Male Sugar Babies: Meet The Guys Getting Paid To Date Older Women
His friends make a living working in construction and landscaping. Josh* gets paid to spend time with older women.
As a male sugar baby, Josh -- who didn't want to give his real name -- earns a decent living drinking beer and completing household tasks like wiping down tables and moving chairs for older women.
Accompanying a woman to a restaurant can earn Josh up to $300 a night. Last week alone he made $1,500 through his elusive gig.
The 30-year-old Argentinian told 10 daily he believes he's "living the dream", and is currently dating five women between 50 and 60 years old.
The Sydney-based women are mostly retired professionals and lawyers who are happy to pay big bucks for Josh's company.
"It was weird in the beginning but most of the time I enjoy it. They pay me to listen," he told 10 daily.
"They need a confidant, someone to support them. We talk about the reason why they're alone, how hard the day was, stuff you'd talk to your boyfriend or friend about."
Sugar babies like Josh enter into a specific type of transactional relationships for the express purpose of financial security.
They may receive cash, gifts or other financial benefits in exchange for providing 'companionship'.
The sugaring trend has risen in prominence in recent years with the site Seeking Arrangement boasting eight million sugar baby profiles and two million "sugar momma and daddy" members.
Josh's first foray into becoming a sugar baby was unexpected. The Argentinian backpacker replied to a hostel advertisement asking for someone's help to move things around.
After completing the first task, the woman offered Josh more easy work. Soon, he was being invited to lunch and paid for his company.
The woman then passed Josh's number onto her friends. More divorcees got in touch to ask him out for coffee.
Relationship expert Melissa Ferrari said couples consisting of an older woman and younger man were becoming more common.
"The reason we are seeing a rise in older women seeking companionship from younger men relates to loneliness," she told 10 daily.
"With so many relationships breaking down with people aged in their 40s and 50s, there are now many older women and men who are alone. The kids are grown and living their own lives, so having someone you can share a meal with, attend an event or even spend time would be compelling."
Josh told 10 daily he occasionally feels guilty taking money from the women and at times is "morally conflicted"
"Sometimes I feel conflicted taking their money. I feel like it doesn't belong to me, especially when they're nice, beautiful people who just need someone to talk to," he said.
However, Josh said the women have also counselled him through difficult times, offering financial support when a former boss stole his money and possessions.
The women also provided friendship when Josh experienced racism from his former boss who would routinely denigrate Latinos and refer to Argentina as a "poor country".
Ferrari said it such relationships might often disintegrate if feelings about the arrangement are not mutual.
"Problems arise if the relationship with the younger person starts to enter fantasy, where they begin to see the relationship as more than one of sharing time for a fee," she said.
"It is not a path I would recommend for older women, as you would need to be very confident and strong minded for the relationship to not become one you will want more from, leading to potentially more heartache."
While Josh says most of his relationships are like a "plastic couple", he's started dating one of the women for real.
"We've started to meet without her paying me money. We've met in restaurants and have watched DVDs together," he said.
"She doesn't mind that I'm dating other people, she's really open-minded. My friends laugh when I tell them about it, they don't believe me."
Josh is leaving Australia in May but said the feelings between him and the women remain warm and positive.
His advice for other male sugar babies is to just "be yourself" because older women will "know if it's bullshit".