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THE SUGAR BABY

LIFE ISNT SO
SWEET
A N E X P O S B Y K E YA N A B L A N C H A R D
F I R S T T H I N G S F I R S T. . . .
WHAT IS A
SUGAR BABY?
A sugar baby is a woman who is
seeking a man, typically much older,
to support her financially in return
for companionship which often
includes a sexual relationship.

While sugar babies can technically


be any age, the lifestyle is aimed at
younger women, especially college-
aged women. This is proven by
programs such as Sugar Baby
University, which gives users a free
premium membership to Seeking
Arrangement, the number one sugar
daddy dating site in America, when
they register with a college e-mail
address.
WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT?

Short answer: quick, easy money of course.


In 2011, the average college graduate had acquired over $27,000 in student loan debt and the
unemployment rate for people between the ages of 20-24 was almost 15 percent. By 2016, the
average student debt had risen by 13%. Basically, college students are broke and desperate
(who knew).
OKAY SO THIS IS A GOOD THING
THEN?
Many women report that being a sugar baby has been a strictly positive experience.
In addition to the obvious benefits, there are other incentives to which different women credit
their appreciation for the sugar baby lifestyle.
Celine, a 20 year old sugar baby from London says the she wanted a bit of control in her life
and enjoys being able to filter men from whom she does and does not want to accept financial
assistance. She enjoys the independence from her family and finds that being a sugar baby has
given her financial stability for her future as well
Montana-based sugar baby Chelsea states that her sugar daddy invested $15,000 into helping
her to launch her own personal training and lifestyle website, but admits that his mentorship
is what [she] valued most.
Women are even associating sugaring with the feminist movement by saying that sugar babies
are leveling the playing field by having higher standards for men, refusing to compromise or
settle for less, and demanding compensation for their time.
SO WHATS THE CATCH?

Sugar daddies can have a sense of ownership over their sugar babys time which, in excess, is a
major red flag of any abusive relationship.
The typical age difference between sugar daddy (30-70) and sugar baby (18-26) is another cause
for concern. This age difference will more than likely lead the two to be unable to naturally relate,
which can result in a loss of identity and sense of self for the sugar baby. It is between these ages
of 18 and 26 that young adult women are finding who they are so being deeply involved with
someone in a different life phase during this crucial time can disrupt emotional development.
WELL, IS THAT ALL?
No, it gets worse.
Sugar babies, although not technically prostitutes based on the legal definition, do fall under the
category of sex-work. It has been proven that women who are involved with the sex work
industry are at a greater risk for mental health disorders as well as psychological distress when
compared to women who are not sex workers
The results of a research study in which 193 sex workers between the ages of 18 and 63 were
questioned on their mental health, concluded that sex workers display higher levels of anxiety
and depression compared to non-sex working women.
Another study, involving interviews of 854 sex workers across 9 different countries revealed
that 68 percent of them met diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
ALL OF THAT ON TOP OF THE STRESS
OF COLLEGE?
The National Alliance of Mental Illness found that 73% of college students across the nation
report having experienced a mental health crisis while in college.
Considering that both being a college student and being a sex worker both come with their
own risks to a young womans mental health, combining these two factors only make it more
likely that she would experience the negative effects of a mental illness over an extended
period of time.
WELL WHAT ABOUT MALE SUGAR
BABIES?
Good question!
Despite the growing number of male sugar babies in the community, they are not discussed in
the same way that female sugar babies are because society does not sexualize men in the same
way that it does women.
I had a hard time finding any discussion on mental health in male sugar babies specifically, which
I attribute to lack of awareness of how present males are in the sugar baby world as well as
lack of acknowledgement of male struggles with mental health (but thats a whole other
inquiry).
SO. WHAT?

Although outsiders of the community can be hesitant to acknowledge mental illness in sugar
babies because of the disregard that society tends to show for women involved in sex work, it is
important to be aware of the mental health risks of being involved in social subcultures such as
the sugar community. While not everyone will be negatively affected, it is not uncommon for
sugar babies to develop a mental illness even if it develops after they have stopped participating
in arrangements.
THE END