There are going to be a lot of men who will be ruthless in getting what they want, who can and will play you like a fiddle. Some are professionals, while some don’t realize they’re doing it; but either way, you will be the victim if you don’t stay on alert.
The Wikipedia article has a lot of good information about the tactics people will employ and what will be targeted.
I had a sugar baby friend who unfortunately encountered a terribly manipulative POT recently. I’ve encountered my share of assholes too. Here are some examples of how they will try to control you:
Being hostile or petulant. They will use swears and curses, they will be threatening, they will sound angry and scary. They will set the tone of the conversation, making you keep up or try to adapt, leaving you to improvise and trying to make peace. You rather not have them be angry with you, so you spend a lot of energy to try to make them feel better, spend a lot of time not solving the issue at hand, exhausting yourself eventually. They want to make you surrender and meet their demands out of exasperation. Do not let them take control of the conversation.
Telling you how you feel or what you are doing. “You are angry at me, aren’t you?” “You don’t like me.” “I guess you won’t be coming to see me again.” Somehow they know you so well, that they can tell you what you’re feeling, they know you’re making excuses, or being irrational, and the such. The bias viewed point has been picked, and it is against you. These are accusations, and we often instinctively try to defend ourselves against accusations, we want to try to clear up misinformation; so we sound like we are defensive of doing something we never did, we take time to explain we’re not angry, we’re not trying to hurt him, we do want to see him again, etc. You can end up making promises to prove something to him, you can end up apologizing for something that is totally not your fault, but because you just apologized, you took responsibility. Never good.
Making himself self-sacrificing or noble, usually with you in contrast. “I keep my promises, even if you don’t.” “I trusted you and gave you my real phone number, yet you lie to me by giving me Google Voice?” He’s such a good person, and he has to put up with you. Once again, it’s to make you feel bad, to make you become timid. He can do no wrong, and everything is your fault. He wants you to be ‘fair’ and repay him, to be as ‘self-sacrificing’ as him, to see how nice of a person he is, so why don’t you do it as well? It’s BS, he has never been kind or fair, and you owe him nothing.
Rapid mood change. One moment he’s nice, sweet, thoughtful, complimenting you; the next he’s upset, devastated, mad. Obviously he was never being sincere in the first place, he’s likely changing tactics when the first emotional tone didn’t get him what he wanted. He was trying to lower your guard, put your trust in him; and when your shields are down, he strikes to tear you down. It could be that he also realized he went to far, and is trying ‘nice’ again to make you forgive him.
Giving an ultimatum, and forcing you to make a decision immediately. “If you won’t do next Saturday, we are through.” “I have better things to do with my time, you know, so I can end this right now if you don’t do this.” He’s a POT/SD because you see an opportunity to get money from him. You’ve invested quite a bit to get him to talk, to see you, to spoil you - and you don’t want to lose all that in a second, so you might listen to him so you can hang on, stay with this investment. He doesn’t care about your concerns or your plans, and he’s just got you to agree to something you didn’t think through on.
Flattery. He’s trying to charm you into sleeping with him, or forgiving him for not bringing money. “You are so kind and understanding, you’ll let me go this time, won’t you?” “You are so smart and mature! I need to meet you this weekend!” Being praised or complimented can make us be more lenient or agreeable to his demands or suggestions. Don’t fall for it.
Woe is me, and you don’t care. “Why can’t you understand my terrible situation?” “I’m so lonely, I feel so disappointed, why did you have to cancel?” Likely, he’s making a big deal out of nothing, he felt insulted by the smallest of things. He wants you to baby him and to comfort him. He is suffering, can’t you see? Coincidentally, it was you who made him suffer, or you’ve just added to his sadness. He’s trying to guilt-trip you into doing what he wants. Leave him in his pit of sadness.
There are endless tactics they will use, and you really need to have a sensitive nose to smell out bullshit. You need to be aware of the situation and what direction it’s going in, you need to be aware of your feelings so they can’t change it, you have to see, recognize, and understand what he’s trying to do.
Some more links on emotional manipulation/abuse; plus derailing, because it can be relevant.
Stay alert, and stay safe.