Eps 441: Exploring “sugar dating” with Amy Lang and Christy Keating

Episode 441

Join me and my good friends Amy Lang and Christy Keating as we dig into the trend of “sugar dating.” Why do we care? Well, this is a growing trend on college campuses and it’s important for parents to be informed and able to have conversations with their young adult children.

My guests today are Amy Lang and Christy Keating.  I am so glad you’re here today – this episode may be distressing, but it’s super important to be aware of our topic: sugar dating.  

Sugar dating is a transactional arrangement between an older adult and younger adult to exchange dating for money, trips, clothes, etc.  Amy, Christy, and I talk about if this is just prostitution or actually a win-win arrangement.  We get into the risks these young women face and how the internet facilitates these relationships.  Amy, Christy, and I discuss how women can get out of the situation when they’re not comfortable and how to talk to our kids about this.  Christy brings up that some young people feel empowered by sugaring, and why it’s actually not empowering or sex positive.  Amy advises asking your teens what they know about sugar dating and letting them educate you. 

Come back next month for Part 2, because Amy & Christy are returning to chat with me about pornography – good times! 

Amy Lang

A sexual health educator for over 27 years, Amy Lang (she/her) helps parents learn how to talk with their kids about sexuality. With her lively, engaging, and down-to-earth style, she shows parents they really can become their kids’ go-to birds and bees source. 

Amy is certificated in neurodiversity and sexuality and helps parents of neurodiverse kids tackle this important part of parenting. Amy is the author of three books; and has online courses. Her podcast, Just Say This, reaches thousands of listeners a month.

Amy is still married to her first husband and they are getting the hang of parenting their recently launched man-child. She lives in Seattle WA and you can learn more about her work at BirdsAndBeesAndKids.com and BBKPros.com.

Christy Keating

Christy Keating is the founder of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, The Heartful Parent Academy, The Safe Parenting Summit, and The Heartful Parent Podcast.

Christy is a licensed attorney turned Certified Parent Coach, positive discipline educator, and Fair Play Facilitator. Christy serves as a board member for the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.

She is a fierce advocate for women and families, and loves working with parents on a wide variety of issues, from behavior issues to balancing competing life demands. She loves helping parents and professionals discover newfound energy in their work, personal lives, and parenting. Christy is a strong believer that we are all—parents and professionals alike–deserving of support, and that we never go wrong when we lift another parent up.

Christy lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband of 17 years, their two amazing daughters.

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Takeaways from the show

  • What is sugar dating? 
  • How common is it? 
  • Is it a win-win situation?  Is this prostitution? 
  • Why do young women do this?  What are the risks? 
  • How is this facilitated on the internet? 
  • How do we talk about sugar dating with our kids?  When and how often? 
  • Sugar dating is not always younger women & older men – various dynamics occur
  • Is this empowering?  Is this sex positive? 
  • How can we stay curious & influential when people we know are sugaring?  How do we talk to our kids about this? 
  • “The hard conversations are the most important”



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Casey O'Roarty, Christy Keating, Amy Lang

Casey O'Roarty 00:03
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sproutsocial. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show

Casey O'Roarty 01:19
all right, listeners. Welcome back. I am so glad that you are listening in today. Today we are amongst friends friends in my life friends of the podcast two ladies that I have reached out to more than one time on my own personal parenting journey. You might know them but I'm still going to introduce them to you first is my friend Amy Lange, a sexual health educator for over 27 years, Amy helps parents learn how to talk with their kids about sexuality. With her lively engaging in Down to Earth style. She shows parents they really can become their kids go to birds and bees source. Amy is certified in neuro diversity and sexuality and helps parents of neuro diverse kids tackle this important part of parenting. She is the author of three books and has online courses her podcast just say this reaches 1000s of listeners each month. Amy is still married to her first husband and they are getting the hang of parenting. They're recently launched manchild she lives in Seattle, and you can learn more about her and her work at birds and bees and kids.com and BB K proz.com. My other friends in the virtual studio is Christy Keating Christie is the founder of the heartful parenting collective, which includes heartful parent coaching savvy parents Safe Kids, the heartful Parent Academy, the safe parenting Summit, and the heartful parenting podcast. I don't know why hurtful is so hard for me to say. Christie is a licenced attorney turned certified parent coach, positive discipline educator and fair play facilitator. Christie serves as a board member for the National Coalition to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation. She is a fierce advocate for women and family and loves working with parents on a wide variety of issues from behaviour issues to balancing competing life demands she loves helping parents and professionals discover new found energy in their work personal lives and parenting Christie is a strong believer that we are all parents and professionals alike deserving of support and that we never go wrong when we left another parent app Christie also lives in Seattle with her husband of 17 years and two amazing daughters. Hey, ladies. Hi Casey. I'm giving Christie like we cuz she doesn't quite live in Seattle, but close enough. Close enough. Deanna Lish ah, more than Seattle ish. Well, we're all Pacific Northwesterners we're all Western Washington gals. So there you go. I'm so excited to have you both here. This is a two parter. So listeners you are tuning into Part One. And we're going to be talking about something that may be distressing to listeners. Yeah, welcome to our world. And super important that we shed light on and make parents aware of this phenomenon, which isn't new, but feels like it has a whole new light on it. I don't know, sugar dating. We're gonna talk about sugar dating today. And listeners, you might be like, What the hell is that? So we're gonna start with you too. What do you know about sugar dating?

Christy Keating 04:42
Amy want to go first?

Amy Lang 04:43
Well, I know that if I had known about sugar dating when I was a young 20 Something I would have been all over it. Mostly, I would have been very interested. So from what I understand sugar dating, or like It's like sugar daddies like we've all heard that. So sugar dating is we have a arrangement. Usually it's an older guy with a younger woman, usually in or probably 20s ish along in there. And they have an agreement that in exchange for sometimes money, trips, clothes, gifts, companionship, they date and have a relationship. So it is mutually beneficial. The young person gets to have all this fun stuff going on in her life with no real commitment with this older person who can shower her with attention, et cetera, et cetera, the older person who's looking for the dating, he gets the same kind of thing, and I was reading up on it. But you know, one of the things is that they really do want to be able to talk with the person. It's not just sex, it is more of a dating relationship, but it is not free. How's that work? It's not without strings? Yeah. Do you think?

Casey O'Roarty 05:54
Yeah, yeah. What would you add Christie?

Christy Keating 05:56
I think that sort of is the gist of it. I will say that. It is definitely usually younger, very attractive women with significantly older men, most of the time, because they're the ones that often have the money. And it is a financial transactional relationship. Unlike my friend, Amy, I think I would have been wooed out by this in my early 20s. I'm still pretty good out. But I think one thing that's really important to note is that, yes, although they want to have some sort of a connection, or like the older men are looking for some sort of a connection. Many of the young women who are engaging in this are doing it with more than one man at a time. It's not an exclusive relationship in many cases. And there are websites that facilitate this, which I know we'll probably talk about, we need to talk about, but it's not just the like I happen to meet this old guy at the grocery store at the bar. This is being actively facilitated through the internet. Yeah. Well, do

Casey O'Roarty 06:55
you want to know what Wikipedia calls it? Sure. Yeah. Okay. So Wikipedia says that sugar dating is a pseudo romantic, transactional, sexual relationship between an older wealthy person and a younger person. Yep. So you guys nailed that? Yeah. And you know, it's interesting. I have a friend whose daughter I was sitting with, and she threw it out, you know, Oh, yeah. Two of my roommates have sugar daddies. And there's this like, reader board that has messages. You can like buy messages. And there was like a happy birthday message from blah, blah, blah. And I was driving with Rohan. And she's like, that's a total sugar baby to her sugar daddy message. And I was like, how do you know that? And then we were in Cabo recently. And we met this young girl, she's probably like, 22. And she's there with this. I mean, probably my age, right? Like in his 50s guy, and she's like, oh, yeah, he's my friend. They're sure in a room. They're partying together. And one of my girlfriends was like, that's the sugar situation going on. And so I feel like it's, you know, I'm gonna buy a red car, and now I see red cars everywhere. It kind of feels like now that I've tuned to my radar, I see it everywhere. And it's so interesting to have conversations with my kids about it. Because they're like, it's a win win, you know, and trying to be like, but it's not, you know, you immediately think about okay, so is this just like glammed up prostitution? Like? Is it the same? Is it different? Are you saying yeah, Amy's like?

Amy Lang 08:25
Yeah, it's it's glammed up sex work or sex work casual

Casey O'Roarty 08:28
or something. Right? Yeah, sex work light.

Amy Lang 08:32
Maybe when I think about sex work, I think about even though I know better, and it looks in all kinds of different ways, but I think about the gals are out on Aurora. Right? I think about the people who have like thriving sex work businesses, that's what they do, right? They're committed comfortable, feel good about it. Like I think about all those things as being like that sex work, like that's serious sex work thoughtful. That's, this is what I do. And then, of course, all the exploitative side of it. But for the sugar baby thing, daddy thing. If it's sex, and there are goods and services and money being exchanged. That's work. She's working. Yeah. And I think

Christy Keating 09:05
we have to acknowledge that most of the young women who do this are coming from a place of desperation. They're not doing it because they want to have sex with seven year old man. They're not doing it because they're attracted to that age group. And what I learned as I did some research for this episode, is that the overwhelming majority of them are doing it to get their student loans paid or their rent paid. Like that just I think brings it to this. It's not empowering, it's they are desperate. Right? They need this. It's not a win win. I mean, yes, they're getting those things paid for but what are we driving these young women to that that's what they need to do? And if you look up and I don't have them in front of me, but if you look up the definitions, the Oxford English dictionary definitions of prostitute, escort, sex worker and sugar baby, they are virtually identical. There is no difference. That's the exchange of sex for Money, period.

Casey O'Roarty 10:02
I did my own research, right? I'm like, what comes up? When I look this up, which is pretty crazy and very sugaring positive, like I found a lot of like, here's 10 Best Practices for being a good sugar baby. And it's very upfront that this is a financial transaction, super matter of fact, and I keep thinking, okay about the difference between, hey, I'm a 30 year old woman, right? And I see this opportunity, and I'm doing air quotes. And I'm making a decision to engage in this agreement with an older guy. But really, what we're talking about today is yeah, like you said, Christie 1819 20 year old college students, they are not adults, even though they think they are, they are not adults. And I really like I've tried to have conversations with my kids about this and tried to land, the power dynamic and the vulnerability piece, and I feel like I'm falling flat in the conversation with them. So talk a little bit about that. I'll jump

Christy Keating 11:03
in there. Because when I was doing my research for this, I actually came across an episode that was produced by 60 minutes, Australia, and it was not positive towards sugar dating. I mean, they tried to be sort of neutral, rip, porterie, whatever. But they really talked about some of the ugly underside of this, and that there are real risks to these women. And in fact, for anyone who doesn't know, as I said, this is facilitated through the internet, and there is a website and really was blown up this whole idea by this guy named Brandon Wade, I think he's originally from China. He now lives in Las Vegas, at the time of this show, he's 48 years old. So you know, maybe a year or two older than that. Now, he has a 22 year old sugar baby. Of course he does. And I mean, he's built his fortune on the back of these old men and young women who are doing this. But one of the things that they really highlighted in this episode is that, you know, because of the power dynamic, and because the assumption as we're exchanging money for sex, that puts these men fully in the driver's seat, fully in control, right, because if a young woman is trying to get her rent paid, or student loans paid before they default, she is likely under this sort of setup to do anything. And they told the story of this young woman who, you know, thought they were going out to a restaurant, her so called Sugar Daddy and air quotes, took her directly to his house, forced, you know, various sexual acts upon her, and then kind of dropped her back off, and she was so ashamed, she didn't end up asking for money. She filed a complaint through the website. Turns out this guy had eight previous complaints, they slapped him on the wrist, kept him off for like two weeks, and then let him back on. And he's still an active participant on the sugaring website. So there are real dangers and risks to these end of it. And that's not to say anything about STIs, and all of that sort of thing, right? And mental health, which we can talk about too. But thinking of this as a win win, or it's just a, it's all good. And the son, I think is real risky. But

Amy Lang 13:14
one of the problems is those adolescent brains, right? I mean, frankly, will go back to me again, I would have been in total control, I would have been a disaster in my head, I would have been anxious, like when I think we read the same article, Casey, where she's like, I'm 30, I'm going to test drive this, this is my plan. And she showed like how to become a sugar baby, and all the things you need to think through and all this shit. And I think that in my head, yeah, I would have thought that I had it all together and that I was in control. So when you're talking to young folks, and we have to think about like my lows, 23. Like, our kids are basically the same age, you have to think about, like, what does it like when you're 23? Or, you know, in that age range? And then to also think about how did they grow up? Like, what did they see terms of sexualized media, they've all been watching porn, their friend culture is around like the hookup culture, and all of that, and then all the emphasis on how you look. And then we've got social media that saying, Hey, look at me, I got this stuff from my guy, right? Like it all is in their heads. And so when you say there's a power imbalances, yada, yada, yada, there's a whole lot of I think that would never happen to me, I would be in full evil, right? I'm sure. Your family probably say that. It wouldn't happen. I'd be in total control. I know what's happening here. I understand the power dynamic. And sure they do. Sure they do. In five years, you're like, hey, remember, we have this conversation, how the sugar dating was cool. They're probably gonna say, oh, no, it's exploitive. It's all the things. It's all the thing. So a lot of that is developmental. And then, you know, just kind of kind of comes back to what can you say, to help someone understand that this is really just fundamentally not safe. Right, like what can you say to someone who knows everything? Right, right. I don't know. He I wish I could say that. I knew the other thing too is and we look at sex work and in our universe, right? Like we're all in Liberal Landia, right? Like, there's lots of sex positivity and about making choices around sex work. And sex work is a legit job like all of that, which I do believe, to a degree, I think there's a whole lot of work a whole lot of trouble. So there's a space for that. But if you're growing up in this sex positive culture, and everybody's liberal and open, and it's all

Casey O'Roarty 15:23
body autonomy, all that Yeah.

Amy Lang 15:25
And then you say, Hey, look at this sex work light. It's not sex work. I mean, same sex work. I mean, like your definitions, right? It's sex work. It is.

Casey O'Roarty 15:33
Yeah. Well, and the other piece too, Amy, like listening to you talk about how our kids have grown up and the messages they've gotten, on top of that, what I'm hearing from my own kids around, like, I'm never going to be able to buy a house, I'm never going to be how am I ever going to be able to truly sustaining my lifestyle that isn't, you know, this dumpy apartment that currently live in, right. And so it makes sense that my listeners, we talked about this behaviour makes sense. When we look through the lens of our kids, I watched a little doc that was through the BBC. And this young gal went undercover on one of those sites, and whatever the site was, that she was checking out, they make a big deal about this is not about sex, even as everyone on there it is all about sex. And so she goes undercover, and she has a little chat with this guy, and they make an agreement we're gonna meet, we're gonna first meet at this coffee shop, and then we're gonna go to a hotel room, she gets there, she starts talking to him. He's really nice, and really not creepy. She goes into the bathroom and does a little testimonial. She's like, so now I'm in this position of obviously, I'm not going to go to the hotel with him. But now I feel bad. Now I feel bad. And I'm in a situation where it's hard for me to say I don't want to do this thing. And there's that nuance to around the socialisation and conditioning of, you know, a certain gender and how we show I mean, it's really easy to say like, why be like, fuck that I'm not gonna do it. But then you're in it. And the person isn't super creepy. And she goes out and the guy is like, you know, it seems like you're really uncomfortable. And so we don't have to do this. Like, he happens to be probably the one percenter of sugar daddies. And she says, she's like, I'm sorry, I feel really bad. But I am uncomfortable, you know. And so she's like, I'll pay for the hotel room. And he says, Don't worry about it. What I appreciated about that video was that moment where she was like, now I feel bad. Like the doorway out gets smaller, the closer you get to the act,

Christy Keating 17:39
and I think the adolescent brain plays into that as well. I mean, obviously, it's how, you know, many of us, as you said, a particular gender, we're often raised to, like, don't make a scene don't make people feel bad, please, everybody want everyone to be happy. And, you know, that's gender specific. But I also think that many of us, probably all three of us have grown out of that by our age, right? And we're like, Screw that, you know, I can say no, if I'm uncomfortable with something. But when you're 1920 21, and you have an undeveloped brain, you know, as Amy was talking about, like that dynamic playing into all of this, it just heightens the power differential between those people. And I mean, I think you're right, like that girl, who went undercover? Either the dude knew that she was undercover, and doing something or she did legit get, you know, somebody who was respectful. But

Amy Lang 18:34
I mean, of course, are assholes everywhere. But it could really be that a lot of them are like, I don't want to be in this sex work arrangement with a young person where the young person it feels uncomfortable, right? But the valid he said, let's meet for coffee. It's called an M and G. It's the first one like, it's m and g meet and greet. And then let's go to the hotel. It's an element of sex work. So if it's not sex work, what's that? And people, right anyway, right? Yes. So back to your point, right. We're socialised. To be nice, right? socialised to be nice, which is why Christy your work is so important, because you're like, No, you don't have to be nice. Right? Right. I mean, that's a big takeaway for everybody. Right? Like one of the central messages of you know, body safety is you do not have to be nice. Yeah, you don't have to be nice.

Christy Keating 19:15
You know, here's the other piece of it, though. And Casey, you asked her, like, how do we talk to these young people? I hope this will resonate with listeners that, you know, this isn't a conversation you start when they're 22. Right. This is a conversation that has hopefully been building and growing over time, with what we're doing. From the time they're teeny tiny, you know, as Amy talks to parents and does a lot of work about how do parents talk to kids about sexuality? And I, you know, talk a lot about how do we talk about safety from a, you know, not scary kind of standpoint. But then as they hit those tween and teen years, we should be expanding and talking about what does a healthy relationship look like? What are your values right and Their values may very well be different than ours. Dammit. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 20:03
I thought that too. So annoying. I

Christy Keating 20:06
really wish they would just do everything we told them to do. Yes, I mean, logically, I love that our kids are in many ways, expanding our own mindsets around some things, but we want to have them tap into those values, the things that really matter to them, and to think about what they really want for themselves, not just when they're 18, or 22. But what do they want for themselves when they're 40. And that's, like, so hard for young people to think about. But what if they are 25. And they meet the man of their dreams, like really somebody that they connect with pure age, who they want to spend their lives with. And now they have this history that they have to share of sex work, we need to call it what it is like Amy was just doing, we need to call it sex work, they need to understand that it is sex work, and how is that gonna play out and sort of help them think through some of those dynamics and what they really want for their own relationships? I mean, they may still say, Yeah, and I can get a Rolex watch. Sure. Right. And we have to recognise that, as we just touched on one of the hardest things into all of parenting, that we cannot control them. I know, God damn it. But if we're not having these conversations in any way, shape, or form, they're so much more likely to end up right at risk. The other piece of this and I don't think you need to dive in and detail to this, but your daughter is right, Casey, who said, like, how am I ever gonna buy a house? Like we have screwed things up and set these kids up for unmanageable student loans? lifestyles that they cannot sustain? Easily? I mean, not that it should be easy, but you know, realistically, so we do have a lot of young people acting out of desperation. And that sucks.

Amy Lang 21:50
Yeah. Or does it? Sure. Does. It do agree with you? Like, I think there's two sides of it, like talking about what do you hope for yourself in your relationships? And what's healthy? And what's that gonna look like for you? But then also thinking about, how do you want to show up in a relationship, like what makes a good partner? And I think that what makes a good partner piece might resonate in a different way, like, does a good partner pay someone to do things for them? Does a good partner like where is that that power imbalance thing? Right, like addressing that? But good news. I think most people think sugar daddy being babying dating is gross. I think most kids think it's pretty gross. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 22:33
Well, I think there's kids and then there's our kids that have left the nest. I mean, yes to the conversations we're having 100% so important. And then we're in this weird space of like, Oh, God, like if you want to be a stripper. This is literally what Roland said, if I want to be a stripper. What are you gonna stop loving me? And I'm like, Well, no, fuck. Loving you. God. Please don't be a stripper. I mean, no shade to strippers but I guess my

Amy Lang 23:00
point is that most likely most young people think I don't think that's a good idea. Right? But then there are people who are maybe like me, who would be like, I couldn't partake in this idea. I probably wouldn't have done it. But I might have I would have test driven this. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 23:16
And it feels like a thing. One of the many things that just feel so much more normalised. And that's what makes me feel a little like,

Amy Lang 23:23
oh, and you know, and to your thing about like telling about your past? Well, if you fall in love with someone, you can't tell them that you were a sugar baby, then that is not the person for you. But yeah, that's it. But also I see you're saying like, you want to look back and say, Hey, you meet someone, it's like, tell me about your proud. Absolutely. Well,

Casey O'Roarty 23:40
I did go through this period. I mean, I gotta say,

Christy Keating 23:43
like, happily married woman to an amazing guy. And if I had said to him, Well, I used to be a sex worker. I think he would have been like, oh, shit, like, that's not really I'm like, I don't really like that. Right? Yeah. And that's not because he's not the right guy. He's an amazing guy. And so we also have to think about, like, who are the quality of people that we're going to attract? To

Amy Lang 24:08
push back? I'm gonna push back. I got bonked everything I could get my hands on for about your period. I was

Casey O'Roarty 24:13
just thinking I wasn't sure but man, I was having lots of sex. Nobody was paying me and damn it. Don't

Christy Keating 24:20
you think that when you bring money into it, it adds a different Oh, element. Yes, it

Casey O'Roarty 24:25
right. 100%? Sure.

Amy Lang 24:27
Yeah, I totally see your point. I think also like, again, when we're talking with young adults, and their brains aren't quite there. You say that you lay that out there? And they're like, Oh, whatever. It'll be fine. Like what I said, Right? They'll love me for who I am, no matter what my past is dismissed.

Christy Keating 24:44
Here's another way that I think to talk to them about it, potentially. Yes. And I'll start with a story. So my husband and I were in Las Vegas, where we all know all sorts of

Casey O'Roarty 24:55
shit goes down, right? The mecca of sex work. We were

Christy Keating 24:59
Sitting at a very nice, expensive restaurant in one of the nicer hotels. And there was a couple. I mean, I hesitate to use that word, but there were two people having dinner together. And the man, I'm gonna guess, conservatively was at, but he looked like my dad. And the young woman with him was 2223, somewhere in that range. Now, whether this was a sugar daddy situation, or an escort, which we've already established, they're basically the same thing. I'm watching them. And I'm sort of watching the dynamic, and I'm watching the, what I perceived to be false interest and the persona that these young women have to put on to maintain the money coming in to maintain the relationship, right, she probably doesn't give two shits what this 80 year old man is talking about. And she has to pretend like he's the most interesting person on the planet, right? And I watched this dynamic unfold. And so if we want to think about, like talking to our kids, that might be another way to do it. Can you imagine actually sitting across the table from an 80 year old man night after night after night, and pretending that you're interested in him? And then look at that same eight year old man? And do you really want to have sex with him? Right? Okay, this is terrible. My aunt and I, many years ago, my aunt is not that much older than me. We're very good friends. We're travelling together. And we were sitting in the airport. And our flight was delayed. And so we're sitting at this bar, and we're watching the men go by and have to say for like, the next five men that walked by which one would you want to have such

Amy Lang 26:35
a terrible game? Sounds good.

Christy Keating 26:38
I mean, in game entertaining, it certainly helps the time pass.

Christy Keating 26:48
But if we do that, and we're sitting at the airport, or sitting at a cafe, or the grocery store, with our kids, wherever we happen to be out and about with them, and we're like, okay, I want you to identify the next 370 Plus men who walked by which one are you going to have sex with? That's when you factor is going to kick in,

Casey O'Roarty 27:05
but it's not always 70 year olds though, either. I mean, we're kind of holding this idea of and I'm laughing because I'm thinking like old men. Like I think there's a lot of decent. So we'll just call them well, so

Christy Keating 27:20
we all are in that age

Casey O'Roarty 27:21
range. Right? So dads were like, I know what I'm talking about. But do you

Christy Keating 27:25
remember how old 50 seemed? When you 19? That? Well? Yeah. Old? Oh, yeah, for sure. You know, pick your neck for sure. Five over 50s. Well, although

Casey O'Roarty 27:35
Patrick Dempsey is the sexiest man alive right now and he is hot.

Amy Lang 27:39
For John Stamos is John Stamos ever had it?

Casey O'Roarty 27:44
Oh, my God, he's he's such a bad

Christy Keating 27:46
cop. But like most of them aren't looking like George Clooney. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 27:50
Yeah, it's highly doubtful those guys can get it yet. They don't know how to pay for a date. And there's this whole idea of why don't want any string. So sugaring just makes it so there's no strings. And I think that if you're a good looking powerful man, you're doing fine with dating with no strings. You know what I mean? Like? I don't know, does that make sense? If

Amy Lang 28:13
you're dating and you don't have a financial relationship, if you're dating someone for dating, then there are all these expectations. There's expectations of any number of things, you know, riding off into the sunset together, but if you're in a sugar relationship, then the expectation is that you'll both do this as long as it's mutually beneficial and then you're done. Right and that's the difference between I think, sugaring and the escorting the escorting is more one off the sugaring is we're having a air quotes relationship, right? So that would be the difference. Right? So it's same thing, same fucking thing. Different style. Yeah. And Christy, I do think to your point about like, the MO hilarious about the game, but like, think about that, right? Like, think about this dynamic is age differences, all this interest different. I think that could be really effective. But one thing that kind of cute in my head is that it's not just straight, folks. It's not just girls, it's gay men going after younger gay guys. Like it's

Casey O'Roarty 29:06
older women going after younger. I mean, it's a real thing, too.

Christy Keating 29:09
That does this is really heavily geared towards older men and younger women, but you're absolutely right. And that's a dynamic we've seen in the LGBTQ community for years now. Yeah. You know, yeah. Chickenhawk. Yeah, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 29:25
Well, college girls from Florida, apparently it's exploding at colleges in Florida. So there you go. If your kid goes to college in Florida, I wonder what would

Amy Lang 29:33
have to say, what's happening? Oh, right. This good Christian girls, and

Christy Keating 29:40
oh, man, I think we also have to talk about why they think it's empowering and why it actually isn't empowered. Yes, please.

Casey O'Roarty 29:48
Let's talk about that. That's what I hear. That's what I'm reading. It's like you said to your point, Amy, like, I am making this decision. You know, I'm in control of this. Yeah. And I thing

Christy Keating 30:00
that stems from, you know, and I'm a fan of sex positivity when used correctly, but I think there's also this. Now we're teaching young women that if you're exchanging sex for money that that's sex positive and empowering. And I think the way that we can kind of think about it is, if one of you, ie, the man and this heterosexual scenario we've set up, if one of you can pull the plug or demand more in order for you to get what you want out of it, then you're not the one in power, and therefore it's not empowering, right? Yeah, that's great. Yeah, it is, by definition, the older, wealthier man, who is the one in the driver's seat here?

Casey O'Roarty 30:44
Yeah, my rents being paid, if my bills are being subsidised by this relationship, then the power is not in my court. If the power

Christy Keating 30:54
is not in your court, how is that empowering,

Amy Lang 30:56
but you've made the decision to put yourself in that circle, you made the conscious decision to put yourself in that space. So that's where it feels empowering. And back to me and my history

Casey O'Roarty 31:08
right? Back to you, and the good old days,

Amy Lang 31:12
like, totally, probably relate to this. Because once I started having sex, I realised that I could have sex with anyone I wanted to, I could walk into a bar and pick that guy. And I could bonk him, we'd have sex. And it was incredibly empowering for me to be able to do that. Until I realised that he didn't care. It was me. And nothing to do with me. Yeah. It had to do with getting off, right? I'm good. Don't worry.

Casey O'Roarty 31:39
I know. I'm thinking about, you know, yes.

Amy Lang 31:41
I was super empowered to do this thing. Really good. Yeah. And then I was later on, I was like, Oh, nothing to do with me. At the end of the day, the person who had the power was the person. And it was risky. It was risky to do that.

Christy Keating 31:58
Totally. Well, and when we say, you know, it's empowering, or they think it's empowering, because they've made the decision to be there. We all know, and we all did stupid shit that we could say, oh, I made the decision to do that. That, in hindsight, we know, the fact that you bring so called thought or intentionality to something does not by definition, make it an empowering good decision. Right, though? Things don't go together that rarely. Right? Right.

Amy Lang 32:29
Yeah, they don't. They don't. So I mean, kind of like, what is empowering. Right. So then that comes back to what we were talking about, like, how do you empower a young person like to see that that's not a safe, good decision, like to see that? Like what you talked about? Casey about? You're not in control? Hello, you're not in control? Yeah, because of the blinky boats that like the upline can be pulled at any time, that means you have this zero control, you have zero control, you're not in control. Is there an analogy that doesn't relate it to sex, like sometimes that, like, sometimes we just need to have a different lens, right? To make something make sense, right?

Christy Keating 33:08
I mean, drugs, maybe, which I know, is a really hazardous area as well. But right, if you take a substance that somebody hands you, yes, you're making that decision to put that in your body? And you don't know what's in it? Or what's going to happen to you, right? I don't know. It's not a perfect analogy. But

Amy Lang 33:27
it's pretty good, though. Because you're in control. And then you're out of control. Right? Well,

Casey O'Roarty 33:32
I when I think about, and I so appreciate the work that both of you do with families. And I feel like when I'm talking to families, what I'm doing a lot of centering is the relationship that we're building with them. Right. And I feel like while we don't have control listeners, you hear me say this all the time. And especially, you know, then they leave the nest, and they're young adults, and they're making their choices, we still really don't have control. But what we always can continue to strengthen and develop is influence and when we can be in relationship and not fly off the handle, and freak out. If we find out that our kids friends are doing this or we find out that they're doing this when we can stay grounded and like curious and share what we know. But really ask a lot of questions and find out like you, you know often say Amy find out what they know first, you know, and inside of relationship we get to be one of the voices in their heads doesn't mean we're the ones they listened to. But we at least start to establish a seat at the table. I mean, obviously we have three parent educators right here there's no perfect formula for how to make sure your kid never considers a sugar relationship but there is a pretty good formula

Christy Keating 34:52
for ensuring that they do. And that is not being in communication like not doing exactly what you just said, which is focusing on the relationship and the connection and having these important conversations. Because if we're not giving them that grounding, and at least as you said, Casey being one of the voices on the shoulder, then there's a lot of other voices that are all too happy to step in.

Casey O'Roarty 35:19
Yeah. And if you're listening right now, and you're like, Oh, God, this is the first time hearing about this. And oh, Mike is just another thing. Like, I mean, Amy would say, I'm guessing like you're checking with your kids, find out what they're talking about, you know, ask them questions, let them educate you take deep breaths

Amy Lang 35:40
that like them say, Do you know what this is? Have you heard of it? Tell me about it. What do you think, know anyone who's doing it? Would you do it? And then you could be me and say, I think I would have done it. And here would be my regrets. Right? It's okay to say that kind of stuff to your kids. I mean, also mean, if you did do it, you know, one of my things about like, revealing that kind of stuff about our sexual past with our kids, is it going to be traumatising to them? Like, you know, what do they need to know that like about you, if you did have a sugar relationship? Or you did work in sex work, right? You have to really think about your kid and when they need to have that information, if you did work in sex work, I would say to withhold until they are older, or if it does come on the table. And then you can talk about your experience, but you know, not what is older to you. I feel like 1819 20 I think that's a safe place to come out with this kind of stuff. I mean, with the sex work, that's kind of more complicated to me. But like with the sugaring, if you had a relationship that was sugar daddy ish, like, you can say, Okay, I dated this older guy, and this is what it was like, and then I realised that I had no control. And then I was out, right. I mean, that's a place where I think lots of straight women have been where they had a wealthy boyfriend or someone who was taking care of them or whatever, and it was imbalanced. Right? It was imbalance. So yeah, yeah. Sorry, the sex work thing. You know, there's so much complication around that. But don't tell your 15 year old that you are a hookah. Don't know what the sexual abuse don't tell him you're sexually abused until they're much shorter, older. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 37:09
Right. Right, because we're asking them to hold something that's pretty big, and they might not have the tools, they won't have the tools to make meaning out of what I'm sharing with you. I

Christy Keating 37:19
want to add something to that about talking to our kids, because so my older daughter is a little bit younger, obviously, then both of your kids so she's 14. And if she isn't getting ready for this conversation, I told her, you know, that, Oh, it's gonna be chatting, Casey and Amy, and we're gonna be you know, talking about this sugaring. She had not yet heard of it, which is, you know, is great. Array. But, so for any parents who are like, Oh, I don't want to talk about it, because it might give them ideas. Okay, no, right. It's just same thing that Amy and I say all the time when it comes to sex, like, we talk about it. And the more we have all of these conversations and focus on connection, and you know, everything that we've been talking about for the last hour, that is how we are more likely to prevent them from doing it. So yes, did I share something with my kid that she had never heard of before? Yeah, but now I've opened up the lines of communication around this, right? So that when you know when she's 16, or 17, or whatever, and we're talking about it again, or 15, whenever tomorrow, right? There's a framework for that. And the bigger framework is that we've already had conversations about sex and relationships and everything right. So yeah, now that being said, for anybody listening, who's freaking out going, Oh, my God, I learned this from Amy Lang. It is never too late to start. Yeah.

Amy Lang 38:37
Never too late. I mean, and also you just say I feel really weird asking you about this. I didn't really know what it was. I listened to these three maniac women. I mean, he's really incredibly brilliant people. And I just want to know like, what is the have you heard of this? What is it I feel weird? Just call it out. They love it. They

Casey O'Roarty 38:56
love it. Yeah. Yeah. In love it. Yeah. And I love that kind of like prepping the environment before you deep dive in. Thank you so much, ladies.

Casey O'Roarty 39:11
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts bra audible.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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