An occasional series profiling New Zealanders whose lives are a little less ordinary but largely unknown.
• A Kiwi man approaching retirement age didn't expect to fall for a 22-year-old student in need of extra money. On condition of anonymity, he has agreed to reveal to the Herald his secret life as a sugar daddy.
• WARNING: This article contains explicit sexual references
I had a bit of depression, hit a bit of a speed wobble. A lot of guys go through this at my age. I've done a couple of things that may not seem all that moral but, apart from sex, I'm a pretty upright sort of person. I try to help people. I care.
I'd never played around on my wife and I never want to leave her or hurt her. I love her to bits. But when she was going through menopause I got frustrated. That's when I started chatting with girls online. I'd never have sex but I'd go out and get oral sex now and then. I used to find it easy to meet girls casually on Craigslist - that's sort of died now because they took the personals section out.
But that's how I met my girl last year. We ended up having this conversation and I knew that she was different. We chatted for about a month before we met. I said I wasn't looking for sex but she said she really needed the money and that she'd really like it if I'd go and see her.
So I did. She offered me unprotected sex, which girls on the internet just don't do. That made me think she's probably quite naive. It was a major red flag. But we got on really well and I really liked her. She wasn't the usual type I'd go for.
I spent about an hour and a half with her. We had sex, it was unprotected, and I gave her $350. She was in a horrible, dingy, cold, dark flat - a typical student flat.
She messaged me to go and see her again. I wanted to. I didn't care about the sex at all. She was actually a really nice girl. So I saw her again and we played and had a chat and I really liked her company. She was desperate for money. She told me she'd had a really hard upbringing and didn't have a father figure. I had a troubled upbringing too.
After about three months, I said, "I will pay you $250 a week and make you my sugar baby. So I want to be able to play once a week at my discretion." I'm financially comfortable and the amount was what she needed to cover bills and survive. She was really struggling. But having that money changed her whole persona. It took a lot of stress out of her life. She changed flats - she'd been bitterly unhappy and always getting sick - she got a boyfriend after a while. I'm cool with that because it means she won't get clingy on me, which I was worried about because I'm married. She and her boyfriend have their ups and downs - she tells me everything. I'm her daddy. She calls me Daddy - unless I've done something wrong, then she calls me by my name.
When it came to sex, she was really amazing. She has all these qualities not many girls have. She's really kinky and so am I. We communicate so well, it's incredible. She told me I'm the best she's ever had.
READ MORE: • The secret lives of: Lesbians in 1970s New Zealand
But last year, she got chlamydia. She went to ground for weeks and wouldn't talk to me. I thought I was going to have to tell my wife what I'd been up to, which would ruin my life, my business, it could have all come crashing down around me. I was petrified. But my test came back negative.
After that scare it got me to thinking about where I was going in life. I only had sex with her twice after that. Then I decided, there's going to be no more sex, but I'm still going to be her sugar daddy.
So once a week we go out and do stuff. I took her four-wheel driving the other week. She'd never done anything like it and she loved it. Just yesterday we were going to go for brunch but we decided we didn't feel like it. So we got McDonald's for breakfast and went and sat on the beach. We sat and talked for two hours. We get into a lot of deep discussions. It turns out we're alike in so many ways.
She'd put a hole in the wall in her flat so I showed her how to plaster it up. She's taken up gardening so I've helped her there too. She doesn't know how to drive, so I said I'd teach her. I've taught her budgeting. She bites her nails so I pay for her to get falsies done.
While I do a lot with my wife and kids, she also gives me a purpose in life: just having her to care for. I wasn't looking for this. Two years ago, if someone had said, this will be your life, I wouldn't have believed them. But I care for her and my wife. I take both of them flowers. I do little things for both of them. Do I feel guilty about my wife? I do, but, I come from a highly sexual family. I put my wife and my sugar baby in different boxes. My sugar baby will hold my hand in public. I'm a bit of a risk taker. But I think, what's the alternative? Have a boring life or have her?
Originally I said I'd be her sugar daddy for a year to get her out of a spot. A year's been and gone. She's not the same girl I met. She's way more confident, she's healthy, she's happy all the time. She's a strong girl. She's adorable. She knows I like her, and she loves me. We don't have sex anymore, it's more paternal. I don't need sex from her. I did see a girl a few weeks ago but I've been able to keep a lid on it, mostly.
We went to brunch the other morning and I had a discussion with her. I told her I'd like to keep her on and see her through the next two and a half years of her university studies. She was almost in tears. She tells me what a difference I've made for her and that I do things for her that no one's ever done before.
She said she never dreamed her life would evolve into what it has. She's got her boyfriend and she's got me. I'm like a dad to her now. I've fallen into that unintentionally but she says it's perfect. She thanks me for loving her for the person she is.