Disclaimer: This is an investigative POV article. We are NOT promoting this as a side income option.
Technology has redefined the notion of dating .
Modern dating has created a lot of new opportunities, and has become so prevalent in our current lives that we now instantly understand terms like “swiping left“.
Apart from the huuuuge range of dating apps, the idea of “sugaring” has also been gaining traction recently.
In fact, Singapore has one of the highest traffic on one of the popular sugar dating websites, Sugarbook.PHOTO: Sugarbook
This website also saw a spike in messaging activity during Covid-19.PHOTO: Sugarbook
So what exactly is this, and why is it gaining exponential popularity?
What is a sugar baby?
Before we dive into this topic, let’s take a look at the definition of a sugar baby.
According to Sugarbook, the definition is:
An individual who enjoys the finer things in life. He/she usually seeks mentorship, financial support and companionship from their sugar daddy under the terms of an agreed-upon arrangement.
Most times, genuine feelings of love and long-term relationships form and grow.
Basically, a sugar relationship is one where a transactional relationship where one partner offers financial support to another, usually in the form of cash or gifts.
In return, the sugar baby offers companionship, sometimes even having sexual relations though that may not always be the case.
Many sugar babies that were interviewed mentioned that there is a general perception of them being ‘illegal sex workers’.
Most of them clarified that it is usually not all about sex, but also involves an emotional connection between two like-minded individuals.
Who are these people in such relationships?
Sugar daddies and mummies are usually high-net-worth individuals, which is self-explanatory since this is mostly a monetary transaction.
According to these websites, sugar babies come from all walks of life, though there seems to be an increase in interest among university undergraduates, where the paying off of study loans would usually be a main goal for such arrangements.PHOTO: Online Citizen Asia
There’s even a breakdown by Sugarbook of the Top 10 sugar baby universities in Singapore!
One reason why such arrangments are gaining attention is also how it might be seen as an ‘easy’ way to earn money without actually having to work.
I guess the lure is the amount of effort required to get money (and lavish gifts), as compared to a conventional job.
How to be a sugar baby?
Signing up to be a sugar baby or sugar daddy is actually pretty simple.
In order to understand the process better, I decided to sign up with an account myself.PHOTO: Sugarbook
You begin your journey by indicating what you wish to look for in this arrangement.PHOTO: Sugarbook
The next page shows the personal details you have to indicate about yourself.
(Was pretty amused by the choices in Body Type. What is ‘a few extra pounds’??)
This information will then become search options afterwards, where you can filter your preference when you’re searching your perfect sugar daddy/ mummy.
It’s like a build-your-own-companion.PHOTO: Sugarbook
Something that you could also indicate is the minimum lifestyle that you would expect to be maintained for such arrangements.
I assume that this would provide better expectations for both parties, where any matches would get into an arrangement with a level of mutual understanding.
(If you must know, I chose Moderate – up to $5,000 monthly. Solely based on the median income of Singapore.)PHOTO: Sugarbook
As with all kinds of social profiles, you can choose your most appealing profile picture and also insert a catchy one-line caption to garner people’s attention.
Tell me you sang my caption in your head.PHOTO: Sugarbook
After that, you can start browsing prospective companions, based on the many filter options you have on the sidebar, including education, ethnicity and even smoking or drinking habits.
At a glance, you’d be able to net worth and annual income of these profiles too.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to verify these income statements, so it seems pretty easy to insert any inflated impressive sum in these fields.
Also, while these websites usually perform reverse image checks to verify the legitimacy of profile pictures (in case you place a Beyoncé photo or something), there is always still a possibility of fake accounts and information.
It is therefore extremely important to remain vigilant and not be solely lured by the promises of money .
How much can you earn as a sugar baby?
As we can tell, there is no hard and fast rule of how much you can earn as a sugar baby.
This is largely based on the agreement between the two parties, where these terms usually defined clearly at the start of the relationship.
Apart from cold hard cash, some common things that sugar babies receive are usually branded goods, all-expenses-paid holidays and luxury hotel stays.
This video by Sugarbook shows a sugar baby who has her college fees fully funded , has a credit card for shopping and receives a monthly allowance of $5,000.
And the $2 million house she was seen filming at.
Another video which featured a Singaporean sugar baby mentioned that she has been getting $3,000 in monthly allowances too, along with gifts like a customised pandora necklace.
Based on the activities that are commonly explored by such arrangements, a reasonable assumption would be:
|Benefit||Cost||Frequency||Total (S$) in a year|
|University Tuition Fees||$32,800||Once in 4 years||$8,200|
|Private Dinner||$500||Once a week||$2,000|
|Holiday Trip||$5,000||Twice a year||$10,000|
|Branded goods||$2,000||Once every month||$24,000|
|Hotel Staycation||$500||Once every 3 months||$2,000|
|Being paid per meet up||$500||Once every week||$24,000|
|Total amount: $70,200|
That’s about $5,850 with a conservative gauge.
This also excludes any extravagant lump-sum purchases like the house the sugar baby received.
Is it worth exploring?
These dating websites are painting an alluring picture for many young people, with the promise of branded items, luxurious travels, and just the sheer idea of getting a glimpse into the super-rich lifestyle.PHOTO: Sugarbook
Besides that, the idea of being grossly showered with money and gifts for just being yourself and attending regular dates …
Who wouldn’t be tempted by such a good deal?
To be paid handsomely without having to slog your guts out at a job.
Also, apart from the money, you could even score a companion who could be there for you to have your heart-to-heart talks.
Personally, I feel that beyond the glitz and glamour, it is important to remember that these might sometimes be too good to be true.
While there might be successful cases with individuals finding companionship and gaining monetary rewards from their mutually beneficial arrangements, there is still a potential danger of the lurking of cyber predators.
That being said, as much as such arrangements are usually being depicted in a negative light, people shouldn’t be ostracised as long as it involves two legal consenting adults gaining satisfaction from these relationships.
To each his or her own, right?
Nevertheless, if it is something that you’re interested in trying out, do remember to exercise discretion and good judgment, as there might still be risks involved.
This article was first published in Seedly.