The Sugar Daddy Dilemma
“Loved your profile:) I would like to offer you an allowance of 4000 per month. We would meet for a few hours each time, have some nice cocktails, food, travel and hang out at a private place… How many times a week would you be able to catch up with me?”
Travelling is a fucking expensive hobby. Now, before you light your torches and grab your pitchforks, I know you can do it on the cheap. I’ve read Europe on a Shoestring. I’ve hitchhiked from one sketchy town to another. I’ve dodged train fares – and trains – by walking along the tracks. But, even the tightest of tight-asses has to spend some dollars sometimes. Getting off this island continent typically means getting on a plane, and that doesn’t come cheap. Return international flights departing Sydney start from $200AUD, and are mostly to our sheep-shagging mates in New Zealand, or a “stop-over city” in South-East Asia. The bottom line is: to travel, you need some money.
At a very young age, the old chestnut that money doesn’t grow on trees was embedded into my psyche. So, I became a slick entrepreneur at five years old. To swindle my family, I’d clean cars, walk dogs, and once I even prematurely pulled out a tooth, just so the Tooth Fairy would make it rain under my pillow that night. I burst onto the employment scene as soon as legally possible, and promptly stashed the cash I made. I then dropped said cash on my first big overseas jaunt – an exchange semester at 16. Since then, I’ve worked an eclectic range of jobs to fund my travel: selling books at the height of the Kindle craze, delivering pamphlets on a paper route, and taking advantage of free food and WiFi while babysitting.
Work. Travel. Work. Travel. That’s been my shtick, and I’m shticking to it. But, what happens when the travel beast growls with hunger, and your bank account can’t satiate? Rationality says, “Don’t travel”. Common sense would suggest you make an Excel spreadsheet, budget the next few months, see how your savings are going, and then, based on those trends and projections for the next financial year, plan a trip within your means. Too bad I want to travel. And I want to travel now. Looking at my savings account, I can see I’ve done more spending of the savings than saving of the savings. I’m working and studying full time right now, but I’d like to supplement my income, so I can jet off in a few short months. It’s just that I don’t want to have to do a whole more, in return for a whole lot more money.
What I really need is a Sugar Daddy.
Enter, AJ*. His message, offering me $4,000AUD per month, for “nice cocktails … at a private place” sent me reeling. I had signed up for a Sugar Daddy dating service, but I wasn’t actually prepared to be contacted, let alone offered money. In the 48 hours since joining the site, I’ve had multiple messages, been “favourited” by potential Daddies (try not to vomit at the term, would you?), and I’ve questioned my morals mercilessly. I’ve never been into dating, let alone online dating; I’ve never had Tinder, and I’m too much of a heathen for e-Harmony.
But, I want attention. I want to feel special. I want to challenge all my ideas about feminism. I want to take advantage of my sexual dexterity. I want intelligent conversation with a man who isn’t 21 years young, and who preferably doesn’t think a nice night in is me watching him play Call of Duty. And, you know what? I want a damn cash bonus if I’m going to keep pretending to enjoy his cunnilingus efforts.**
To be frank, I can’t quite make up my mind about it all. Yesterday, I laughed at the absurdity of it all. A SUGAR DADDY?! Am I for real? Today, I was giddy at a message from a particularly foxy silver fox of an investment banker.
My primary motive here is money, maybe some fancy food, and some even fancier events, but mostly, this is about the money. Already, that admission freaks me out. That’s not me. At least, that’s not who I thought I was. I believe in hard work, and being rewarded accordingly. Yet here I am, chatting to Thomas,* fishing for a date that will hopefully end with cash – and not a kiss.
For a while, I’ve been planning another trip away. It’s creeping up quickly. My budget isn’t huge. I’m relying on the generosity of friends I’ll be visiting, and the relative comfort of their lounges. I’m also banking on their mums liking me more than mine did when I told her I was planning to piss off again. I’m always looking for bargains: coupons, discount codes, secret sales – you name it. I search for flights exclusively in incognito browsers to ensure I nab the cheapest seat. I’m sussing out hitchhiking routes, and finding couches to surf. But, I’m also still scrolling through profiles of older wealthy men, preparing to sell my morals to the highest – preferably least sleazy – bidder.
And that’s when I wonder, at what cost will I travel? The high reward of being a Sugar Baby comes at a high price: my morals. On one end of the scale, my troubled mind lays rigid and flat in Business Class, is lonely in King-size beds and chokes down gourmet dinners. On the other end, my conscience rests easy on overnight trains, relishes 24-bed dorms and savours strangers’ food scraps.
It seems like a pretty simple choice. Maybe the Sugar doesn’t taste as sweet as I had hoped.
*Names have been changed to protect Daddies
**Please just listen when I tell you, “That’s not my clitoris…”