SeekingArrangement actively pursues college-age students and lures the financially vulnerable demographic with free premium memberships (which provide increased exposure and messaging capabilities) if they subscribe with a dot-edu e-mail address.
Since offering the upgraded memberships in 2011, the site has seen an increase of 58% in its college enrollees. They now account for 44% of total memberships and are the site’s largest demographic. The site claims 58,000 sugar babies in the New York City area, Bermudo says.
Official company materials highlight the allure of sugar dating, encouraging students to stop “wasting precious study hours at a minimum-wage job” and to instead connect with a “generous benefactor” who might provide valuable networks and introductions.
“Why hope for financial aid when you can guarantee it with a sugar daddy?” says Brandon Wade, the site’s founder and CEO. “Student loans lead to endless debt, which amounts to more than a new graduate can handle.
‘Sugar scholarships’ provide real solutions to the problem of student debts.”
Peppered around the site are advertisements about how this is the gateway to female independence.
“SeekingArrangement.com was created to empower women,” Wade said in a 2012 statement for National Women’s Month. “A sugar baby is an empowered woman who is tired of dating losers that contribute nothing to her life. She has made a commitment to only date men who will help her to achieve her goals.”
Young women often rationalize their participation as one of brass tacks. Men often buy them dinner and gifts. Why not add cash — or the rent — into the equation? That the money usually changes hands through PayPal, and not an envelope on the dresser, helps reinforce the illusion that this isn’t tit for tat.
Like other sugar babies, Megan doesn’t consider this special brand of financial aid prostitution; she compares SeekingArrangement to any other dating site, just with a different clientele.
“ I think that sugar-dating sites are more likely to attract the type of person who is interested in a traditional power dynamic between men and women, [who] is older, has more resources, has more money to . . . I don’t know . . .”
Betraying her own rationalizations, though, she admits that she takes more security precautions when she’s out with a potential daddy than if it were a “regular” date.
via New York Post.
Isn’t it great how the Women’s Lib Movement, now forty years in, has done such a bang-up job liberating women?