Sugar babies are having a moment.
Sugar dating via sites like Seeking Arrangement is talked about more openly and honestly than ever, with some daters growing a following by sharing their experiences on YouTube and social media. For the unfamiliar, typically in these situations, successful sugar daddies or sugar mamas pay for dates (and often sex) with younger women or men known as sugar babies.
Sugaring, as it’s called, has become so mainstream that there’s even an annual summit where current and former sugar babies speak on a range of topics, including sexuality, relationship advice and entrepreneurship.
To learn more about what it’s like to be a sugar baby, we talked to two people who currently do it: Kaeden Harveland, an 18-year-old from Seattle, Washington, who runs a popular YouTube channel, and “Miss Sugar,” a 20-year-old from Northern Ireland who uses a pseudonym to protect her privacy on her own YouTube channel.
How did you get into sugaring?
Kaeden Harveland: What led me to being a sugar baby was probably people asking if they could pay me to go on dates with them via Grindr. I’ve done so for two years now. I don’t think Seeking Arrangement is necessarily an easy site to use, being a gay male. It’s definitely a lot easier for women.
But between social media and sugar daddies, I can live a pretty comfortable life with what I’m paid. Eventually, I want to get into modeling and maybe some acting!
Miss Sugar: Last summer, I met a man on a trip I took to Ibiza and we began messaging. A few weeks later, he asked me if I would ever be interested in a sugar baby situation. Since I really didn’t like my factory job and could use the money, I decided to go on a few dates with him. Plus, I’d always been fascinated by the sugar baby world.
It was a good experience. I loved the fact that I could make what would have been a week’s worth of wages at my past job in one day. That initial arrangement is over, but I’m still sugaring to this day and enjoying it now more than ever. I use Seeking Arrangement. I’ve managed to pay off my credit card and I was even able to quit my factory job. I have a lot of free time now as well.
In an average month, how much money would you say you make from sugaring?
Kaeden: I’d say anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 a month.
Miss Sugar: For me, it’s about $3,500 to around $4,000 a month.
How do decide who you’ll meet in real life? How do you know if a client really has money?
Miss Sugar: Seeking Arrangement gives sugar daddies the option to get their backgrounds checked and to become “diamond” verified, which means they subject their net worth and income to the site’s verification. So it’s easy to see the sugar daddy’s annual income, but usually after talking to them and seeing how much they are willing to pay, you get more of a sense of how rich they really are.
Kaeden: Before I meet up, I always get pictures of them and find out what they are all about. I don’t just ask for money upfront and end up meeting up within one day’s time. I like to see what their hobbies, career and personality are like before actually meeting up. And sugar daddies won’t throw their money in your face; most are humble and like to keep it low-key.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about being a sugar baby?
Kaeden: People view us as “prostitutes,” but that’s not really accurate. I’ve never had a sexual relationship with a sugar daddy; the most I’ve done is give them a hug, but that’s mainly because I’m a hugger. I love everyone. To be honest, most clients do expect sex, but I’m quick to shut it down. If they disagree, then I move on. I’ve turned down thousands of dollars to hold my ground of no sex. The key is to have them work for you, not for you to work for them. You’re the boss.
We also can be portrayed as lazy as well. I look at it this way: If I get $500 for a one-hour date, why not?
Miss Sugar: The prostitute thing is the biggest misconception. I get where that is coming from, but being with a sugar baby is more of a relationship rather than just a transaction and the sugar baby gets taken on nice dates and gets pampered. It’s more of a girlfriend experience than anything, but of course with added “bonuses” and usually the relationship is no strings attached. Some of these mutually beneficial relationships don’t involve sex, just mentorship and financial aid in exchange for companionship.
For instance, I went on one date with one of my oldest sugar daddies who ended up making me his personal assistant a few days later, and there is no sex involved in the relationship.
Describe your typical client.
Kaeden: Most of my sugar daddies are single or married and mainly bisexual or confused. Most are pretty new to the sugar daddy thing. I think they also interpret giving money and trying this as a way to help them find their sexuality.
But some of them are just lonely and need a companion. I can see where they are coming from, especially the ones that travel and have lots of money to just throw out. Most of my clients travel a lot and want a travel companion.
Miss Sugar: Usually, these men are super busy and are traveling a lot so they don’t necessarily have the time to go about the traditional way of dating. With a sugar baby, they get women who understand their lifestyle, want to experience the finer things in life, are usually younger, and sometimes, willing to travel with them so they feel less lonely. Many on the site are married, but I try to stick to the single ones even though there is much more money to made with the married guys.
Describe your average date.
Miss Sugar: A typical date would involve dinner and drinks in a bougie establishment. The sugar daddy would also give me the agreed amount of cash. We’d chat and of course eat and drink and if things went well, it would end in the hotel room.
Kaeden: Well, every date is different for me. It can vary from dinners to walks to even a Skype call.
Do you tend to get gifts?
Kaeden: I’ve been gifted everything from a $15,000 watch, to clothes, to Apple products.
Miss Sugar: For gifts, I’d rather pick my own things so I just always ask for cash instead, but I guess a free trip to Rome could count as a gift?
How many sugar baby “relationships” have you had? And how long do they usually last?
Kaeden: I don’t know the exact amount, but definitely around 30 to 50.
As for how long they last, some sugar baby relationships last months to years and some only end up happening one time. Most guys are international or traveling a lot so when they end up in my city, I’ll see them once or twice.
But I’ve also had ones that ended up lasting months, where they live in the area and just think I’m the most gorgeous person they’ve ever seen so they’ll pay me to just be around them. Looks are important to most. It makes them feel in a higher class if they’re with a “pretty” person.
Miss Sugar: I’ve had six proper, long-term daddies.
The length of the relationship varies. Sometime’s it’s just a date they pay for while they are in the city but some lasted a few weeks. The longest one so far was four months.
How do you make sure you’re safe when you’re meeting up with a guy?
Kaeden: I always have pepper spray and Tequila the Taser ― my fandom helped me name my Taser, thanks, babies! ― to ensure I have defense in case something were to ever happen. But I haven’t had to use either weapon because I’m pretty good with who I meet up with.
Miss Sugar: I always send the location of the date and the sugar daddy’s real name to my close friends before going on these dates. I also send my live location through Facebook messenger to my friends once I get there and tell the sugar daddy that I am doing that in front of him, just to see if that triggers him; it shouldn’t if there is no harm intended. But most importantly, I listen to my gut instinct.
Are your family and friends supportive of your job?
Miss Sugar: I have an amazing group of friends that are supportive and always check up on me when I tell them that I’m going on a sugar daddy date. Some of them do the same work as I do.
Kaeden: I’ve surrounded myself with amazing friends and a blessed family so I get nothing but support from them. I even inspired a lot of my friends to try it out. I get several messages a week for tips and tricks!
Have you ever been in an actual relationship while sugaring? If so, what did your S.O. think?
Kaeden: I’ve had one boyfriend who knew I had sugar daddies. He also had sugar daddies so he couldn’t think anything bad of it because we were both doing it. As long as my partner isn’t having a sexual relationship with them, I’m fine, and vice versa.
Miss Sugar: No, I’ve never had a “boyfriend” boyfriend.
Weirdest sugar experience so far?
Miss Sugar: One sugar daddy got super drunk and ran out naked outside the hotel room while I was sleeping and staff found him like that. I was so embarrassed when they woke me up me with a loud knock to return him to the room.
Kaeden: Probably going on a date with a sugar mommy because it was definitely way out of our comfort zones. In the end, it was a great time and I ended up making not only a sugar mommy from the date, but a friend.