This is a very special edition of “Strip Club Journals Unbound” and a first. This month, I have invited my friend, fellow sugar baby, dating coach, and dating site owner Lisa Schmidt to take part in my column. As a sugar baby, stripper, blogger and magazine columnist, I feel the importance of addressing a recent news story shown nationwide to mainstream Americans who know nothing, other than stigmas and stereotypes about sugar babies and sugar dating.
The scandal around the Google executive who overdosed with an escort brings Seeking Arrangement under fire recently. Sugar babies everywhere are getting a bad rap. For those women “in the bowl” who are not escorts, stories like this only fuel the fiery debate surrounding sugar dating. As sugar babies, we both advocate for the lifestyle to not be portrayed in a negative light.
For years, women using Seeking Arrangement have reported solicitors, dead beats and fakes. Even when there is proof of violations, these men (and sometimes women) are often not removed from membership. Yet, Brandon Wade(the owner of SA) claims that 200+ profiles are removed daily for breaking the rules. According to website public relations manager Angela Bermudo, in a February 2014 interview with Vice.com, regarding SA’s membership “The site has 2.7 million members, 1.9 million of whom are sugar babies, and it’s growing fast, with 2,000 to 3,000 new members joining every single day” That would mean 73,000 profiles are removed each year for not being up to snuff. Arguably that is a big number, but why is it that when Lisa talks to clients that have used SA, they tell her the vast majority of women reaching out to them are of the hooker variety. “I’ve had clients tell me that they have been quoted rates by the 1/2 hour in some cases. By the time they get to me, they are more than willing to pay me well above SA’s $60.00 a month to find a quality sugar baby”.
Half hour and hourly rates are the defining difference between escorting and being a sugar baby. “Pay for play” is the term we use in the sugar bowl to weed out the men who are not true sugar daddies. These are men who look for escorts, but perhaps do not want to admit it to themselves, let alone the world. Sugar involves intimacy and depth not heroine and needles.
How many sugar babies have been hurt by the men on SA without any news coverage? As a veteran sugar baby myself, I have had an awful experience where I was hurt. Why is this one incident getting extreme news coverage? Sugar babies nationwide remain silent about the successful businessmen that have hurt them and/or have broken the law.
As a stripper for many years, I know about the double standard in our society which still exists between men and women. Powerful men are some of the most emotionally stunted people I have ever met. Add in their entitlement issues which alienate them from traditional dating and they run to the adult industry for emotional fast food. Some with a skewed viewpoint of what they need to fulfill their emotional, sexual, and intimacy needs. Many have never experienced having all their needs met before and yes some are married with children.
So how do we change the dialogue/standard? We ask to be counted and not dismissed. Last week, the sugar baby community reached out to Brandon Wade via facebook, to ask him why he has done very little to correct the seedy culture that has emerged on his website. His response was appalling. He at first welcomed the feedback, but quickly retreated to a stance of “happiness means different things to different people”. When pushed for a response regarding the death of the Google executive, he promptly erased all comments from his timeline and unfriended every sugar baby who spoke out. Coincidentally, seeking arrangement raised sugar baby fees by $10.00 the same day. Can you say passive aggressive and money hungry?
People are quick to think women are to blame for the adult industry. In actuality it is the few men at the top facilitating the industry, who really reap the financial rewards. Why would the owner of a sugar website remove a paying customer for being inappropriate, when he/she will never be held accountable? These owners are businessmen/women. Brandon Wade went to MIT and was inspired to start his website for educated successful men who lack the time to find traditional relationships. Well, once he became a corporate American profiting off the souls of others, perhaps Brandon Wade’s vision has changed to dollars signs?…
ZiFi & Lisa Schmidt
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