Picture is for illustration purpose only. Photo by Klix Photography
Candy Ong (not her real name), 20, is eager to make more cash to pay for her tuition fees in a local university. To do that, she’s signed up to be a “sugar baby” on Seeking Arrangements, an American money-for-love dating website.
She’s since found herself a “sugar daddy”, Mr Swee, who works in the banking industry. The 46-year-old earns around $1 million a year, and is happy to be a doting boyfriend who can give the young undergraduate “anything she wants”.
Many would frown upon relationships of such nature, but Candy said she has good reasons to date someone more than twice her age. For one thing, she’s thankful that Mr Swee can make her feel financially secure.
“Some doors can only be opened with status and money,” she said. “The right sugar daddy can provide you with both.”
But Candy is not ready to let her “part-time pursuit” slip. If her friends asked her about the luxury goods she’s seen carrying, she’d say those are gifts from her father. Her family is also kept in the dark.
In the realm of Seeking Arrangement and other similar websites such as TheSugarBook, sugar babies like Candy are usually young women who’re after lavish treats or financial help. Sugar daddies, on the other hand, are typically looking for romance and companionship.
“Some of us are truly searching for a companion,” said Mr Swee. “We don’t look for any pretty girls to have sex. We are looking for someone we can talk to and spend quality time with.”
Mr Swee acknowledges that he’s married. In fact, over 40 per cent of 1,600 sugar daddies on Seeking Arrangement indicate that they’re “married but looking”.
But Mr Swee added that he’s had a mutual agreement with his wife that they’d go separate ways although they’d prefer to remain legally married. He’s been seeing a number of other sugar babies besides Candy.
Several Members of Parliament and women’s groups’ leaders have spoken out against money-for-love apps, calling such platform exploitative and destructive to our value system.
But for now, Candy will stick to her lifestyle choices, and said she’s happy to be where she is now.