SDSU ‘Sugar babies’ share their stories

by Jasmine Bermudez, Senior Staff Writer is advertised as a free dating website for attractive women and rich men, but some students are using it to pay for college and make extra money on the side.

Four SDSU students shared their experience with the website. Because of the sensitivity of the topic, their identities have been concealed.

Male interdisciplinary studies junior

An interdisciplinary studies junior said he joined the website out of boredom.

“It is like filling out a Facebook profile,” he said. “You list your information and specify what you are looking for.”

He said he agreed to meet a 60-year-old movie producer for a coffee date at Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego.

“He took me shopping and spent $200 on me and gave me $100,” he said.

He said the next day they met again. After shopping, the “sugar daddy” asked if he would talk to him privately in his car.

“We started talking and he started rubbing my thigh. It made me uncomfortable, but I didn’t say anything at first,” he said. “He let me know that he wanted an escort to have sex with while he was down here.”

The student said if an escort is what he was looking for, he was not the right person.

“I felt kind of gross after because it was not just my thigh,” he said. “He was kind of getting places and it just like wasn’t the business.”

During the two days they were together, he received $600 from the man. 

He said the experience has made his life more interesting, but he would not meet with another man through the website again.

He said he would advise anyone thinking about making an account with to do research on it.

“You can probably get some emotional damage out of it if you’re not expecting what it is,” he said. “I feel like it is separate from prostitution, but I mean there is some crossover.”

He said he did not want to use his name in this article because “it is private,” and he does not want anyone to know about his experience.

Female history senior

A history senior said she made an account because she returned to SDSU the summer after studying abroad and had nothing to do.

She said that most girls sign up on the website because they are completely on their own or need to pay for college, but she did it for the experience.

“I talked to about 10 [sugar daddies] prior to meeting anyone,” she said. “I ended up having two ‘sugar daddies’ for a little bit.”

She said she saw the website as an opportunity to see a different side of herself. She said she is glad she did it, but it was a compromise.

“The first guy I was physically attracted to,” she said. “So I didn’t mind going to his house and having sex because I enjoyed it as much as the stuff I was getting out of it.”

She said she was not attracted to the other man she was seeing, and had to make a conscious decision to be satisfied with having sex with an older man although she did not like him.

She wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be angry with herself later in life for doing it, she said.

“It’s not like getting into a relationship with someone your age that you’re into,” she said. “You are having a relationship with someone for money.”

She said the first time was the hardest to get past.

“The first time I forced myself to do it,” she said. “I could not even look him in the eye.”

She said after awhile, she started to think that there was not a difference between having a “sugar daddy” and going home with someone on a Friday night and waking up thinking, “‘this is the ugliest dude I’ve ever gone home with in my life, or making the completely sober decision to sleep with someone.”

She said there is a major difference between a “sugar baby” and a prostitute.

“Prostitution is about sex,” she said. “This is about a relationship that also happens to include it.”

She said the best thing that came from her experience is confidence.

“It is okay to step back and say ‘no,’” she said. “There have definitely been times in my college career that I have felt more pressure by college students and college guys than I have when I was with my sugar daddies.”

She said she did not want her name revealed for this article because she does not want her parents to know she used the website.

Female business management senior

A business management senior said she signed up on the website after seeing her roommate do it.

“She got on and she basically didn’t have to lift a finger or get a job,” she said. “At first I kind of resented her a little bit for it because I thought she was getting everything handed to her.”

She said she was working full time and wanted to have extra money.

“When you are about to graduate it’s like, ‘oh no I have all this debt racked up and I have bills to pay and no matter how much I work it’s not going to pay off all my expenses,’” she said.

She said she started going on dates and warming up to the men from the website.

“They are all about making you feel safe and comfortable with them, which is more than you can ever ask from someone your age,” she said.

She said she saw him twice a week for a weekly allowance of $600.

“An escort is sex and money with the occasional lavish thing, but in a ‘sugar daddy’ relationship, they care about you,” she said.

She said she did not want to use her name in this article because she does not want her to family to know she had a ‘sugar daddy,’ or want people to talk negatively about her because of it.

Female social science senior

A social science senior said she made a profile because she thought she would meet a “rich prince charming.”

“I had done a lot of online dating before, like Tinder dating, and I thought this would be no different,” she said. “It turned out to be weird because the guy (was) like literally 40.”

She said her “sugar daddy” occasionally gives her a couple hundred dollars and pays her $260 car payment.

She said she doesn’t think they are compatible on a deeper level, but her relationship is “like a normal relationship.”

“I think a lot of people see it as like an escort site when it is explicitly listed on the site that it’s not,” she said.

She said she thinks people undermine the emotional aspects that are involved.

“The difference between a ‘sugar baby’ and an escort is a ‘sugar baby’ feels it out and goes on dates, and it just happens to turn into something,” she said. “‘Sugar daddies give gifts or money, not necessarily in exchange for sex, but to help the ‘sugar baby’ out.”

She said there is a dark side to it.

“I have gone on some sketchier dates where I have not even gone and sat at the table because the person was being way too aggressive and forward,” she said. “He pulled out a wad of cash, asked to go to a hotel and said, ‘don’t you want this?’”

She said she did not want to use her name in this article because she does not want her to family to know she has a ‘sugar daddy,’ or for people to speak negatively about her because of it.