By Danni Norman
This week, in the name of journalism, and perhaps out of boredom and curiosity, I joined Sugar Daddy UK to see why so many uni students are flocking to take part in this freaky phenomena. They say curiosity killed the cat but I am still alive and well to report back on the bizarre world of Sugar Daddy dating.
For those happy, sheltered individuals who have no idea what a Sugar Daddy is, I’m going to enlighten you. A Sugar Daddy/Baby relationship revolves around a mutually beneficial set up in which the Sugar Baby, usually a young woman, is financially recompensed for any time spent with the Sugar Daddy, i.e phone conversations, web cam chats and dates. Sounds like a harmless way to make a little bit of money and meet new people right? Well…
As I’ve never been on a dating website before I didn’t exactly know what to expect. As such I have nothing at all to compare Sugar Daddy UK to, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the norm to ask if one is into anal sex on the first page of Match.com?
Within one night of signing up I had received twenty-four emails from Sugar Daddy UK. It’s slightly disconcerting when an email pops up on your phone saying “HELLO SUGAR BABY, THERE ARE PLENTY OF SUGAR DADDIES WAITING FOR YOU ON SUGAR DADDY UK.” Christ. Anyone standing behind me in the queue at Macdonalds would’ve choked on their cheeseburgers. Anyway, I was innocently polishing off my Big Mac, when another email alerted me to the fact that my profile had been viewed sixteen times already by hungry Sugar Daddies and that I had better add a photo immediately to satiate these wild beasts. I did not.
However, several annoying emails later I decided to commit, in for a penny in for a pound and all that, so I cautiously uploaded a photo and tried to give minimal information about myself. At once several things became clear to me: one with my innocent Danni_Norman username I looked incredibly out of place amongst all the HornyProffessional’s and UPFORITSTEVE’s and two: all of the so called thirty year old men looked like they were thirty, thirty years ago.
My first message came from a 58-year-old man asking me how tall I am, as if this wasn’t weird enough my next came from: ‘Come On Girls Make An Old Man Very Happy’, his message was promptly deleted and he was blocked within a minute. After that it was pretty much downhill with ‘Caring Rich and Over Sexed’ going the same way. ‘Meet me once and you’ll never leave me’ turned out to be a heavily overweight gentleman who, apart from his rather murderous name which sent my imagination skittering wildly, sent a very kind email and offered me a substantial sum of money to have a webcam chat with him. Of course I politely declined but I then started understanding why skint students and out of work young girls are attracted to this website. A couple hundred pounds for a ten minute phone conversation can make the world of difference to out of pocket students.
But for me, the underlying and slightly threatening undercurrent that suggested these Sugar Daddies were after something more was just too worrying and I swiftly decided that Sugar Daddy websites really are not for me. Apart from the obvious dangers of meeting up with a total stranger, there’s something sickening about the idea of selling one’s time and in some cases body. A website that commodifies young women is surely damaging, it allows men to see women as commodities to be bought and encourages women to think of themselves as something that can be sold.
So that was my time on Sugar Daddy UK, but before I go I’ll leave you with this little memento, the last private message I received before I left the slightly sordid world of Sugar Daddies: ‘Hey good looking I’d do naughty things to u, wt r u afta and wt r u offerin? Btw I’m Chinese’. As chat up lines go, that has to be one of the best.
Featured imaged used under Creative Commons. Can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecovirtual/6128532985/