Last Tuesday, I was at work at 7am and we were an hour into our breakfast radio show.
Everything was running fairly smoothly, when suddenly I was distracted by a ping from my phone, drawing my attention to a Facebook message.
It was from an older gent, around 50 to 60 years old, with the horrific store-bought copper brown hair of someone going through a midlife crisis.
As so often happens, being a girl with boobs, I tend to get the odd message from random strangers. Put it this way, some people collect basketball cards, my girlfriends and I tend to involuntarily collect unsolicited d*ck picks. Yuck.
So it was nothing out of the ordinary to have a strange man slide into my DMs.
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On reading the message, I felt that cartoon-like smoke plume from my ears. My boss looked at my face and started laughing. “What are you reading?!” she said.
The creepy copper haired man had sent the following text: “Hey Hun, I want to spoil you, got your details off Bumble. Don’t stress I don’t bite. You ever had a sugar daddy??”
It instantly made me feel repulsed. Was he serious?!
Just for reference, a sugar daddy is defined as a rich older man who lavishes gifts on a young woman, known as a sugar baby, in return for her company or sexual favours. I mean, he clearly didn’t get the memo that I was 35 years old, which in any other context would be rather flattering.
I had a couple of issues with this DM.
1. The rules of Bumble state that should two people swipe right on each other, only the woman can make the first move by sending a message. I had clearly not matched with him, and clearly not made the first move. If I’ve chosen not to match with you, do not then stalk me on other social media. It’s super creepy.
2. Why would he assume that I would NEED a sugar daddy?! Did he genuinely think I would be flattered?! Did he assume that I would need the money? That I might be tempted into sexual favours just by dangling a few treats in front of me like a dog?
I’d like to say my response was calm and collected, but for some reason that morning it really pushed my buttons.
So before giving it too much thought I fired back a very stern: “F**k right off you F***ing creep! Why would I need someone to pay my way. You sad creep!”
Yep, I also went straight for the jugular.
Within seconds he wrote back: “Don’t be like that.” To which I replied: “How sad that you need to pay someone to give you attention.”
It was a low blow, but to be fair, he had made me feel dirty and whether it is right or wrong, I wanted him to feel shame.
He immediately wrote back: “Please calm down, you have taken this all the wrong way. Sorry for upsetting you.”
Now here’s where it gets even more ridiculous.
I was so incensed that this dirty old man had gone to the trouble of finding me and had basically asked me to perform sexual favours for him, I decided to do some digging of my own.
So I typed his name into Google. I wanted to find out where he worked and who exactly he was. What I didn’t expect was to discover was that he was actually somewhat of a well-known identity.
His name brought up news headlines, and a job description that placed him in a fairly high seat of power. This was not any bored bloke, this was a man who had a public identity.
So ol’ fire fingers over here got back into his DMs and wrote “If you work (insert name of his work here) it’s really not wise to ask people to be your sugar daddy. Message me (or any girl) and I will report you to the police.”
Unsurprisingly, he blocked me straight away and that was the end of it.
Did I overreact? Probably. Did he feel small? Highly likely.
Here’s my theory, there are sites that are for people looking for arrangements like that and I have no issue with two people mutually agreeing on an arrangement that works for both of them.
However, having managed to reach the age of 35 years old with a few experiences under my belt, I’ve developed a thing called gut feeling, and my gut feeling was telling me this wasn’t the first time he’s messaged a girl he’s stumbled across on a dating app and made her feel uncomfortable, but it sure as heck was going to be the last.
Jana Hocking is a radio producer and collector of kind-of-boyfriends. Continue the conversation @Janahocking