Craigslist Sugar Daddies have piqued my curiosity
March 21, 2010 4:27 PM   Subscribe

What is the deal with men offering to be generous to a young college student who needs help or guys who claim they're normal and want a girlfriend but like paying for things?

Is this "legit"? I know people get into these situations in real life, where they have a rich boyfriend who buys them things and eventually helps with bills. But would such a guy really advertise for that kind of relationship on Craigslist? Maybe this is a stupid question, but I've found it best never to underestimate what men will do (especially on Craigslist).

I know about "roses" being a code word for prostitution, but these seem different. Some of them really sound like normal guys in a non-spam way. I can see normal guys trawling Craigslist and seeing sleazier postings of this variety and thinking "why not?" Or is it like a fantasy of some sort?

Not that I'm looking for this, and even if I were I certainly wouldn't find it on Craigslist, but I'm really curious. I guess I could just e-mail some and see, but I thought I'd check with you guys first. Nu?

Examples: I'm looking for a girl who needs help getting her bills paid -- Seeking a normal girl who could use some help -- Attractive businessman willing to support woman -- Nice classy, businessman seeks college student to support
posted by thebazilist to Human Relations (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Just to be clear - you understand that these Craigslist posts are solicitations for prostitution, and you're wondering if they're real or just jokes?

Just to be clear: These men, if they are legit, are not looking to "help you out". They're looking for a young, hot woman that will fuck them for money. But beyond that, I have no clue if they're legitimate offers.
posted by muddgirl at 4:31 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Please excuse the awkward over-use of "just to be clear"!
posted by muddgirl at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2010

Hi, I'm a normal guy, and I would never post an ad like the one you describe.
posted by 517 at 4:34 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sounds like they're looking for a "kept woman."
posted by ambulatorybird at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You may be interested in this article from the NYT Magazine about the phenomenon: Keeping up with Being Kept.
posted by phoenixy at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2010 [8 favorites]

From your first link: "Help is take care of my needs, I take care of you. "

If the poster were being anymore forward, he'd be getting busted, pronto, on overt solicitation charges. And if you email a stranger on the Internet, apparently offering money or other elements of "value" for "services," or "time," how do you know a vice cop isn't on the other end of that correspondence?
posted by paulsc at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2010

Best answer: It's men who aren't looking for a full blown relationship and all the responsibility that entails, but at the same time want more than a quid pro quo "I will give you $xxx for a sexual encounter" type relationship. They're likely using online personals (like Craigslist) because they want to find a person for this kind of relationship who is outside their normal social circles.

Some ads are likely men fantasizing and/or posting just to see what kind of responses they'll get.

Some are "legit" in sense that the men actually want (or think they want) this kind of relationship where some of the emotional commitment many women/gay-men expect is replaced with gifts or compensation.

Some are men claiming to be that kind of guy because they think it's a tactic to shallow attract women/gay-men and get some action after an semi-expensive night on the town (because the shallow woman would think there's more coming and would decide to put out).

People are weird, and get weirder when love/sex/loneliness/relationships are involved. It's impossible to paint a broad picture of what each of those posters are looking for.
posted by alana at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Well, I guess they're legit "sugar daddies" - they want to have an attractive female hanger-on with whom they can have sex in exchange for gifts and money.

It's basically paying someone to be a girlfriend without having to deal with the messiness of a relationship. The guy calls the shots, the girl does whatever he says.

In short: the fantasy is of being Hugh Hefner with a playboy bunny. Whether or not this works out in practice like these guys imagine is probably another deal.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2010

Seeing as these types of set-ups happen in real life, why not advertise for it? Isn't the point of advertising to be upfront about what you want and have a higher chance of getting it, instead of randomly meeting people in everyday situations and trying to set up a certain arrangement (whether it be a sugar daddy situation or BDSM situation or whatever)?
posted by foxjacket at 4:42 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

They're men who want their own private hooker.
posted by applemeat at 4:45 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

A lot of them are married and want a mistress who will provide affection and sex on demand without expecting a full relationship. But they don't want to share their mistress with other men, hence the search for a non-prostitute.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:50 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

My guess is that they are not normal so there's nothing legit about it other than they want to dominate someone. If they wanted to give something for nothing, they'd donate to a charity.
posted by anniecat at 5:24 PM on March 21, 2010

What Jacqueline said. They don't want an actual prostitute, because they want the girl for themselves exclusively. They take the girl shopping, pay her rent, buy her gifts, etc., and she has sex with him.
posted by ishotjr at 5:43 PM on March 21, 2010

Some guys are good at making money, but not at meeting, or communicating with, women. The obvious solution offers itself, but a lot of women wouldn't be on board with that, so guys in this situation take out an ad. Maybe they want a hooker, maybe they want to call the shots, and maybe they just want a girlfriend whose priority is to get the one thing that the guy is certain he can give.
posted by bingo at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I suspect that the style of ads you describe are really a response to the considerable stigma that (rightly or wrongly) attaches to men who are willing to pay for sex. The men refer to "helping out a poor student" or other justifications to make their solicitation seem less predatory and more mutually beneficial. This may increase their odds of getting a response. It might also assuage their guilt over seeking out prostitution.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 7:23 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: What Clandestine Outlawry said. Also, they want a "normal" girl, i.e. Not A Hooker Type Girl. Again, they want to pretend that this isn't prostitution.
posted by desuetude at 7:35 PM on March 21, 2010

Yeah I think these ads are seeking a watered down, more socially acceptable form of prostitution.

I saw tons of these ads when I was looking for a place in NYC. They were always entertaining to read. I always wondered if some of the men had deluded themselves into thinking that they really were doing this just out of the goodness of their hearts and that their fantasy was the girl falling for him because of his kind and generous spirit that saved her from a life on the street, ala Pretty Woman.
posted by whoaali at 10:00 PM on March 21, 2010

These are guys pretending they aren't looking for a prostitute, looking for a prostitute who wants to pretend she isn't a prostitute.
posted by MadamM at 11:16 PM on March 21, 2010 [9 favorites]

They are looking for someone to have sex with them in exchange for shiny baubles, nice dinners out, and delicous, delicious, moolah. If you are cool with that, then have at it. There is no way these guys are looking for poor innocent Little Girls in the Big City to shower with goodies because they are *just that nice*.
posted by cheberet at 6:35 AM on March 22, 2010

Real relationships have a give & take; sometimes one partner contributes more in financial terms than the other. But when you make it explicit as a term of the relationship, then it's prostitution. Whether you're paying by the night or the month is just a detail.
posted by scalefree at 10:56 PM on March 22, 2010

Brings to mind the great Brendan Behan quote: "The only difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for free costs a lot more money".
posted by lometogo at 8:04 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

This insistence that the men in question want to "pretend" anything is not in line with reality.

There is a broad spectrum of what people want, and are attracted to, and will do to get it, and why. These men don't want a professional who has slept with thousands of guys and has grown cynical about sex and men. They want someone who will appreciate them. It might even be said that the whole point of the ad is that they don't want a prostitute.

Similarly, a woman who admits to being attracted to money is not "pretending" anything. In fact, she's doing the opposite.
posted by bingo at 10:38 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

In many cases, they are looking for an escort but don't want to pay as much money as an actual escort would charge. A "non-pro" could also be easier to take advantage of.
posted by streetdreams at 11:12 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

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