Life after graduating is difficult and complicated. Jobs as media assistant representative or branding editors, or whatever your vague liberal arts degree offers you, are few and far between. Internships are full-time and, for the most part, unpaid. The concept of being a full-time actual adult is bewildering.
Life is weird, although it’s something my friends from school and girls on my Facebook who are engaged with kids seem to have figured out. Maybe I should ask them for advice. In this new world, alternative ways of making money seem to be really popular. Why work forty hours a week for minimum wage when you can be a freelance GIF maker, professional YouTuber or even sell your used underwear on eBay? I’ve shamefully tried my luck at all the aforementioned modern day liquid jobs (except the latter, I swear). The latest vogue in money making seems to be via sugar-daddies.
The concept of the older rich business guy has been a myth romanticized by early twenties gay guys, single straight girls and middle aged mothers since the beginning of time (or, for the latter, since 50 Shades of Grey). The actuality of this, however, is not a Jon Hamm in Mad Men type, but more like a bald middle aged married banker in a rental suit. I thought the idea of a sugar-daddy existed only in the pages of lame books my older female relatives read. The closest I’d come to the reality was the one time I made out with a guy at a party who leveraged Grindr to make money through dates with rich old guys. He probably saw my bank account was in minus and that is why he didn’t text me back.
At a recent BBQ my friend told me she signed up to a Sugar-Daddy website and that a queue of guys, worth at least ten million, were propositioning to take her to New York and Dubai. I have a pretty good relationship with my dad (he follows me on Twitter) so I don’t see myself as particularly having “daddy issues”, but what I did have was an overdue phone bill, rent and a job I’d recently been “let go” from. My reply was obviously “Can gays do it?”. There was initial doubt as to if I had the correct disposition to appear charming and endearing to some rich guy, or if I even had the capacity to go on a real life date. Seeing as my usual tactic is to rely on the poor judgment and kindness of drunk strangers. I signed up none the less. I could always get drunk for free and then exit through the bathroom window after dinner in Mayfair or somewhere.
I was surprised by the website’s design. It was simple and discreet. I waited for the pop-up of a man dressed in a suit with his dick out to flash up at me, but it never did. Along the bottom of the page were all the companies the website was endorsed by. I was surprised to see CNN, Forbes, Vanity Fair, CBS and, well, Playboy. The list went on. I declared myself as a sugar-baby looking for a sugar-daddy and begun the hunt to find someone to pay my rent.
I had signed up to numerous dating sites before, but being new to the sugar-daddy sphere I was unsure on what conventions my profile should adhere to. Typical guys on Grindr, or whatever else, make a claim for their masculinity by stating that they don’t want “F*cking queers” and prefer “real” men. I didn’t know if this was something that was centric to SeekingArrangments, where the question of top or bottom is replaced with how much allowance a sugar-daddy is willing to give you. I enlisted the help of my friend Josh to tweak my ‘About Me’ from ‘hey’ to something far more appeasing to old rich dudes.
I looked through the list of sugar-daddies, certain that I would not message any one with a net-worth of under a million. I didn’t see Don Draper, Mr Big or any other archetypal fictional character on the two page list of Sugar-Daddies based in London. There were plenty of guys who looked like they could kind of be related to Don Draper though, maybe a distant cousin, all of which explicitly noted they were looking to “help out younger guys” with a taste for “finer things”. I fit the former part of that criteria. Once again, unsure what the conventions of a SeekingArrangments message were (Yahoo Answers did not help) I opted for the ‘wink’ a handy tool, universal to all forms of online dating.
Two of the three ‘winks’ I sent remain unread, sent to guys who had not logged in for months. Probably caught out by their wives. I did receive a reply from Tom, a “successful financier giving something back”. We passed messages back and forth for a week, he didn’t seem too creepy and was kind of cute. I entertained the idea of waking up in Egyptian cotton bedding, amusing myself for the day in a Kensington penthouse apartment, whilst my sugar-daddy was off making millions in Canary Wharf. I could probably skip the part where I serve champagne at events to make money and maybe even be at the events, masquerading as Tom’s cousin who’s visiting from Ipswich or something. Sugar-baby could even be a full-time career. I arranged a date with Tom, but cancelled at the last minute, citing a fictional job interview. He replied with a “Okay, we’ll arrange for another time : )”. I guess my career is on hold.