NYU Local has been running a series on Sugar Babies that attend NYU (check out parts one and two). According to infamous Sugar Daddy/Mommy/Baby website Seeking Arrangement, NYU is the most well-represented college on the site. Here, we continue our interview with Mona*, the Tisch sophomore who supports herself through Seeking Arrangement.
What of the feminists out there who argue everything they worked for to defy the submissiveness and have equal pay, rights, etc.? With this, you’re entirely reliant on men to give you money. Is there any kind of issue you find as a woman with it?
No, because the thing is, that’s how you could see it, but in the end you have the upper hand. Even if they’re still paying. There’s a bunch of other guys out there. If anything, you can go find another one. If you succumb to them and you’re really relying on that money, then OK, that’s another thing. But if you’re doing it for leisure, you can say, “No I don’t want to do this.” Walk away from it?
Have you ever been attached to any of these guys?
Sometimes, yeah, I expect to see them again and they don’t call. They just want to see one every day. There’s another thing, when you tell somebody, “No I don’t think so. This isn’t going to work for me.” It’s not as bad as in real life. In real life, you’re messing with them as a person. Here, it’s you as an arrangement. It’s not what I’m looking for. It’s easier to deal with that.
So what is this life, if not real?
You have to look at it as a job.
A separate identity.
Yeah. It’s not whatever goes. When you come into this, you have to become the Sugar Baby character. You have to become the Sugar Baby girl. They don’t want to have somebody who looks raggedy in jeans and clothes. They want a pretty girl in dress and heels. It’s almost like getting your uniform on.
What is your uniform?
Typical preppy-girl club girl look. The dress, the tights, the heels. Being girly and nice to them. Pretending that they have the upper hand and being cute. That’s part of the uniform. Changing your personality.
Is being dumb a prerequisite?
It’s not really a prerequisite, but they tend to like it better that way because they have to work less. They don’t want to think of conversations. They don’t want to have arguments. They just want someone to pamper. If they want to shut you up, I’ll …
In an arrangement you can have that. In a relationship–
You have to talk things through. You have to connect with people. When it comes to this you can block everything out. We have this one thing that we share and we’re going to share it for a moment. Then we’re going to go back to our lives. You can’t have that in a regular relationship. In a relationship you merge to become. There’s the “I don’t wanna do this,” “I don’t wanna do that.”
It’s a business transaction.
Exactly. So you can just keep all the personal issues aside and focus on whatever you have in common. Which just happens to be this.
What’s the best date you’ve been on?
I went to a rooftop bar some place uptown where you can see all of Central Park. I love rooftops and they had amazing music playing. He paid for all my drinks and at the end he gave me $200 and said to buy something good with that. I never saw him again but it was an awesome date. If all of them were like that, I would have one every two nights (laughs).
With Joe* [one of Mona's steady Sugar Daddies, discussed here], do you know anything about his life, aside from the fact that he has a wife and kids? Does he ever talk about it? Or are almost you his escape?
He talks about it every now and then. He tends to use me as the escape. Usually, he likes to talk more about me than about him. Not because he’s uncomfortable about it, but because he wants to run away from it. This serves as an escape for all those guys who are really into their work and can go and have some fun. You wanna be able to provide that.
So, if that fun means not talking about them, just talk about yourself. You can just make up stuff and they just love hearing it. That’s what they want. The kind of stupid, young girl that’s there and she talks a lot and you give her stuff and she’ll shut up. They like that kind of thing because it’s easy. It’s almost like having a pet.
But a lot of women here, especially in New York, that would say, “There’s no way I’m going to be the pet.” I find it interesting that you’re so at ease with accepting that role. Especially, if you think at the end of the day that you’re not the pet. You’re holding the leash. Do you ever feel bad for these guys?
Yeah, sometimes I don’t even want to go anywhere. They’re like, “Hey, I’ve had a long day,” and I’m like, “You know what? Yeah, I’ll do it.” Every now and then, for the ones I have a small bond with–sometimes I don’t feel like doing shit–sometimes I don’t want to see them ever again, but they were so nice to me the first time and I know they’re going through a hard time. It’s almost out of pity sometimes. The pity can come up every now and then.
What’s fascinating to me is that no one really knows about what you’re doing.
The funny thing is, I am the complete opposite person in real life. It also gives me a break from my own life. It gives us both a break. In real life, nobody treats me as a pet. I’m almost a dude in my group of dudes, and they never step off on me or anything. It’s a completely different life, but because I know that I’m putting myself in that situation, it makes me at least think that I still have the upper hand because I can always walk away from it.
What would people in your life that know you personally say if you told them–
They would be like, of course. I’m very open as well. I have zero shame. I don’t care about anything. My friends and I talk about whatever. They know I’m a little bit whacked in the head and that I don’t care about anything. They’d be like, “You know what? You would do that.” They’d be a little bit surprised and then they’d be like, “Oh wait, but it’s you.”
Do you find that to stay with this you have to have that mentality of making a separate life?
You have to be able to not be so hard on yourself. Just kind of go with it and ride the wave. If not, you’re always going to be looking back. With something that has such a negative social stigma, of course you’re always going to be thinking about it. If you’re the person to judge yourself, to think bad and regret stuff, it’s going to destroy you eventually. If you’re the kind of person to just let things pass, it’s whatever. No worries. “Hakuna Matata” is my motto for the rest of my life.
Do you think you’ll ever look back and think, “What the fuck was I doing?”
So far I haven’t. I hope not. If I do, I hope it’s like, “What the fuck was I doing. I’m so glad I did it. It was so much fun.” It has to end with that. If not, I still learned something. If you can get either fun or some kind of knowledge out of it, it was still worth doing it. You gotta touch the fire to know it burns.
How would you explain this to your boyfriend if he found out?
I would be like, it was strictly for the money and it’s just the person that I am. I am able to have this thing on the side and have it not affect my real life. To me, I have zero attachment to these people. They can disappear forever and it will be fine because it’s not part of my actual life. When it comes to my boyfriend, I’m actually invested in that. I’m not invested in them.
And you think you can be fully invested while having this on the side?
Yeah, because I treat this almost like a job. I make that distinction. I feel nothing romantic with these guys. It’s a matter of how you see it I guess. You could also see it as cheating, but to me, it’s a matter of action not of intent. It’s just because of how I think. I know that not everybody can think like that. Some people can have the truth right in front of their faces and
Everything nowadays stems back to a daddy issue. The site constantly refers to “Sugar Daddies.” Do you see a direct relevance with your own?
Zero. I had an amazing family. I had a super supportive family. I was always close with my mom, not super close, but to a point where they really cared about me. They were always really invested. They really cared. If there was any lack of communication, it was from my part. I was the one being reserved and not letting them know. Almost because I was trying to save them and myself. I’m too crazy for them to tolerate.
What is something that surprised you about the whole experience?
That it actually works and that it’s not full of creepy people. It can be a nice experience outside of the money, because I have met so many people that come from so many different places. You can spend a night talking to someone from the other side of the world. I’m an eternal student. You get to learn everything. One of my favorite things to do is character analysis. Figure out why they are the way they are. I love going on dates and just kind of experimenting on them and seeing why they react to certain things.
Evidently, we’re the #1 school on the site. Why do you think that is?
It’s a very open-minded school with a lot of open-minded students that come from all over the world. They don’t have that closed mindset, like, “This is wrong, so I’m never going to do it. I’m never going to explore it.” They come here with that adventurous personality and they’re super curious. It doesn’t surprise me at all because it’s a bunch of people that think similar to me.
*name has been changed