I’m A Sugar Baby & This Is How Much I Get Paid To Date

 It’s been a few years since the term “sugar baby” began circulating the internet, but the world has not yet tired of the concept. There are stories of women making £7,000 a year going on dates with men or sugar babies falling in love with their sugar daddies — and then there’s the complicated question of whether this is sex work or dating with benefits.

Rarely, however, does one get to ask sugar baby questions about the financial side of these arrangements. Ahead, we chat with Crystal Milan*, a 32-year-old sugar baby on Arrangement.com, about what her job description is, what her relationships are like, and what she expects from her sugar daddies in return.

How did you first get into the sugar baby scene?

“Where do I start? I’ve been doing it for the past five months. Long story short, I recently finished law school, and I live outside of Atlanta, and finding a job has been an absolute nightmare. One of my friends has been an SB for some time now, and she told me she had a lot of success on Arrangement, so I was like, ‘Why not?’”

I’m assuming “SB” is short for a sugar baby?

“I like to call it SB instead of a sugar baby. There’s a negative connotation around the term ‘sugar baby.’ A lot of people turn their heads at the term, and it’s still very taboo. So I try to give it a cool little nickname, something that’s not too derogatory. It’s not always just a sexual exchange or a monetary exchange. A lot of the time, people are looking for companionship or mentorship, even. I’ve met a lot of guys who have given me professional advice, helping me check out different law firms, that sort of thing. “

How do you feel about the term “sugar daddy”?

“It’s all right. I usually just say, companion. I don’t like that it references a father figure, to be completely honest. It’s kind of much, even though they do tend to be a lot older. None of them have ever looked to me to call them that.

“I’ve also never had sex with any of my dates from Arrangement. I say upfront, you know, I want to learn from you, and it’s going to be a friendship. I’m not looking for love or a one-night risqué sort of thing, and they respect that.”

Has that no-sex rule ever been an issue for your dates?

“Some of them do get sexually frustrated because they are attracted to me, but I always say there are other options. They turn to other sugar babies or porn or other options — I’ll let your imagination run wild with that. I’d like to state that sugar babies aren’t sex workers, though, especially the ones I know. It’s always a mutual understanding that this is what you want, this is what I want, and here’s how we can get there together. The SD usually respects that, and it can be a turn-on for them. Like, she knows what she wants.”

What do you want out of this experience?

“I’m really thinking about how I can use these relationships personally, professionally, and financially. I’m fresh out of law school, so I’m a little late to the game, and I have a million and ten tuition bills that come in the mail. My loans are more than $1,000 (£800) a month; I have to make sure I’m secure. I’m still trying to figure out the rest of my life, but a lot of these guys are older, and they have a lot of connections. Yes, I can go find a 9-to-5 job and a barista type of thing, but I feel like this is a way to build relationships, get to know people, and travel. It’s a look into another lifestyle that I just didn’t have.”

It sounds like you’re blurring the lines between dating and networking. Do you see this as your job?

“1000%. You go into a job knowing that this is what you want right? It’s an opportunity for growth, to enhance your life in some way, whether it be through pay or an opportunity. And at the beginning, you state this is what you want to get out of it, and you have your eyes on the prize.”

Tell me about how these relationships would start.

“It’s usually always them initiating the conversation. It’s like, hey, your profile is different, I like x,y,z about what you said, and I would love to get to know you more. This is what I’m looking for.

“I tell them I’m looking for someone who is going to be open to potentially giving monetary funds, whether it’s doing trips or not being stingy with gifts. In return, I can give you companionship. We can travel together. I’m a listener. I tell them I don’t do dates in public for the first month, but I’ll do FaceTime, Skype calls, and from there we can schedule a date and go out to eat dinner and all that jazz. I always make sure I vet them properly since safety is the number-one priority, and only two of my SDs know exactly where I live. The other SDs, though, they’ll pick me up somewhere close by, but never at my house. I’m never at their house, and they’re never at mine — we’ll probably be at a hotel or at their summer home.

“Money-wise, I always ask what their budget is. I ask what they’re willing to give me for my time because I’ve realized my value in that strategy. A lot of them will say $2,500 (£2,000) for a dinner date, which is more than my $1,200 (£960) rent, so why not? I also resell a lot of what they gift me because I don’t need 1,000 pairs of shoes and bags. Everyone has a different price value.”

How much have you made so far?

“I’m proud to say that this month I am making roughly $5,000 (£4,000). Last month was $5,000, too. I also do work freelance, like legal gigs, and on a better month, when I’m selling all the things I get, I can push a good $10,000 (£8,000) in a month. I get a lot of luxury products like Louboutins and Chanel and all that jazz. It’s not bad.

“Including cash, presents, and trips, I would say I’ve received around $45,000 (£36,000) so far in my five months of SB dating. I’m on the verge of hitting the $60,000 (£48,000) mark by the end of May.”

Do you pay taxes on it?

“It’s kind of an under-the-table type of thing, so it’s all usually in cash, and I don’t want it on the books because I don’t want taxes taken out of it. Then consignment shops will give you cash for products, and anything off the Amazon wish list is just a gift.”

Tell me about the arrangements you have right now.

“There’s one SD I have a relationship with now, and he loves being a mentor to me. He sends me articles to read, tells me to look into jobs. It’s been cool because he’s connected me with a lot of big movers and shakers in the city, and I’m down for that. There’s not really a lot monetarily that’s going on. He’s very secretive, so he’ll give me bags and shoes. He’ll maybe ask if I need him to pay for a bill.

“Another guy, which just started two weeks ago, he loves traveling. He likes to book trips — I think we’re going to Miami next weekend. So he’ll book plane tickets and send them to my email and say, ‘Make sure you are free on these days.’ And I try to take my friend because we should all enjoy this together. He’ll give me money here and there, but with him, it’s mostly the travel.

“Another relationship I have right now, well, he’s married, and he’s trying to get away from his wife and kids, so honestly he just vents to me most of the time. He just talks about work and talks about his life, and I’m always telling him that if you’re not happy, it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for her. So he gives me money for that — about $2,500 (£2,000) for every other date. It’s like a consulting gig.”

What was your most extravagant gift?

“I’ve received a Birkin bag once. That arrangement was nice. It lasted three months.”

Did you sell it?

“Of course I did. Of course, I sold it in a heartbeat. For the Birkin, it was a refurbished one, so I think he could’ve done better, but that was fine. I got $8,000 (£6,400) for it.”

Are there things you put up within these arrangements that you wouldn’t do otherwise?

“I feel like there’s a little bit more than I would tolerate having this type of lifestyle, but not budging on that intimacy and romance line. If you think about it, you put up with a lot of crap at work just to get the paycheque. I wouldn’t say it’s crap, but sometimes I’ll be on a phone call and I’ll fall asleep on the call because it’s too much talking, and they’re okay with that, but it can be annoying at times.

“I also can’t say, ‘I don’t really want to go here this weekend.’ We’ll talk in advance, like any relationship or friendship, ‘What are you doing? Do you have plans?’ If he knows I don’t have plans for that weekend, and I deny a trip, it’s like, Okay, well maybe we need to end this agreement and I need to find someone else.”

What’s your day-to-day?

“My day-to-day is being attentive to my SDs — a lot of them are very needy. I always say text me throughout the day, but if you want to call me, you have to text me beforehand. I’ll check the profile to see who else has answered; I usually don’t take on more than four arrangements at a time. So it’s talking, FaceTiming, and then maybe a few events, which they’ll tell me about beforehand.

“On a good week I go on three dates a week, max because I still have a life and I still have friends and family, but it can get crazy. The professional guy can have me networking every day of the week, and I’ve gotten up to 10 events a week honestly, including dates. We also go to galas. I’m going to one in two weeks, and my SD is asking what color do I want to wear if I have a dress in mind, what my size is if I have any links I can send him so we can go to the store and get it. For next weekend, another SD is asking if I have any preferences or places I want to visit. My mentor SD, who is my favorite one, is like, hey did you read this Forbes article, or this new position just opened downtown, did you update your resumé?”

Does anyone know about your SB life?

“I would say only three people know. The one who introduced me knows, my mom knows, and she gets it. And my very, very best friend knows. The thing is when you’re close to someone you can tell there’s a lifestyle change happening. She was like, ‘So what are you doing here this weekend? Oh, when did you go there? Oh, new Louboutins, nice. Where are you getting the money for this?’

“I just had to tell it her. I couldn’t lie to her anymore — I see her every other day. I told her, this is hard, and this is what I’ve decided to do, and I reassured her that there was no intimacy and romance. She’s against it, though, because she thinks that someone at my age should be looking to settle down, but again different strokes for different folks. She’s engaged and all that jazz, and that’s why she’s against it. But I told her, hey this is what I’m doing for me, this is how it’s benefiting me, and I would love it if you would support me because you are my friend. She can’t complain, either, when I’m sending her tickets to Miami.”

Could you ever see yourself starting something romantic with someone you meet on Arrangement?

“To be completely honest, I know that right now, I’m not looking for a commitment. Maybe in the future, I might find someone who just checks all the squares off on my Man Of My Dreams list. If it’s the right guy, if the chemistry is there, why not? I mean it’s just like dating, but there’s more transparency with doing it this way. You tell them what you want, they tell you to want they want, and that’s that.”

Do you think your experience has changed how you view non-sugar dating?

“I haven’t dated in the regular world for the past five months, but for me, I’ve mostly learned my own value by seeing what these guys are willing to give me for my companionship. But actually, I think a lot of guys should take notes from these sugar daddies. They could be in relationships a lot longer by just stating what they want upfront. Just say what the hell you want, and get what you want on both sides.”

Originally published at https://www.refinery29.com.

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