Does Being a “Sugar Baby” Count as Prostitution in Michigan?

Is a sugar baby just looking to support a lavish lifestyle, or is she engaging in prostitution?


If you’ve ever heard of the term ‘sugar daddy” (and we’ll wager that you have) then you can probably figure out what a ‘sugar baby’ is. Yes, that’s right – the younger member of a ‘sugar lifestyle’ arrangement is the sugar baby (usually a young girl in her 20s), while the sugar daddy is the older man who pampers her in return for her “companionship”. And by pampers, we mean buys her lovely things, pays some or all of her bills, and provides her with mentorship in life.


Yes, it expands beyond those gender boundaries. Older women can be ‘sugar mommas’ to young men, and there are same sex sugar relationships as well. And yet, regardless of how the sugar lifestyle is explained, most people know that the ‘sugar’ itself – the unspoken item that greases the wheels and facilitates the flow of cash, is sex. That’s why being a sugar baby is often believed to be nothing more than a glamorous, modern version of the world’s oldest profession. But is it really? Is the sugar lifestyle just a candy-coated version of prostitution? Let’s take a look at what the law in Michigan says.


What exactly does the ‘sugar relationship’ include?

According to, sugar daddies and mommas are “successful men and women who know what they want. They’re driven, and enjoy attractive company by their side. Money isn’t an issue, thus they are generous when it comes to supporting a Sugar Baby.” Sugar babies, on the other hand, are defined as “Attractive people looking for the finer things in life. They appreciate exotic trips and gifts. Sugar Babies get to experience a luxurious lifestyle, and meet wealthy people on a regular basis.”


Dig a little deeper, and the relationship is explained as a mutually beneficial arrangement between two people, both of whom are clear and up front right from the beginning about what they want. And what do they want? Well, although the site explains that the relationship can include anything from monogamous dating, to being a married person’s ‘other’, to a simple sex exchange. It all depends on the people involved. Which means that when you decide to become a sugar baby, and you find yourself a sugar daddy (or sugar mamma), the relationship parameters are clearly laid out at the very start.


But isn’t ‘sex for money’ the same as prostitution?


Well, as Michigan law states, prostitution is the exchange of a sexual act for money or objects of value. So technically, if the sugar baby is providing sex to their sugar daddy or mamma, and in return they’re getting money or valuable gifts, then yes. In order for a situation to count as prostitution in Michigan, two or more people have to come to an explicit, agreement that they intend to trade a sexual act for money or other valuables. Also, for it to count as prostitution, the trade needs to occur right then, at the time of the verbal agreement.


So if a sugar daddy and a sugar baby meet, agree on a specific amount of money that will be exchanged in return for a sexual act, and then the trade takes place at the same time, it would count as prostitution and they could both be charged with sex crimes. However, it rarely happens that way, as the parameters of the relationship are usually agreed on at the start, and then the relationship (which includes sex) takes place over a period of months, or even years.


Relationships are complicated, and so is the law!


In this day and age, where online dating is the norm and sex is no longer a taboo subject, many people would view the sugar lifestyle as nothing more than a private, mutually beneficial relationship between two people. Because prostitution is rarely beneficial for the person providing the service these days, due to the risks involved, and the fact that pimps keep most of the take, it’s easy to see why people don’t view the sugar lifestyle as prostitution. Yet the truth is that you might still be engaging in an activity that could land you on Michigan’s sex offender registry for life!


If you are considering entering into a ‘sugar’ relationship, or have been accused of prostitution in Michigan, come and talk to our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm.  We have a long history of aggressively defending sex crime cases, both in and out of the courtroom. Over our nearly quarter century history, we have produced many impressive case results for our clients, including dismissals and acquittals. Just call 866 766 5245 (1 866 7 No Jail) today to discuss your case with a experienced sex crime defense attorney today. We are here to help!


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