I have had several sexual encounters that have left me feeling awful. I got nothing out of them — no orgasm, no relationship, and definitely no respect.
But this time, I got money. And that was something.
A series of particularly frustrating events have left me jobless and living in the most expensive apartment I’ve ever had in Toronto. I’m also in my final year at Ryerson University, so the budget is tight and I’m feeling the pressure.
In early January I was paid to have sex with someone. We met on the controversial website, SeekingArrangement.com, where “sugar babies” and “sugar daddies” come together to form mutually beneficial relationships.
I feel comfortable on the site, which was founded in 2006. My profile consists of a few pictures of myself — the same photos hanging on my parents’ wall from high school graduation — and a simple bio that says I’m a “fun, classy, smart, young woman.”
I don’t reach out. Instead, I let them contact me. I respond if interested and then plan a time to meet in a public space to see if there’s “chemistry.”
It’s a recurring word on the site: chemistry. So many profiles say, “chemistry is a must.” I think that’s just a polite way of saying you have to be attractive and able to hold a conversation.
My first sugar daddy and I had our preliminary meeting at Factory Girl, a pub on Danforth Avenue. It was basically to see if I could tolerate him and see if he had any creepy vibes.
What I learned from that meeting is the importance of nodding, smiling and agreeing. Every once in awhile I would argue his opinion in a polite way: “I don’t necessarily agree with this, but I have to play the devil’s advocate …”
He told me he agrees with the billionaire politician, Donald Trump — Muslims aren’t to be trusted. I wanted to tell him off right then and there. But instead, I nodded. “Oh, totally.”
We talked about money beforehand. “I hate to ask about this,” I lied. “But what kind of arrangements did you have before?”
He had seen a stewardess from Montreal. “She’s a lovely girl, I have nothing bad to say about her,” he said. “But she had weird hours, so meeting up was difficult.”
He said he would give her $300 each time.
So there, I knew the price, which seems to be the standard rate considering everyone I’ve talked to so far on the site. Almost all my offers online have been an “allowance of $300 each visit.” This is just code. It’s $300 so they can have sex with me.
And I did my research. Select Company is an escort service in Toronto that charges $250 per one-hour visit and $500 for two hours. Not to mention, the escorts have to pay a house fee, usually 10 per cent of each interaction.
My second visit with my sugar daddy was two hours long, but one hour was chatting and drinking a bottle of red wine that he had brought.
He told me he’d seen a couple other girls from the site but none really clicked. Meanwhile, his hand was venturing further up my thigh as we sat on my couch.
“She’s not my wife,” he said. “But I do live with her.”
“I assume she doesn’t know about me,” I said.
“No, she doesn’t know about you.”
He went on to tell me how he got a stomach tumour when he first started seeing her. She “stepped up to the plate” and really took care of him, he said. Then she wanted to move in and in his vulnerable state, he allowed it.
“Otherwise,” he told me, “I wouldn’t have.”
I found that story laughable. Sad and laughable. I feel bad that she’s dating a terrible person and probably doesn’t know it, but I don’t feel any loyalty to her. If he’s not with me, he’d be with someone else — that’s how I justify it.
The sex wasn’t creepy. It wasn’t abnormal. There’s been several people I’ve slept with whom I truly wanted to impress and please. He was not one of them.
I just acted the part and let him do what he wanted, without any hesitation. It didn’t feel wrong and it didn’t feel belittling.
And when he left, he handed me three $100 bills. I said, “Oh, this part is so weird. I really enjoyed myself,” but my eyes, unbeknownst to him, rolled into the back of my head.
He said he did too, but he can’t give me the “full boyfriend experience.” When he walked out the door, he said, “I’m sorry I have to leave just after (sex).”
You didn’t leave soon enough, I thought to myself.
But I responded with a pouty face. “It’s OK. I understand.”
He was my first sugar daddy, but he won’t be the last. I’ve met with him once more since and with two other sugar daddies (an Italian designer in his 50s with two kids my age, and a white-bearded man who insisted several times that he’s very much in love with his wife).
I feel like most of the men on the site are insecure and need validation from a young, attractive sugar baby. That, or they’re desperate for power, which I pretend to give them. Or the saddest of all: perhaps they’re bored. But, if I can capitalize on that, I’m going to. And they’re obviously getting what they want too, which is a temporary Band-Aid for their problems.
My plan is to establish three or four regulars so that I can meet with someone at least once a week. I won’t be stopping anytime soon, but I’ve told myself if things start to get weird or take an emotional toll, I’ll give it up — you have to be very headstrong in this business.
I’ve been able to ignore any internal moral criticisms because it’s all an act. It doesn’t seem real to me. It’s just a job. In my opinion, it’s way more hurtful to have a one-night stand with some sleazy guy who used me for sex than to be paid by someone. This way, I know what I’m getting into.