It’s true that in recent years sugar dating has gone slightly wayward. The digitalisation of the scene made it a lot more popular and somewhere along the way, the idea of what sugar dating actually *is* changed.

Whilst sugar dating used to mean a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship between typically a young, attractive person and an old, wealthy person, it now is more commonly similar to escorting– a one-time brief rendezvous where money is exchanged for sex.

However, it remains veiled behind the term ‘sugaring’, a concept with implications of sophistication and morality. 

The difference between escorting and sugar dating is that the latter is currently so much more unsafe. Because sugaring brands itself as ‘upscale dating’ – it often attracts people who have never been a sex worker and don’t know anything about that world.

With this knowledge, punters flock to sugar dating sites, to take advantage of the situation. People who do escorting have clear boundaries in place, stated on their profile- such as their rates, the things they will and won’t do, and a deposit that they take for each client.

Sugar babies have none of this, and on most sugar dating websites, they are actually encouraged to be ‘discreet’ on their profile. This gives leeway for clients to push boundaries. Sugar dating has received so much bad press in recent years, with sugar babies reporting incidents of scamming, mistreatment and in worst cases, assault.

I don’t believe that we should blacklist sugar dating.

I just think that it has become an unsafe form of escorting, when in actual fact, sugaring is a form of sex work in its own right, with a lot of benefits.  And in comparison to other forms of sex work, ‘traditional’ sugar dating can be one of the most constructive and wholesome paths to gaining your own financial security and success.

Plus, the sugar lifestyle can be a lot less ‘all over the place’ than many other forms of sex work because you’re only focused on one (or a special few) people. 

Despite sugar dating going off track, it is still growing in popularity- 64% of UK respondents in the Hims & Hers 2023 sex survey expressed an interest in trying new sex trends- one of them being sugar relationships.

In a cost of living crisis, it’s not surprising that sugar dating is increasingly curious to people. But the way it’s going right now isn’t healthy or even constructive for anyone involved. How can we make sugar dating great again?

Be Emotionally Ready

Sugar Dating: Be Emotionally Ready

If you’re in denial about what you’re doing, it will show in your actions. You won’t fill out your profile properly on sugar sites, your engagement will be inconsistent, you might be in denial about the transactional aspect and shy away from discussing money. 

You need to be aware that what you’re doing is considered sex work by some, even if you might not see it that way. It’s good to be at peace with the fact that there’s a transactional element- and to not beat yourself up about it.

In this world every relationship is transactional to varying degrees- we all want things from one another. Sugar dating just makes that element to relationships more overt and vocalised.

The same goes for clients. If you don’t want to acknowledge that the relationship is somewhat transactional, and that part of your value to a baby comes from your wealth, just as part of a baby’s value comes from their beautiful energy, you aren’t ready.

You can still form a relationship that is true and wholesome, whilst also acknowledging that you both want these specific things from one another. 

The Long-Term Approach

sugar dating: the long term approach

When I was a sugar baby, I was quite in need of financial support. I interacted with a lot of sugar daddy profiles and met up with people who I didn’t necessarily get along with, or find attractive, but instead because it was a fast way to get a quick £300 to support myself.

I lived in a short-term thought process of meeting whoever was readily available when I needed cash. I didn’t even consider taking the concept of sugaring seriously and opening myself up in a way that would allow for a true connection to blossom.

But if that was my attitude, I should have tried escorting instead, which would’ve been a faster and safer way to do what I was doing. 

What should decipher escorting from sugar dating is that the latter develops into a relationship where there is a true attachment formed and trust built- where a daddy/mama really *wants* to support their baby, because they care about them, and the baby really *wants* to spend time with their daddy/mama. This is the key to a successful and healthy sugar relationship. 

So if this is what you’re looking for, the best way to utilise sugar dating sites is to think long-term. You should fight against the impulse to meet people you’re not sure about, simply for the short-term gain, and instead spend those hours curating your profile, carefully stating who you are and what you want, and interacting with a very select few – the people you genuinely feel you could connect and build something real with.

I know how easy it can be to meet someone you’re not that into, with only the money in mind, and sometimes it’s a necessity. But so many hours get wasted without any constructive growth.

The next time when you feel financially *okay*,  use that period of comfortability to think long-term and start shifting your approach to sugaring. 

(One approach to sugaring is to try meeting people organically as well as online. This means you avoid some of those predators who go to sugar sites looking to exploit, as well as the dudes who pretend to be wealthy so they can trick a baby into sleeping with them. Here are some of the best spots where you can look for a sugar daddy in person.)

It’s just as (if not more) important that clients have the correct attitude towards sugaring also. I know a spontaneous horny fuck is appealing, but I think so many forms of sex work already cater to that mindset. The most interesting thing about sugar dating is that it teeters on a line between sex work and a real relationship.

It’s about having great sex, but also a real connection that grows and grows over time, without the pressure for it to ever evolve into something serious and limiting. Surely that’s the best of all the worlds? 

But to get this, it takes time and won’t happen by only logging on when you’re lonely and horny. To make the most out of sugar dating as a concept, you have to get into the habit of only meeting people who you think you could connect with beyond the sex.

A Real Connection is the Key

sugar dating, real connection

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have gotten into a habit of ignoring the best thing about sugar dating – the sincerity of a *real* connection.

Whilst good sex and financial aid are the two crucial requirements in the arrangement, what blossoms should be a respectful relationship where two people value each other in many more ways as well.

As it progresses, the ‘transactional’ element of the relationship should feel increasingly  natural because in a real relationship, you truly want to give the other what they need. 

Not only is this type of arrangement the most enjoyable type, but it’s also the most financially beneficial. When you build real trust with someone, they are willing to help you more. They are happy to integrate you properly into their life and help you financially as if you were their own blood, not out of obligation.

And often even after these type of sugar relationship end, I know cases where lifelong friendships remain- as the daddy/mama tends to have helped them through a transformative period of their life – a special bond is created. You can see how this is a lot more interesting than a quickie in a hotel room with someone you likely won’t see again.

It’s also a more enriching experience. When you’re properly taken into a sugar daddy/mama’s life, you often enter a world very far from your own. It’s a huge personal learning curve, and also often a presents an abundance of opportunity and potential connections, plus life experience and intellectual growth.

The people that I have met who approach sugar dating in this way seem by far the most happy and healthy. I’ve found that not just babies but also the daddies/mamas have experienced sugar relationships that truly improved their lives.

This is what makes it such a unique form of sex work. Hence why I think all is not lost in the world of sugar dating. It can be very transformative, creating life-long memories and friendships.We somehow need to figure out ways to make the online sphere more geared towards this form of sugaring.

Perhaps sugar sites should be more similarly aligned with dating apps like Hinge, that focus on enhancing the chances of good connection by matching people based on their shared interests. Or perhaps it should be made tougher  for people to mindlessly reach out to so many people.

That’s some food for thought…let’s make sugar dating great again! 

Sugar Baby
Sugar daddy



Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.

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