MTV’s True Life Confirms that Sugarbabydom is a Hassle

by Kat on July 20, 2011 · 13 comments

in Clients, Videos, What is Sex Work?

The popularity of the sugar baby/sugar daddy relationship in the media is a bit of a recession phenomenon. It’s a grey-area of sex work lite that women with no experience in the sex industry can dip their toes into before they realize that if something sounds too good to be true, it is. The odds of finding an asexual millionaire benefactor are not good, but that won’t stop those with student loans or retail addictions from signing up on sites like Seeking Arrangement, Sugar Daddy For Me, Whats Your Price, and the like. MTV’s True Life follows twenty-one year-olds GG and Olivia, and twenty-two year-old Steve on their quests for financial dependence. Despite silly narration like, “They’re willing to ignore their hearts for the Benjamins,” I thought this was an accurate portrayal of what happens when young laypeople make an attempt at dancing the tango of conflicting interests.

What viewers learn is something that those of us who have stomached these kinds of dinners already know. You’re signing up for an uncomfortable barrage of hyperbolic compliments from men who have been out of the dating game for decades. It’s unclear whether you’re supposed to say “thank you” one more time, return the compliment with a compliment, or if you’re allowed to keep eating your free meal. You’re going to hear double-entendres and innuendos so vile that you wish they would go over your head. These guys become so obsessed and nervous over steering an ambiguous arrangement towards sex that they will interject unnecessary ickiness into every lull.

For example, when the waitress brings the food, GG makes polite small talk by saying, “That looks good.” Jumping the shark of acceptable second date conversation, Sugar Creep responds, “Most meats are really good pink in the middle.” Before she can even bring up the weather, he starts making loud kissing noises at her, like a leather blazer-wearing, luxury car-driving Hannibal Lector. Olivia’s guy seems lower on the creep scale. He chivalrously opens a Costco bottled water for her while telling her about their dinner reservation. When she says, “I want to shower and get pretty…” of course he can’t help but hope aloud, “Are you asking me to take a shower with you?” It’s really all these guys can do to stop themselves from constantly yelling “That’s what she said!”

I don’t want to even talk about Steve, because he is a huge sugar baby fail. He has nothing to offer, not even bothering to maintain a decent appearance. He is has a bad haircut, is doughy, disheveled, and perpetually greasy. If that sounds harsh, it’s what he gets for feeling entitled to money because he thinks that every unmarried woman over the age of thirty must be desperate. He makes awkward, aggressive passes at sexy cougar-types who would be doing him a favor by going on a date where he picks up the tab.

GG is hands-down my favorite. (Maybe it doesn’t hurt that I used to work with a beautiful divaesque Asian Gigi who even had Gucci rain boots.) She is the smartest of the three and possesses the critical thinking and experience to stay in control of the negotiating. She openly admits that these relationships have a limited shelf life if the guy doesn’t receive the sex she is unwilling to give. She is clearly seasoned at getting the most she can before these guys inevitably get frustrated and cut her off (“I do want to see how far I can string him without doing anything physical with him”). The montage of her posing with a series of past sugar daddies, all blurred out faces on older bodies, is hilarious. It’s too bad that a cost/benefit analysis of Sugar Hannibal leaves her with no choice but to stand him up and find a straight job. You can really sense her burnout from navigating all the bullshit that surrounds being a full-time sugar baby (who doesn’t want to have sex) and upholding the cost of living to which she has become accustomed.

Olivia is just a mess. I can’t tell whether she fucks her guy or not; it’s unclear. There is also all this business with her mildly verbally abusive ex-boyfriend who doesn’t approve of her sugaring but also wants to live in a free apartment with her. She’s really too immature and simple to be in control of a sugar baby relationship, methinks. My favorite part of her story is when her SD surprises her with a hideous crystal angel pin as he bids her goodbye at the John Wayne airport, “This is a little angel that will keep you safe.” It’s true; you can’t have a mini-documentary about sugar daddies without including gifts of awful jewelry that are only good for eBay or regifting to someone you don’t like.

So yeah, sit back and enjoy the world of “two way street” talk, Johns who don’t consider themselves Johns and their dangling carrots (get it?!), shopping sprees, multi-course meals, empty promises, mid-life crises, and shattered hopes. For more on this topic, please see Sugarbabies Unite! (Sort of.) and Sugarbabe: Kat Commiserates With a Friend.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily July 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I loved that episode! Thanks for letting me know about it.

And yes, I can completely see how GG is a successful sugarbaby. She has the game down so well, I really believed she might fuck Tommy some day. I kind of feel bad for her that her mom pushes her into it.

I know a lot of dancers to the sugardaddy thing, but I just don’t get it. These guys are so high maintenance and expect so much. Even the ones that don’t want sex are really annoying, and to put up with that much BS, I feel that I’m much better off at the club where they don’t seriously expect me to not date anyone else or to be available on their schedule.

And the guy Steve….OMG. You nailed it. I don’t understand what he brings to the table, and he’s clearly confused cougar for desperate. If he wants a girl to support him, he needs to find a young girl (maybe a stripper, but doesn’t have to be) with self esteem issues, berate her until she feels like she can’t do better, and convince her to do everything she can to keep his loser ass around. Are you reading this Steve? Older women are the exact opposite of what you want.


Cecilia July 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

This is priceless. No wonder I make a fortune on these SD sites. The 21 yr old amateurs tease, deceive and disappoint their SDs just long enough to drive them straight into my arms. By the time these poor men find me they’re so ready to embrace the Pay4Play model they instantly become the most grateful, generous and obedient little puppies ever.


H July 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

Hi, do you have a version of this available to watch outside the USA? Unfortunately MTV videos don’t work ‘due to copyright restrictions’.


Cecilia July 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm

MC, I cannot count how many guys are simultaneously on SD sites and escort forums (as hobbyists). There are all kinds of men on SD sites, but I assure you, many MANY of them are all for the pay4play model. And many MANY of them are thrilled to the bone to find a woman on an SD site (an “SB”) who will simply state her hourly rates.

If you didn’t find any, you didn’t try hard enough. Sorry, but true. I make 6 figures a year off SD sites and started banking the very week I started using them. It’s just a matter of knowing how to word your profile screen the incoming requests.


Cecilia July 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

word your profile “and” screen incoming requests


theswjournal July 24, 2011 at 2:14 am

I tried a SD website and was disappointed. I met many women, mostly in college. Their looks were not as good as the pros that I was accustomed to, yet their expectations were higher.

The women were very fake and materialistic.

My thought process was that I would graduate from the massage parlour scene which I had grown to love to something more mature.

How wrong I was. I found the SD scene to be similar to dating, just worse *sigh*.

What I thought was most interesting was the general ignorance these women had concerning the sex industry. They really felt as if they were doing me a favor.

I dropped this bad habbit after a few short months.

Sugar Daddy culture has no future in America IMHO.


Bettie July 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I have never had success on SD websites, but I will admit it’s probably because of me. I do want to go back to it as a side thing, especially considering the city I live in, so I will be taking Cecilia’s info to heart. Why not use it as a way to make more money?


Polly Vincere August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I’ve been active on SD sites for almost 2 months. Thus far, I’ve met more creeps than nice guys. What’s said above about many of them just wanting pay-for-play at cheaper rates is definitely true. They also take every opportunity to say something flirtatious.


I knew when I signed up for those sites that would be an expectation. At 33 years old, and after years of education through the sex blogging world, I know what my boundaries and expectation are. I think many women get involved in SD relationships without having realistic expectations and BOUNDARIES.
It IS SEX WORK if I have sex in exchange for anything other than sex. I know that. I’m very clear with any SD that safer sex will ALWAYS be practiced. Thus far, they’ve been just fine with that.
I’ve met some pretty nice men who truly didn’t expect me to have sex with them because they bought me dinner or a dress. Those relationships never matured because *I* wasn’t attracted to *them.*

It’s important to realize you are worth more than any amount of money they have. You don’t have to compromise yourself to get what you need if you are firm in your boundaries and have realistic expectations. It can be a roller coaster, but thus far I’m enjoying it.


ktown August 16, 2011 at 12:28 am

i did the SB thing as a way to make $ and have sex. i just wanted to have sex and get cash, but so many of the guys were creeps and trying to vet them and go through all this bullshit was OBNOXIOUS. i would love to get into straight escorting but i dont know how! plus im cute as hell but overweight, and not sure how that translates to escorting. am i totally naive here? the two encounters i had on seekingarrangement, i had sex with 2 men (separately) and got $300 for each time. could i have charged more? i played the “im a grad student and need help with school” angle, because thats the truth. i got a lot of interest from men praising my intelligence and scholarly ambition, which i liked, but had to deal with way too much extraneous bullshit, which i hated.


Lovings Webmistress September 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It boggles my mind that swindling hopeful men & women out of loads of money with implications of sex is more socially/legally acceptable than delivering an honest service.


A non-hypocrite August 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I have never had a sugar baby or gone to an escort but I agree with you. Men want sex and women want money out of these arrangements. Why not make it legal for people to get what they want?

Everyone looks down on escorts but they are a lot more honest than these women and the legions of women who marry men because of their money.


Carmen November 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Gosh, I’ve only watched 5 minutes. Steve is so gross.


claire January 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm

I tired sugar dating sites but the guys there are crazy, I had a 65 year old man tell me he wants a girl to want him for his body, not for money.” He was pushy over dinner he was trying to get a test drive , said he had to try before he buys and he wants a girl to prove herself!
All guys I have meet have been timewasters, weirdo, narcissists, cheap, ugly guys who have not had a date in years and they don’t have a clue how to treat girls.
Because they are rich or make promises of allowances they think a girl has to work to impress them with free sex. These sites are full of guys trying to use naive vulnerable young woman. It’s very sad.
I went there to these sites thinking I would find one nice gentleman for a relationship with financial support, I thought it would be safer and more social accepted than escort.
After wasting a year on sugar sites I am now thinking about getting into escorting.


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