Why sneer at suspected gold diggers like Heather Mills or the late Anna Nicole Smith if they were merely following their evolutionary instincts?
We were at Megu, a pricey Japanese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, eating perfectly cooked Kobe beef.My companion, a wealthy finance type, was telling me all about himself and posing questions that suggested he was interested in me.Not long after the earliest online dating services, including and e Harmony, launched, sugar baby websites took the concept and turned it on its head.The predominating question on these sites, where wealthy, older men are paired with young, beautiful women is this: Why deal with the unknowns of a traditional relationship when you could enter into an arrangement with fixed terms?Since I was still a bit hesitant about how far I’d be willing to take my experiment, I signed up using the pseudonym Annabelle Walker.
The site, which launched in 2006, has about 420,000 members, of which roughly one-third are sugar daddies and two-thirds are sugar babies (sugar mommies account for less than one percent).The rest of Hank’s profile, which told me that he was middle-aged, played sports, and worked in finance, was of less interest.We set up a date and specified what we’d be wearing so that we could recognize each other—a navy-blue baby-doll dress and black tights for me, a striped button-down and a maroon cashmere vest for him.Before we sat down, Hank gave me elevator eyes and said, “Good. Even with a pre-nup, though, you’re at risk.”“Right,” I said.I need a tall, blonde girlfriend.”When the waiter arrived, I ordered a very necessary glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I allowed Hank to feed me a piece of meat and chewed thoroughly.It also struck me as hypocritical for a man to sign up to be a sugar daddy, put a dollar figure on his girlfriend budget, and then refuse to write checks.