Sugar Baby speaks out

The Tab chats to one of the girls on the controversial matchmaking site


In an exclusive interview with the Tab, Emma*, a ‘Sugar Baby’ and politics student, has revealed what it’s like to be part of the infamous ‘Sugar Daddy’ network.

US-run service attempts to match penniless students with generous Sugar “Mommies and Daddies” who help them with living and studying costs in exchange for company. 

The average SA profile leaves little to the imagination

The average SA profile leaves little to the imagination

Emma told The Tab she first encountered the site whilst working in New York: “I had friends who were on it that referred me and showed me the site before I worked up the courage to join.”

Her first arrangement, a New York Bar owner, took her on shopping trips and to meetings, but no cash ever changed hands.

“We’d go shopping and it was more ‘taking care of’ as opposed to ‘here’s some money’ – that would make me feel bad,” she said.

On average, a female student on the site receives £5000 a month, but Emma said she was covered for fairly ordinary expenses like “clothes, gym membership…textbooks are actually a massive part of it, some of mine came to £100 pounds apiece.”

However, textbooks are obviously not the only university expense. Rising tuition fees play a massive role in the average student’s life and Emma is no exception.

“Increased tuition fees were a factor,” she said. “My parents are in the middle class bracket that gets squeezed so any pressure I can take off them I feel more positive about.”

A survey last year revealed 80% of matches on SeekingArrangement involve sex. But its founder Brandon Wade denied it was a form of prostitution. Speaking in GQ, he said: “Calling women ‘prostitutes’ who want something more out of a relationship than just this abstract notion of love is a comment and a stigma that is born from pure jealousy.”

Las Vegas based founder Brandon Wade

Singapore born Brandon Wade graduated from MIT before starting SeekingArrangement

Emma denied there was any pressure to form a romantic relationship on the site, saying there are “a lot of different people looking for a lot of different things… you have to browse to find people that are looking for what you’re looking for.”

She admitted she didn’t go in with the expectation of finding romance, but the relationship grew: “Once I settled myself into the idea of it and got used to how it felt being with him, I actually found that I really enjoyed his company. Being with an older man was appealing.”

With the nature of their connection, it would be reasonable to assume that the SugarDaddies would treat their ‘babies’ differently to someone that they met in the street.

Over 2200 UK students have signed up since 2011

Over 2200 UK students have signed up since 2011

But Emma feels that “it’s actually more honest. There are a lot of girls that would do a similar thing without using the website like that, just in bars… it’s the same process except you just say up front what you want out of it. It takes a lot of the pressures away.”

Wade says this is precisely the point of the site: “A lot of these wealthy men – because they don’t have the time, they don’t need the drama, they don’t want to get married – come to us, where people can be much more honest about what it is they’re looking for.”

As to the future, Emma admits it would affect potential relationships with other students, but is still looking.

“I occasionally browse and have a look through when I’m bored,” she said. “But unless I find someone that particularly catches my eye, I don’t message every person in the area.”


*Names have been changed. Featured photo is posed by a model.