THERE are a lot of things that seem scary until you actually do them, like going to the dentist or paying your taxes. Or, in some cases, signing up to a sugar baby website. For the uninitiated, these are dating sites specifically for young women seeking a rich, older man.
Intrigued? I was. So, to take one for the team, I signed myself up as someone who is looking for "an arrangement".
Going on a website like this is everything you are taught in school computer safety classes not to do. I liken it to when you would sneak onto the family computer with your friends to go on ChatRoulette and scream every time a penis popped up on the screen because your parents had no idea what the internet was yet.
The idea behind sugar babies and sugar daddies is that you meet much in the same way that a traditional dating website would allow you to meet, but there is the assumption that your presence in said man's life, would involve "more than friends" and you would get "paid in gifts".
Considering I can barely hold my own on Tinder, this was bound to be nothing but a disaster from the get go.
First things first, you have to make a profile. Here you disclose everything from your height and weight to how much money you would require to stay a kept woman.
Wanting to keep myself just a little mysterious (I just didn't want anyone to stalk me, basically), I chose a photo where my face is partially shrouded by champagne flutes. A high class enigma, you could say.
Sure enough, the messages started to trickle through.
A lot of these profiles of potential dates have no photos and almost all of them have strange usernames like "Urfavdad". Ooh, no thank you. I would rather take my chances with "MostHonestGuyinUSA".
The other thing that takes this away from your normal dating website is that almost all of them disclose their net worth and yearly income. After a short while you find yourself quickly dismissing the ones who earn a meagre $150,000 a year for the ones that earn $30 million. I'm sure no one would be lying about that particular aspect.
There are many profiles where they appear to be just normal dudes, until you get to the last line of their description and they drop a bombshell like: "I'm looking for a highly feminised woman who is interested in going the route of plastic surgery to accentuate her features further."
Needless to say, I was very apprehensive when I got my first message:
"I am quite open minded and would like to meet a very tall lady who is happy to administer spankings to me. I am happy to meet regularly or even once or twice a month, for which I can pay a fee."
Ah yes, brilliant.
Then came "nicejames" who wants "to serve a strong woman and be humiliated for their pleasure." Nothing more humiliating than this whole scenario "nicejames".
And after a lovely chat with "ArcticBlast", which I thought was going very well, the tall card was pulled again:
"I'm not interested in a serious relationship, also I like to be submissive to one taller woman. So for me I'm looking for someone that can fulfil my needs with those things and I can fulfil theirs in terms of sponsorship. A friends with benefits type situation."
He then told me he's into "foot worship".
I quickly realised there is lingo to get used to in this world. Abbreviations such as SB and SD (sugar baby and sugar daddy) were used frequently, as was the ever popular NSA (no strings attached) and a whole slew of other things I didn't recognise and that I can only presume are gross.
If you're planning on taking this route seriously and actually meeting up with someone, I would say, have your wits about you and good luck. This makes Tinder look docile - at least with Tinder, if you have friends in common you can stalk them first.
No doubt becoming a sugar baby works for some people, and more power to you. I, on the other hand, am going to throw my laptop into the sea.
A parting word of advice: If you are tall and you have feet: Hide. Now.
This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald.
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