I read a story recently about a women in her 40s who, fed up with dating, instead opts for sugar baby relationships. At the moment, she has 4 sugar babies, each whom she gives about 7,000$ a month.
The idea – for those of you not familiar with the term – is that an older person (man or woman) provides regular money to a boyfriend/girlfriend in return for their companionship. It likely involves sex, but its more than that. It is essentially a kept/paid partner.
It made me wonder how common these relationships might be. There’s been a lot written lately about the possibility of advanced sex dolls eventually moving in to disrupt traditional relationships. A future where, rather than having a spouse, a man merely has a super sophisticated sex doll to provide sexual and intimate companionship. I always blanched at that possibility – duh – believing that even the most advanced sex doll would never be able to provide what we are really looking for in a partner – loving companionship.
My knee jerk reaction to sugar baby relationships was the same. While there can be affection and certainly sex and companionship.. is it really sincere and authentic and loving? Probably not… but maybe it need not be. Maybe love and authentic intimacy are less important to many people. I certainly know many (many!) people in marriages where loving companionship has long since evaporated. For them – those millions of people in tense, functional but largely unhappy relationships – having companionship and decent sex may be plenty.. a huge step up.
And some of the reading I’ve done on sugar baby relationships seems to indicate there is often genuine affections. Maybe not the enduring, for life, affection we romanticize as part of a relationship. But definitely affection.
So my view on sugar babies softened. For the busy and well off, this may be a perfectly valid relationships model. Having someone in your life who you find attractive (sexually and otherwise) and with whom you enjoy spending time… that’s a good thing. The fact that they are being paid for this role they play in your life. That’s odd… but all relationships have things that each party brings to the table.
Some will react to the obvious power imbalance. But, really, both parties are free to leave at any time. And is the power dynamic really that different from millions of other relationships where there is one spouse who is the income earner. SO maybe its not the power imbalance, but the formality/contract-like nature of the relationship. I do find this weird… but is it any weirder than the unwritten set of expectations in any relationship — I’ll keep a job, you maintain the house, I’ll keep my weight under control, I’ll be open to sex at least a couple times a week…. We all have unwritten norms and expectation that create an informal contract in our relationships.
So.. sugar babies.. probably not my thing. But I do get it. And I don’t think I would judge a friend who was a sugar daddy/mommy or baby. But may need to change the terminology.