• Mon, Jul 30 2012

Harlotry: How I (Initially) Failed At Being A Sugar Baby

Because I prefer raw fish to all other forms of dead animals, I chose a sushi restaurant near my house. I assumed that on a Saturday night the place would be packed and the chatter of the restaurant would mask any awkward silences if it turned out we had nothing in common. Or, that there would be enough other people around and I could spend the rest of the dinner making witty, sparkling observations about our fellow patrons. Unfortunately I was wrong. We were literally the only people in the restaurant besides the staff.

The date got off to a very bad start. When I ordered a rainbow roll, Tony launched into a diatribe about how he preferred individual pieces of sushi or sashimi to rolls, since they were far more authentic and urbane. Maki was, apparently, for the little people. I was fairly certain that calling him pretentious would ruin my chances of ever being his sugar baby, but I have no doubt that irritation was written plainly on my face.

Suddenly the first flaw in the whole charade was obvious: being a sugar baby was almost exactly like being a whore, but with none of the simple transactional interactions and all of the pretense. Instead of pretending I cared about anything but the money for an hour or so, a sugar baby relationship would involve pretending that I didn’t care about money at all for as much time as I was to spend with my sugar daddy.

After his little rant against all but the individual pieces of sushi, I managed to steer the conversation onto his work. This, also, was a mistake. Because Tony was a tattoo artist, he had taken it upon himself to judge all other tattoos. Naturally my self-inflicted jailhouse-style work did not pass muster. When I informed him that I had done them myself he reacted the same way a surgeon might, had I told him I’d removed my own appendix. His expression went first to confusion, then outright anger, as if I had insulted him personally.

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  • sara

    I’m always nervous these stories are going to end with you getting hit.

  • FormerSugarBabe

    Dude, that sucks. You have to vet these guys better though. Make sure he is looking for a sugar babe in the ad and ask him about compensation BEFORE you meet up with him. Another tip is to go out with the guys that seem abrupt in their emails. Usually means they have a lot more money and get right down to biz without a lot of BS.

  • Gillian

    “I considered looking for a straight job, but as I thought of all my friends who languished in cafes and behind cash registers it was obvious that I was destined for better things.”

    Are you kidding me? You think being a sugar baby and a prostitute are “better things?” I’m so sick of these articles and I know I’m not the only one. I don’t care how hip, provocative or subversive you think this is, I’d sooner spend the rest of my life serving coffee then whore myself for out simply for material wealth. And you know why? Because I have a little something called self-respect, honey.

    • Endn

      Jeez tone down the condescension, I hate when women call each other honey in that way, just ugh. Anyway I thought that part was tongue-in-cheek and I personally think these articles are interesting, pretty well written, funny, and trying to destigmatize sex work which is great for all the women who choose it and don’t deserve to be treated like trash by all the insufferable self righteous jerks.

    • Kate

      Here’s what I don’t get – if you’re so sick of these articles, why are you reading and commenting? No one is forcing you to do so, and when you take such an aggressive tone, no one is going to engage in a civilized discussion with you. What’s the point then? Just trolling?

      Also, BIG 2nd of hating it when women call each other honey to be nasty.

    • Tobi

      Kate: Yep, that’s what trolls do.

    • Cate

      Endn, Kate, and Tobi: You guys know what’s up. Plus, I have to third the hate on the condescending ‘honey’.

  • JenniWren

    “I considered looking for a straight job, but as I thought of all my friends who languished in cafes and behind cash registers it was obvious that I was destined for better things.”

    This is why I have such a problem with this article, and with the previous one in this series. I firmly believe there’s nothing shameful about prostitution, but neither is there anything wrong with holding a “straight” job, whatever that means (I assume it has to do with paying taxes). You really think that there’s something wrong with deigning to work at Starbucks or Walmart because you need to make rent? Then you’re part of the reason that waitressing and retail are frequently such unpleasant jobs.

    And I’m sorry if the notion of having to do something boring for money horrifies you, but frankly that’s the world we live in. The vast majority of people are working jobs they don’t especially care for, not because they lack imagination, but because they need to. And I honestly suspect that the vast majority of women engaged in sex work fall into that category too.

    These articles really irk me. The writer comes across as someone who really needs to grow up.

    • Amy

      I agree. Working a ‘straight’ job is pretty tough and it takes stamina and willpower. Living off some guy because you can’t be assed isn’t really clever, it’s just kinda lazy.

      And whilst I don’t buy into the usual arguments about sex workers having low self-esteem I do think there’s a difference between trading a service like sex for money, and pretending to like someone as a girlfriend on an ongoing basis for money. That really seems like it lacks any kind of integrity and is something you’d only do if you failed to realise your emotions shouldn’t be a commodity that people can buy.

    • porkchop

      The comments about how she shouldn’t dump on wage work are so weird to me. I mean, it’s a story about how she felt at the time, not an argument for prostitution as a career choice.

      If she told us that she knew, even at the time, that there was honor in any job done well, but that she chose prostitution because she was young/stupid, it would just seem phony, wouldn’t it?

    • Cate

      Oh no, I agree with you. Even at the time I didn’t think that straight jobs were so much beneath me, but I definitely thought they seemed insufferably boring.
      Having worked some straight jobs since the events of this article took place, I have so much more respect for people who work regular jobs. It isn’t that I didn’t have respect for them before, but dear lord is the service industry boring and degrading. People are really, really goddamn mean and for no reason.

    • Mimi

      Amy said: ‘your emotions shouldn’t be a commodity that people can buy…’

      Haha – I work as a therapist.

  • HobbyLobby

    I think these articles are entertaining, but I always forget your really young and these things only happened a couple of years ago. I’ll be interested in hearing you retell them in about 10 years. After more life experience and there has been enough time to really distance yourself from the situations. Anyhow, thank you for sharing!

    • Well

      I would be surprised to learn she is as young as you think.

      And it’s “you’re.”

    • Cate

      To be honest, I’ll be interested to know how I look at all this in ten years. You’re right that I’m very young, 22 to be exact, and I’m sure I’ll see it differently even in five years. Time does that to us.

      But Well is right, it’s “you’re.”

  • Amy

    Look – As a single mother working a “straight” job and who is completely broke all the time – you can’t count the number of times I have wondered if I could do something like this. Stop judging other women for their life choices. I applaud this author – she has guts!

  • H

    I think we all need to get a sugar baby experience at least once out of life! If you are lucky it sort of just happens, the man/woman you fall for ends up being older and rich lol.

  • Evan B

    I’ve just started reading this series. Little of what I’ve read so far surprises me. I am in my late 50′s and have been a Sugardaddy for about 10 years and have done well with it. The 2, 20-something girls I support now will probably agree that it’s worked out for them. But like most of the rest of life, it’s not for everyone.

    I have a method, or call it a system if you like, that my SBs and I have worked out together, that suits both sides. I won’t go into it here, nor will I defend our choices. I only post this to say that if both parties approach an arrangement like this with full disclosure and sincerity, both sides can most definately benefit.

  • rexx

    I’ve been a “john” before and honestly paying a prostitute to hang out with me for a full date would be a giant pain in the ass. I know what I want and I don’t want to waste the time of a person that is obviously not interested in me. Any longer than an hour was a sex worker is too long.