You may well have noticed an abundance of articles in the mainstream media about personal commercial arrangements known as a sugar-daddy relationship. Indeed some media outlets such as news.com.au seem to run stories on this subject every couple of weeks (see recent examples here and here).
Today however I was prompted to create a post solely on this topic after reading a feminist journalist’s interpretation of the sugar-daddy phenomenon:
Kasey Edwards doesn’t think that sugar-daddy arrangements are a bad idea because they are, you know, wrong. It’s not because they involve women debasing themselves via voluntarily entering into a parasite/host relationship. And it’s not because these women aren’t walking out into the world standing on their own two, empowered, feet.
No, such arrangements are a bad idea because the women involved might be held in some way (shudder) accountable if exposed. It was suggested that former sugar-daddies would blackmail their babies as “there’s seemingly no downside for powerful men who have sexual arrangements with less powerful women“. (Gee, I bet there would be more than a few ‘powerful’ men who would disagree with that assessment of where most of the risk lies)
The cost of exposure could be either tangible (reduced employment opportunity), or more intangible (slut-shaming). Of course, both of these forms of chastisement might be imposed by other women – especially in the latter case.
Oh, and sugar-baby arrangements are also a bad idea because Kasey sees them as a “cynical abuse of male power“.
Needless to say, no mention was made of the fact that wealthy women procure men/boys in a similar manner. Which would kind of make it more of a wealth thing, rather than a gender thing.
Nevertheless, the likely feminist defence there would be that that doesn’t count, a ‘rare aberration’ yada yada, borne from ‘internalised misogyny’ yada yada, and being a ‘justifiable push-back against male oppression’ yada yada.
What follows now is a selection of articles and perspectives on this topic. There are also a couple of sources dealing with a somewhat related practice known as ‘rinsing‘.
Inside the life of a feminist sugar baby, by Roisin Lanigan (21 March 2017)
Sugar Babies: 100,000 Aussie students have signed up to find a sugar daddy (2 February 2017) It’s ironic that pro-feminist news.com.au frequently runs articles on sugar-babies, sending a poor message to young men and women alike. Still, as long as news.com.au gets lots of clicks catering to vicarious thrills, it’s all good right?
“Men are supposed to be caregivers and take care of women”
Jilted lover, 42, sues her 86-year-old ‘sugar daddy’ for $1.5M claiming that he said he would provide for her ‘for the rest of her life’. Buhl has moved on to another girlfriend, Zahradnikova claims she’s still owed $1.5million in unpaid wages. How low can you go! Reddit mens rights discussion thread and linked article
Lavish lifestyle of sugar baby Simone Toon (4 November 2016)
‘European Sugar Mamas’ – Women sex tourists in Kenya (29 July 2016) Reddit discussion thread
‘You don’t have to give him anything’: Inside the life of a $75,000-a-year sugar baby (1 February 2016) Australia
The art of ‘rinsing’ landed these sisters $160,000 worth of gifts (27 November 2015)
Sugar Babies: Controversial trend taking off online (21 July 2015) Mainstream media at it again: Content to promote parasitism/prostitution as a legitimate lifestyle choice #racetothebottom
Where the sugar babies are (15 January 2015)
Sex, lies and ‘rinsing’ guys – Youtube video – Just don’t call them prostitutes