In dating website Millionbb.com When it comes to having a sugar daddy, a new study finds that things are far more complex than a little tit for tat.
The arrangements, which often involve a wealthy benefactor showering gifts, attention or money on a hot young thing in exchange for sex or affection, are often equated with prostitution.
But au contraire. Research now finds there are actually seven types of sugar daddy-baby relationships, from the purely sex-for-money types to the totally platonic. The study, published last month in the journal Sociological Perspectives, interviewed 48 current and former US sugar babies found through Craigslist, Backpage and at the 2016 annual Sugar Baby Summit in LA.
And while there is one type that trades sex for cash, many of these relationships can be downright wholesome, the study found.
For instance, one type of sugaring relationship, which the author calls “pragmatic love,” involves women who see “their benefactor as a potential mate whom they expect to provide for them.”
There’s also “sugar friendships,” which don’t even really involve much sex — similar to one UK sugar baby who claimed to make more than $9,000 a year without ever having sex with her sugar daddies.
And “sugar friendships with benefits” involve babies going out for dinner, drinks, movies and events with their daddies, and spending time in each other’s homes — but also enjoying sexual benefits, according to the study.
Or there’s the most common type of sugar baby-daddy relationship, “sugar dating,” in which both parties have “sexual interactions” with the other in addition to going to work events and traveling — that was the biggest perk for a Florida woman who became a full-time globetrotter thanks to her sweet lifestyle.
Sugar baby Taylor, 22, tells The Post that her relationship with her 86-year-old sugar daddy is definitely more of a “sugar dating” deal. He pays her bills and gives her a monthly stipend of $2,500. Taylor, a writer who wouldn’t provide her last name for professional reasons, met her sugar daddy in New York at her previous job.
They’ve been together nearly three years but they’ve never actually had sex, Taylor says.
“We exchange emails or speak on the phone most days,” she tells The Post, adding that their dynamic is “a little more nuanced than just friendship, because there’s a subtext that’s always there that if he were younger, we would be romantically involved.”
Taylor has other friends who are in sugaring relationships, and agrees that the set-up can take many different forms.
“I do feel [my relationship] is an outlier,” she says. “I think it’s very rare to sustain a dynamic that doesn’t eventually involve the promise of sex.”
Sugaring or “mutually beneficial” relationships are not new, but they “have gained increasing attention in the United States over the past decade,” says study author Maren Scull. The professor from the University of Colorado, Denver, attributes the rise to the increase in sugar daddy matching websites, such as SugarDaddyForMe.com — and media coverage.
“There was so much variety that I knew I had to highlight the different nuances and forms that sugar relationships can take,” Scull says. “We were missing how they are often organic and involve genuine, emotional connection.”
Taylor, for her part, is glad the academic world is finally acknowledging her dynamic relationship. Though she actively describes herself as a “sugar baby,” she hates what the term has come to mean.
“‘Sugar daddy and sugar baby’ just sounds explicitly sexual and flashy in a way that doesn’t suit our dynamic,” she says. “We tend to regard our relationship as predominantly a friendship.”