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05 May

I give Eli what money is worthless without: friendship and fun. If I don’t properly tend his every need, a tantrum erupts: “You ate all the Häagen-Dazs? I know I have to quit — but I dread the thought of reverting back to a bodega-based diet or, God forbid, drugstore makeup. I met Eli on Seeking Arrangement.com, the most popular and direct sugar-dating service.

Six months and as many unpaid vet bills later, I found a nerdy-cute i-banker in his late thirties; Eli immediately took care of my debt and transferred Hemingway to the city’s best vet. On our fifth date, he offered me ,500 a month so I could relax with my dog. Tropical vacations and designer lingerie are decadent, but the habitual treats — like organic groceries, a cleaning lady, and pedicures — are what had me hooked. In fact, if there’s anything unbalanced about this equation, it’s in his favor. It’s the emotional labor that’s challenging: I do all the grown-up relationship work, from planning our dates to downright mothering. ” Ultimately, being paid to put up with these pathological antics is toxic. You’ll have to sweet talk an army of frogs before you meet one you could imagine having sex with.If I had a hefty allowance from a generous benefactor, though, I figured that I could take the leap comfortably. To overcome my reservations about walking the line between dating and prostitution, I told myself that any such concerns were the result of societal conditioning.The idea of wealthy older people supporting struggling younger ones is nothing revolutionary, after all—look what Peggy Guggenheim did for Jackson Pollock or the Tuohys did for N. The idea that mixing money and mating is inherently bad, I reasoned, was a fallacy based on our collective obsession with moralizing sex.I imagined my life with a sugar daddy to look like a mash-up between an old black-and-white movie and a rap video — with ample time left over to write the Next Great American Something.There would be shopping in Milan, swimming in the Maldives, and gambling in Monaco.