Seeking Arrangement is a platform and app where sugar babies, usually young women, can potentially meet affluent men to form mutually beneficial arrangements.

You may have heard of the term “sugaring” or perhaps you may have spotted a couple at a restaurant or hotel lobby bar who you suspected to be in an arrangement. Back in 2014 when I started sugaring, I hardly knew this to be an avenue of sex work. For me, it was a way to get over a recent break up and make a bit of money, dine at the restaurants that I couldn’t afford and take trips around the world on somebody else’s dime. For me, it was a lifestyle, not a mode of work. Why bother going on regular Tinder dates for free and end up getting your heart broken? At the time, I wasn’t in the headspace to even think about getting into another relationship. It was my time to own being single and try my hand at being in the sugar bowl.

I entered the sugar bowl at the ripe age of 24. I had graduated from university just one year prior, I had a little bit of life experience, and was beginning to form my identity. It’s odd because 24 seems like senior citizen status on Seeking Arrangement. Most of the girls I knew personally and ones that my sugar daddies spoke to were in their early 20s – a fact that I, reflecting on my wild and inexperienced and barely legal days, just couldn’t fathom.

I joined Seeking Arrangement on the encouragement of a former roommate; a mutual friend of ours did it and her sugar daddy paid for her Louis Vuitton purses, Christian Louboutins and even got her fake boobs. “You love older guys, anyways! This is right down your alley”, the former roommate said. And she was right. I was in this phase where my previous boyfriends had some serious age gaps.

So, I started a profile. It was just like creating an account on your favourite dating app. Select a few flattering public photos of yourself, fill in the fields and write a nice description of yourself. Boom. All of a sudden, I was being bombarded with messages from potential sugar daddies. I’m not going to lie – it was the ego boost I needed after a big breakup. There were a lot of messages and I replied to the ones I was interested in, and my journey began from there.

Although I have mostly fond memories of my time being a sugar baby, I made some mistakes along the road that I hope no sugar baby, inexperienced or not, would ever have to go through.

I learned some valuable lessons about the work itself and about myself as well that I wouldn’t trade for the world. From a former sugar baby to a new sugar baby, I’d like to share some food for thought that you might want to consider when conducting this line of work.

1. First of all, Seeking Arrangement is a tool.

Know that Seeking Arrangement is a site that was made for the purpose of potential sugar babies and sugar daddies to meet. Surprisingly, many users of the site, both on the sugar baby and sugar daddy side, don’t know what this site is used for. Many are looking for free sex, one night stands, fuck buddies and relationships.

2. Treat sugaring as you would any other job because it is a job; it’s work.

Don’t be like me and deny to yourself that sugaring is sex work. I kept on believing that I was “different” from escorts. I was merely going out to paid dinners and dates. I had sex with them because I liked them. It wasn’t the same. But oh yes, it was. This denial made my last year of sugaring incredibly unbearable and unenjoyable.

3. Learn the difference between a sugar daddy, Splenda daddy, and salt daddy.

Think that finding a sugar daddy is easy? It’s tricky. Be prepared to do a lot of filtering. There are so many fake sugar and Splenda daddies out there now as well as ongoing scams which target people on Instagram and Twitter. One of my rules was to never trust any user that was on the site for one year or less. Brand new members were an automatic red flag. Younger sugar daddies or “new money” daddies were red flags to me as well.

Be quick to learn the differences between a sugar daddy, Splenda daddy and a salt daddy. Sugar daddies will give you the cash for the deed, company or whatever you have negotiated in your arrangement. Splenda daddies will typically pay your rent, buy you gifts, whisk you off on trips in exchange for your time. And salt daddies, well, they won’t give you anything and expect things in life are free. Whether you want cold, hard cash or lavish gifts, make sure that you communicate this clearly so no one can mislead or take advantage of you.

4. Don’t be afraid to say no. You’re allowed to say no.

Don’t feel that you have to put everything out there and that you need to offer everything to potential sugar daddies. Sugar daddies will tempt you with dollar signs but please know or at least have some boundaries. It’s fine to be curious, to be adventurous and to want to be seen as the girl who can go with the flow all the time. But when it comes to comfortability and your safety, establish those boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no. You’re allowed to say no.

5. Stay safe: Keep a friend in the loop.

It’s basic safety but tell a friend where you’re going, where you’ll be and the name (hopefully you will get his real name and verify his identity first) of the sugar daddy you’ll be meeting. I once was flown out to Connecticut on a whim and I laughingly called one of my best friends on the way to the airport. I probably would take it a bit more seriously instead of giving my friend a minor heart attack!

6. Your time is money.

Know that your time is money. Get paid for it. It’s up to you how you want to get paid but in the sugar bowl, there is a lot of time expected from you. In retrospect, I would say that sugar babies are no different than escorts except that the former is much more emotionally draining and time-consuming.

7. Get the money upfront.

This applies to all forms of sex work but make sure you get the money upfront. Cash in an envelope in your purse? Cool, run to the bathroom and count it to be sure. Payment through PayPal? Deposit your funds immediately as they can cancel payments. I’ve been burned by this before in other forms of sex work and I wouldn’t want any else to have to go through this and get scammed.

8. Save your money and don’t let money be your motivator.

We all like to treat ourselves once in a while (okay, maybe a lot more). But it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. A sugar daddy can cut you off at any moment so please do not become dependent on them. They can also smell desperation in the way you communicate. Be aware of this in how you are presenting yourself.

Like any job, choosing to be in the sugar bowl should be a calculated decision. I sure would have done things a little bit differently knowing the information I know now.


Steph Sia is a stripper, digital content creator and pole dance instructor based in Vancouver,
Canada. She is the host of the sex worker podcast, Stripped by SIA, that shares the stories of the
lived experiences of sex workers with an aim to destigmatize the sex industry. She always
enjoys a good bowl of noodles.

steph sia becoming a sugar baby

2 Replies to “Becoming a Sugar Baby: 8 Things I Wish I’d Known”

  1. I remember being so afraid when I first started out, I wanted to say no to everyone so I don’t offend them. It took me a while until I found my ground, especially when it came to being paid for the job. Luckily I didn’t have any issues with payments being cancelled but I had a hard time asking for money before dates.

    1. Asking for money is often the hardest part, I definitely feel that! Sounds like you’re doing better about it now. Let us know if you need any more help!

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