Sugar Daddies and Babies?

How many of you all saw this article in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend, about “Sugar Daddies” and “Sugar Babies”?

I’ll admit, I was fascinated and couldn’t put it down. But over at Salon, Rebecca Traister rips into it for perpetuating gender stereotypes and feeding into the (false) mainstream media narrative of women desperately falling back on gender roles during a recession.

I agree with Rebecca’s hesitation – there do seem to be a lot of stories about increasingly (financially) desperate women in this recession. But on the other hand, I felt like this New York Times piece thoughtfully delved into a fascinating gender dynamic that still exists in many romantic (and not just heterosexual) relationships today.

Any relationship that has an unequal balance of money/age/professional success is going to be tricky to navigate. And there are still many people out there, including some of my dear friends, whose qualifications for the perfect partner include a strict analysis of financial means.

So where does the sugar relationship begin and the “normal” relationship end? The New York Times piece argues that the Sugar Daddy/Baby relationship is the extrapolation of traditional power/financial roles involved in dating. But what do you think? Would a “sugar” relationship ever be ok? Was the piece sensationalizing the issue?

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