The Sugar Daddy and the Security Clearance – From the Forum

Security Clearance

If you want to spend some time on self-reflection, filling out the roughly 100-page SF-86 is a great time to do so. You’ll be asked to disclose information about your relationships (failed and ongoing), roommates (good and bad), jobs lost, drugs (inhaled or otherwise) and a number of other topics.

While one would think the questions speak for themselves, an applicant is often left wondering if other ‘skeletons’ may appear and cause problems for their security clearance chances.

A visitor to the ClearanceJobsBlog forum recently asked:

Does anyone know of any instances of receiving a security clearance with a brief history of sugar daddy/sugar baby relationships? I understand this is a legal gray area.

While gray areas are usually not ideal for a security clearance determination, issues like this come down to whether or not anything illegal happened – not whether it’s weird or socially awkward. Where security clearance concerns may come into play for any sugar daddies (or mamas) is if the person attempted to conceal the behavior – particularly from a spouse. Adultery per se is not a cause for clearance denial, but hiding anything from a spouse creates concerns about blackmail and also presents concerns about an individual’s trustworthiness.

Your weird personal life is not likely to be an issue in a security clearance determination – assuming you haven’t been working to hide it. And while sexual behavior is an adjudicative criteria used in clearance determinations, it was responsible for just 7 denials or revocations in 2016. That’s out of thousands of security clearance determinations made.

Issues of sexual behavior often boil over onto other adjudicative criteria. For instance, prostitution is less about the behavior and more about the legality of it (or susceptibility to blackmail if you try to hide it). Being a sugar daddy is less about your desire to share the wealth with the sugar baby you love, and more about if it has created any other legal, financial or moral concerns in your life.

As with all things related to the clearance process, it’s best not to get caught up in the semantics, but to focus on the security implications, as well as how you can mitigate any potential concerns.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.