A sugar baby is a person who receives cash, gifts or other financial and material benefits in exchange for company. It usually includes sex or intimacy.  The paying partner is typically wealthier and older. A sugar baby's male partner is often referred to not as a trick or a john but a sugar daddy, while the less-common female counterpart is a sugar momma.
The practice is sometimes called "sugaring". Described in 2015 as an expanding trend, it has produced the highest number of sugar babies in the United States, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Colombia. In America, students are able to find men or women through online dating services.
According to the SeekingArrangement website in 2015, 36% of "gifts" received by women using their site was spent on tuition payments, while 23% was used to pay rent. The rest was spent on books, transportation, clothes, and other items. However, more than just students, "sugar-dating" is also prevalent in the older age range.
The online sites used for introducing people who may negotiate sugar arrangements are technically dating sites. Membership on one site in 2016 was $70 a month for sugar daddies, but free for sugar babies. What happens after the initial date, whether involving sexual or other activities, is between the parties.
Sugar dating sites were affected by the April 11, 2018 "Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act" passed by the Senate. The Act prompted the closure of many sugar dating sites operation in the US. This includes Established Men, a sugar dating site owned by the parent company of Ashley Madison, Ruby Corp as well as the personals section of craigslist.org
As of 2020 there is debate about whether this practice can be considered prostitution, i.e., purchase of intimate attention, sexual or otherwise. A sugar baby is claimed by some to be the modern counterpart of the 17th-century courtesan, "a prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients."
- Age disparity in sexual relationships
- Enjo kōsai
- Girlfriend experience
- Gold digging
- Mistress (lover)
- Trophy wife
- Nelson, Rochelle (6 November 2014). "'Sugar Baby' Reveals Why Married Men Cheat With Her For Thousands Of Dollars (VIDEO)". Huffington Post – via Huff Post.
- Pardiwalla, Anahita (20 April 2016). "Sugaring: A New Kind of Irresistible". huffingtonpost.com.
- Ayalon, Liat, and Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan. "Senior, mature or single: A qualitative analysis of homepage advertisements of dating sites for older adults." Computers in Human Behavior 75 (2017): 876-882.
- "Meaning of sugar daddy in English". Cambridge Dictionary. 30 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Ross, Terrance F. (15 January 2015). "Where the Sugar Babies Are". The Atlantic. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- Ross, Terrance F. (15 January 2015). "Where the Sugar Babies Are".
- THISTLETHWAITE, FELICITY (25 November 2015). "Is this the SEXIEST calendar yet? SugarDaters strip off in the name of DATING". Express. Express. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Elizabeth Hernandez (13 May 2016). "Colorado "sugar babies" use online dating to cover soa. There are more than 2,700 sugar daddies registered with Seeking Arrangement in the Denver area and 202 sugar mommies". The Denver Post. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
Local law enforcement agencies say that because the site was set up like a dating website and advertised as facilitating consensual connections, it is not illegal.
- Cole, Samantha (23 March 2018). "Craigslist Just Nuked Its Personal Ads Section Because of a Sex-Trafficking Bill". Vice. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
- Juan Fernández, Jorge de (2019). "El fenómeno sugar babies". 21. La Revista Cristiana de Hoy. 1029: 38–41.
- Lawson, Leidra (2002). Sugar Daddy 101: What You Need to Know If You Want to be a Sugar Baby. Sugar Daddy 101. ISBN 9780972760805.
- "Sugar daddies finding sugar babies". Retrieved 6 September 2019.
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