Sugar Baby TikTok: Is TikTok Ruining Sugar Dating?
TikTok has given sugar babies from all over the world a platform to share their thoughts and experiences of their sugar relationships. The hashtags #sugarbabies and #sugarbaby have, combined, over 1 BILLION views. But how does the content found there portray the bowl? As a non-TikTok user, I decided to check it out and investigate whether the so-called Sugar Baby TikTok is really ruining the bowl, as some members of the online sugar community claim.
Sugar Baby TikTok: The good, the bad and the ugly
Let’s start with the basics. What is TikTok? TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service. There, users upload videos ranging from 15 seconds to a minute, tagging their content with hashtags just like on other social media platforms such as Instagram. Unlike Instagram, TikTok does not hide content tagged with hashtags such as #sugarbaby (yet?), providing sugar babies with a platform to talk about the sugar lifestyle openly. That is how Sugar Baby TikTok was born.
What can you find in there? Is it really that bad for the sugar bowl? Let’s see what I stumbled upon:
A lot of content related to sugar dating is of humoristic nature. There are many jokes about daddy issues, such as in the video below:
Out of all the sugar babies with a talent for humor, my favorite one is Mia Dio. She is from Miami but created a Russian persona she describes as “your favorite Russian sugar baby, lifestyle coach, makeup guru, supermodel, now also travel influencer, food connoisseur, and professional S.T.E.M instructor.” And by S.T.E.M. she means “Sugar baby Training Education of Money” 😂
On TikTok, she loves to show off her riches and advise aspiring sugar babies. On one hand, her advice is mostly highly unethical, on the other, it is so absurd that it is obvious that she is only joking. Here is one of my favorite compilations:
I personally do not think the humorous comment on Sugar Baby TikTok represents any danger to the world of sugar dating. Actually, I think it brings lightness to an otherwise very competitive environment. Besides, as Joan Rivers once said, “When you can laugh at yourself, no one can ever make a fool of you.”
The sugar lifestyle
Another big portion of the Sugar Baby TikTok content is about the sugar lifestyle. There are hundreds upon hundreds of videos where sugar babies show all the gifts they got, share scenes from their vacations and other experiences they had thanks to their generous sugar daddies.
I only consider this kind of videos a little bit dangerous. The kind of danger that hides in them is giving young women the impression that sugaring is an easy job for not showing all the work behind the scenes. In this regard, they are as dangerous as any magazine or social media and I think it is safe to assume that our generation knows most things we see online are a curated, enhanced version of real life.
#Stayathomegirlfriend: a brand new lifestyle
What I definitely did not expect was to stumble upon a new lifestyle: the stay-at-home girlfriend. It is pretty much what the name suggests… videos from women whose main job is to stay happy and pretty for their rich boyfriend. Unsurprisingly, many of these videos are also tagged #sugarbaby 😉
The scammer school
Sugar Baby TikTok has also a dark side to it, which I’d refer to as The Scammer School. It is filled with videos about how to exploit unexperienced sugar daddies. What they teach is not only unethical, but also has nothing to do with real sugaring. It is so bad that they explicitly call sugar daddies “rich old dudes” and use “scamming” as a synonym for “sugaring”, such as in the video below:
These videos are mostly about:
- how to catch a man’s interest.
- what to say to make it sound like you are interested in a relationship with him.
- how to string him along for as long as possible.
- how to keep postponing the meet & greet in a way that seems legit.
- and how to get as much money from him as possible before ghosting him.
They also include imperatives such as “never accept to go on a meet & greet before being paid for it” (which is the opposite of current common practice because of the many scamming attempts). Others recommend an “extra charge” for talking on the phone or having video calls. Commenting on this recent phenomenon, a redditor wrote “I can’t help myself from getting bitter and annoyed. Do girls really think that men are so desperate and lonely that they’ll pay for a phone call??? It’s just ridiculous to see these fake perceptions of the bowl and the woman who think it’s a quick side hustle. Saw a TikTok of a girl who got taken out to dinner with her friend by a SD and he paid for the $xxx meal and in addition gave her $xxx afterwards. Just for the M&G. The entire comment section is flooded with “that’s it???”
Anything but sugar dating
Basically, they teach how to rinse. Rinsing is the practice of trying to pass off as a sugar baby in order to get money from men without doing anything in exchange for it. In a discussion about whether Sugar Baby TikTok is ruining the bowl, another redditor summed up the problem as follows: “They’re not sugar babies – they’re scam artists. Sugaring is MUTUALLY beneficial. Both parties should be having fun – the terms/boundaries should be clear and honest, everyone’s happy. These girls just want to either 1. lead men on and take advantage of their money by lying about their intentions. 2. want to try to display themselves as “so desirable” men will pay them for absolutely no reason. Its bull####.”
These videos make it seem like most sugar daddies are after a platonic sugar baby and would happily pay for pictures, messages and calls. Although this kind of sugar arrangements does exist, it is the exception, not the rule. However, this misrepresentation of sugar relationships gets minors counting down the days to their 18th birthday and thinking about getting a fake ID, making these tips extremely dangerous. Some experienced sugar babies speculate that TikTokers that spread this distorted image of sugar dating actually are not sugar babies and make their money off TikTok itself, not sugaring.
Fortunately, there are people dedicated to crating an accurate picture of the reality of sugar dating!
Sugar Baby TikTok and the Sugar Baby School of TikTok
Some experienced TikTok sugar babies do an amazing job educating their fellow sugar babies and women who are considering joining the bowl. They share tips on how to dress and do your makeup, how to prepare for a meet and greet, how to stay safe both online and offline, how to talk about money, what to expect and so on. @thehelpfulho is an excellent example of it. Other users, such as @candiserianna, teach their followers how to use sugar dating apps smartly.
Sugar Baby TikTok gives sugar babies from all over the world not only a voice, but also a face. It is very liberal in the sense that hashtags such as #sugarbaby, #sugardaddy and #sugaring are still allowed and thriving. To the same extent users are free to use such hashtags, they can also share their own perspective on sugar dating. This has generated both positive and negative outcomes.
On one hand, funny viral videos bring the sugar lifestyle to the attention of a wide audience. Maybe many of these people would otherwise not have heard of it. They also have access to safety tips and real-life stories from experienced sugar babies. What these videos also do is normalize sugaring, making it more appealing and socially accepted.
On the other, some TikTokers are trying to get more views and followers by selling on a fake image of sugaring. They make it sound like it requires no effort and like scamming men is an acceptable way to make money. Moreover, they completely neglect to say that sugaring is mostly about building a mutually beneficial relationship. This is particularly concerning because many TikTok users are under 18, meaning they are teaching scamming techniques to literal children. Therefore, this kind of Sugar Baby TikTok content is not only misleading, but also dangerous.
I heard complaints from both sugar daddies and sugar babies regarding TikTok’s effect on the bowl. With the influx of young sugar babies that think that sugar dating and rinsing are the same thing, many sugar daddies saw themselves forced to change their age range to only 21 or 25 and above. This is making sugaring harder on young sugar babies, but not impossible for them to stand out. As another redditor points out, “being educated, classy, sincere, and emotionally intelligent makes it easy to stand out from the 20-something girls with attitudes who don’t offer much emotional or intellectual value to an SD.“
All in all, there is no reason to lose hope. Sugar Baby TikTok is not (completely) ruining the bowl.