"Where Romance Meets Finance"
That's the tagline of TheSugarBook, Asia's first ever sugar dating app.
Founded by a Malaysian back in December 2016, TheSugarBook has more than 55,000 members across countries like Malaysia, Singapore, America, India, and the Philippines. It's growing rapidly and the guys at TheSugarBook intend to have at least 100,000 users by mid-2018.
The new-age dating app takes pride in creating an honest and transparent space for individuals who want their needs fulfilled via a well-defined relationship. Everything is agreed upon before one embarks on mutually beneficial sugar relationship.
"TheSugarBook seeks to build a social community that focuses on women empowerment - that the choice of the type of lifestyle lies at the tip of the their fingers. We also provide the convenience of choosing partners for high-flying and successful businessmen who have limited time to date the conventional way."
TheSugarBook app is now available on both Android and iOS and here's how it works:
The app is completely free and anyone above the age of 18 can set up an account.
Sugar babies who sign up with their college or university email will be automatically upgraded as premium members. This comes with a few perks including, checking out profile viewers, having their profiles placed under the featured section, and reading and sending unlimited messages, among other benefits.
As for the sugar daddies, they will have to pay a small fee to unlock the premium features.
Once users are registered, they can update their profiles with details about their lifestyle (negotiable, minimal, practical, moderate, substantial or high), what they're looking for, photos, and detailed personal information (body type, ethnicity, height, drinking and smoking habits, occupation, eye and hair colour, etc.).
Users can then start communicating with anyone that they're interested in.
If the term sugar dating still sounds a little Greek to you, then allow me to explain.
To put it simply, a sugar relationship is one where a sugar daddy (typically a rich, older man) offers financial support and pampers a younger companion.
Sugar dating 101 sites usually refer this type of relationship as a casual, no strings attached one.
The sugar daddy or mummy spends money on the dating experience, providing their sugar babies with a variety of things such as monthly allowance, vacation trips, dinners or even paying their bills or college tuition fees.
The possibilities are endless and depends on what the sugar daddies and babies want.
Sugar dating apps like TheSugarBook serve as a platform for people who want to be in sugar relationships by connecting them to other individuals who would be able to provide their needs and wants.
It is common knowledge that most sugar daddies are usually looking for temporary, fuss-free companionship with compatible, good looking women
However, a common misconception about sugar daddies is that they're mostly old, unattractive rich men. The truth, however, might be far from it. A quick check on most sugar dating apps will have you know that a large number of sugar daddies are usually pretty decent looking men in their 30s and 40s - if the term silver fox rings a bell!
Sugar daddies are usually expected to be wiser, older men with deep pockets who are willing to exchange their money, knowledge, or even connections for companionship and/or sex with their sugar babies.
TheSugarBook says that men must fulfil these two important criteria if they want to be sugar daddies:
- Fully loaded - A sugar daddy has to have a solid source of financial backing. He does not have to be a millionaire, but his financial resources have to be sufficient to pamper his sugar baby. The first role of a sugar daddy is to provide for the financial needs of his sugar baby.
- A true gentleman - He must also be chivalrous, accommodating, and caring. A sugar daddy must be a well-dressed gentleman who provides security, has the ability to hold a good conversation, and treats his sugar baby with respect.
Meanwhile, a sugar baby, who is most often on the receiving end of the material benefits, is defined as someone who has clear goals (money, companionship, connections, etc.) and knows how to communicate it well
While many may say that sugar babies are just gold digging divas who want easy money, most sugar dating apps stress that those qualities are the exact opposite of what a sugar baby is.
Here's what it takes to be a sugar baby, according to TheSugarBook:
- An individual who enjoys the finer things in life. Someone who is seeking for a mentor, financial support, and companionship under the terms of a mutually agreed upon arrangement.
- A goal-orientated lady who could be a student, single mum, or just a career woman who wants to achieve greater heights with the help of her sugar daddy.The app stresses on the importance of privacy and how the perfect sugar relationship is built on the basis of wealth and trust.
TheSugarBook provided us with some interesting statistics about the users on the app. This is basically the gist of it:
- Nearly 70% of the members on TheSugarBook are female sugar babies between the ages of 19 and 35.
- These women are usually university students, single mothers or divorcees.
- Contrary to popular belief, the sugar daddies aren't exactly that old compared to the sugar babies. Most of them are around 30 to 48 years old with an average annual income of half a million ringgit.
- Most sugar babies are looking for financial support and an added source of income on the app.
The thing is, there's a lot of stigma tied to sugar dating and most people will shun the idea of it ever being equated to a normal, healthy relationship, but one of the sugar daddies on TheSugarBook says it's a lot like regular dating
"I guess there are many similarities. In my previous relationship, I paid for everything - from dining out to holidays and even our rent. We were together for five years and talking about marriage before she cheated on me.
"Throughout our relationship, she always said her money is her money and my money is her money.
"The only difference between sugar dating and regular dating would be that my emotions are not invested in sugar dating. When my ex cheated on me, I was too damaged emotionally to care about how much money I've spent on her," said *Dan, a 38-year-old who runs a startup.
However, things are a little different for *Aaron, a 50-year-old widower. He was married to his high school sweetheart who died of cancer about five years ago before turning to sugar dating.
He tried seeking for companionship from regular dating apps like Tinder, but soon realised that he's basically at the "bottom of the dating barrel" due to his age.
"I have two adult kids with lives and families of their own. Ever since my wife passed away, I'm finding it quite lonely as we used to do everything together.
"Other dating sites or apps make me feel like a dirty old man for trying but on TheSugarBook, the sugar babies I have met are very courteous and accommodating, I suppose due to the nature of sugar dating.
"I'll be retiring in a few years and I am still very active. I am looking for a fit young person to play tennis or golf with every weekend and maybe have dinner and drinks after. I am financially well-off and have no issues with providing support for a 'friend' if she needs it," he explained.
Another sugar daddy, *Calvin, says sugar dating works perfectly for him because he's always liked younger women
"Everyone on TheSugarBook is there for the same reason - girls to get financial and emotional support as well as networking opportunities, while men seek younger women, fun, and dating with no strings attached.
"But, then I met *Jane and right from the start of our negotiations, she was clear that she wanted monogamy, even if it is a sugar relationship, if we were to be intimate.
"Initially, I was just like 'Sure', but she started to grow on me and I've been enjoying her company and personality, so for now, we're in a committed sugar relationship or normal relationship or whatever society cares to label it," said the 40-year-old entrepreneur in the hospitality and luxury cars dealership industry.
Note: All names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.
Ultimately, while opinions differ and arguments flare up on sugar dating and the ethics behind it (or the absence of it), many say that it is merely another form of dating and it is entirely up to the individuals who are interested in it to pursue sugar relationships, in line with freedom of expression and all