Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and do not necessarily echo In Real Life’s sentiments.
I interviewed a sugar baby to find out more about this clandestine job and how she feels about it. This is her story from her personal perspective.
In mid-2020, I got laid off from my part-time job.
I was a Year 2 university student, and at the time, I was desperately searching for a job to support myself.
After I was laid off, I applied to various jobs from retail to F&B, but no company was keen on hiring.
My friend saw the struggle I had to go through and the constant rejection from employers. Meanwhile, I noticed she kept getting new bags and clothes almost every month. It was as if the Covid-19 was not affecting her financially in any way.
I know her family, and they are not wealthy. In fact, her dad lost his job during the pandemic too.
One day, I asked her, “How are you still able to afford all this despite your father losing his job?”
That’s when she confessed her secret.
“I found an old man and he pays me to date him….like a sugar daddy.”
I was shocked. I’d never expected that answer out of my own friend’s mouth. I had so many questions.
“How did you become a sugar baby?”
“What are the things you have to do?”
“Why did you become one?”
She patiently answered each in turn. Leaning in conspiratorially, she told me she found him on a dating app (not Sugarbook), and after a few text exchanges, he propositioned her with this request.
“I was disgusted, but intrigued. So I thought, why not?”
Since then, she has gotten other sugar daddies on her list. What she has to do for each sugar daddy varies. While some men only want sex, others were looking for companionship too.
As we were talking, she suggested, “Why not be one too?”
She told me her sugar daddy has a 40-year-old friend that was looking for a sugar baby. If I were interested, she could introduce him to me. As she said this, she looked at me curiously.
“Are you thinking about it?”
“No!” I said, a little too forcefully.
My knee-jerk reaction was complete disgust. I thought to myself, I would never put myself that low and sell myself. That’s not how my parents raised me; I come from a conservative family that taught me that my image and how society thinks of me is very important, or else I am a “disgrace”. And no one wants to associate with a disgrace.
So I told her I was not interested, and we went our separate ways.
Over the next few days, I thought about it more than I’d like to admit
In the next couple of days, I mulled over my friend’s proposition. Despite my initial outrage, the thought of my financial worries being solved by going on a simple date was hard to resist.
The more I thought about things, the more I realised all the things my parents had warned me about doing — going out at night, befriending guys, wearing tight clothes — weren’t that bad.
“Never go out at night with strange men — they could drug you or rape you!” That was the one thing they kept pestering me about. However, that didn’t happen because I knew how to keep myself safe.
Maybe I was wrong about sugar babying too, I thought. After all, it’s just me dating an older man, who spoils me with more expensive gifts than an average man my age. Nothing is wrong with that. Who does not enjoy a luxurious lifestyle while dating a mature man? Who does not want to be pampered?
I started getting more interested in exploring the lifestyle. The money helped amplify my interest in it too. I googled the experiences of other sugar babies and drew my own conclusions.
A few days after, I told my friend ‘yes’ and she was excited.
Meeting my sugar daddy
First, my friend gave him my contact details and he texted me. Within a few lines, we went straight into the terms and conditions of our meet up: How much I charged for a “date”, whether I was willing to have sex, and so on.
Since I clicked with my sugar daddy immediately, he decided to give me around RM6k as my monthly allowance.
As I got deeper into it, I discovered more about how it works:
- When meeting a sugar daddy for the first time, it starts off with “pay-per-meet” terms.
- If there was chemistry for the long term, the sugar baby would be given a monthly allowance.
- The more chemistry you have with your sugar daddy, the more you get paid.
- Some sugar babies get “raises” as time goes by, like an employee.
- Some sugar babies have sex, some don’t. It depends on how comfortable the sugar baby is and how clearly they state their boundaries.
It was entirely up to me what we wanted to do. If I just wanted to go for dinner dates, we would. If I wanted to give my sugar daddy a treat, I would.
So we went on a few dates. Some weeks, he would want to see me every other day. Other times, I’d only see him once a week. It depended on his schedule and where he was flying off to next.
One thing I learnt is that you genuinely have to like your sugar daddy so that things will flow naturally. Dating rules still apply — would you date a man you do not like?
Luckily, my sugar daddy is the type of man I would date. In fact, if he was younger and around my age, I would have fancied him as a partner.
It’s been almost 6 months now, and he has already bought me so many things. For Christmas, I got the latest iPhone and a designer handbag.
All my life, I have never splurged for myself, so it’s nice that I have someone now who likes to do that for me. It makes me feel appreciated and valued.
It goes beyond monetary benefits too. Sometimes, when I have an issue with my life, I ask for life advice from an older and wiser man.
However, I do not see a future with mine, because at the end of the day, I consider it a job like any other. Developing feelings for my sugar daddy would only lead to heartbreak when he inevitably ends our arrangement.
To be a sugar baby you don’t really need any skills — just the ability to listen attentively
The sugar baby industry opened my eyes to a hidden need among older men.
Simply put, a lot of them are lonely, and just need companionship, even without the sex.
Yes, most of them prefer girls that look younger (between 20-25), so you have to maintain some effort into how you look — you should look like a 10/10 at all times.
But aside from that, there aren’t really any skills you need to learn to be qualified for the job. As long as you maintain yourself, look presentable and are able to keep up a sparkling conversation, you have what it takes to be a sugar baby.
At the same time, you have to be alert and make sure your sugar daddy does not take advantage of you. I have heard some cases of sugar daddies taking advantage of their babies by doing something that they are not comfortable with.
Luckily for me, my sugar daddy has been very respectful about my boundaries. He always makes sure I am comfortable and encourages me to speak up when I am not.
In the beginning, I used to find it awkward to say no when he makes requests that I am not entirely comfortable with. Instead, I would make excuses, like “I’m tired,” or “I’m on my period.”
However, now that I’ve gotten to know him more and have gotten out of my shell, I simply say a direct “No,” when I don’t feel like doing something.
It’s a common misconception that you have to do whatever the sugar daddy tells you to because he is paying you. But in reality, it’s all about what you are comfortable with and the boundaries.
Another thing to understand is to just make sure your sugar daddy is single.
Most of the time, the local sugar daddies are single, but the foreigners that have Malaysian sugar babies are usually married with wives back in their home country.
It is something you have to be careful about. Since you are putting yourself on the line. It’s not just the possibility their spouse might find out — there are times when the sugar babies fall in love with their daddies.
In this case, if the sugar daddy is married, it’s only going to get messy. 9 times out of 10, he will choose his wife over you, and you’d be the only one left all alone.
The money I earned from sugar babying was crucial in paying for my uni fees.
Honestly, with the kind of savings I’ve stashed away, I think I can fully support myself now and not depend on my parents, as long as I keep seeing my sugar daddy.
Imagine getting a 6k allowance every month for doing nothing but dating a man, why would you not want that? To top that off, you get occasional gifts and fancy dinners.
That money has helped me a lot — aside from my personal expenditure, I’ve kept 60% of my earnings from being a sugar baby and used it to fund my studies.
Without it, I would burden my parents to dip into their life savings, or be forced to drop out of university altogether.
If my parents ever find out about my new lifestyle, they would be hysterical. I imagine they would either ask me to drop out of uni and marry a man immediately, or completely disown me.
Luckily they live in Kelantan so they can’t monitor my whereabouts, and so far, there hasn’t been any suspicion about how I am suddenly able to afford all these designer clothes and bags.
I know that the truth would break their hearts, but how many other girls can say that the person I am dating buys me whatever I want, whenever I want, even if we are not fully committed to each other?
Of course, there were some downsides to it. It was not easy at first, going out in public with my sugar daddy — people would always stare at us judgingly.
Once, we were in a restaurant, and these two older ladies were sitting at the table next to us. They were talking to themselves in Mandarin about me, thinking I won’t understand.
But ever since moving to KL, I picked some Mandarin from having Chinese friends. So I could understand phrases like “baichi” (stupid) or “sao huo” (slut)
So I overheard them calling me names like slut, gold digger and, “She is only dating him because she is just a stupid little girl.”
I remember going back home that day feeling so upset. Those words made me feel so insecure and I began to doubt myself.
Am I really a slut for just dating an old man? How does that make me stupid? What do they know about my life circumstances?
At the end of the day, it is my choice.
As a grown adult, I gave my consent and decided to explore this side of the world. Until now, I can honestly say I have no regrets.
Yes, it has its cons. Sometimes from a long day, you want to just chill out by yourself, but if your sugar daddy calls, you have to go.
Some babies have more than one sugar daddy which can also be hard to handle. Unfortunately, I have not had more than 1 so far because I cannot balance my sugar baby and university schedule when there’s multiple sugar daddies involved.
Many would say that I am naive and foolish, that this will never last, and I will find myself left high and dry when the sugar daddy gets bored.
But I’m not stupid. I know being a sugar baby does have an expiry date. It’s definitely not a career you can do as you get older.
My plan for the future is to get a stable income with my university degree. Once I’ve paid off my study loans and have enough savings to live comfortably, I’ll stop being a sugar baby and pursue my own dreams.
As a job, mentally it can be exhausting, and not because of the sugar daddy. You have to be strong enough to ignore the looks that are shot your way when you go out with your sugar daddy.
I don’t let many people into this side of my life. A few friends know, but they aren’t fazed by it even though they are not sugar babies themselves. They support my decision and have just advised me to be safe.
Just know people are going to judge you no matter what. So, you might as well do what you want and get judged than to continue doing something you don’t enjoy.
For more stories like this, read: I Spent a Month Using Sugar Daddy Apps, and This Is What I Learned And The Pitfalls of Dating an Older White Man in Malaysia.
Edited by Gabriel Gan.
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