Strathclyde Telegraph

A fine line between the dating and prostitution

By Anna Biernacka

 

Between juggling university, an underpaid student job and trying to maintain a decent social life, have you ever wished it could all be easier?

What if I told you that life could not only become less difficult, but also much wealthier and convenient? Well, of course there is a catch – you may have to reevaluate your morals and priorities.

The solution I’m talking about sounds sweet enough (pun intended). All you need to stop worrying about money is… a sugar daddy. Or so people say.

According to a report from The Independent, almost 2,000 female students in the UK are believed to be registered at one of the websites offering those kinds of arrangements, and there seem to be even more of them in reality. While Googling the phrase “sugar daddy”, I was redirected to at least 5 different websites encouraging me to sign up and find my very own sugar daddy today.

What exactly is all this sweet business about? The idea is that wealthy, successful men (and, more rarely, women) offer to financially support struggling young adults, who, in return, agree to ‘date’ them (and by “date” I mean offer the sponsors their time and bodies on regular basis). The financial support often goes far beyond what the student would earn in a regular job and usually includes expensive gifts (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, anybody?).

. He said: “Love is a concept made up by poor people. At a time when graduates are guaranteed debt rather than a well-paying job, or even employment for that matter, Sugar Daddies are sought out for opportunity and not just financial stability.

According to his website, there are currently 122 Strathclyde students using his services (the University of St. Andrews ranks first in Scotland and sixth in the UK, with 368 students using this one site only) and the numbers are still growing.

Is the expanding popularity of this business something to worry about? Dr Gail Gross responds to this question in a recent article for the Huffington Post: “Sugar Daddy dating websites, though gaining in popularity, are fraught with problems, for example: lacking in intimacy and lacking the commitment, obligation and responsibility necessary for real relationships. Moreover, these sites promote disparate agendas. An unhappily married older male may be using this site for an uncomplicated affair. Meanwhile, young women have their own program, which may include being fortune hunters, having a need for impersonal sex or other sexual problems. Relationships that are founded on foundations such as these often prove unsatisfying and dangerous to all parties concerned.”

A similar opinion comes from an ex-sugar baby, Helen Croydon, in her boow Sugar Daddy Diaries: When a Fantasy Became an Obsession’: “Trading your body for a high-flying lifestyle can deeply affect how you view relationships. I took small steps in accepting gifts because at first it seemed morally irksome.” After three years of dating wealthy men Helen decided that she: “wanted to be someone’s cherished partner too. Instead, I’d made myself the designer mistress, worthy of their money but not their love. I realized it would stay that way as long as I kept putting a price tag on my company.”

Students, who seek financial stability through those arrangements, often justify their decisions by comparing what they do to a regular dating. “Sugar arrangements are more similar to real relationships than anything else. It’s just more businesslike and straightforward. I’m not going to have sex with someone unless the mental connection and physical attraction is there”, Serena, a college student, who plans on staying in this business until she graduates or gets bored, told College Magazine.

Sugar babies often claim they have nothing to be ashamed of. They see having a sugar daddy as a smart opportunity for a comfortable, sometimes even luxurious life, graduating debt-free and meeting people who can help with the development of their careers.

However I have tried to find some of those 122 students at our university, who decided to become sugar babies, and ask them about their experience. Unfortunately, after a week-long search through friends and social media, I was unable to find anybody who would wish to share their story – not even one person.

Perhaps then, the sugar babies don’t take as much pride in their job as they would like everybody to think.}