The exchange of money for sex or companionship is nothing new, and in the last few years, stories of sugar babies who rely on sugar daddies to pay for things like tuition, have become more common.
“Two major shifts have precipitated this normalization and formalization,” she tells Global News. “Technology makes it easier to connect and the sex-positive movement — some might call it the sexual revolution — has given us permission to openly embrace a wider range of options.”
Dating coach Chantal Heide says people who are attracted to one another both physically and mentally will always fall for each other, regardless of how they met. O’Rielly adds attachment is also common.
“It’s natural to develop an emotional attachment to someone with whom you spend time and have sex with. It’s natural for emotional intimacy to unfold over the course of time,” O’Rielly says. The sugar babies I’ve spoken with genuinely care for their ‘daddies.’ They’re not just providing sex, but also companionship.”
“When it comes to arrangements like these, they are often the product of very busy men or women looking for low maintenance play dates who won’t demand more time than they can offer,” Heide explains.
Sites designed for babies and daddies/mommies are also making things easier. Seeking Arrangement, for example, has more than 10 million active members from 139 countries, and its statistics state the average member finds their ideal arrangement in five days.
Additionally, O’Rielly says some men use these sites to learn about sex, couples use these sites to find threesomes, and some women who don’t need the money, use these sites for the lifestyle.
“I’ve met even more young women who are very invested in their relationships — it’s not just about the money.”
Heide adds these relationships tend to be less stressful. “Since the veil of expectations that commonly derail relationships is replaced by clear-cut communication regarding which strengths each person will contribute to the union, [it’s actually more stress-free],” she says. “They tend to focus more on pleasure than anything else.”
But these arrangements and relationships also have negative connotations attached to them. Critics say these sites are a subtle form of prostitution, even if sex isn’t always included.
“I think it’s interesting that much of the judgment is directed at the women as opposed to the men; this really speaks to the tone of our culture when it comes to gender,” O’Rielly adds.
If you do fall for a sugar daddy or mommy, and you’re aren’t sure how to tell them, O’Rielly says to look at the agreement between the parties first. She also says, in these relationships in particular, it may not always be love.
“You’ve entered into a transactional agreement; you may be breaking the terms of that agreement, or perhaps you’re looking to renegotiate by asking for more,” she says. “The misattribution of strong feelings like excitement, passion, [and] lust is highly common, and can lead us to believe we’ve found ‘the one’ when, in fact, we’ve only found someone exciting.”
Heide adds if the sugar moms or dads fall in love, they will spend a lot of money to win a deeper level of affection, especially to avoid rejection. In this case, communication is key and like any relationship, both parties have to communicate for it to work.
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