Just What You’re Looking For
There are a number of different relationships in today’s society. Some are socially acceptable and others are frowned upon. There are ‘friends with benefits’ or ‘dating but not committed’ and ‘exclusive’. Then, there’s a type of relationship that has recently become defined and continues to gain popularity – ‘mutually beneficial relationship’. A term coined by the expanding site, Seeking Arrangement, focuses on assisting the pairing of people who each value something that the other can provide. A ‘Sugar Baby’ is a female over 18 (including college girls, wild girls, single moms, out of work girls, college girls who cannot find work but have lots of bills) who enjoys luxurious gifts and financial generosity in a companion. A ‘Sugar Daddy/Mommy’ is a financially secure and empowered person who enjoys good conversation and companionship, and is willing to splurge extravagantly for this on the right person. The two parties fulfill one another’s needs in a cordial exchange, which is what ‘mutually beneficial dating’ is all about.
There are plenty of sites out there with the same purpose as Seeking Arrangement. Some encourage accepting dates based on the highest bid (which teeters on the verge of prostitution) and others allow you to search by salary (which is tattooed with a more shallow intention). But Seeking Arrangement doesn’t permit either traits, and none have the sincere quality of understanding that this site does. They screen every submitted profile for acceptance before allowing access to the site’s features, double-checking photos for promiscuity and stats drenched with ill-placed intentions. In fact, infamous media icon, Farrah Abraham, claimed that she made her sex tape after a sugar dating service turned her down twice, according to Zimbio! Brandon Wade, CEO of Seeking Arrangement, commented on this claim, revealing that they did encounter her “more than once” but that they knew she wasn’t looking for a “lasting mutually beneficial arrangement.”
On top of this, they frequently filter through their profiles, deleting upwards of 200 fake accounts each day. In addition to this statistic, according to New York Daily News correspondent, Rheana Murray, Wade clarifies that these deletions aren’t based on little white lies pertaining to your age or exaggerations about your appearance. Fraudulent accounts belong to “scammers” who rely on your “trust [and} sympathy” in order to make money. Wade conducted a research study called “Face of Fraud” that identifies several characteristics most fake profiles have in common. Interestingly, its findings unveil that women and foreigners are more likely to stage this scam than men and Americans. By making people aware of these commonalities between foe-profiles, it will help other dating sites enhance the quality of its members. It’s this kind of genuine consideration for their subscribers that keeps this service at the top of sugar dating sites.
College and Beyond Sugar Babies
What kinds of people are intrigued to become branded a ‘Sugar Baby’, you might ask. It may surprise some onlookers to find that college students are one of the biggest consumers this title caters to. Stephanie Goldberg for CNN, stated that “female college students [make] up 44% of the site’s total users” as of 2012. She also goes on to reveal that ‘Sugar Daddies’ pay around 3,000 bucks on a regular basis to young women for their companionship. An article on Philly.com lists ‘the top 15 ‘Sugar Daddy’ colleges’ in America right now. On that list, Pennsylvania, Florida and Georgia schools appear twice, with Temple University ranking second. Everywhere across America, from Arizona to Wisconsin, from Texas to Alabama, from Michigan to Ohio, are schools with girls that are banking in on this new fad. But the highest ranking school with the most ‘Sugar Babies’ is New York University, with a tuition rate climbing to a whopping 60,000 dollars. However, many college girls would rather have a sugar daddy than stand endless hours as a cashier, hostess, waitress or work for free as an intern. Some college girls surveyed are just tired of dating college boys who are more interested in computer games than girls. Other girls want to “try on” dating older guys who know how to treat a girl inside and outside of the bedroom. Still other girls want to “step out” of their relationship and “go out” more often than their relationship or marriage provides. And, there is an increasing number of sugar mommies who want to have their own sugar baby females.
And it’s not just in the U.S.; this propensity has had a wide-spread affect on countries across the world. According to an article on ZDF TV in Germany, there are two types of ladies who joined the search for a ‘Sugar Daddy’ because of their need to be without academic debt whilst on job hunting. One type feels that it is simply work, a duty, and a means of getting by. This type feels akin to the shame of a common prostitute, but the convenience of having her fees paid off quickly is worth it – even at the cost of an emotional struggle rather than a financial one. The other type feels content in a jointed relationship such as this one. This type enjoys providing conversation, companionship and receiving grand meals and monetary aid. They see it as an average understanding. They’re both doing it for the same reasons, but their attitude makes for significantly contrasting experiences.
Some people are completely antagonistic to this type of ideal arrangement, as you can imagine, because they see it as somewhat of an egocentric, desperate and immoral excuse for dating. CNBC’s Jane Wells published an article on May 2nd of this year (can’t afford college? Let a sugar daddy pay) containing a dozen snide comments criticizing young women that succumb to these drastic measures. She sarcastically belittles the site’s agenda and underscores seemingly ridiculous ideas within their blog, such as sugar babies upholding their standards when searching for a sugar daddy. And then there’s the comparison of outright prostitution, and how this arrangement manages to stay legal. Goldberg addresses this issue as well, reporting that most people using the site are “savvy enough not to broadcast online whether their trading sex for cash.” She also includes the fact that the arrangements can appear more romantic than illegal, after interviewing a New Jersey Attorney. This makes sense in light of the number of innocent dating sites with different services available today, like eHarmony and Match.com.
Feminists cry outrage at the idea, claiming that this type of arrangement reaffirms the typical belief that women are subservient to men in power and money, and there for need male dominance in order to survive – a societal norm that started dying off over sixty years ago. But others apart of the site are on the defense in support of these relationships, denying a sexist streak overshadows the site and reminding that both men and women are welcomed on either side of the playing field. Founders of these types of sites also argue that there are some men who are just compelled to be supportive of young women. Wade divulges that these arrangements don’t revolve solely around sex; he also mentions that there are more women struggling “to pay for school [that] get asked out than those who admit they want cash for breast implants” according to Goldberg’s article. Steven Pasternack, founder of Sugardaddie.com says that “a lot of married guys are sugar daddies without them realizing it” and that generally “any guy who wants to impress a woman is a sugar daddy” a quote also included in Goldberg’s findings.
Despite criticism and acclaim toward this type of relationship, there are some people who indulge in this behavior that are neither for it nor against it. Just ask Ariel Black who writes under a pen name for New York magazine, who confesses that while this type of arrangement is emotionally exhausting, it’s also addictive, so she understands why people have a simultaneous distaste and desire for it. She is neither a student nor contemplating breast implants – it simply started with her sickly dog that she cared very much for and started racking up enormously high and impossible veterinary bills. In her article, “How To Find Your Own Sugar Daddy (Like I Did)” Black describes her three tips for finding and landing a sugar daddy while maintaining her sugar baby status. She’s extremely insightful and is brutally honest in the fact that while she doesn’t feel it’s morally wrong, she doesn’t feel that it is a “lifestyle” choice either. She instead leans on the idea that it’s actually just another “adventure” on her “journey.”
Though there will always be harsh critics of these relationships, there will always be a growing crowd of people who have found something meaningful and valuable to themselves and in others as part of these courtships. Remember that sex doesn’t even have to be part of the equation; some sugar daddies and mommies are just looking for friendship. A lot of the arrangement has to do with the search, and how you find the right one for you. As college students, there will always be something to challenge our principles, and it’s in our best interest to be open-minded about innovative experiences in an ever-evolving society.