You’ve probably never heard of history’s most famous sugar babies. But sugar babies have always existed – way before the term sugar baby even came into existence.
Back then, they weren’t called sugar babies, of course. They were referred to as mistresses, courtesans, geishas. But they were, in essence, the sugar babies of yesteryear.
So why bring up history’s most famous sugar babies? Well, it’s no secret that a smart sugar baby keeps herself well informed. And one of the best ways to do that is to head to the library – or really, just pick up your Kindle – and read up on how other sugar babies have succeeded or failed.
Here’s a few lessons gleaned from its pages that all sugar babies would do well to keep in mind!
Beauty isn’t everything
We get a lot of emails along the lines of: “Am I pretty enough to be a sugar baby?” Or “Am I too old to be a sugar baby?” Or pretty much every variation that basically asks, ““Am I enough?”
We understand why. Sugar dating seems to be a hyper-competitive world (it is) in which all sugar daddies just want pretty young things (it’s not).
After all, society and media tells us this is how men work. The prettier, the better. The thinner, the better. And well, if you’re over a certain age, don’t even bother.
Well, things aren’t actually that simple. Sure, beauty, youth, and an amazing body are all great assets to have. But they certainly aren’t everything. And they never have been, even in the king’s court.
Beauty may attract attention and get your foot in the door. But it must be backed up by personality, charm and wits if you actually want to get in and stay in.
Here’s a few examples of beautiful women who got the attention but just couldn’t keep it…
Augustus the Strong, the king of Poland, fell in love at first sight with Mademoiselle Dieskau for her platinum hair, large blue eyes and neck of dazzling whiteness. But “as beautiful as she was, she could be called no better than a lump of snow.” He still wanted her physically and paid a large sum for the girl’s virginity. But soon left in search of a woman of greater intelligence.
Mademoiselle de Fontanges
Louis XIV, the Sun King, was captivated by Mademoiselle de Fontanges for her extraordinary blonde beauty but the moment the girl opened her mouth, “many tender fantasies inspired by her looks were immediately dispelled.” The King was attracted by her face but embarrassed by her foolish chatter.
Virginie di Castiglione
Napoleon, the infamous conqueror, was attracted to Virginie di Castiglione, who immodestly referred to herself as “the most beautiful woman of the century.” Most of her conversation revolved around her own glorious beauty and Napoleon soon confided to a cousin that while Virginie was very beautiful, “she bores me to death.” She didn’t last long.
This is the first useful lesson from history’s most famous sugar babies – you need to bring more than looks to the table.
Know your USP
USP is a Unique Selling Proposition and its used in business to describe their unique advantage and it applies in the sugar world as well. It basically asks you to consider: why would a sugar daddy choose you over the hundreds and thousands of sugar babies out there?
Take a page from some of the unique mistresses of history who managed to attract kings by knowing exactly what he needed.
Keep in mind that these kings weren’t just sugar daddies – they were absolute monarchs. They could literally have any women they wanted. But who did they choose? The women who offered something no one else could, like…
Madame de Maintenon
Madame de Maintenon was a widow who always dressed in black and was hired to look after the Sun King’s illegitimate children. At first, he was horrified by her rigid piety but soon grew to admire her intelligence, kind-heartedness and wit.
He observed that “Madame de Maintenon knows how to love…there would a great pleasure in being loved by her.” At the age of 48, she became his second wife.
Nell Gwynn was a comic actress from London’s gutters but she held her place in the harem of Charles II for nearly two decades, thanks to her ability to make the king laugh.
In addition to her wit and practical jokes, Nell had a great talent for mimicking others and “she acted all persons in so lively a manner and was such a constant diversion to the king that even a new mistress could not drive her away.”
Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour wielded the greatest power of any royal mistress ever, practically ruling France for nineteen years.
Even more astounding? She was actually frigid and stopped having sex with the king after only around five years. But she still managed to hold his interest by transforming their relationship into a deep friendship where the king relied on her devotion, charm and intelligence.
And there’s another important lesson from history’s most famous sugar babies – the most successful sugar babies know what a sugar daddy needs and gives it to him.
Save it when you got it
One of the most important lessons that applied to the king’s mistresses and still holds true for sugar babies today is: while he’s taking care of you now, make sure you take care of you later.
When you’re getting a regular allowance and everything is peachy, it’s easy to think that things will be abundant forever. But sh*t happens. Royal mistresses knew this better than anyone else. So what did they do? While the king lavished gifts on them, they made sure to…
Royal mistresses were known for their greedy love of fine jewelry but it wasn’t just for the love of bling – jewels were the commodity closest to cash and in the event of an emergency, jewelry could be easily sewn into hems and bodices for a hasty escape.
A home away from home
Royal mistresses were given lavish court apartments but as coveted as these court quarters were, they’d be the first thing a disgraced royal mistresses would lose. So the smart ones made sure to acquire property away from court.
One of the greatest privileges for a royal mistress was to be raised into the rarefied air of the nobility.
Obviously, there aren’t sugar daddies who can make you a duchess anymore and it’s no longer necessary to smuggle diamonds in hemlines but the lesson here is to save for future emergencies – when you might not have an allowance – while you can.
But take the page from the most famous sugar babies of yesteryear and save some of your sugar baby allowance. Make sure the home you currently live in isn’t sugar daddy dependent.
And take advantage of your sugar daddy’s generosity to educate yourself – that’s the closest you’ll get to a permanent “title” in this day and age and it’s also the one sugar perk that lasts the longest.
Ignore the haters
No matter what you do, there are going to be people who just don’t like you. And when you’re a sugar baby going on exotic vacations, receiving gifts and living comfortably off an allowance, those same people are going to like you even less.
This has been true for centuries and royal mistresses often went through much worse. Lucky for them, they developed thick skins. Here’s a few lessons to keep in mind…
Make light of it
Madame de Montespan was particularly disliked by the people of France. Hearing of her sordid reputation, German troops marching past her in a military parade shouted “Königs Hure! Hure!”
When she asked what the soldiers were saying and was told they’d been calling her the “king’s whore,” she was totally unfazed and later told the king that “while she had enjoyed the parade, she wished the Germans were not so painfully precise in calling everything by its proper name.”
It’s just jealousy
Madame du Barry was so unpopular during her last years as a royal mistress that she feared entering Paris. After the king’s death, however, visitors from across Europe came to see the face that had bewitched the king and one Versailles courtier told her apologetically, “There was no hatred but we all wanted to have your place.”
Lola Montez was probably one of the most fiery-tempered mistresses ever. She was so unpopular that she precipitated a revolution and when surrounded by a mob, she ran outside with a gun and shouted, “Here I am! Kill me if you dare!”
She had to leave because of this incitement, the king had to abdicate his throne, and Lola lost much of the wealth she could’ve had.
And there you have it – the most important lessons from history’s most famous sugar babies. All of it just goes to show that some things never change.