Money talks and so does sex. Put them together and you may think I’m talking about prostitution – a simple transaction here a client gets their satisfaction and the vendor becomes heavier in their pockets – but I’m not.
Seven years ago young women known as ‘sugar babies’ were selling their stories of personal adventures and being spoilt by rich men, known as ‘sugar daddies’. Headlines hit magazines and newspapers.
Talk shows like Dr. Phil in America and Richard and Judy in the UK discussed how women on certain websites were only going after rich men. Many people labelled it as a form of prostitution.
Louisa*, 22-year-old Londoner and self-proclaimed sugar baby, paid for her breast augmentation and rhinoplasty with money from her sugar daddies. She had a few rich ‘boyfriends’ who loved lavishing her with gifts and money to make her happy. She met the men on a website strictly for young, pretty girls to be swooned over by rich, successful men.
“Everyone is doing it really – it just depends in where you meet them. Why is it any different to meeting someone in person who knows what exactly they want?” Louisa made it clear she isn’t sleeping with any of them. She has three sugar daddies who support her in different ways; her tuition fees, her accommodation fees, and her lifestyle. Her lifestyle is one of luxury. Clothes, perfume, jewellery, exclusive partying – you name it – she’s either doing it or buying it.
What really made Louisa join the website in finding sugar daddies? Was it really a yearning to be spoilt by rich men, or were there other underlying reasons? Her parents are divorced and her dad moved to a different country and re-married, she explains. The shock of parental separation hit Louisa hard. Being the eldest child of four, roles were changing in the household and she had to start helping her mother when it came to money. She took a year out after college and took on a full time job. It was tough to make ends meet, her mother was still raising a toddler, and Louisa felt trapped in her life.
One evening when she started her shift as a waitress in a high end restaurant in North London, her luck changed. One waitress who became friends with Louisa had seen Louisa’s unhappiness and suggested there was a chance to have a better life. It transpired Louisa’s waitress friend was a sugar baby and became one after a customer suggested she could join his group of sugar babies for adventures.
“I was shocked at first, I instantly thought it was something wrong, it didn’t make any sense to me at first.” Louisa’s waitress friend told her this group of sugar babies were from a website, and were looking to be spoilt. Her friend joined up once she realised how much attention these sugar babies were getting and wanted to meet someone. After a while pondering, her waitress friend told her to check out the website and she would see for herself.
“Looking back I guess I should have done more research and probably should have known better as I know by now there are risks and dangers when signing up to things like this. But the idea of having a better life was just too appealing at the time.
“The day I signed up is when I spent all my monthly wages in one go to pay the house bills, that really made me think, enough is enough.”
Louisa had no idea what to expect, but her waitress friend warned her she may get a few explicit emails from men purely wanting sex.
“I understand in a way why some people will think this is prostitution, some girls on their profiles wear next to nothing and their profile suggests they are willing to please their sugar daddies. But with the bad there is always the good. Yes I signed up wanting a better lifestyle, meeting different affluent men, it wasn’t my desire to sleep with strangers.”
It wasn’t long till one sugar daddy started talking to her regularly, asking deeper questions about her life. After a while Louisa told Matthew* about her situation, soon their conversations turned into something serious.
“Matthew was the first serious guy who spoke to me. I had many strange men messaging me before on the site to meet up with them in exchange for cash for ‘goodies’. We were talking to each other nearly everyday for about five weeks til our first date. He flew me away to Paris on his private jet for the evening.”
Matthew had taken Louisa to a Michelin star French restaurant and ordered the finest wines. For Matthew, who is a stockbroker from New York and regularly flies to London for business, it was a normal night. For Louisa, it was a start to her new life.
“Some may say how could I have possibly known my life would get better at that point as I was willingly allowing myself to be put in danger, but I cannot begin to explain the chemistry we had together. He simply understood and respected me, I guess I was lucky.”
It was a normal date – despite the advantage of a luxury jet and a driver. Louisa remembered she wasn’t feeling nervous at all, in fact excitement felt like adrenaline to her.
“As I usually work night shifts at the restaurant because you’re more likely to get a bigger tip, I told my mum I would be staying on to work behind the bar till 3am, so I had my story covered. I admit lying was bad, but at that point in my life, I just didn’t care.”
Though one person who was starting to care was Matthew. He made it clear to Louisa he’s had many sugar babies who have come and gone, but only a few lasted with him long term. Louisa claims that Matthew had a soft spot for her as she was always honest with him from the start.
“On the way back home after our first date we had a very good chat, and made plans to meet up the following week. Just as I was about to leave his car, Matthew pulls out this gift wrapped bag. The contents were something I would receive in a year as birthday and Christmas gifts from my whole family put together. In it there were five big bottles of perfumes, endless lip glosses, a Louis Vuitton purse and an 18 carat gold bracelet. The feeling of being surprised and extremely happy was something I’ve never experienced before.”
Louisa had an internal battle between morals and standards, a byproduct from her Roman Catholic upbringing. She couldn’t explain to her mother where she was getting these luxury gifts from.
“I started hiding the gifts in places in my room where I knew my mother wouldn’t look, as well in my locker at work. Soon it came to the point I ran out of spaces, so my friend who recommended the website said it would be fine to leave some stuff at hers.”
The prospect of her mother finding out was too much for Louisa, though if she ever got thrown out, she would be okay for money – but the fear of her mother disapproving was an unsettling thought.
“You think the idea of my mother being disapproving of my lifestyle choice was enough to put me off, but it wasn’t. I was enjoying it a lot and Matthew was introducing me to things I’ve never known or even heard of before. Even now going to university, mum thinks I’ve paid by applying for a tuition fee loan and the rent gets paid my another maintenance loan. As for the good clothes and that, she thinks I get the money from huge tippers. I just tell her the designer goods are replicas, so she doesn’t start to become too suspicious.”
Louisa admits she loves being a “spoilt princess” and enjoying the finer things in life. Going back to a poor lifestyle isn’t an option for her, and she is very appreciative of what has been given to her by these sugar daddies. However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end – will Louisa ever stop seeing these sugar daddies?
“Why would I stop now? I’m only 22 and having the time of my life! I know when I signed up I had no idea what to
expect, but as for giving up this life? Maybe one day when I feel ready to. I think I would come off the site in a few years time as I think by then I should be secured in my life.”
– Names have been changed to protect identitiesTweet