Sugar daddies: How ‘sweet’ are they?

Most young girls want to live a comfortable life, have a well-to-do boyfriend and pretty much anything they desire. Well, that’s a dream mostly, and if there’s a girl out there living such a life, she is either lucky or was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. So, what happens to the less fortunate, the ones that can’t afford such a lifestyle? That is how the sugar daddy comes in. While cross-generational sexual relationships have been in existence in the history of mankind, their extent with respect to sexual behaviours associated with the ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mummy’ practice has grown into a material generating industry for young girls and a sexual exploitation game for older men.  

Most young girls want to live a comfortable life, have a well-to-do boyfriend and pretty much anything they desire. Well, that’s a dream mostly, and if there’s a girl out there living such a life, she is either lucky or was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. So, what happens to the less fortunate, the ones that can’t afford such a lifestyle? That is how the sugar daddy comes in.

While cross-generational sexual relationships have been in existence in the history of mankind, their extent with respect to sexual behaviours associated with the ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mummy’ practice has grown into a material generating industry for young girls and a sexual exploitation game for older men.

The rate at which the habit is growing is alarming. Some people may argue that in some cases there’s true love, but a big percentage of the players are in it for the money and sex.

Talking to some of the young girls, they say getting a sugar daddy is actually not difficult but the consequences that come with playing the game are risky.

Enter the sugar daddy

Beth (not real name) is a 22-year-old girl currently in her third year at campus. She was introduced to a sugar daddy one year ago by a friend she was sleeping with.

“I had known Joe (not real name) for two years and he told me about a rich man who wanted a young girl and that he would offer money. The thought sounded despicable because I thought of it as another form of prostitution. This is a guy I was sleeping with, and his idea made me realise that he felt nothing for me,” she narrated.

Beth had a comfortable life at campus but she wasn’t complaining because she thought she could work hard and get a better life. But the prospect of getting an even better life without hustling was constantly on her mind. She didn’t give Joe a yes or no answer but she thought about it.

 “Three weeks later, while at a coffee shop in town, Joe walked into the same café with another guy. It was totally accidental. When he saw me, he and the man approached my table to greet me. Since I was sitting alone, they asked if they could join me.”

The man looked to be in his early forties and Beth did not even think he was the man she was supposed to sleep with.

“He was humble, calm and good company. Joe left us alone for a moment and when he returned, they both left but the man gave me his business card to keep in touch,” Beth continued to explain.

She met that man again after two weeks but they hadn’t been in touch since the last time they met. She found him with some friends and two other young girls. They were having a good time when suddenly the guy told Beth that he was the one who had sent Joe for a girl and that he would like to make her his girl.

“I was speechless. I didn’t know what to do or say. He showed me the cars the young girls were driving and told me how they get anything they want from their men. He said he would do the same for me. After promising me that he would use protection, I went with him to his place and slept with him.”

Although Beth had to be convinced into hooking up with a sugar daddy, Priscilla’s story is different. Although she says that she is out of the game and a Born Again Christian, she joined campus with her first target being to find herself a sugar daddy. And it didn’t take her long.

The 24-year old always admired how her sister lived at campus while she was still in high school. The gifts, the nice handbags and flashy phones she had were from her sugar daddy.

“When I started campus last year, I really wanted to have a sugar daddy. My life was boring compared to my sister’s. Since my sister was engaged and serious with her life now, I took to Facebook to find my sister’s former sugar daddy who was in his late 40’s. I used to meet him with my sister,” she said.

 She started by liking his pictures hoping she would get his attention. Two days later, he sent her a message and the conversations started.

“He asked me to go with him to Gisenyi the following weekend but I was skeptical to have a ride upcountry on our first meeting alone. I knew him and trusted him because of the way he treated my sister but I had my own fears.”

Later, they would meet at a secluded place in Kacyiru. Priscilla regarded it as a business; she always had to be innovative when she met him for fear of him not getting bored of her. She always tried to try out new things to please him as much as possible. Since she didn’t want to lose him, she never introduced him to any of her friends.

“It was plain business and we both treated it as such.”

Change of heart

After seeing the guy for 7 – 8 months, Priscilla met a young man who was about her age and she changed her lifestyle.

“When I met my current boyfriend, I was a mess. He is a very patient and understanding person. He encouraged me to go to church and turn my life around. In December last year, I made a decision to let go of the sugar daddy and try to build a new life. I explained to the sugar daddy that I wanted out. Luckily, he was understanding and decided to let me go. We are still friends and we talk on the phone from time to time.”

  At the moment, she works as a waitress in a restaurant and a number of things have changed in her life, including friends, but she is proud of herself now.

“Since I had never met his wife or children, I was never bothered by my conscience. We met for fun and that was it. I had never asked him to divorce or give me more time. It’s now that I’m a born-again Christian that I feel I did something bad,” she said. 

The benefits

Having a sugar daddy has its own perks. Beth is having the time of her life. She says her sugar daddy takes good care of her.

“There’s something we call the `4 Cs’ (i.e., car, cellular phone, cash and clothes). All these I have. My parents don’t know about the car since I have never taken it home and they rarely come to visit me,” she said.

Although Priscilla didn’t get a car, she enjoyed her life with cash rewards ranging from Rwf 50,000 to Rwf 100,000, especially when her sugar daddy had to travel.

“He bought me a new phone and always sent me mobile money. We met about three days a week when he was around”. 

Recruitment

Although Beth was on solo missions when she started out, she now recruits other girls for some of her man’s friends.

“These men have a lot of money that they spread around, why not take advantage of the situation”? 

Even though in the pit of their stomachs they know that what they are doing is wrong and can destroy them, these girls are blinded by the money at their disposal. Even with a decent allowance from their parents, the offers these men throw at them have the power to make them weak. Easily one of the most shameful acts, the sad truth is this is something that will never be fully wiped out because when both parties are willing participants, only divine intervention can help.

Additional information by Dean Karemera

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