June 12th, 2009
04:08 AM GMT
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HONG KONG, China - It appears Lisa Johnson Mandell has struck a chord.

The number of reader responses to my original post has nearly matched the 100 paid participants to her recent workshop in Hong Kong on “How to Snare a Millionaire.”

The overwhelming response online – which makes for fascinating reading - has been akin to this from “Dee”: "I’d hate to be desperate enough to chain myself to a millionaire through marriage, in a hope of finding security other than one I could just as easily provide for myself."

But a few of the writers – and some of my male colleagues – have wondered about the reverse. "The recession has caused more men to lose their jobs than women," Mandell told me.  "I anticipate a lot more men looking for sugar mamas."

So, in the interest of fair play, here is her advice for finding a female white knight.  Men, she says, need to follow similar rules:

Be eye candy.  "Cougar is a popular term," she explains.  "Sometimes you know they have had their starter husband and they're tired of the guy on the same footing who wants the younger hotter woman.  They want somebody who is young and hot themselves." 

Be a good listener.  Apparently, women like to air their grievances.  "It's called 'baggage dumping'," she says.

Be her caretaker.  "He needs to be the one who can do things for her that she can't do herself," Lisa says.  "Those things are different for men and women."

Don't talk about money or children.  Don't discuss problems, period, she says.  Not until the sixth date - or the sixth month if you can wait.

Don't talk about ex-lovers.  "SUCH a no no," Lisa says.  Otherwise, she explains, you might be inadvertently sending the message that you are not yet over your previous (possibly plebian) honey.

Trying to snare a millionaire is a practical tactic to survive the recession, Lisa told me, for both men and women.  In addition, she believes the financial strategy could just save your marriage.  "Fifty percent of all marriages break up because of financial issues," she reasons.  "I see nothing wrong with starting a marriage without that particular hurdle.  I mean, you are starting out with better odds."

That is, unless the couple starts to bicker over how to spend those millions. As “Kennedy” writes: “Okay, well after the marriage, what are the do’s and don’t’s for keeping and/or maintaining the millionaire?”

That’s the million-dollar question for all couples.

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Victor H.

    Thanks Lisa but I rather starve to death than depend on someone else money to live my life and my dreams.

    That would feel so weird, imagine "Hey honey so I'm looking on that Ferrari Scud, well you know I'm poor so could you buy one for me please?". Seriously, I can't imagine such scenario. Can a man can get that low? If there is any he can't be called a man but a big loser.

    Guys who consider this, you'll never be happy in the long run living on someone else's achievements.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:24 am |
  2. Brett

    Is this the one that charges $100,000 per person? What a scam.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  3. Obiefule harrison

    This ain't right.depending on a woman's wealth 4 survival.in my village,it's a taboo.we advocate hard working tendencies in men,so that reverse wud b d case.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  4. Nils

    I don't know to be honest. I'd agree with the commentary about surviving on your own and being your own man etc etc. Yet on the other hand:

    End of the day this great looking 29 year old guy spends all the time in between driving to the Gym and clothes shoping, as his only responsibility is to look good.

    Yet at that same time I'm heaving my overweight body into my ford focus and puttering along to another long long day at work only to go home and sit on the slightly worn down couch with my girlfriend tonight watching Discovery channel and wishing I was rich.

    Who's the loser now?

    June 12, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  5. onatere Success

    this ain't right . Any man who which to depend on a woman's wealth for survival. is worst than infidel, and it better the man perform a plastic surgering to become a woman, because that man is not worthy to be called a man .

    June 12, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  6. Onyekwere Emeka

    Living your life on a lady's income, even if the woman in question is the richest human being; it is a time bomb that will explode when you go against its regulations. Marrying a rich woman because of the money is the worst thing a guy can do to himself, it is like selling your birth right. But, you can marry a rich woman because of the love, trust and respect you both have for each other.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  7. nnaji elenwoke

    it sucks to have a man eat out the palms of a woman.it can also be humiliating,depending on the woman that is.foolish pride is what has held the men-folk up,as it should be.i'm not about to lose that to any millionaire lady.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  8. IGO

    You should have added, what's his name? the conservative GOP for US presidency. I hear that he too married into money

    June 12, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  9. Max Mokwe

    If she has good character,she would've married before being a millonier.

    June 12, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  10. Oputa m

    Well this isn't good. It is all about hardwork when it comes to being succesful and not just pleasure for money o.k

    June 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  11. Rayf

    Look... women are still going to want someone who can bring the bacon for themselves. There are very few women alive who are noble enough to unconditionally take care of a man, without making him feel like he is less of a man for not bringing in an income equal to or greater than her own. Too often I have seen that a man is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't.

    I would rather be the one being taken advantage of than be looked at as taking advantage of the woman because she has a lump sum under the mattress.

    June 12, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  12. alex porobe

    any wealth or riches acquired by a man through a rich sugar mama who becomes the head of the house will surely suck dignity and respect out of such a union.
    any man who puts such choice ahead of his divinely endowed right as head of the family has failed woefully as a man. i will rather live in penury than accept this kind of union.

    June 12, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  13. Eric

    If she is indeed married to a rich man, why is she still working? She doens't need to get more money right?

    June 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  14. Alugbue Chimezie

    When a rich old man marries a poor young girl,it is seen as no big deal.But when a poor young man marries a rich old woman,people start shouting.Thesame people,especially women,who complain,are thesame women who would wish women were equal to men. The point is many men find it uncomfortable to marry rich women because of fear,fear that they may not be able to control the woman.But truth is,women,rich or poor,are not to be controlled.

    June 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  15. Eugene

    So we all work our lives to get money, but we have issues if we set out a strategy that is based on money...i think that is plain hypocritical.

    June 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  16. jack

    Victor, you are so old fashioned. You will never be happy living from barely scraping by from paycheck to paycheck either, or trashcan to trashcan. Easy to say when you are fat on food, but when a lot of men hit the streets, governments stop handouts, they will reconsider. The financial crisis has just begun to bite.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Gerald

    Sure...she'll buy you suits, jewelery, a fancy car etc. – but remember, that's her leverage to kick you to the curb when she's done with you!

    June 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  18. Scott

    However much I appreciate the fact that you've taken the time to not make this a one-sided issue, I can't help but feel you're propagating the wrong message. Marriage should be about two people joining together for love. Even though I am personally against the idea, I believe that those who do marry shouldn't do so for money, specifically.

    I believe in making these blogs, you've added to an already large problem. First off, you're condoning using another person for their resources. Secondly, it's just wrong. In an age of paranoia, the last thing we want to be paranoid about is a marriage. Infidelity and gold-digging are already a major problem.

    In the bars you can see them lining the bar like fly traps waiting to close in on the next unsuspecting mark. And yes, it's a con-game. Anyone thinking differently is fooling only themselves.

    A person who has earned a million on their own is already paranoid about losing what they have. Those that are that intelligent will not allow another to come into their circle without first proving themselves. Most of the people who are indeed millionaires (of their own ambition) do not disclose that they are and don't trust unless given a reason. In fact, most of those people financially sound would see these women/men as a liability rather than an asset. The 'cougars' and 'sugar daddies' of the world are a much smaller percentage than the whole.

    By telling people how to dig for gold, you essentially create a much bigger problem in the long run. People should be in search of something that adds to them personally and doesn't drain them of resource or emotion.

    Personally, I would want (if I cared) someone who was able to take care of themselves. I would choose someone who had similar beliefs, goals of their own, and were comparable intellectually. I fail to see anyone making a long-term investment in anything less.

    Please consider rescinding your blogs and making an effort to advance our race, rather than devolving us into the primates you make us into by spreading these horrible ideas (which I would liken to a disease).

    June 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  19. Heather Franek

    I moved in with someone much wealthier than myself and just ended up in deeper debt than I started with, because s/he wanted to support me financial exclusively in areas that s/he believed in sharing – ski vacations, expensive food, etc – but not in areas where I needed financial support, like health care and education. Don't do it.

    June 13, 2009 at 5:28 am |
  20. Lisa

    well, it seems that we're all hookers.....................

    June 13, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  21. nathan

    thank you for the advice ! cause i was in need of one finy suga mama as the rainy days are falling hard.

    June 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm |

    I tried the "sugar mama" scenario 2 years......and endend up having less space, rigjts, personality and identity than the cat.
    Serves me the lesson. prefer to trust GOD and start all over again.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  23. the general

    this is not wrong if your dead broke and need a boost and you can get one of these cougars to give you a loan to start a business or jump start a new career after being laid off from your award winning career job, then whats the problem? If your paying back the money why would you sweat so much of the stereotype of the man having to control the money? If she has it and can help go for it!

    June 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  24. stephan

    now lets look at the positive side of this equasion.. a man that has skills both in terms of relationship, and can fix things around the house..do the things for a lady that she would otherwise have to hire someone for.. think that some women would appreciate a situation like this.. i once drove an elderly lady all around the country.. no sex just a gentleman friend..it was mutually valuable to both of us.

    June 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  25. David

    I know a couple of guys and gals who have gone this route. Normally, It does not last lone. I have a wife who is not dependent on me, nor I on her. Mutual respect. Works great.

    June 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  26. Edouard

    is this CNN? i mean is this important enought to be in such a "serious" news company? i think i commit a mistake with this page.

    June 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  27. Diane

    I don't understand this...women are traditionally expected to 'marry up' i.e. with someone who would provide greater fiinancial security than they have otherwise provided for themselves. Now as women are financially more independent and secure on their own, I don't think that 'marrying down', i.e. with someone with less educational/financial achievement is such an issue. So, to all those searching for a sugar mam – good luck!!

    June 13, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  28. Steve

    The best parts of equality! For those guys stressing about 'living off a woman', she may have become a rich through divorce in which case you'd be living off of a (formerly) rich man. Although it is better to be traditional & marry a spendthrift wife you will begrudge to raise your children in poverty (with pride).

    June 14, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  29. Char

    The five "suggestions" she makes are quite common sense. Everyone at that seminar will probably never find the "white knight"...what ever happened to just being yourself.

    June 14, 2009 at 5:04 am |
  30. boopieMD

    I have a trophy man at home, who knows he is. He takes care of the house, looks good, works out, takes care of all annoying trivial tasks I can't be bothered with, stays on top of current events to brief me, never complains, wakes me after the fifth snooze button, reminds me of important upcoming events, counsels me on my choice of clothes, preps me for dinners and gets me to places on time where I really don't want to be, inspires me, makes me laugh, makes my favorite dishes, and who absolutely worships the ground I walk on. Never gets upset when I get home late from the office or have to get up in the middle of the night to go to work. He is smarter than I am, but never boasts. He is always interested in how my day or crisis went, and is just a great joy to be with. I can call him any moment of the day and he will drop whatever he is doing to help me. He is well mannered, says thank you and please. He is a gifted financial advisor and pays attention to the money. I am so proud to have him by my side when we're out, as he is a great conversationalist and is downright charming. He doesn't drink, smoke or chase women. I couldn't have found a better playmate. I am the envy of my fellow physician-colleagues, men and women. I have been really lucky for the past 8 years and while I may not be much too look at, everyday he makes me feel special. I am woman, ...hear me roar!

    June 14, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  31. Grandpa

    It's very simple folks: If you want love – adopt a dog – marry money.

    June 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  32. dutchman

    Pimp's and Hooker's,whatever,
    Aren't we all.
    For a life.

    June 14, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  33. fred h

    I would give her EVERYTHING she ever wanted for $10,000 AND go away!

    June 15, 2009 at 2:23 am |
  34. jon hayward

    this sounds like prostitution to me......

    June 15, 2009 at 5:08 am |
  35. Karin

    wow.....and how much do people pay her for that nugget of an advice???

    June 15, 2009 at 5:11 am |
  36. AA

    Dear Nils:
    In all honesty, the OTHER guy you described is the loser. I am a female, though I cannot say I speak for all females, and I find few things more unappealing than a self-absorbed man, no matter how good-looking, who spends all his time between the gym and the shops.

    A sweet, chubby, hard-working boyfriend, on the other hand, with whom I could sit at the end of the day on the couch (no matter how frayed) and watch Dicovery with: I can think of very few things more blissful and fulfilling! :)

    June 15, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  37. John

    "Depending on a woman to live"
    In your job, you are dependant of your company, your boss, your co-workers, etc..
    If it's a woman marrying a rich man nobody cares, but the other way around is a scandal? It's "worse than being unfaithful"?
    Seriously, stop for a minute and think about it.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  38. elba gutierrez


    June 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  39. secutor

    What`s a million these days? If a rich woman picks you out just go along.Draw a contract and marry her. If it doesn`t work behave like any dracula:bleed her.

    June 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  40. Klaus

    by the very definition of the lexeme 'prostitution' - indeed - this IS prostitution. It's the most common form of prostitution.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  41. tony

    life is all about choice so don"t blame anyone for nasty desision

    June 15, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  42. Tunatofu

    I am a well-paid highly educated woman over 40 looking for an underpaid civil servant, particularly in law enforcement, teaching, or fire/EMS. It isnt the income but the intellect. Some hardworking highly intelligent guys work at thankless jobs making minor bucks. Gigolo? NO. Hardworker who dont make much but makes the world better? YOU BETCHA!! Give me a call!

    June 15, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  43. Roger

    Woman with boat wanted, send picture of boat.

    June 16, 2009 at 2:48 am |
  44. gerard

    hook me up 2 one sugar mama,bursty,tall & well shaped

    June 16, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  45. Chris

    Any man that knowingly allows a woman to marry him for their money is seriously letting the side down and plain old sucker! And any woman who marries a man purely for financial reasons is no better than a common prostitute! It also shows that these women that do so have little intelligence of their own to enable them to make their own money. At the end of the day you will be stuck in a loveless relationship and your good looks won't last forever!

    June 16, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  46. Renee C.

    I mean, whichever way you look at it, someone had to step up, take the bull by the horn and empower men.... it's all about gender equality, no ?
    Seriously funny though :)

    June 16, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  47. jammer

    I'm a male prostitue trapped in a Civil Servants Body!!
    Do you have a boat?

    June 16, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  48. caligirl

    This is an interesting idea. I am a 34 year old, middle class female with a professional career. I make reasonable money, definately enough to support my household.

    I would love (exp. if I had kids) to have a man who would feel comfortable working part time (or going to school) and taking care of our home.

    I think men make great all around life managers. I tend to be attracted to men who are do-it-yourselfers and great cooks. When did a man's ability to take care of the home become any less valuable to society than a woman's? I

    would consider the daily tasks of running a household to be a full time job, and would love to have help with or total relief from many of those tasks. As long as we have things in common, are in love and enjoy each other's company, why is the role reversal so difficult to accept?

    June 16, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  49. bubba

    tunatofu.. what state are you from?

    June 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  50. Andy

    Bah.. anytime you are living on someone else's dime you are always one argument from poverty.

    June 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  51. Travis

    I'm a 33 yeard old male, jack of all trades and I will be your trophy husband. Beautiful, wealthy women (I don't care if you're a cougar) please feel free to look me up. I'm in Baltimore and can / will do whatever you need me to do for you!

    June 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  52. Sexist? Perhaps

    Guys that are millionaires marry women who survive on them on a daily basis and no one has anything to say about it, but if a woman marries a guy who is surviving off of her money, everyone gets all up in arms about it? Sounds a little sexist to me.

    June 18, 2009 at 3:55 am |
  53. Brian Oblivion

    Women have sponged off men since the dawn of time. Lazy, self-centered and arrogant, these parasites have taken advantage of man's uncontrollable sexual urges for their own personal gain for too long. Why is it now so controversial for the tables to be turned? "Good on you guys!" I say.

    June 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  54. that one guy

    I am that one guy that is in the gym almost every day, wear nice clothes, always dressed right, clean shaven, hair done, smelling good, driving a nice car/motorcycle

    and I have noticed one thing about those so called cougars, they will do just about anything to keep a guy around.

    One is able to drain them for every penny they have, but at the end of the day, you are still the one without morals.

    Some have even gone psycho for that one word they call love, talking about no one can have me except them.

    Be careful out there men, sometimes what you wish is not what you get, when she threatens to kill you, run you off the road, tries to hit you, you realize, Id rather be with a poor woman that is sane, than some insane crazy old bag.

    My 0.2

    June 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  55. dutchman

    Money makes the world go 'round.
    Remember the words some of us said [rich..poor] at the altar.
    And what happened when it came to that.[poor].
    So women are the experts in these matters,let's learn from them.
    Ask your' mother,sister,grandmother.
    It's their secret.

    June 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  56. luckydog

    My sugar-mama is both hot and rich but I don't spend much of her money. I do sort of live off her, albeit in a frugal kind of way that considers every purchase the same way I would if it were my own hard-earned paper. I don't drive an expensive car, wear expensive clothes, eat expensive food, or shop much. I have to let her spoil me every now and then or else she would feel guilty for experiencing "all the tastes" but a little goes a long way with me and she's the one who eats most of the sashimi off the plate and is downing the finest fine. One thing I like about our arrangement is not having to work much and getting to sleep until rested and get sex whenever I want, with her never saying she has a headache or any of that crap you hear about in most marriages. We love each other enough to justify the time we spend together. When you have much love period for all human beings, its not hard to express it and behave accordingly towards someone who may not be the person you always dreamed of meeting, but is sure damn good. Just as in the song, "If you can't have the one you want, love the one your with"

    June 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  57. dutchman

    U are so right,but what can u do.
    Even the law works for the 'ladies'.
    Men are victim's.

    June 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  58. Peter

    @Victor: Newsflash: successful women don't want to date insecure, jealous losers, either. So don't worry. Your self-esteem is safe from the benefits of a mutually respectful and satisfying relationship.

    June 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  59. Your uncle Frank

    WOW! Finally some news I can use!

    June 21, 2009 at 5:30 am |
  60. UHURU

    Haa with the birth of democracy in my ever so beautiful South Africa and emerging opportunities with the rise of the Black middle class & Elite things 'r happening. Black mamas 'r becoming hotter & hotter, well & who does want n't GOLD? If there s respect, trust & mutual understanding I believe 1 shall eventually learn 2 luv that som1(sugar mom) but the question is shall they b 2gether still on the grany chair? & thanx 2 Rayf "women 2 want som1 who 'd bring the bacon 4 themselves 2". Young women 'r doing it & y not a mama needs some caring 2 & again who does want GOLD / shall I say LA DOLCE VITA. All da best 2 da lucky dogs out there & u go mamas u GO!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  61. american dad

    Nor will succesfull men.
    Inexperience does the trick.
    One time only, cause afterwards succes 'traded place'.
    Most men become 'sorry losers'.
    Love? get real!

    June 22, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  62. Vincent U

    Ts astoning d way we believe things, you have to make the best out of everything that comes to you.
    Rich,poor or old, women is still the same,there is nothing in having a woman much richer than you or live off her cos its love that gives respect in relationship nomatter the condition cos even in the reverse with no love there will never be respect nomatter your wealth.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  63. RAVE

    Cougar i hear out here in nigeria,are two of a kind.The one's that are nice& the wild ones.The God fearing,church going type,who happens to come off a rich background and are mostly business executives& the ones that are bearly on top of the food chain,who may be from rich background,or off a grand marriage cuz of promiscuity,this basically isnt God fearing but the demonic,vampire kind of cougar.What i'm saying is it isnt wrong to hv a cougar that is well mannered around!

    June 24, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  64. mick angle

    I ended my last relationship w/an older woman..yet we still remain in friendly relations..her money only goes so far w/me..the gifts/ jewelry, clothes/ it becomes suffocating..i dont care for those material things then or now/ I enjoy her physically/mentally, yet her perceived controll thru the use of money is appalling 2me...Yes , i have a fetish for older women, not there money

    June 25, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  65. KAHA KI'I


    June 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  66. the Wolf

    The way I c it is... Life is short... decide what you want and go after it...
    if a woman has what you need to achieve this...go for it... you wouldn't hesitate to use any other means...why not woman? I know that a man's pride gets in the way. and a woman's head gets in the way.... but if you value money more than love....go for it... men have heart.... women have no pride... not the other way around

    June 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm |

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