not going the way they want, they can call it off.
On the other hand, sex workers usually have multiple customers lined up daily. They might not always have a choice of who they sleep with and force themselves to have sex even if they don’t want to. Their relationships with their clients are typically a one-off or short-term affair.
Being a sugar baby as a side hustle
Another key distinction is that a sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a John. Neither does a sugar baby want to feel like she is a prostitute. That is why sugaring terminology sees certain words substituted to promote a dynamic of mutual respect.
“Intimacy” is used instead of “sex”; “companionship” as a replacement for “time and emotional labour”; “meeting” or “dating” over “ordering” or “going to”; “client” and “worker” are discarded for “partner”.
In some ways, keeping a sugar baby is like maintaining a courtesan, aka self-made women who were ‘professional mistresses’ to wealthy and powerful men during the 14th to 17th centuries. Often, they were intelligent, well-dressed, independent and had talent. In exchange for their services, entertainment and companionship, they were given luxuries and status.
This mirrors the modern-day relationship between sugar babies and sugar daddies. To keep a sugar baby, he has to wine and dine her; and compensation can extend to providing career advice, housing, social connections…
On her end, to keep her man, a sugar baby has to offer more than just sex. She has to know how to flirt, negotiate, pacify, hold a conversation, and carry herself well. Above all, she needs to have confidence. At the end of the day, a sugar baby is a businesswoman who puts herself first.
As a sugar baby, Stacey knows this. That’s why she spends a significant sum of money on skincare and lipstick to maintain her looks. But she is not doing it solely for her sugar daddy. She’s mainly doing it to feel like and be the best version of herself.
Finding A Sugar Daddy In Singapore
Even though it is clear the sugar baby holds less power due to her lesser financial capabilities, a sugar relationship is still a mutually beneficial arrangement between two consenting adults. Despite Stacey’s openness and positive attitude to sugar relationships, she acknowledges that there will always be some who look down on her unconventional lifestyle choice.
“[They will] judge you, say that you’re shallow, incapable, stupid. They will think that [being a] sugar baby is just [about providing physical] intimacy so that you can get an allowance. But it’s not like that lah.”
“I’m very confident, so I don’t really care about what other people say about me. I don’t need any explanation to others, because I’m happy with what I’m doing.”