Athena is a 23-year-old jazz singer, actress and activist. She volunteers for the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders and several animal rights organizations. All the while, she teaches theater to high school students who are the first in their families to go to college. She’s also been active for two years as a Sugar Baby on SeekingArrangement, the premier site for older, wealthier people to find pretty young things for compensated relationships. Athena has been with both women (Sugar Mamas) and men (Sugar Daddies) from the site. This is the story of her longest and most satisfying arrangement, which was with a Sugar Mama, and the differences between the way men and women approach these arrangements.
The Sugar Mama arrangement started out as a couple. She advertised herself as married, and that she and her husband were looking for someone. But once I met them, it was more her thing. She was 49 when we first started the arrangement, but she didn’t look a day over 38. She had a youthful spirit, too. She worked in the fashion industry, but she doesn’t work anymore, which is why she had the free time to hang out with me. I think her husband is an agent. Combined, they were pretty well-off.
Her husband would hang out with us sometimes, but for the most part, when we were together, he was gone. We never had a threesome, because he wasn’t really in the picture. It was just me and her who spent so much time together, and so, I was only comfortable doing sexual things with her. Honestly, I didn’t really ever know where I stood with him — if he saw me as this person that was there merely to serve his wife, like the help. His energy toward me definitely felt weird.
I first signed on to SeekingArrangement in November 2015 to meet both men and women. One of my friends told me she met this guy on there, and he was helping her pay for school. I was like, “Wow, that’s amazing.” I waited to feel it out a little bit because I was nervous, so my first experience was in early February 2016, when I met a gentleman for lunch up the street from where I was living. It was just us talking. We went on a couple dates after that, but we didn’t end up having an arrangement.
I try my best to be as forthcoming in my profile as I can. I find it’s easier if you lay it out, “This is what I want, and this is what I’m okay with doing.” For me, I want a monthly allowance. If they’re looking for a girlfriend or something of that nature, I’m okay with it, but if I’m going to be spending more time with them, calling them every week or going out to dinners or parties with them, my monthly allowance needs to go up.
There are also things I won’t accept, like certain types of role-playing. I’m a black woman, and sometimes the men and women on the site have this fetish for black women. They’ll ask me to wear a kinky afro wig or say things like, “You have to speak to me in a ghetto voice” — things that are a liiittle racist and uncomfortable. Similarly, there are certain types of fetishes I won’t do — specifically, father-daughter role-playing, which I can’t get into. I’ve even had people ask to do grandfather-granddaughter things. To me, things of that nature are crossing a line. I’m not here for that. I’m sure there are other women who’d be willing to do that, but not me.
There’s a big difference between Sugar Daddies and Sugar Mamas in how they talk about sex. Women tend to be straight to the point and direct about what they want, but they also know that it’s about making you feel comfortable so they can get what they want. With men, they’re looking at you as this doll — this sex toy that they now have access to whenever they want, as long as they have money. They’ll be like, “You’re going to do this because I’m paying for your services. I am entitled to you. I own you, and you’re gonna do what I ask you to do.”
As for money, my arrangement with my Sugar Mama was, like I said, a monthly allowance. Plus, she’d pay for transportation from where I was living to get to wherever we were meeting up. The flat fee was $500 a month when we first started, but it increased over time as my needs increased. She also paid for little things here and there along the way. One time, for example, I had an audition and I wanted to get my hair done, which she covered.
I’d see her every weekend. We’d go out for dinner, have drinks or I’d come over to her house to watch Netflix. It was kind of like she was my girlfriend, but with less pressure and less expectation as far as me dating other people or me not texting her every single day.
She also does Reiki, so sometimes she’d do Reiki healing sessions on me. She was kind of blowing up in the spiritual community at the time I met her. In fact, she’d have events at her and her husband’s house where there’d be other spiritual leaders and stuff like that. She even bought me this crystal tarot deck on my birthday — and this was before we were even together-together. She said that intuitively she felt like I’d like it, and she was totally right.
She never pushed for sex, and she always made me feel comfortable when we did have it. In my experiences with men on the site, it’s like how men always are: They might like or even love someone for who they are, but they run on their sexual energies. Not to mention, it’s a transactional situation, so they’re often thinking, This means I’m gonna have this woman who will live out my wildest fantasies. Women have a little more attention to detail and are just… nicer. There’s more of an investment in the end result, the big picture of what this is and what it could turn into.
For example, my Sugar Mama would be so encouraging and supportive of me exploring new opportunities in my life — not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually, too. Like, I’m a jazz singer, and sometimes she’d come to my shows. Or we’d be hanging out and talking and I’d be telling her what was happening in my life with my friends, and she’d be like, “Wow, you’re so insightful for your age.” She just invested in trying to be my friend from the beginning.
To that end, she seemed to genuinely like my personality. A lot of times people on the site look at my picture and skim my profile — it’s pretty long — and they’re not really interested in what makes me me, or what I’m passionate about. She understood that I came on the site for financial support, but once she realized that I had a lot more to offer, she wanted to allow me to be the version of myself I’d be if I wasn’t getting paid, if it hadn’t been a transactional thing.
Not only did she encourage it, but she celebrated it, which made me feel so much more confident in myself when I was around her. Same for when I was around other people. Our relationship had an impact on my entire life and how I went about dealing with people. She was incredibly uplifting and inspiring. That made it so much easier for me to almost fall for her.
I was with her until around mid-December 2016. Then she went on a trip to Europe for two months, and we sort of lost touch. Not completely — I see her every once in a while, and we’ll text and stuff — but I haven’t seen her the way I used to, which was pretty much every weekend.
Since then, I’ve had other arrangements where it was a couple. Once again, though, it was the woman always picking the girls. And it always ended up where I started to realize that the woman in the marriage was bisexual, and because she loved her husband, she wanted to include him in this decision.
But ultimately, she was living out her own fantasy.
— As told to Jessica Ogilvie