www.seekingarrangement.com is a social network where young women who need money for their education can meet rich “Sugar Daddies” willing to spend time with young girls and pay for that.
The web-site’s home page says: “We are designed to be capable of multiple, quality friendships, and sugars are friends, after all. Friends with Benefits! If it was more than that, then it wouldn’t be an NSA sugar arrangement, it would be a traditional partner who you are auditioning for a live-in/full-time role, and the rules and expectations are certainly different for that.”
The site describes various advantages of being a “Sugar Baby”: “Listen up, Sugar Babes: You do deserve it! That’s what a Sugar Baby is for-to be adored and pampered and coddled and given to. Phony self-deprecation can come off as a lack of gratitude, and that’s a real turn-off to a generous Daddy.”
“Besides, when a Sugar Baby doesn’t have to worry about money and struggle to pay the bills, her time and attention are freed up for her Daddy – which is the whole point! I’m not saying Sugar Babies sit home preening and making themselves beautiful for their Daddies all day long; hopefully they’re pursuing their own goals, whether that’s school or art or auditions or starting a business. But the Sugar Baby part of her life is work, even if she enjoys it; who says you have to hate your job? She should be well-paid.”
Here it is the typical Sugar Baby’s story:
“Mutually Beneficial Arrangement. That is the polite term that popular culture has coined for the type of relationship I’m in. Had one asked me if this was the sort of relationship I could see myself being involved in a few years ago, the answer would have been absolutely not.”
“I am a college student in suburban Pennsylvania. My family is composed of traditional Irish Catholic Republicans, a family in which sex and money are taboo topics that need not be discussed. I was blessed to have been raised with class, sent to the best schools, and taught to be well-read, well-spoken, and well-traveled.”
“But when I got to college, I spent the first two years straining for financial independence. I tried working, but in retail, surrounded by temptation all day, I spent more than I made. Waiting tables was exhausting. I went on several job interviews, but all of the internships were unpaid.”
“As my years in college wore on, it was evident that the job market was sliding into decline. When the economic climate grew worse, my friends panicked that their resumes and high GPAs wouldn’t be enough to give them a leg up on the competition, and my goal became getting my foot in the door before everyone else.”
“And then, just such an opportunity presented itself. During my job hunt, I met a potential employer. He was in his early 30s, single, and successful. He didn’t hire me, but he did suggest a position that seemed perfectly suited to my attributes and skills: He proposed that he become my benefactor.”
“From the outside, a mutually beneficial, or sugar daddy, relationship seems immoral. Maybe even the distant cousin of—dare I say it?—prostitution. But truth be told, women have used their wiles and charms to get ahead for years.”
“There’s even a social networking website that connects sugar daddies and their beneficiaries. This man told me about it: SeekingArrangement.com. He had been referred to it by a close friend who was a hedge fund manager. At his urging, I logged onto the site and looked at his profile. It didn’t have a picture, for privacy reasons. But it did contain information: his marital status (single), the industry he worked in (media and communications), and—a key element—his salary (seven figures).”
“He offered me a monthly allowance, guaranteed a steady stream of desirable gifts, and promised regular vacations. He offered to send my friends and me on girls’ weekend getaways to spas and resorts. Other trips, he said, could be working vacations for the both of us, some fun mixed with some hands-on learning for me.”
This girl is a college senior in Philadelphia majoring in journalism and economics, and is an intern at a public relations firm specializing in crisis communications and media relations. She hopes to work in broadcast journalism after completing a graduate degree.
Another girl, a 22-year-old student at Hunter College, also had such an experience. She met her Sugar Daddy online and went to his huge house and ended up with afternoon sex with the Sugar Daddy who was 30 years older than her.
She didn’t refer to what she was doing as prostitution, but she now allows that her primary motivation was, indeed, money. She and her host ended up in his bedroom, where he peeled off her bikini.
“I just wanted to get it over and done with as quickly as possible,” recalls the girl, forcing out a nervous smile. “I just wanted to get out of that situation as safely as possible, pay off my debt, and move on.”
While she and her host hadn’t agreed to a set amount of money, on the drive back to the train station he handed her $350 in cash. She pocketed the envelope, seeing it as decent money for half a day’s work. But once on the train and no longer worried for her safety, she started to agonize over what she had just done.
“I never thought it would come to this. I got on the train and I felt dirty. I mean, I had just gotten money for having sex,” says the girl, who never heard from the guy in Greenwich again. “I guess I accomplished what I needed to do. I needed the money for school. I just did what needed to be done.”
The past few years have taken an especially brutal toll on the plans and expectations of 20-somethings. As unemployment rates tick steadily higher, starting salaries have plummeted. Meanwhile, according to Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University, about 85 percent of the class of 2011 will likely move back in with their parents during some period of their post-college years, compared with 40 percent a decade ago.
Besides moving back home, many 20-somethings are beginning their adult lives shouldering substantial amounts of student loan debt. According to Mark Kantrowitz, who publishes the financial aid websites Fastweb.com and Finaid.org, while the average 2011 graduate finished school with about $27,200 in debt, many are straining to pay off significantly greater loans.
“Over the past few years, the number of college students using our site has exploded,” says Brandon Wade, the 41-year-old founder of Seeking Arrangement. Of the site’s approximately 800,000 members, Wade estimates that 35 percent are students. “College students are one of the biggest segments of our sugar babies and the numbers are growing all the time.”
At the same time everyone decides for herself. Being a Sugar Baby in many amounts is not easier that being a waitress and working hard. It is up to every college girl to decide whether it is acceptable for her to earn money doing something like this. But the society needs to think over why young girls need to take the oldest profession in the world (even if they don’t admit it) just to pay for their college studies. [via Huffpost, The Daily Beast and SeekingArrangement.com]