IN LOVE WITH LUXURY: Can’t afford to pay attention? Try landing a sugar daddy; we hear older men pay attention to loads of important stuff... like diamonds
There is a social scourge that is slowly eating away at the moral fibre of our young women. It’s called sugar-daddy syndrome.
For some, it’s just a fashionable thing to do, but for others, it’s far more serious – a means to an end. It’s about getting to live the high life with the minimum amount of time and effort. In some cases, sugar-daddy syndrome has a lot to do with disappointing or absent father figures in the early developmental stages of a girl’s life.
It is a bit strange to see a young girl smooching a much older man. The thought of the couple having a balanced, healthy relationship seems ludicrous and, in most instances, the mismatched pair is fodder for all kinds of nasty gossip.
But should society dictate how we live and who we date?
Woza Life caught up with two young women who spoke to us, on condition of anonymity, about the reasons they feel the stigma of having a sugar daddy is almost too much to bear, even if their families and friends are for the idea.
Both say that it it is established fact that women are attracted to older guys.
Christina Le Roux* says she wouldn’t go for a 60-year-old man, because she thinks that’s disgusting. Nor would she go for a boy who was 20 years her junior, but she doesn’t have an issue with dating older men in general.
Based on what I witnessed while researching this article, it appears common – even likely – for a woman to date someone who is 10 years her senior.
But could it be the desire for designer clothes, bling accessories and expensive restaurants is so strong in some girls that they’re willing to date older men just for the fringe benefits?
Famous gold-digger Khanyi Mbau publicly indulged in this behaviour and in so doing brought the controversial sugar daddy issue to the fore. The age gap between her and her filthy-rich man wasn’t that big, but her choice of lifestyle was condemned by many who thought she was driven by the need to be spoilt.
Christina told us that she is dating a guy who is 10 years older than her and says she’s in it for love, not money.
“I come from a staunch Afrikaans family, so it was a bit difficult for me to introduce him to my folks, but I knew what I was doing,” she says.
“It’s funny, because my parents have been married for 37 years and that alone seems like a lifetime, whereas I don’t really believe in marriage and if I do get married, I’d really want a low-key, private affair.
“We met through mutual friends and I found that he was interesting and that we actually get along. I didn’t do it for the money; I don’t need it. It’s a good relationship.
“Dating older men has its perks and my partner has never been married or had kids, which is good, because I know that I am financially secure.”
She says that, even though there’s a 10-year age difference between her and her partner, she knows that no matter what happens, she is financially safe and can enjoy some of life’s pleasures.
“We can travel, live a good life and not worry about kids and other little things in life.
“We’ve been dating for two years now and I think at some point last year we were both ready to get married, but like I said, it will be something small and intimate and we will go away some place,” says Christina.
Omphile Moerane* says she dated a man 14 years her senior because she wanted love and companionship.
“We dated for about a year until I found out that he was actually married. I couldn’t continue with that kind of relationship; it was not healthy or good for any of us, because if the news came out, not only would his marriage break up, his family would too.
“I came from a properly structured family; was raised with love and I wasn’t with him because I wanted a father figure or his money – even though being with him had its perks.
“Being with older men, you realise that they pay much more attention to things that a young guy your age wouldn’t normally pay attention to. You get to appreciate life even more – I got to experience life in a whole new way when I was with him and that was an amazing experience,” she says.
“The fact that dating older men is now considered bad is wrong. Some of us do it for the love and compassion and not for all the other things that some girls do it for. They give us a bad name.”
Living the high life is the ultimate goal for many, but the manner in which some people attempt to get there is usually the problem.
Having a sugar daddy is one way to get a ready-made luxe lifestyle, one that has apparently gripped the minds of many young women in South Africa. The desire to wear the latest designer stilettos or to be spotted at the trendiest clubs in town can drive even the sanest mind to the conclusion that there is an easier way to get there fast – without all the years of hard slogging. But there’s an unhappy social downside to doing it just for the money.
The fact remains that the wider the age gap between an older man and his younger girlfriend, the bigger the platform for rampant gossip and social stigmatisation. So unless you really are in love, perhaps the money just isn’t worth it.
Regardless, it seems people who desperately want to live the high life but can’t manage it under their own steam will go to any lengths to achieve that status. Even if it means being intimate with someone to whom you’re not physically attracted.
*Not their real names