I'm A Former Sugar Baby — This Is Why I Stopped

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
In parts one and two of our interviews with sugar babies, we chatted with a woman who views the scene as a job, and another who looks at it as a serious relationship. Both parties, however, differentiated what they do from sex work — a view much contested in the comments.
For our third interview, we talked with Lily, a 25-year-old in New York City who dabbled in sugar dating on and off for three years. Ahead, she spills everything — including how much she charged per date, and why she ultimately left the scene.
This interview is part three of our series about sugar babies. It has been edited and condensed for clarity. Names have been changed. Have a story you'd like to share? Email us here.
Tell me about yourself — what were you doing when you decided to try sugar dating?
"I graduated from school in 2014, and after that I moved back home and started working at a designer shoe store downtown. I was making $12 an hour plus commission. When I started, I had hoped a lot of people would come in and spend a lot of money, but in reality it was really slow most of the time. I was probably just getting $400 a week or so.
"I really wanted to move out of my parents’ place, though, so when I met a girl who was on SeekingArrangement.com, and she told me how she had a lot of extra cushion, I decided to move out and joined."