Dating: The life of a sugar baby in Singapore

Circumstances forced a woman, who is part-time medical student and nurse, into the sugar dating world

A sugar baby in Singapore holds a pair of high heels in a bedroom and a woman pushes a heart icon on the screen of a smartphone dating app (inset)
A sugar baby in Singapore holds a pair of high heels in a hotel bedroom with a man she established a relationship with through a dating app (inset). (PHOTOS: Getty Images)

Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, have revolutionised the dating world, creating opportunities for countless singles (myself included) to meet potential partners, and for some, the love of their lives. While they may have initially been created for people to find romance, these apps have given rise to different types of relationships, including the opportunity to explore things like sugar dating in Singapore, where a sugar baby connects with a client for financial arrangements.

Websites like Sugarbook, Seeking, and Sugarbaby SG, too, have made it easier for people to connect with one another. Plus, because the website was created for such arrangements, there’s almost no need to second guess people’s intentions.

A part-time medical student and nurse's journey into the sugar dating world

A couple holding hands at a table, with drinks and a rose next to them.
A couple holding hands at a table, with drinks and a rose next to them. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

*Soojoung, or SJ, is a 27-year-old part-time medical student and part-time nurse. To pay for school fees, rent, and the cost of living, SJ moonlights as a sugar baby for money. Here, she talks about how she got started in the industry and the clients she meets.

The first time I was properly exposed to the concept of sugar dating was when I stumbled upon a video ad for Sugarbook earlier this year. The sugar baby in the video talked about the benefits of sugaring and how much money she made in a month. Initially, I thought nothing of it but, seeing that my family had financial issues and could not afford my school fees, I figured it was a viable option.

Seeing that my family had financial issues and could not afford my school fees, I figured it was a viable option.

I was also newly single. I had just gotten out of a two-year relationship and I felt that if I was going to do anything adventurous, this would be the best time.

The sugar baby in the ad wasn’t the most attractive girl so I figured if she could do it, so could I.

I met my first client, *Tim, 43, on a dating app. On our first date, he picked me up from work in his two-seater Porsche. I had never been in a fancy sports car before, so this was a treat. Tim wasn’t physically attractive to me, but I was intrigued by his character and how he made his money.

We ended up having a nice dinner at an expensive restaurant, and while I was nervous about whether people could tell I was a sugar baby, I ended up having quite a bit of fun getting to know him.

Tim realised he had a peculiar kink. He loved being dominated and told what to do.

The reason Tim is still single at his age is that he had spent all his time dedicated to his job and didn’t actively look for someone, either. Even when the chances presented themselves, he was far too focused on his career. In the rare times he did engage with the opposite sex, Tim realised he had a peculiar kink. He loved being dominated and told what to do. Unfortunately for him, it was difficult to find someone that could sustain doing that and love him at the same time. It was also through Tim that I realised there was a gap I could fill as a sugar baby.

When we met, Tim and I discussed how long we would meet, the boundaries of our relationship, and how much he’d pay for my time. We agreed on $500 for four hours, with intimacy included.

Our first night together was interesting. After dinner, he booked a hotel and we spent some time talking – without giving away too many details – before getting intimate. As things were winding down, Tim transferred $500 as payment for my time and booked me a Grab so I could get home at 3am.

In the car, I reflected on our arrangement, what I had just done, and how easy it was to make $500. From that night on, I knew I was going to have to lead a double life.

I knew I was going to have to lead a double life.

Whenever I meet clients, I give them a fake name. I also avoid telling them what I really do for a living and I avoid asking them questions about themselves, too. This way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re connecting, since they’re not really getting to know me. Occasionally, whenever they talk about themselves and I feel like they’re getting a bit too personal about their problems, I remind them of my purpose in their lives. In my mind, I’m their escape for just a few hours.

Couple hugging over collage of smiling face
Couple hugging over collage of smiling face, (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The next client I met a few weeks later, *Raymond, is a married man in his 50s. While I wouldn’t normally mess around with someone married, Raymond was willing to pay me $600 for a few hours just to hear him chat and occasionally give him some sugar. Plus, he’s extremely low commitment, wanting to meet just once or twice a month – or whenever he was able to get away from his wife and kids. Raymond works in the shipping industry and has to travel for work often as well.

Raymond has the tendency to get clingy, and navigating my relationship with him can be troublesome, especially when he’s expressed interest in us being exclusive. Being exclusive, in sugaring, means that Raymond is my sole client. Unfortunately, he’s unable to pay the $7,000 I want to be exclusively his.

Thankfully, he respects this and understands what I need to do in order to make ends meet.

I currently have eight clients on rotation because not every client can pay me as well as others. One client, a senior executive, pays me about $300 a visit. While I could do a lot better in getting new clients that could pay more, it’s nice to know that I’ve got a routine going on with my existing clients and they’re not always expecting more from me.

I’ve been sugaring for close to a year now, and while I’ve enjoyed the experience, lately, I’ve felt I’ve hit a fork in the road. I’ve recently met someone – not from sugaring – with whom I believe I could develop something serious.

I met *Kane through work and we hit it off instantly. While he doesn’t love the fact that I’m a sugar baby on the side, he’s come to understand that this is what I need to do to survive. One day though, he hopes I’ll be able to stop and that he’ll be able to support me, too.

Since we’ve expressed interest in each other, I’ve been spending the majority of my time with him, which means that I’ve not really been able to do any sort of sugaring. Ultimately, this has resulted in me taking home 65% less than what I would usually make.

While I still see clients from time to time, I’m slowly losing my motivation to do so because all I want to do is see how things could develop between Kane and me. However, until we’re completely financially and emotionally stable, I’m going to have to continue sugaring. After all, I’m only young once and the older I get, the harder it’s going to be to meet and obtain clients.

(*Names have been changed and details have been modified upon request.)

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