Sugar Daddy Culture

Santini Priya
5 min readJan 20, 2018



The internet is a remarkably terrifying place. With a little digging and substantial knowledge of the deep web, one can get literally everything through the internet. Sugar daddies, however, are not that hard to find. In fact, they are quite the rage online, with countless of posts and articles about sugar baby lifestyle, and hundreds of sugar dating websites readily providing this ‘service’.

The majority of women finding for sugar daddies are 20 years old and above, but there are also girls who are 18 years old, some even underage. They search for men – usually around 30 to 60 years old – on online dating sites where both parties lay down their terms and expectations.

With men offering up to RM2000 just for dinner once a month, it’s understandable why some women would be tempted to throw caution out the window and set foot, however tentatively, into the lavish and luxury world of sugar babies. But while there are numerous reasons to turn away from arrangements like these, most sugar-babies-to-be would more likely turn a deaf ear to warnings instead.

Manipulation and sexual coercion

There are arrangements where a woman may only offer companionship instead of sexual favors. But manipulation and sexual coercion is nothing new, and personal accounts of rape and sexual assault are becoming scarily widespread in ‘sugaring’.

Real-life horror stories of sugar babies pulled and manipulated into a life of substance abuse and alcoholism ended with young women suffering from depression after escaping from the ‘relationship’, and being emotionally and mentally scarred.

In Alex Page’s blog post on her traumatic rape as a first-time sugar baby, she explains the ‘lack of safeguards involved’.

Alex Page (Source)

“Unlike in a licensed Nevada brothel, there is no legislation ensuring for the safety and health of the young women and men who connect via sugar dating websites. I was totally alone and vulnerable without any industry standards or practices to support me.”

Some women are also pressured into having unprotected sex as many sugar daddies prefer not to use condoms. Because they are dependent on their sugar daddies, most would relent to having unprotected sex, leading to STD and other unnecessary health complications.

Exploitation and sexual grooming

The nature of the arrangement between a sugar daddy and a sugar baby puts her in an undeniably compromising position, especially if she is a young girl with poor judgment calls from all the ‘pampering’.

I think it’s quite clear that there is an established connection between vulnerability and exploitation. There are many cases where parents find that their daughters have been engaging in commercial sex online, some of whom were deceived and exploited by ‘rich men on the internet’. In other cases, traffickers posed as sugar daddies to lure young women in, who then become part of an illegal prostitution ring.

Google Images

This goes hand-in-hand with grooming by sexual predators and traffickers alike. For those who don’t know what sexual grooming is, the simplest explanation would be:

The process used by people with a sexual interest in children to ‘prepare’ them for sexual abuse.

As I mentioned before, some of these girls are underage. Just like the rest of us when we were young, dumb and broke, they don’t think things through before going ahead with what seems like a good idea, and their naivety is something older men can and will prey on.

Taking a closer look, some of the key stages in sexual grooming (isolation, filling a need) are also used by sugar daddies who try to earn the trust of young girls and women.

The 6 stages of child grooming (Source)

This also means that underage girls who venture into the world of sugaring aren’t only sugar babies in the literal sense of the word, they’re also unknowing victims of child grooming and are in real danger of child trafficking.

There is no way to go about being a sugar baby without opening the door to exploitation, psychological damage and abuse, as stated by June Goh, president of Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations. As an outsider looking in, you might think, “It’s not that deep.” But it is.

All of this comes down to one thing: power.

Sugar daddies exercise power over women and keep control of the situation by using money as a tool to get what they want. Most times, women stay because they feel like they have no choice as they have become too dependent on their sugar daddies. Sound familiar?

Power in these arrangements are, and always will be, unequal. In a CNN interview, mental health therapist Harrison Davis stated that these relationships are all about power and youth, and that “there’s a great sense of control” for sugar daddies:

“They can take things away and limit the amount of money they’re going to spend on the young lady. They can steer (the relationship) into any direction they want to.”

Few understand the degree of danger when power is combined with anonymity, possibly because sugar dating has become something of the norm on social media, a place where some people still normalize abusive relationships because of a lack of knowledge.

Whichever it is, although sugar dating might seem like a fast and easy way to earn cash and have a little bit of fun, time and time again, the consequences prove that it isn’t worth the damage in the long run.



Santini Priya

Passionate on all things human, and otherwise.