When I made an account on SeekingArrangements.com, my plan was to find men and women — Sugar Daddies, Babies and Mommies — who would let me interview them anonymously about their experience.

In case you're unaware, a Sugar Daddy is an older, assumedly wealthy* man who wants to “date” a younger partner, who agrees to do so in exchange for some financial support. I apologize for the asterisks and quotation marks, but it gets a little more complicated than just that, which is why I wanted to interview a variety of users.

It quickly became clear, however, that wasn't going to happen.

Plastered all over the site are warnings about secrecy, privacy and discretion. The first thing you have to do upon making an account is pick a username and written next to the entry box reads: “Stay safe, don't use your real name.”

So, I decided the best way to get some answers without getting kicked off the site was to play along and ask the Sugar Daddies who messaged my account as many questions as I could before they got tired of me.

Lesson number one: this site is literally all about safety and privacy.

Almost none of the Sugar Daddy profiles include photos, and if there are public photos, either their faces are blurred or only their abdomens are showing. There is an option to upload “private photos” that a user can grant certain users permission to view. I wrongly assumed these were for nudes, but turns out it's just for married, 60-year-old men to selectively reveal their identity.

“Realistically, most men here are married and looking for some side action,” one user told me, before going on to clarify that he was not such a user.

“I am not married and looking for a fun, smart, clever, possibly submissive young muse.”

Which brings me to my next point. I can't speak for all Sugar Daddy/Sugar Babies dating sites, but Seeking Arrangements seems to be a hotbed for men looking for BDSM relationships. For as many times as I saw someone's profile bio say they require discretion, it seemed there were twice as many men looking for willing, “fit” submissives. One message I received said:

“Looking for a fit, athletic, attractive, intelligent, submissive woman. Casual, NSA, and cordial: I'm more the protective/mentoring/affectionate type (with a Sadistic edge) than the 'trolling for sex' type. But I do relish control.”

NSA, I quickly learned, means “no strings attached,” and also seems to be a theme on Seeking Arrangements. Most men say they're very busy, have a stressful career and are just looking for something drama free and easy. One user even specified that he wanted “no emotional attachments and limited contact in between meetings.”

Scheduling is of the utmost importance, as well, and each Sugar Daddy I encountered was very specific about wanting to meet either once weekly, two to three times a month or even less frequently. Each time I began to negotiate an arrangement, the conversation took a turn from overly friendly and immediately seductive to very formal and business-like.

“It would be meeting up the two to three times a month,” one user said. “I would like there to be intimacy involved in the arrangement. Although I'm not expecting that right away. And I'm not expecting that every time we meet. Hopefully, that is not a problem for you.”

The most I was offered was a monthly “allowance” of $1,000, but the norm (for our region, at least) seems to be $200 per meeting, which, to be honest, does not seem worth it. I've seen “Pretty Woman,” and I know not to take anything less than $100 an hour.

In my near three weeks on Seeking Arrangements, I only encountered one Sugar Daddy who was interested in an arrangement without sex, or, as nearly every Sugar Daddy referred to it, “intimacy.”

“How do you feel about getting allowance to sit around and watch Netflix once a month with me?” he asked.

At first, I thought I had hit the Sugar Daddy jackpot. Then, he asked if I would wear handcuffs while we watched. Another user just wanted to lay in bed and “eat all sorts of food.”

So, realization number three: Seeking Arrangements also seems to be a hub for fetishists, which makes perfect sense. In a way, isn't the whole arrangement a bit of a fetish in and of itself? Nearly every user insisted on only referring to me as their “baby” and treating me like a child, as well. One sent me a message saying, “Why don't you let me take you out for a grilled cheese sandwich next week?”

Ultimately, the whole Sugar Daddy/Baby seems more like an avenue for men (some users as young as 26) to find a partner who is willing to contract a highly specific, mutually beneficial relationship. Of course, that doesn't take away the fact that it still just feels like premeditated prostitution. But hey, if you're willing to watch Netflix while wearing handcuffs, eat grilled cheese sandwiches in bed or bang a married dude, maybe give Seeking Arrangements a try.

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