‘My Life As A Secret Sugarbaby’

'His most significant payment was towards my first home.'

As told to: Lauren Libbert

by As told to: Lauren Libbert |

_Secret liaisons, designers shopping trips and expenses-paid beauty treatments are all perks of the job for Zena, a 31-year-old-beautician from Manchester. She reveals what it’s like to date a sugardaddy._*

‘The cocktail bar was buzzing. My date and I picked a quiet corner so we could talk and he ordered a bottle of champagne as usual, while I did a quick camera phone check on my make-up. Even after a year, I still got a thrill each time I saw him and loved getting dressed up for a night somewhere different, somewhere special.

But John* and I weren’t a normal couple. He was a sugar daddy, 21 years older than me, I’d met through a specialist website. He was the third man I’d met through the site, but the only one that went beyond the first date. The other two were not my type. They felt intimidating from the offset: their innuendos, implying they’d want sex straight away and would throw a nice sum of money my way if I did, turned my stomach. I wasn’t a prostitute. That was never my intention.

I didn’t need a sugar daddy; I wanted one. I am a working mum of two children, now eight and four, with two beauty businesses of my own which had already earnt me a fair amount of financial success. But I was – am - ambitious for more. A financial leg up from an attentive, successful man was appealing.

It was a conversation with a school mum in the playground that gave me the idea. I was asking her about her love life, when she leaned in close and explained the real reason for the shiny designer handbag draped across her shoulder: she was a sugar baby.

That night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was less interested in the fancy handbags or Michelin-star dinners – although, admittedly, they were a lovely perk – but more about the prospect of cash injections and advice to push my businesses forward.

One night, when the kids were fast asleep in bed, I registered with the website, www.sugardaddie.com, [NOTE: if Apple happy to mention] and started scrolling through the various profiles of 50- and 60-somethings, looking for attractive men who were successful in business or finance. After the first two disaster dates, I found John and was immediately drawn to his profile picture. He was 6ft with slick silver hair, and a banker. We chatted via the website and he seemed genuinely interested to hear about my life, never boasting about himself or his money.

We met for the first time at a rooftop bar in London’s Kensington. I was nervous even after spending the best part of the day making myself look immaculate - getting a blow dry and stiletto nails. He told me he wasn’t married and didn’t have children, but would I ever really know the truth?

At the end of the evening, when the waiter came with the bill, I offered to pay half and he was offended. He said I should never do that, especially in front of the waiter. I quickly realised that treating me was his pleasure and didn’t offer to pay again.

Many treats followed as we continued meeting. On our second date, he surprised me with Vivienne Westwood earrings and necklace. Another time it was a designer Fendi bag during a spontaneous shopping trip after a lunch date. He booked and paid for every restaurant meal, hotel stay and occasional spa day and he even presented me with a Chanel bag on Mother’s Day, telling me it was ‘from the children’.

While the luxuries were lovely, it was John’s gifts of money that excited me the most. Every now and again, he’d secretly ring ahead at the beauty salon where I’d go for my cosmetic treatments and put £500 on account. In lockdown, he knew I was having cash flow problems and gifted me £5,000 to inject into my business. I opened a separate ‘sugar daddy’ account so he could make direct payments.

His most significant and generous payment was towards my first home. On our first date, I mentioned I had found a four-bedroom house to buy and was saving for the £20,000 deposit. When I told him I had managed to save half, he surprised me with the most generous offer ever. He offered to pay the full deposit writing to my solicitors to say he didn't want the money back or have a stake in the property. I burst into tears, I was so happy.

Having my own home meant so much to me. I’d grown up in a spacious five-bedroom house with land and horses and a paddock but at 15, my life was turned upside down after my dad cheated on my mum with a woman 40 years his junior. We had to sell everything and ended up renting a tiny bungalow under a shadow of escalating debt. I’ve always sworn I would make and control my own money. I would never put my children what I went through.

John has always insisted that giving me money makes him happy, which has made it easier to accept. Besides, it wasn’t just money I was after; from the start, I’ve also value his life experience and business acumen. His advice has made a huge difference to my business.

Of course, it isn’t just a friendship. Sex with John felt natural after a few dates - our mutual attraction is real. I would never sleep with someone if I didn’t fancy them, sugar daddy or not.

Still, today, the only person who knows about our relationship is my mum, as she looks after my kids when I’m away. She would prefer me to find a real partner – but she benefits from my sugar daddy too, as I’ve been able to pay off some of her debts.

Otherwise, friends assume my money is self-made and all the trips and pieces of jewellery are a result of my own hard work.

And, while John and I I speak most nights on the phone, I’m not sure I’d ever want him to meet my children. I prefer to protect them from the truth.

But I don’t regret getting involved with John: I feel fully in control of my relationship with him, and I don’t rely on him. All I’m doing is using another man's experience to get me where I need to be.

At some point I’ll want to stop being a sugar baby, but making money is my main priority right now. That said, our feelings are getting stronger as time goes on, so who knows what will happen in the future...’

*Names have been changed

Illustration: Michelle Thompson

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us