After Isabel, a 20-year-old Guatemalan-American student from Los Angeles, found out her boyfriend had been cheating on her, she decided to try a new dating strategy. “I figured if I was going to get screwed in the dating game, I might as well get paid for it,” she said. So she joined a site for “wealthy, generous” men looking for “attractive, intelligent” women. She soon met Jacob, a married banker in his late 40s. In exchange for sleepovers in luxury penthouses and $500 dinners, he agreed to cover her rent and tuition bills. “I’m not in love, but he’s kind and mature. Best of all, he’s paying for my school.” Isabel’s not the only one trading companionship for financial gain. Latina membership in SeekingArrangement.com, a popular sugar baby site, grew 378 percent from 2009 to 2013. Tempted? Girls living the life share their stories.
“I wanted to focus on school.”
Rosa, 27, student/help-desk tech. Spanish-Puerto Rican. Jersey City, N.J.
I was working two jobs and still couldn’t pay for college. I knew that some girls at school had sugar daddies and was curious about it. I signed up at SugarDaddie.com and started getting about 20 e-mails a day. In the two years since, I’ve had two relationships. The guys mostly want the company of a younger woman — but I did receive a cash allowance on each date with one of those guys. I recently ended it with my last sugar daddy because I found out he was still e-mailing other women. There are too many diseases out there. I wasn’t attracted to him anyway — he said he was 48 years old, but he looked older. I do need the money, but you have to sort through many weirdos. Plus my parents would be extremely disappointed. I’m not sure if it’s worth it.
“I was getting divorced.”
Carla, 35, administrative assistant. Mexican. Phoenix, Ariz.
I was going through a divorce and I needed money. I heard about these sites and thought, “Why not?” I met with about 40 potential sugar daddies before starting a relationship. With the first guy, we would just cuddle and watch movies. He paid for my divorce and the down payment on a new car. We dated for a year long-distance, but after I found out he was married, I ended it. I’m currently looking for a new sugar daddy. I do have guilt when I see people who work 12 hours a day and here I am living an okay lifestyle without doing much. I want to fall in love and have the fairy tale, just not right now.
“I’m a lesbian, but I enjoy the power.”
Janet, 36, professional sugar baby. Peruvian. Hackensack, N.J.
Being a sugar baby is an amazing ego boost. I have paid relationships with men who cover my rent, clothes, shoes, and trips. They entail the same thing marriages are supposed to: sex, intimacy, and companionship. All my sugar daddies know I am a lesbian and won’t settle down. I make it clear from the start that in exchange for whatever help I get, I will show my gratitude in physical ways. This is my only means of income. I have three relationships right now. My longest has been 13 years and is still ongoing. I enjoy their company, but I don’t enjoy the sex. I date on the side but not actively. It has been more than 10 years since I have been in a loving relationship. I attribute that to the choices I’ve made.
- Names have been changed.