IMG_1747Seeking arrangement, “relationships on your terms.”

I set my search filter and began scrolling. Mid scroll I stopped and asked myself “do I really want to make money or was I searching for validity from old men?”

I didn’t have the answer so I kept scrolling.

There were scientists, investors, and accountants. Scrambled pictures concealing the identities of men who wanted to keep these parts of their lives discrete. Accounts without pictures leaving me confused. Pictures taken being angled just below the chin showing nothing of any importance.

I was somehow amazed. I had just turned eighteen and I was amateurly diving into this world of the unknown. My curiosity was allowing me to push my boundaries, but my anxiety would only let me go so far.

During the first week I was hesitant. My favorite line being “I only wanted something platonic,” but that was getting me nowhere. Although, I slowly but surely gave my number out. That was my starting point.

During my first month I was dodging old men I didn’t find attractive. Using my favorite line to push them away. But one stuck with me and I was easing into things.

“Hello, baby girl. Are you ready to meet your Daddy?” he said.

I thought I was ready for anything. So I said yes, and began calling a man I’d never met “Daddy.” This was the only way I was to address him. Daddy was very attentive. Daddy was the most inquisitive man I had ever exchanged words with. He never wanted to be kept out of the loop. I was to report to him with very detailed notes of my day. I was to tell him my every thought. And knowing I was in school he made sure I stayed on top of my homework. Things with him were work first and play later. I would normally debrief him with emails throughout the day, but there were nights when Daddy wanted phone calls. He’d do his normal thing, wanting every detail from beginning to end. I was to leave out nothing, including even the most minuscule of details. And when I obliged, Daddy would call me a good girl. This made me feel warm inside like I was doing something good. I was really being his “good girl.” Daddy’s good girl.

But there was one phone call I had with Daddy that made me take a step back. I had to think about what I was doing. I had to think about what Daddy wanted me to do. His words were “how would you feel if I put you in a cage?” I thought to myself, “what’s going on, is this really safe?” Would that have been my first introduction to sadism or was I just naive? I let this play out for a few weeks.

Daddy’s fantasy sat in the back of my mind. My anxiety accompanied those thoughts. I was planning out my first meeting with him. I nervously asked Daddy if a friend could join me for safety purposes. He said yes, but he didn’t stop there. He wanted to know who this friend was. He asked what she looked like and how I knew her. How nosy of Daddy. But I did what I was told to. I chose pictures to send to him, waiting for more approval. He agreed and I thought things were all set.

As our talking went on Daddy’s words never sat right with me. I had to end it before it really started.

…I wasn’t ready for anything. I never got to meet Daddy, but the thought of being his good girl still lingers.

I stayed on the site for a while longer. This time I was one step closer to becoming a sugar baby. I met the chemist, E. Based on his profile I found him mildly attractive. We quickly favorite each other’s profiles and he invited himself into my messages. He’d asked if I had been in an arrangement before. I said no. He asked why an arrangement interested me and I sugar coated my answer enough to not offend him. Things were working in my favor. The conversation goes smoothly and we a common interest. His job focuses on the major I chose during my freshman year. E was very different than Daddy. He was eager to share and I was excited to learn.  He explains his preferred arrangement.

“Friends with benefits.” The relationship on his terms. I managed to agree and we decided it would be a good idea to meet for lunch.

We talked about how hectic our schedules were. Hectic was an understatement. After exchanging numbers it took a while to actually meet. He would go days without replying to a text and I was close to giving up. E would come back saying how busy he was and then I had to remember I was talking to a grown man. I was talking to a person well established in life. I had to excuse his delays in responding. He rescheduled meeting up with me often. I thought he was trying to hint his disinterest, but he reassured me it was all accidental. Still comparing him to Daddy I realized how different things were this time around. I didn’t have someone checking up on me. There was no one to clock my every move. The beginning of this new arrangement felt distant.

The day comes and we meet for the first time. For a second I thought about going alone. That wouldn’t have been smart of me so I invited a group of friends. I go straight from my 10:50 to the restaurant of his choice. Its location was a few blocks from three different campuses. How convenient.

Luckily I arrived before he could. I sit and wait. He arrives and my heart sinks to my stomach. It was a feeling of disappointment. He looked older than I expected but I couldn’t run. I think “how can girls do this?” How can you get past the looks of an older man? An older white man. We ate and got to know each other. He seemed like the perfect person but I couldn’t get past his looks. After we left I went ghost on him. He asked if I was really ready for the arrangement, and again I sugar coat my answer enough to not offend him. I say I have to think about it. I have to think about taking things slow.

Now the roles were reversed. I was the one taking days to respond. But, I couldn’t get past it. I couldn’t get past anything. I struck out twice and ended my search for the perfect Daddy all together.

So, was I really ready to make money? I wasn’t.

 

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