Rachel Uchitel, who is best known for being one of Tiger Woods’ former mistresses, is lending her voice to an unusual cause: Destigmatising the scandalous world of sugar babies.
The 46-year-old TV correspondent has signed on as a spokesperson for a notorious ‘sugar dating’ website that typically hosts women looking to be financially compensated for romantic relationships.
Rather than simply trading cash for sex, Uchitel said sugar dating forces people to be upfront about what they really want, and was an easy way for women to feel “taken care of and loved”.
“You don’t have to be super rich to be taking care of someone,” Uchitel told Page Six.
“Providing for someone might mean paying for someone’s dinner if that’s what they need. That could be [being] someone’s sugar daddy, so to speak.
Paying for someone’s groceries could all of a sudden be someone’s sugar daddy.
“We are not just talking about Chanel purses here. We are talking about people feeling taken care of and loved.”
For 25-year-old, Melbourne-based sugar baby, Sarah* (*not her real name), sugar relationships are significantly more complex than just an exchange of sex for money.
“I used to see Jerry* who paid me $2000 a month, and I used to see him three or four times a month,” Sarah told The New Daily.
“He had expectations of just making out, to be told he was fascinating, to be told he was interesting, and very generous and kind, and to be told he was a mentor – it was very much an ego stroke.
I was more like his eye-candy and his therapist …
“There was a lot more emotional labour with him than in a normal relationship.”
Sometimes, Sarah said, she would develop feelings that bordered on love for the men paying her for her time.
“I had an arrangement with a man named Max* and he was lovely … I had very real feelings for him and he used to give me $500 every time we would hang out, and there was absolutely no expectation apart from good conversation,” she said.
“He essentially didn’t have ‘regular’ relationships, and wasn’t able to because of his circumstances, and he didn’t want that. The most we did was kiss, and I had very real feelings for him.”
And while the financial compensation was a plus, Sarah said the most valuable thing she took from sugar relationships had nothing to do with money.
In fact, it was the social skills she developed, like setting and asserting boundaries, and advocating for herself, that Sarah has found the most useful in her professional and personal life.
“It’s taught me to ask for what I want and to not be ashamed of what I want. And to know that I’m worth whatever it is that I’m asking for because I bring a lot to the table,” she said.
Because of sugar babying, I don’t give men unpaid emotional labour. You learn the value of your unpaid labour when you get paid for it.
“We live in a society where the work that women mostly do, for example housework, talking to people about their problems, checking up on people, organising things for the house, organising things for the office, these things are not recognised and paid for.
“It’s really, really empowering to be paid for something you were told your whole life you couldn’t get money for.”