Bay Area leads nation in number of ‘sugar daddies’ 

click to enlarge Julianna McHugh has had some luck back east but says the local men she has met have been too passive aggressive. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE SF EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The SF Examiner
  • Julianna McHugh has had some luck back east but says the local men she has met have been too passive aggressive.

Being no stranger to superlatives, San Francisco can now add “nation’s sugar daddy capital” to the list.

The Bay Area outpaces all other urban areas in per-capita numbers of men seeking companionship for cash, according to data released this week by, the web’s so-called “best sugar daddy fishing hole.”

About 3.5 in every 1,000 adult males in the greater San Francisco metropolitan area are involved in the sugar daddy market, where nearly 3,000 “sugar babies” are seeking “sugar parenthood.”

Brandon Wade, the site’s founder and CEO, attributed this trend to the tech industry, in which career-focused but often socially awkward individuals become suddenly wealthy and then seek an exciting personal life.

Wade said San Francisco helps drag down the average sugar daddy’s age, which is 39 nationwide, but 37 locally. The average local sugar daddy makes $250,000 per year and is worth $5.7 million. Nearly 42 percent are married, according to site data.

“The stereotype, which isn’t right, is of an old and lecherous man interested in exploiting young women,” Wade said, adding that he got the idea for the site after graduating from college as a “completely shy nerd with no social skills whatsoever.”

While local sugar daddies lead the way in numbers, they don’t in cash. Bay Area sugar daddies rank just 29th in average sugar baby spending — a paltry $3,765 per month. Naturally, greater Los Angeles sugar daddies are the biggest spenders, dropping $5,710 per month on their sugar addictions.

Wade, who was recently lambasted as an “MIT-educated pimp” on the Dr. Phil show, said sugar babies aren’t prostitutes.

“I would like to say sugar babies are just glamorous girlfriends,” Wade said. “Prostitutes are sleazy, they engage in hour-long transactions and they do not choose who they date or who they interact with.”

Julianna McHugh, 21, a recent San Francisco transplant otherwise known as sugar baby No. 747314, said she has used the site with mixed results, and she’s still “really good friends” with a sugar daddy she dated in Virginia.

“I was just looking for someone to help with my bills,” she said, adding that she’s yet to find a local sugar daddy because they are too “passive aggressive” for her. “Most get a weekly or monthly allowance and then they might take you shopping.”

Sugar mommas also use, but they pale in comparison to men, who make up 99.4 percent of the total “sugar parent” population. Of the 0.6 percent of female users, 73 percent are lesbian, according to the site. More than 7 percent of Bay Area sugar daddies are gay men, compared with a 4-percent average nationwide.

In some cases, Wade said, a “sugar family” can turn into a long-lasting relationship, and he hopes that the “mutually beneficial” arrangements will blossom into real affection San Francisco.

“It’s a city of love, and now it’s a city of arranged love,” Wade said. “Arranged marriage is a really old concept, but at least people are arranging love among themselves and being upfront and honest.”

Sugar daddies by the numbers

3.5 – Number of every 1,000 Bay Area adult males who are would-be sugar daddies

$250,000 – Average annual salary of a Bay Area sugar daddy

$5.7 million – Average net worth of a Bay Area sugar daddy

29 – Ranking of average money spent by Bay Area sugar daddies in a month ($3,765)

99.4 percent – Men seeking companionship on

0.6 percent – Women seeking companionship on (73 percent of those seeking other women)


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