The H-Word presents first person experiences from sex workers across the country. Here, Liv compares her job as a sugar baby to her perceptions of other forms of sex work.
I go by Liv and I’m 33. I live in Texas and I’m a college graduate.
I got started sugar daddy dating a couple years ago. I was running a business and the stress and the hours were killing me. In addition to working all the time, I was also a new and single mom. I remember one day, sitting and wondering out loud, “Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just have sex for a living… without getting arrested??” and this gal I worked with was saying “you can, I just saw it on a talk show. It’s called sugar daddy dating.” I googled it and the rest is history.
A sugar daddy relationship is traditionally an arrangement between an older wealthy gentleman and a younger woman who needs help financially or even a job or mentorship. However, a lot of my potential clients were actually younger than I am! I think in our culture, a lot of guys go through school, get a good job or start their own company and then all of a sudden they realize they’re lonely. They’re wealthy but very busy working and also often without social skills or the confidence to ask women out in the traditional way. Every sd relationship is going to be different, with different levels of connection and different boundaries. I consider it to be sex work as almost all guys seeking this type of arrangement expect intimacy in the deal. It’s different because you actually get to know the person and become part of their life, even if you only see them once a week or once a month. There’s also a level of caring that occurs when you have a regular thing with someone—I’ve also noticed a lot of guys are kinda hardwired to want to take care of a female. It’s usually not a pay-as-you-go arrangement here. I had one client who was very busy traveling with work who I didn’t see for a month and he was actually stressing about getting my monthly allowance to me. It was sweet that he cared so much!
I meet my clients online through sugar daddy websites. I try to get as much of my criteria out of the way as I can through emails, and you can start to get a feel for the person that way too. It’s important to always meet first in person in public before you begin an intimate arrangement. My shortest arrangement lasted three weeks; we just didn’t click. My longest was for over a year. I still talk to two old sds, even though our arrangements ended. I consider them friends.
This type of sex work feels safer to me. I’m able to control the situation better and there’s a level of caring there which I don’t think exists in many other types of sex work. It’s interesting though, there’s a line you walk where you want to keep it business and not get too attached, but at the same time you want them to care enough to respect you and so that you do not get hurt. And because it is sex, the pricetag is high. It is very lucrative.
Sd relationships are different from every other kind of relationship I’ve ever had. I’ve never been able to ‘ “et go” and really relax with a sd. There’s always a part of my brain where I know I’m being paid for this hour and I want to give them what they are looking for and keep them coming back. I do however feel a gratitude towards these men that I’ve never felt in other relationships.
The risks in this line of work are the same as anyone who has sex for a living. You can never be sure that someone isn’t a serial killer/rapist/psychopath but you help your odds if you use your intuition, screen as much as you can, let them know who’s boss, and never act in desperation. I’ve walked away twice after meeting someone… something just wasn’t right. I trust my gut. Emotionally, it can scar you. Some of my clients have been married. I don’t think I could ever get married now—I just wouldn’t trust them.