We all have a past, right? Part of my past includes being a Sugar Baby. And it is the path led me to where I am today. If you are unfamiliar with what a sugar baby is, it is a relationship with an allowance. Yes, a relationship. It's not the scandalous stories you see on TV.
I didn't sell myself for things. This is not a sex for money, hooker-type relationship, like Pretty Woman. There are all types of arrangements that happen in sugar dating. There are platonic sugar daddies out there. There are also arrangements that include intimacy.
Disclaimer: I'm 100% okay with my choices and don't consider this a poor one. If this offends you, please stop reading. If however you are open to learning something, please do read on.
When I set out in sugar dating, little did I know that my dip into the sugar bowl would be one of the greatest lessons of my life. I traveled, received excellent business advice (I only dated entrepreneurs) and most importantly I found out who I really am. Those days are long gone, but so valuable to who I became.
This lifestyle can be extremely rewarding and educational on a number of levels - if you do it with some smarts and surround yourself with opportunity. I even created a network of women across the world to have a support system that is still active. In fact, some of them became clients!
I blogged about my experiences. I wanted women to know this lifestyle could be about so much more than shoes, shopping and fancy dinners. That led to writing gigs, a job (which paid for coaching training) and experiences abound. I've been featured in very large publications for it and was offered reality TV about a dozen times. I declined the production companies and even turned down an interview on CNN!
I had friends call me a hooker because I chose something different for a couple of years. Ironically, I saw freedom in my choices, while they had the same experiences and the only difference was a marriage certificate. I'm not knocking marriage or their choices. I'm disputing a double standard.
As far as I'm concerned, this was dating with bonuses. My standard was that I needed attraction and quality to have a relationship more than I needed someone to take care of me. Either it was there or it wasn't. All of the meals, shoes, trips, etc.. are absolutely meaningless without some chemistry and desire behind those gestures.
I chose to date influential men who were either too busy or high-profile to date via mainstream channels. It was convenient for us both. While these relationships start with a negotiation, if done right, it's possible to have something more than the exchange that a lot of people think it is. I had pizza and a bottle of wine on the couch, kind of relationships in addition to travel and the finer things.
In my journey to show other women that life is what they choose, I've met my fair share of haters. I've also made some awesome friends, business associates and gained in ways that you simply cannot put a price tag on.
Here is what I think were the most important lessons that can be applied to business and life in general:
- Know your worth. You are not something to be bartered. You are a human being with needs, desires and a brain. Always be up front about what you need, what your expectations are and ask for the same.
If you want to be involved in sugar dating or anything for that matter, in hopes of striking it rich, you are delusional and you should stop what you're doing now and think about your path. Your life can be beyond rewarding. It is entirely up to you what you make of it.
Lisa Schmidt is a Re-start Catalyst for women. She lives in Detroit,MI. Are you in need of support? Let's connect and thrive together! Join my free newsletter to get advice and tips to guide you in navigating your new or reclaimed life, a free mastermind group, and a copy of my eBook "Reinventing Me" HERE.