Photo via Gina Somers
When single mom Gina Somers, 24 needed help supporting her daughters, ages 7 and 2, she logged onto SugarDaddyForMe.com at the suggestion of a girlfriend who was a “sugar baby” herself at the time.
"My friend is also a young single mother and needed a way to bring in extra money," Somers tells Yahoo Parenting. Somers, who grew up and still resides in Idaho, gives Yahoo Parenting an exclusive interview on life as a "single mom- sugar baby."
YP: What do you think ultimately drove you to seek help from a site that hooks up women with wealthy man for sex and companionship in exchange for money?
GS: It was May 2014 and I was officially done with my ex-boyfriend. I needed a job and I knew there were jobs out there, but this was the quickest way to make money right now — and that’s what I needed to do to keep my family going. I didn’t have a computer so I browsed the gold membership guys on my cell phone. (Gold just means I can message them back for free and don’t need to pay for a membership).
YP: Tell me about your family. How old were you when you had your first child?
GS: I was 17 when I had my first baby girl and 22 when I had her sister.
YP: Do you or the girls have a relationship with their dad? Do you receive child support?
GS: I was with him for almost eight years, but I broke up with him last year because he wouldn’t get serious about working a steady job or getting his own place — he lives with his grandma. He doesn’t give me a single dollar for child support, but I do have access to food stamps and state aid for daycare because there is an open child support case. We haven’t gone to court, because he’s not interested in getting custody and he’s also not working. I don’t want to go through the tiring, long court process, because I feel I wouldn’t get anything anyway. I still let him see the kids if he shows interest in visiting, but there’s no consistent arrangement. I supervise visits at his grandma’s or the park.
Photo via Gina Somers
YP: What determines your fee from a sugar daddy?
GS: I don’t talk about money until we meet and it really all depends. The guy always pays for the date and anything I want while we’re out. I usually leave with $100 after dinner and a movie. I met a guy for lunch once and told him I really needed help paying for daycare (the state only pays a portion) and he gave me $400 on the spot. One time, all I did with a sugar daddy was have coffee and I got paid $125.
YP: Do you ask for money — a certain dollar amount, or do they set the fee?
GS: If I have a bill due I can’t afford, I’ll ask for a specific amount. But, there’s always a fee involved — this is a job to me. I’m not just up for dating.
YP: Do you consider this prostitution?
GS: I assumed some or most people would think of it as prostitution. I didn’t want to tell my friends or family about it right away. I soon realized that I have nothing to be ashamed of and how I use the site is up to me. (There are girls who make themselves more of a prostitute depending on what type of arrangement she and the sugar daddy want.)
YP: What do you for other work, or are you in school?
GS: I’m currently not employed, but my last job was at a sandwich shop - they let me go because it was slow. I have been babysitting for extra income and make about $50 a week, plus I have sugar daddies now. I plan on returning to college in the fall. I have about 70 credits under my belt towards an associates degree of applied science. I applied for student loans and plan to pay my way. Sugar daddies might be helpful for books.
YP: So you consider being a single mom sugar baby a full time job?
GS: Yes, it’s like working a full time job. I spend hours perusing the site to find someone to message and hopefully meet. Being a SB is my main source of income at this time. I spend my money on the phone bill, electricity, daycare, food, going out to eat, movies, gas, clothes, car payment, anything in collections or fees — or whatever comes up. I sometimes get my nails done for an occasion and I buy my kids anything they need like clothes, shoes, toys — I can afford to throw birthday parties for my children.
YP: All these first date-ish encounters — do you ever catch feelings?
GS: I am not the type to get attached and most sugar daddies don’t want a girlfriend, but I have become very fond of some. I have my favorite because he is younger, funny, easygoing and I find him attractive. I think of my sugar daddies almost as friends.
YP: Friends, wow. Any creeps?
GS: I’ve had sugar daddies get really mad if I don’t make it to our date on time. One guy threatened to call the police on me because he wanted his money back. Then a few days later he was like, “Hey, let’s get drinks.” Some are really weird and like to pretend we’re in love.
YP: What kind of arrangement do you want or agree to?
GS: I do have sex with some of my sugar daddies, but other times it’s just companionship, shopping, attending events, or even just a massage and watching football. I’m seeing three sugar daddies right now and I’m having sex with two. I’m strict about taking birth control (they offer to pay for it) and making the guys wear condoms. I’m never forced to do this or that in bed — we talk about what we both want and go from there. I look young, so the little girl fetish thing and role playing is something we do.
YP: I assume your fee is higher when you’re intimate?
GS: I am financially compensated for the whole night [and] that might include sex. My sugar daddies love to spoil me with money and gifts after a nice evening. At Christmastime, I made $1,000 for dinner and an intimate night in. I guess because he knew I needed to buy Christmas gifts.
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YP: How much do you gross in a week?
GS: It varies. It depends on how much I go out (laughs) and what we do. The highest I ever made in a week was $1,500.
YP: As a single mom, what is your support system like?
GS: Before the sugar daddies, I did have some help from family for things that I really needed. My mom, dad, and brother all came together to help me along. But, we’re not a family with money and we’re all just making it.
YP: Do the sugar daddies ever meet the kids, introduced as your “friend?”
YP: Any plans to quit this job and look for something more traditional?
GS: I definitely do not plan to leave the world of sugar daddies unless I meet someone that I want to be loyal to, or if I meet a sugar daddy who can meet all of my needs and/or wants to be exclusive.
YP: Can you say honestly that this profession has enhanced your life for the better?
GS: Being a single mom sugar baby has changed my life by allowing me to pay my bills and not have to worry about my electricity getting shut off. When I don’t have to stress out about basic bills and my kids needs are being met, I can really enjoy the time I have with my kids a lot more and be a better mom. I can put more of my energy into them and they benefit in many ways from me being happier as much as they benefit from having what they need. Plus, I’m constantly networking and meeting interesting people. Who knows if the next sugar daddy I meet will help me get a high-paying job.
Photo via Gina Somers
YP: Any regrets?
GS: I don’t feel like I owe any explanations to anyone because this is my life and I only get one and at this time I’m just glad that I’m able to provide for my kids because they are what’s really important and they are all I really care about even if some people don’t agree with what I’m doing.
YP: Best perks?
GS: One sugar daddy is a good friend and he’s teaching me guitar — that’s it. So I’m learning something new. Another one offered me $15/hr to clean his house. I’ll take it, because it’s more work. I’m doing my best to survive and I know this is just one chapter of my life.
Yahoo Parenting couldn’t help but wonder how getting paid for Sugar Baby services works out on April 15. Founder Gautam Sharma told us that whatever money, paid bills, gifts or travel the Sugar Daddy bestows upon the Sugar Baby are just gifts that a man might give his wife or girlfriend with no tax implication.
"Think of it as a relationship with a guy who is better off than you and wants to help you in any way he can to make your life better and you feel gratitude towards him for his kindness and generosity and show your appreciation," says Sharma. "Or think of it as a trophy wife who’s rich husband supports her lavish lifestyle, clothes, travel, jewelry, spas, etc. etc."
Sharma maintains the site is for people who want to have a similar relationship without getting married and exposing oneself to the possible financial and legal consequences of a divorce. “Both parties are OK with a no-strings [attached] relationship, yet still want to have a similar supportive, pampering relationship.