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Being A 'Sugar Baby' Is Not As Sweet As It Sounds

Being with someone older who spoils you might sound like an easy financial fix, but there's no doubt it comes at a price.

When you first hear the term 'sugar baby' you *might* think it means a child born out of sex between a 'sugar daddy' or 'mama' and their younger lover.

The phrase actually applies to the object of the older suitor's affections, likened to a 'baby' although they're required to be of legal age on dating sites.

Adult industry entrepreneur and former sugar baby Lydia Dupra told 10 daily she had no issue with the expression, as "it has its own meaning".

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"People should be aware of other terms they can use to describe their 'daddies' -- benefactor, sponsor, philanthropist, even angel investor -- to change the tone if 'daddy/baby' doesn't feel right," she suggested.

Sugar babies enter into a specific type of transactional relationships for the express purpose of financial security.

They may receive cash, gifts or other financial and material benefits in exchange for providing 'companionship'.

Dupra caused a recent stir on social media when she posted extensive details about her relationship with an alleged sugar daddy, 'Brad'.

Adult industry entrepreneur Lydia Dupra with her alleged former sugar daddy, 'Brad'. Image: Lydia Dupra, Instagram.

Sharing a photo taken before Brad's death last year, she thanked him for gifting "her first pair of Louboutins, first Birkin and first and only racehorse".

The porn actress runs a business where she coaches young women who aspire to be sugar babies and describes herself as 'The Heaux Mentor'.

She urged young people who want to become sugar babies to "set clear expectations and boundaries" and hold a pragmatic view of the dynamic.

"These arrangements rarely 'succeed' because not only are we talking about the complexity of a traditional relationship, but now add a constant power struggle," she described.

There are a rising number of dating sites committed to sugaring, including Seeking Arrangement's dedicated spotlight catering to tertiary students.

Titled 'Sugar Baby University Australia', it proposed how being a sugar baby was a way to "get out from underneath the crushing weight of loan debt".

With the average cost of uni almost $30,000 per year, more than 100,000 students signed up to be sugar babies in 2018, according to the site.

"The fastest growing Sugar Baby schools," according to Seeking Arrangement. Image: Seeking.com.

In response to concerns regarding potential illegal activity, Seeking Arrangement released a statement earlier this year.

“We are improving our user reporting tools and employing more artificial intelligence software to keep escorts, prostitutes, attempted underage users and those who violate our terms of service and code of conduct off our social network,” the release stated.

The sugaring trend has particularly grown in America, Great Britain and Australia, according to relationship expert Samantha Jayne.

"More sites are popping up for people to meet in this arrangement plus the social media pressures of keeping up with the Jones', Kardashians, etc. It's that image of wealth and money making you happy,” Jayne told 10 daily.

Dupra authored a book last year, Sugar Or Hooker, where she offered insight regarding the differences between sugar babies and escorts.

"Sites are popping up for people to meet in this arrangement," said relationship expert Samantha Jayne. Image: Marcus Hessenberg/ BarcroftImages/ Barcroft Media via Getty.

"Being a sugar baby is an opportunity to have a reliable income often with perks of mentorship and yes, there are gifts too. The drawback is your income is also controlled by the person giving it to you [with] a ton of emotional labour."

She said this is as opposed to being an escort, which is less emotional and doesn't require a commitment to the client outside of what they've purchased.

"The biggest drawback [to being an escort] is the volume of people is significantly higher in comparison to a sugar baby," Dupra offered.

There are genuine concerns surrounding sugar babies as "nothing is for free", argued Jayne.

"The sugar daddy or mama wants someone younger -- possibly a fantasy in their eyes. And yes, in most cases it’s about the sex. There has to be a benefit for both parties in the arrangement."

Dupra cautioned wannabe sugar babies before they signed up for the experience.

"Be aware if you become dependent on your sugar daddy's money if you're ever unhappy it can be nearly impossible to leave. Save, invest and get multiple streams of income going for yourself."

Featured image:  Lydia Dupra via Steve Prue, Instagram.

Contact the author: samelia@networkten.com.au.