In past centuries, young ladies spent years attending finishing school to learn the finer points of etiquette. Luckily, times have changed and we can now pursue our passions, whatever they may be. Given our proclivity to dine at the nicest restaurants with the classiest gentleman, most sugar babies could use a crash course in decorum.
Here’s the thing: you already have more than enough class and panache to wow your date. Spending a few minutes polishing your appearance and presentation will give you an extra edge to make a fabulous impression and secure the arrangement of your (polite and mannerly) dreams.
Men are in part drawn to sugar babies because we are beautiful. In addition to boosting your allure, taking pride in how you present yourself has many benefits that transfer to other parts of your life. The best thing you can do, for your personal health and while navigating the sugar bowl, is to feel comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is incredibly sexy, so wear it on your sleeve. If you aren’t comfortable in a dress, wear pants! If you feel like a clown in make-up, go natural! More important than what we wear, however, is how we feel about ourselves. Before a date, list five qualities you really like about yourself, and remember that you are an awesome person with a lot to offer a POT and the world.
While important to stay true to your authentic personal style, also pay attention to your surroundings. For example, dress codes vary wildly between a French restaurant or a burger joint. Feel free to swing by the location of a date earlier in the week, to get a sense of the eatery and its patrons.
It’s often classier to choose only one or two features to highlight. For instance, if you have a low-cut top, pair it with long pants or a skirt. Trust me, your POT already knows you have a great body: you can drive his imagination wild by revealing a little less.
But They Aren’t Everything
One etiquette rule stands above all others: put your companion at ease. It is the most considerate thing to do, and little nuances can greatly affect how your partner remembers the evening.
Buckets of research show smiling are good for us and good for our relationships. Smiling is contagious – seriously. When we smile, our brain releases feel-good chemicals, subconsciously putting us at ease and lifting our mood. We react in a similar way when we see others enjoying themselves, so a cheeky grin or coy smile will certainly charm your companion.
Nonverbal communication is crucial to making your SD feel respected and valued. How we present ourselves can have just as much impact as what we say. Small subtleties, like good posture, leaning slightly forward, and maintaining eye contact show that you are engaged in the conversation and interested in your partner. Many SDs use Seeking Arrangement because they are socially awkward. In these cases, it falls to you to set a friendly, warm tone for the conversation, even if you are nervous. Slap on a smile and ask a question or tell a funny story. Before your date, jot down several conversation topics – that way you’ll never run out of things to talk about!
When in Doubt… Ask
Have you felt a moment of terror when sitting down at a finely set table? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many of us eat more casually these days, with couches and take-out taking the place of banquet halls and six-course feasts. It really pays off to learn basic table etiquette – it’s not the end of the world if you use an oyster fork for the salad, but it will set you apart from the pack to wield utensils with expertise.
In general, here are a few guidelines. With cutlery, start on the outside and work your way in. A special note about the butter knife: if butter is served with a knife, use the knife to put the butter on your bread plate, then use your personal knife to spread the butter on your bread.
While dining in a larger group, it can be confusing to know which dishes are yours. Use the pneumonic B.M.W. (and put one on your Wishlist!) to identify your table setting. Your bread plate is on the left, your meal is in the center, and your water is on your right.
If you still have questions (like, WTF do you do with an amuse-bouche?) ask your date for guidance. As a gentleman, he’ll be happy to help.