Friday, February 28, 2014

Sugar Baby or Hooker? Sugar Daddy or "Hobbyist?"

There are many who argue that this whole Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy arrangement shit is nothing more than a more subtle form of prostitution.  Essentially the argument goes like this: if a woman agrees to have sex with a man in exchange for money, gifts, dinners, trips, etc., she's a hooker, full stop.  If a man gives a woman any sort of valuable consideration in exchange for sex, then he's a john (I used "hobbyist" in the headline because that's what men who frequent hookers call themselves), full stop. 

I'm sorry, but these arguments are simplistic because those who make them are thinking one-dimensionally.  Further, I would wager that most if not all of them who hold to these arguments with certainty have never been in a Sugar relationship.  As someone who has been with both escorts and Sugar Babies, I know the differences, and they are vast.

First and foremost, when I would engage in sex with an escort, I never gave more than a momentary thought to who they were as people.  For me, they were selling a product and I was a buyer of that product.  Once in awhile, I'd meet an escort and enjoy a bit of conversation over some subject or other, but it was no more meaningful a conversation than one I'd have with the person checking my groceries, or fixing my car at the local garage.  The conversation passes the time, and nothing more, until both of us decide that the transaction has ended (usually when the next person in line gets annoyed enough!).  With my sugar babies, I nearly always spend just as much time (if not more time) conversing than fucking.  This is a huge difference to a hobbyist, who pretty much just gets in, gets off, and gets out.

Second, with nearly every one of my sugar encounters, even the one-offs, it was important for me and her to get to know one another before we hopped into bed.  On her end, she is looking for a man with whom she can feel safe, who shows some measure of charm and who is passably attractive to her. While I wouldn't go so far as to assert that we're looking for shared values, if we discover that there are shared values, it makes things so much better.  Because, in the final analysis we are looking for a relationship, not engaging in a business transaction.  Anyone who has read this blog from the beginning knows that these women are people to me (unless I get very mad at them or feel particularly sorry for myself when I get manipulated by them).  When I saw escorts, they were fuck-toys, some with better personalities than others.  I was with some really sweet escorts, and I encountered some horrible girls too.  But so what?  Here's your money, open your mouth, spread your legs, get me off, and thank you very much!  This was the arrangement, and was always understood.  No escort I ever saw ever complained that I wasn't a gentleman or an otherwise decent customer (especially those I saw more than once or twice).

Finally, while I haven't experienced this yet, I have read accounts of Sugar Daddies who have maintained friendships with their Sugar Babies long after the arrangement had ended.  I would like to have this kind of relationship, particularly with Leah or with C.  There isn't an escort I ever met who hoped to be able to see her customer as a friend after their transaction ended, and as a hobbyist I have never expected an escort to offer me her phone number so we could get together for coffee or a walk on the beach.

But there is an element to the simplistic argument I noted above that does resonate with me: every one of us, men, women, sugar or not, is a prostitute for something.  We have all sold ourselves at some point in our lives in ways we wished we hadn't in exchange for some needed and worthwhile benefit.  Those who reject that argument are liars.  Many of us have worked jobs we hate because we needed the paycheck.  We may have done business with a rude customer because the financial rewards were worth it.  Some women have remained in marriages with husbands who ignore their needs because a) there may be a status element to the marriage, or b) they have no marketable skills and could not survive on their own.  She may even have grown to loathe her husband over time, but because he makes a great living and she gets to have enough time to hang with her girlfriends, at the gym or over lunch at the country club, and they get to travel to nice resorts or on luxury cruises, she crawls into bed with him and puts up with his "three-minute mile" until she can watch The Tonight Show or a DVR of "Modern Family" after he falls asleep.

The final point I want to make is this: sex work need not be bad.  The simplistic argument above implies that it's a horrible thing to be likened to a hooker.  I've read enough accounts of sex workers who feel empowered to use their bodies and sexualities to be able to finance their way through school or make up for a financial shortfall when the job doesn't pay the bills.  If it goes well, everyone "comes" away happy; what could be bad about that?

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