I was in my late twenties, a television producer, and fresh out of a suffocating three-year relationship with a man who drained both my time and my finances when I signed up. Instead, I fantasised about someone older, more sophisticated, more established.
And, if I’m being honest, someone with some money, too.
When I joined my first sugar daddy dating website five years ago, it wasn’t to find someone to help pay the bills or provide me with a shopping allowance.
It was because of an innocent penchant for the older man.
At first I was horrified, and deleted such messages which filled my inbox. But then I learnt that one of my dates – a handsome 45-year-old energy trader – paid all the other girls he went out with for the evening.
I realise some readers may be shocked by what I am about to divulge, or even consider that what I did and other women do on these sites is tantamount to prostitution.
I know I am setting myself up for widespread condemnation – but allow me to explain.
I went on as many dates with men in their mid-forties or above as I could arrange.
My dates began offering gifts – and monthly cash allowances – to see them on a more regular basis.
It has just launched in the UK, where it is already boasting 80,000 members.
In return for a no-strings but mutually beneficial relationship, the women who sign up can get to be treated like a lady, showered with gifts, taken on all-you-can-buy shopping sprees, and enjoy meals at the best tables in town.
It felt such a naughty thing to do, typing “younger women for older men” into Google – but when I did, I found several dating sites that would help me find men of a certain age with whom to have some fun.I joined two of them and for the first few months was like a kid in a sweetshop.