ST. CATHARINES, ON -- Elizabeth has had her fair share of indecent proposals.
As a member of the online dating site sugardaddie.com, the 26-year-old -- who asked that her surname not be used -- has been courted by millionaires with raging libidos, transcontinental plane tickets at the ready, and oodles of cash to spare.
But times are tougher now, and even sugar daddies, it seems, are feeling the pinch.
"Men are looking for women closer to where they are," said the St. Catharines, On. native. "In the past, people were willing to fly women out to see them. Now, they're not willing to expunge money as they used to."
Men now are preoccupied with work at the expense of their female company, says the athletically built woman.
"It's harder to maintain a relationship with a man who always has business on the mind."
It's become a common complaint among the well-heeled world over.
In New York City, the disgruntled wives and girlfriends of Wall Street bankers meet weekly over drinks to bemoan the halving of their "monthly Bergdorf's allowance" and the drying up of nightclub bottle service.
They're young, beautiful Manhattanites who meet under the support group Dating a Banker Anonymous, or DABA. The blog dabagirls.com is described as a place to share "tearful tales" of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships.
In DABA parlance Before Recession or BR, was a time when champagne flowed freely and men from sugardaddie.com were ridiculously lavish with their money, Elizabeth said.
One potential sugardaddie tried to lure Elizabeth with a monthly allowance of $2,000, trips, and shopping bonanzas in exchange for being his arm candy. Her instructions were to greet him at the airport wearing a white blouse, no bra and a panty-skimming skirt to show off her legs and drive other men wild with desire.
She was to satisfy his sexual cravings on command as well as those of his friends should they engage in partner-swapping parties.
"There are so many men out there, it's so hard to differentiate their goals, see if they're genuine or just wanting to collect an arsenal of women," she said. "It's hard to weed out those who are sincere."
According to Steve Pasternak, founder of sugardaddie.com, Elizabeth is part of a growing trend. He said he's seen his online traffic rise since the recession hit.
"In the same way supermarkets are improving because people can't afford to eat out any longer, a lot of women are finding that it's cheaper to go online where they can access thousands of men as opposed to going out to a bar," he said from Miami where the site is based.
Sugardaddies are doctors, lawyers, movie stars and filmmakers who make a minimum of $100,000 a year, Pasternak said. The men, he says, are "a cut above the rest."
The UK version counted Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt as a member before he removed his profile, Starship1, in December.
Elizabeth is candid about her decision to join the site. She talks about her previous relationships where birthdays passed uncelebrated, and gifts were never bestowed.
"At least here (on the site), men have had goals, accomplishments and have had follow-through. They're goal-oriented and worked hard to get where they are. That's what's appealing to me."
Her green eyes soften as she talks about the man she's seeing now. She's smitten, except that the very thing that makes him so attractive has now become an impediment.
"He's everything I look for in a man. But he's so consumed by his business."
DOWNTURN IN DALLIANCES
3/4 of adulterous multimillionaires said they plan to spend less money on gifts and treats for lovers
82% planned to cut regular allowance payments
12% of the cheaters confessed they plan to give up on their lovers altogether for financial reasons
1/2 of the women who kept paramours planned to raise allowances
20% planned to lower the amount as well as other gifts and perks
The responses are from 191 married men and women worth at least $20 million who had a lover on the side for more than one year.
-- U.S. wealth-research firm Prince & Associates