12.12.08 6:02 AM ET
The Sugar Daddy Replies
First, The Daily Beast published a confessional from a young woman whose life is financed by an older man. Now, he puts his mouth where his money is.
Recently, I wrote a confessional for The Daily Beast about my sugar daddy. In it, I explained how, after applying for an internship at his company, this man offered to become my benefactor if I would be his girlfriend. So we worked out an agreement, and have now been dating for a year. He pays my rent, the bill on the limit-free credit card he gave me, and takes me on lavish vacations. It’s a lifestyle that would be the envy of any young woman who enjoys life—or so I thought.
The response to the piece was far more critical than I expected. Its feedback section quickly overflowed with righteous indignation. The blogosphere released a storm of negative, judgmental analysis of me and my boyfriend. Supporting voices were drowned out by the furious ones.
“Realistically I can't promise that someday we'll have a big, white wedding, but I can promise that I love you and I respect you.”
Before I wrote the piece I told my boyfriend about it, and he was supportive. After it was posted, he read the story, as well as some of the comments readers had made about our relationship. He thought a lot of them got the wrong idea about our life together. The common misconception was that he was in the relationship purely for sex, and I was in it just for the money. I asked him to answer some questions on the record to clear up any misconceptions he thought the piece created. Here’s the transcript of our conversation.
So the majority of bloggers felt that our relationship was prostitution, with me as the prostitute and you as the john, mainly because of the financial aspect of our relationship. What would you say to them?
Well, I would say that I think of our relationship as pretty much a marriage. Just like a husband provides for his wife, I provide for you. I'm lucky enough to be able to financially give you anything you could want, and if people resent that then that's too bad for them. I think the biggest misconception with some of the readers was that we aren't monogamous. Neither of us have any other kind of relationship, whether emotional or sexual, with anyone else.
Another issue some people had with us was that you approached me after I interviewed for an internship with your company. Did you fear a sexual harassment suit or feel that the this situation made it inappropriate for you to propose that you become my benefactor?
First, while I did see your resume before you came in to interview, I was not the one to actually interview you, nor am I in charge of who is hired for internship positions within the company. I decided to approach you after I saw you in the office, and you had already been turned down for a job. If you remember, you were getting coffee when I first approached you.
The internship thing sparked a lot of talk about my being "lazy" and not earning the opportunities I've had. Can you clarify the role you played in my getting the internships I've had?
This made me really angry, but also made me realize that readers had no idea of the person you are. You are probably one of the hardest working young women I have ever met. The jobs you've received were in your own merit. I did nothing except refer your name to friends of mine.
And how did you do that? Did you tell them I was a friend? A former employee?
No, I was honest. I said, "My girlfriend is looking for an internship and she would love to interview with you." Most people were receptive. Despite the fact that we are in a relationship I would never refer you if I didn't think you were capable of doing the task at hand.
Do you have a problem with the age difference between us? Do you ever feel like we aren't on the same level because of this disparity?
After getting to know you at first, and learning that your parents have a fifteen-year age difference, it seemed like your dad could hardly oppose our twelve years apart. Sometimes I don't understand your need to go to Margarita Monday every Monday, but I remember what it was like in college, and mostly it's selfish because it means that you won't be home to watch the news with me.
Many people thought this relationship would be over the next time a prettier, younger girl walked by. Don't lie for the sake of the article: where do you see this going between us?
I'm a career-oriented man. I thrive on success and ambition. You and I are very similar in our goals, which is one thing that attracted me to you from the beginning. Realistically I can't promise that someday we'll have a big, white wedding, but I can promise that I love you and I respect you. If in a few years we don't see things the same way and you want or need to move on and find someone else, then so be it. I know how determined you are, so I think work- and career-wise we will be on the same path for a long time.
Often in Sugar Daddy relationships, the man is married or wants the relationship to remain secret and private. Do you think this is the case with us?
Absolutely not. We have met each other's families, your dad and I go golfing together, and my mom thinks you're the sweetest. The only part of our relationship that isn't spoken about is that while you're in school I keep you in the comfortable lifestyle you deserve (and I intend to keep doing so after you graduate). To me, that is just not something we need to discuss with anyone.
Do you think that we have a normal relationship?
What is normal anymore? I'm really not about to start to define it, but I do know that what we're doing is working for us and that is all that matters to me. Some people might judge, but they aren't the one's involved in this and it's none of their business anyway, so who cares?
One of the bloggers who commented said, "Yeah, but can she cook?" What do you think?
I thought that was pretty funny, actually, and I kind of sense you're fishing for a compliment. You are probably the worst perfectionist that I know. When you do something, you do it to perfection, so yes, you're a terrific cook.
Is there anything else you would like to clear up?
Well, I think I would like to reiterate that we have a relationship that is complete. It's emotional and it's sexual and it's intense, but in no way is it one without the other. I couldn't be with someone who was just in this for the money like it was a job, just the same as you couldn't be in a relationship with someone who just wanted you for unemotional sex.
Melissa Beech is a college senior in Philadelphia majoring in journalism and economics, and is an intern at a public relations firm specializing in crisis communications and media relations. She hopes to work in broadcast journalism after completing a graduate degree. Melissa Beech is a pseudonym.