This February, Preen talks about all kinds of relationships and how stories of love don’t always follow just one plotline. From fairy-taleromances tooverlooked connections, we’re hoping to find what makes them all equally special.
I am actually not that ashamed about being a sugar baby. Since we live in a conservative culture, I don’t tell the story of how I decided to become one for a short time to everybody. My closest friends know and dismiss it as something that would intrigue a liberal and curious person like myself. However, I don’t think I will ever be able to tell my mother about it. Partly because I know she’ll be disturbed by it and also because I think that as an adult, I don’t really have to divulge every detail of my life to her.
The year was 2014. I was fresh out of college and working at my first job. One slow afternoon at work, I stumbled upon an article on Dazed about how more and more British college students were becoming sugar babies by signing up for a website called Seeking Arrangement.
Forget everything you know
Contrary to many misconceptions about sugar babies, sugar mommies, and sugar daddies, the article talked about how it’s not a scenario composed of seedy older adults preying on wide-eyed younglings who don’t know anything better. Instead, sugar babies and their partners seek what many individuals on this planet aim to find: companionship.
Sure, the sex is implied most of the time. But upon doing more research and reading a lot of stories and confessions online, the relationship between a sugar baby and sugar daddy/mommy can be tailored to your liking and your needs. Think of it as the compromises you often make with your significant other, and throw in the significant age gap in the mix.
And more often than not, the needs of each party are still very practical. Most sugar babies don’t want to be in debt after college, or just want extra cash to treat themselves after a tough time. Or maybe they’re in need of assistance to pay off some medical bills or other similarly unforeseen emergencies.
On the other hand, most sugar daddies and mommies are so busy that they can’t put aside time to go on a date, go to a club, or be invested in a relationship like everyone else. These businessmen and top-tier professionals have a few hours to spare in between cities and boardrooms. And during that small sliver of personal downtime, they would appreciate the company of someone who cares for them sincerely and doesn’t see any harm in the arrangement, even there is a monetary transaction.
For them, what’s a few Benjamins compared to good conversation when every friend you have is halfway across the globe and asleep? That’s how my sugar daddy felt.
Sugar? Yes, please
After I signed up on the website, I received messages from many men. Yes, a lot of them were creeps who wanted to jet me off to another country pronto. One Filipino even blatantly said he needs a discreet companion who will meet him at certain places at specific times of the day for one to two hours.
But Carl* was different. In his message, he said he was also just seeking companionship like myself, and that wasn’t bothered by the money involved. “What’s helping out a friend in need?” he told me.
He was a European businessman running his own company as president and CEO. Given the high demands of his job, he would fly to Hong Kong for two days, then head back to London, where his main office was, for just about a week before flying to New York for the weekend. Divorced and with one daughter who was about to turn 18, he didn’t have much outside of his business. But in spite of the constant travel, he loved this lifestyle.
I, on the other hand, signed up for the whole deal because I was curious and because I couldn’t think of a better time to be a sugar baby. Young, single, and fairly attractive with a lot of time on my hands, why not use what I currently have and earn money from it? Besides, I don’t think there will be any other point in my life where I would be as eligible as I am to be a sugar baby.
I also told myself that I wouldn’t really pressure myself to do it. I didn’t check my Seeking Arrangement account every day nor did I put significant effort into my profile. I just put one decent photo and described myself as the kind of person you can talk to about anything, especially if the only people you’ve had contact with for weeks on end are flight attendants and company executives. I just told myself that if I found “the one,” then why not go ahead and do it? I also decided that if I was able to successfully find someone, I wouldn’t go looking for others.
One is enough, don’t you think?
Sealing the deal
For six months, Carl and I would send messages to each other on Viber. His texts were mostly about which city he was currently in, and where he was going to next. Every night or so, he asked me about my day, told me I was pretty, and that he hoped that I would agree to meet him when he found the time to fly to Manila.
I must admit, the allure of an older man is very real. He was well-mannered and wise. He’d give me his two cents when I told him about my problems. He asked for no nude photos and sent no dick pics. There wasn’t even the mention of sex. Just two people who were building a friendship.
One January morning, he messaged me that he could finally drop by Manila. It was overnight stay before he needed to take the red-eye for Hong Kong. He was somewhere in California at the time, meeting his stockbrokers. He missed his daughter’s birthday as she lived all the way in Seattle.
I took my time and asked myself if I was ready to meet him. I promised nothing. “Let’s have dinner and if we like each other, see how it goes,” I said. I held my breath as I waited for his reply.
“Yes. Of course. Two friends over dinner,” went his response.
He then asked me how much money I needed. I remembered how the sugar babies I read about demanded the same amount needed to buy the latest Prada bag, or pay for their entire semester at school.
I estimated how much that would be and he swiftly said that he didn’t have any qualms with parting with that amount.
I also told him I wanted to meet at my favorite five-star hotel. One last safety precaution, I thought. No seedy motels or restaurants for me. And, besides, wouldn’t you recommend the same thing to a friend from a foreign country if ever he decided to visit the Philippines?
The datewent smoothly. I got a few looks from fellow Filipinos dining at the hotel’s restaurant. But I had dated a few foreigners previously so it didn’t really bother me. Let them judge with their narrowed eyes and even narrower minds.
I spent the night with him. I clocked in an hour of sleep before I awoke to the sound of him talking. He was taking Skype calls from his business partners and closing some orders. He followed office hours in London, no matter what time zone he was in.
The next morning, we had said our good-byes leisurely and sweetly over an elaborate breakfast brought up by room service. He counted out the cash and put it in my bag without me noticing. We checked out at 12 noon. His flight to Hong Kong was at 3 p.m.
It’s been a year since then and ever so often, we still get to talk. I greeted him a Merry Christmas last December. He said hedidn’t know when he’d be back in Asia with enough time to pass for me. I told him that I understood, and I just hoped that he wasn’t overworking himself. He sent me a laughing emoji and I knew that to him, work was life itself.
I stayed true to my word. After meeting with Carl, I deleted my account from Seeking Arrangement. I spent some of the money I got on a #treatyoself shopping spree and gave my entire salary for that month to my mom. I just told her I was able to save some money so she could buy herself something as well.
After the whole experience, all I can say is that it was something I am glad I did. I gained a friend and learned how valuable time and friendship can be.