The concept of sugar daddy dating as been around for years, long before the invention of the internet or dating sites.
Isn’t it the cliché of all older men in the middle of a mid-life crisis – trading the Honda in for a Porsche and the wife in for a younger model?
However, thanks to online dating, so-called ‘mutually beneficial’ relationships are much easier to come by these days.
No more hanging around in the West End hoping to get noticed by the banker at the bar. With new sites launching daily that cater for rich, older men and hot, young women, bagging yourself a sugar daddy has never been so easy.
I’ll be the first to admit that I love the idea of Richard Gere bankrolling my shopping trips to Selfridges every weekend, and I can’t see much wrong with two consenting adults agreeing to a relationship that suits them both.
But am I being naive in thinking that sugar daddy dating is simply a case of click and collect, or are online arrangements one step away from selling yourself to the highest bidder?
First up I signed to sugardaddies.com where ‘the classy, attractive and affluent meet’ (ironic, given that the site itself looked like it cost about £6.50 to build).
Nevertheless, being the self-proclaimed ‘best and largest dating site to meet your sugardaddie’ I thought I’d give it a whirl.
LondonHoney77 seemed like as good a profile name as any, given that I can rarely be bothered to travel outside of the M25 for a date (not even for bags of gold) and I’d imagine it was ‘Honey’ (ahem) most men were on the site for rather than stimulating conversation and heated political debate.
I was underwhelmed by the standard of ‘millionaire’ on the site – most looking more like welders from Clacton-on-sea than hedge fund managers from Knightsbridge.
Nevertheless, I remained steadfast in my quest for Prince Charming.
I was asked, within three message exchanges, by a man from Solihull, my thoughts on anal sex (dinner first, at least please) and invited out for lunch by an elderly gentleman who lived in Yorkshire who then sent me a picture of himself holding a fish with a message ‘joking’ about how tight Yorkshire men were with money.
I wasn’t quite sure if this was a post-modern comment on the randomness of online dating or that he was victim of early onset dementia. Either way I declined politely.
With profiles demanding that ‘you will be slim, attractive and available for lunchtime meet-ups’ and messages detailing that ‘I like going out and staying in, weekends away and holidays in the sun’ from anonymous (aka married) members, being about as creative as they came, I began to think that when targeting a man with dough, a girl is best off fishing in a slightly more transparent pool – i.e. one that does what it says on the tin rather than masquerading as a traditional dating site.
Seekingarrangements.com cuts to the chase – and while I was now dubious at how many more ‘millionaires’ would be on there than were on Sugardaddies.com at least I wouldn’t have to invest quite so much time talking about trouts in Yorkshire or anal sex.
Hello, new shoe collection. Now you’re talking.
Within 10 minutes of being live I had an inbox full of emails from men detailing what they’d require from me and asking what I’d expect in exchange.
I couldn’t help but be a little suspicious at quite how genuine the intentions of some of the men on the site were with messages including ‘I’d like to book you next Thursday’, and ‘my last arrangement included ‘£250 a week, £1,000 per month longterm – how does that sound?’ (bloody good.. oops, ignore me, just thinking aloud).
I started chatting to a ‘millionaire’ and within three email exchanges he was talking about what a strong connection he felt we had, and how he couldn’t wait to ‘make love to me’.
Just to clarify, for those of you picturing Richard Gere, he was a balding, married, retired accountant in his sixties, I was a 34-year-old barmaid (I was thinking on my feet).
I like to think of myself as pretty open-minded, but I have to admit my first thought was to reassure him everything would be alright and fetch him a nice brew and a piece of Battenberg.
I don’t doubt that if you look hard enough there are a few half-decent, pretty minted blokes out there, but in terms of time investment and financial gain per hour you’re probably better off behind the till in Starbucks – especially if it’s a City branch.
If, however, it is part of your master plan to marry a bloke with cash, the good news is that, yes, you can get your rent paid by meeting a sugar daddy online.
It took me all of about 15 minutes and I’m pushing 40. With a decent fake tan and a push up bra, I’d wager you could bag yourself a holiday in Barbados every couple of months to boot.
The bad news is however, that sugar daddy dating sites are not as ‘exclusive’ as they’d have you believe.
Lonely, old men, kidding themselves they’re not being used for their money and ambitious young women, calculating the best way to make a quick buck.
I have no issue with trading on good looks and ability to laugh at jokes in exchange for shoes and rent. Man, I’d be all over it if I could bite my tongue once in a while and my tits weren’t quite so near my belly button.
It’s less ‘exclusive dating for affluent people’ and more a case of everyone seeing what they can get, plus endless lies and exaggerations about incomes, ages and intentions.
I am not critical about people who choose to date for money. I’m disappointed at the calibre of sugar daddy out there – anal sex three messages in, oh dear, they have so much to learn.