The High-Tech Sugar Daddy

He is over 45, but he has a Facebook and Twitter account and fully understands the fickle internet lingo. He knows how to use his big smart phone, tablet, and other fancy electronics with arcane intricacies that only the young and the extreme techno-savvy individuals will be familiar with. He is good with mixing his gin with lime and can recommend the right wine for his young date in a swanky, exclusive wine bar in a suburb.
He is an evolved creature. A far cry from his counterpart from the medieval years of the 90s. Back then, he was dirty with grey hair, wore unmatched suits, spotted a potbelly and generally cared less. His money more than anything else spoke for him. He was slightly discreet, given and old man and a young woman in public was frowned on.

Fast forward to the future and we now have a completely evolved creature. He is clean. Knows where to shop the best dye for his greying hair. He has worked hard to eliminate the potbelly, often with success, and when they fail they know how to hide and keep it wrapped under tight vests and oversized shirts. They know the importance of grooming in getting that nubile girl just out of her teenagehood.

He is up to date with what is going on in the media that affects young women. He purposely knows that Huddah Monroe is the new Kaz. He follows Big Brother, not so much because he cares about it, but at least to be up to date not to be left behind in a discussion just in case she shows up with one of her friends. They also know that Kim Kardashians is now a mother, even when a man their age (unless working in the media) needs to concern himself with more meaningful issues such as retirement and managing that lifestyle disease cropping up.

They go for young women, aged 18-26, either in college or the formative stages of their careers. And actually succeeding where many young men fail. They are now a real threat and the worst competition for young men in the same age bracket. One such affected young man, Sidney Kehari, 26, who works in a beauty parlour shares his predicament.

“At this rate, women our age will elude us. The amount of money passing through the hands of these young women in a weekend is more than I handle in a year,” laments the 25 year-old manicurists. What he has witnessed over the last two years he has worked in the industry is stupefying. Given that his parlour is high-end, he gets to interact with relatively young women, some younger than him who are swimming in money and handling electronic gadgets that he will never afford for a long time.

“These women are constantly talking about their trips to Dubai, South Africa, Seychelles, Mombasa-name it. Their phones, laptops and even general lifestyle speak a lot. And some are often picked by men who foot the bill, which can be anything between Ksh 4,000 to 20,000.”

Mr Kehari has also handled male clients, mainly in their 40s and early 50s, who are extremely self-conscious of the looks; driven more by carnal pursuits than personal care. In this specific beauty parlour they dye their hair, at a scandalously higher fee and offer general grooming services that can make a 48-year old pass for a 35-year yuppie.

“Most spend quite some money on fashion products, expensive colognes and neat, if perfect, haircuts to give them a complete corporate look, which renders them more admirable especially to the young women,” says Kehari.

Viagra to the rescue…

But where do they get the energy? Biologically, it has been noted that the sexual drive of men goes down as he grows old. Recent behaviour of a number of men who are well in their early old age point out to something else. Of course over-the-counter vitality drugs are common place; older men have been known to go for the more potent blue pill.

Speaking to a chemist along Koinange Street, it emerges that the demand for the blue pill has been steadily on the increase. More and more older people are all of sudden in a rush, a sort of a sexual explosion.
“Yeah, the demand has gone up certainly compared to a few years ago. More and more older people are rediscovering their sexual drive and even young men also want the vital blue pill,” explains Koome, a pharmacist along Koinange.

A number of pharmacist agree that the demand for vitality drugs has generally gone up, not just for older men. In Umoja estate, Donholm and the CBD, they are some of the most moveable drugs.

“Men no longer have the bedroom vitality or strength. These drugs are helping them scale the heights as they seek to break their own records in the bedroom,” says Steve Atang’a who runs a chemist in Nairobi’s Eastlands.

Why men in their 20s stand to lose

In the years gone, young men could bank on their ability to stud without popping any pill and their youthful energy, but the older men seem to be usurping whatever little they had left for young men. So much that the young man has no competitive advantage over the old man, man-o-man.

The older man can dispense with a Ksh 35,000 phone. A young man pulling such a stunt will be committing be financial suicide. Very costly. The older man is fashionable and can afford designer clothes, shoes and some pricey cologne. A young man has to contend with ordinary clothes, made more presentable by nerve-racking ironing. In bed, the young man might be powerful, but the old man can pop the pill and can afford to deliver a shattering experience. That means that for young women who prefer older men, getting an older man to date is a win-win situation.

He has reworked in his image. He is tech-savvy. He is not very mean, and can be very liberal. Not the stuck-up, domineering, libido driven men from the old times. Nowadays, young women are actually comfortable around these sugar daddies because they carry themselves in a civil way. Even in public. If you walk into any Five-Star hotel, you will run into them. A young woman, in her mid-20s, expensively dressed and an older person in their 50s, getting cozy in the lounge chairs. The young lady spoilt by the treats and goodies. And the old man rejuvenated by her the youthful charm of the young woman. Both can’t believe their luck.

A socio-anthropological take on the issue

Anthropologist Paul Opondo, weighs on the issue, and came up with the following verdict:
Let’s begin by asking ourselves: what do women go for in a young man at the same time they are ‘dating’ the elderly men? They have this perception that the young men are smart, intelligent and fun. This takes different forms. Young women sometimes can stoop too low as to judge the potential of a man by the gadgets he carries. Find a sugar-daddy who knows this ‘secret’ and you have a ‘High-Tech’ sugar daddy as you have called him. Why? He resembles ‘cool’ in the mind of the woman, is likely to upgrade to latest Samsung phone and upgrade the young woman’s phone as well. Women and their fetishes! You understand.

Most women are bad judges of character. A techno-savvy man with very expensive gadgets is likely to be seen as classy and having the ability to spend and flash. What drives a young woman into a relationship with an elderly person? Mostly it is the money. We all know what the spending ability of a man can do to even the most beautiful woman in our world. Hence such sugar daddies are more attractive and successful in their philandering exploits.

Such sugar daddies also have their nets cast wider when hunting for younger women. They can now tap into numerous social-media sites and sprawling dating sites. And that is where they find younger women who spend their entire day surfing on the internet. This makes these men to be more promiscuous unlike their predecessors who were not technologically savvy, and relied more on face to face meetings and dates.
These men also have the ability to keep these young women away from the boredom in such arrangements. Technology has a way of spicing up promiscuity: From virtually advertised events, flirty videos, keeping each other company in virtual chats, and also using their gadgets to snatch women who date men with lesser smartphones.

Generally, technology enhances promiscuity through the Chat rooms and applications such as Whatsapp, Facebook and the likes. Given that they can come up spontaneous trips to different holiday destinations, there is little likelihood for boredom.

But tragedy happens when this old man becomes attached or clingy and the young woman was just having fan. The old men can throw tantrums and become really petty. Like repossessing back the gadgets and insulting the woman. And it is always ugly. And the old man can be insecure and start spying and stalking on the young woman.

Paul Omondi is a post graduate Anthropology student at the University of Nairobi

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