One morning this past week I was waiting with my daughter for her bus to come and she asked to listen to 95.5 FM. On the line was a 'sugar baby' who provided companionship services for a sugar daddy for $3,000 per month. Her relationship with this married man carried on for four years and her family was none the wiser. Depending on your moral point of view this is either sickening or acceptable and in two stories below plus a video, this growing practice is all the rage with college coeds.
It is really tough to get your arms around this story and I mean that literally. Your daughter has the talent and brains to go to college. Student loans are drowning your family in debt. What does a girl do?
Economy May Be Fueling ‘Sugar Daddy’ Business, Site Suggests
The top colleges are listed below. An Atlanta news story goes to the number one college located right in their city.
“Sugar Daddies,” wealthy older men who provide financial support to younger women in exchange for sex and companionship, have seen a rise in popularity among college students struggling to find a way to pay tuition.
College student membership on SeekingArrangement.com, a website that matches sugar daddies and sugar babies, has increased by 58 percent from December 2011 to December 2012.
“Currently, we have over 2 million members, 44 percent of which are college students,” Leroy Velasquez, public relations manager at SeekingArrangement.com, told ABC News. ”It’s very difficult to retain a part time or full-time job, especially when you have an academic life. With SeekingArrangement, we offer these types of relationships.”
Asked if he thought the anemic economy was contributing the rise in sugar daddy arrangements, Velasquez said, ”I think it’s directly correlated. … We are in a very recessive economy, tuition costs and costs of living have increased and people are finding alternative ways of funding a college education, in this case becoming a sugar baby.”
Deeply indebted, facing a lackluster economy, and with jobs scarce, college students and recent graduates are entering into what could be called borderline prostitution to foot their bills.
“In 2011, we saw an explosion in the number of college students seeking sugar daddies to help pay their college tuition”, said SeekingArrangement.com founder Brandon Wade in a news release. ” One in every two sugar babies who joins our website today are college students.”
SeekingArrangement.com released a list of the top 20 fastest growing “Sugar Baby” schools: Georgia State, NYU and Temple University topped the list.
According to SeekingArrangement.com, the average co-ed “sugar baby receives approximately $3,000 a month in allowances and gifts from her sugar daddy, enough to cover tuition and living expenses at most schools.
Sugar daddy dating advocates push back forcefully against suggestions their activities amount to little more than an elaborate escort service.
“If the sugar daddy is, in fact, meeting a girl simply for sex in exchange for money, then they are using the website in violation of our terms of agreement,” SeekingArrangement.com founder and CEO Brandon Wade told ABC News’ “Nightline.”
“It’s really about a romantic relationship between two people,” he said. “The only difference is that the sugar daddy is very wealthy.”
So how does it work?
“Basically, a sugar daddy will message a sugar baby he is interested in and he will mention what he is looking for,” Velasquez told ABC News. ”In her profile, she will ask for what she wants in terms of a monthly allowance. After a certain point, they exchange emails and phone numbers and have a dinner date.”
The two will then enter into a contract, the terms of which are decided by the parties involved, Velasquez said.
Velasquez rejected the idea that Seekingarrangement.com is, at its core, an escort service. The key difference between prostitution and a mutually beneficial relationship is the word “relationship,” he added.
“A prostitute is just conducting a black-and-white transaction that is in no way a relationship,” said Velasquez. “What we have at Seeking Arrangement is a lifestyle.”
“I do see it as a very common trend,” Velasquez said. “Since the beginning of time, it has existed. Back then you had geishas and courtesans. Today, we have sugar babies. They are exchanging their beauty for a man’s generosity.”
The following is the list of the Top 20 Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools, by new sign ups in 2012:
1. Georgia State University 292
2. New York University 285
3. Temple University 268
4. University of Central Florida 221
5. University of South Florida 212
6. Arizona State University 204
7. Florida International University 187
8. University of Georgia 148
9. Indiana University 131
10. Texas State 128
11. Kent State University 123
12. Penn State 121
13. University of North Texas 112
14. Florida State University 111
15.Tulane University 109
16. Michigan State University 108
17. Ohio University 103
18. Columbia University 100
19. University of Alabama 96
20. University of California Los Angeles 91
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -
Two Georgia colleges ranked pretty high on the national dating website Seekingarrangement.com.
Georgia State ranked as the fastest growing school with girls who signed up in 2012.
Reaction from GSU students was mixed.
"No, no that's not good. That's not why I'm going to college," said junior Sherkerra Smith.
Some may not like that college-aged girls go to a website to meet up with men who help them pay their tuition, but plenty of girls are doing it.
According to the site, close to 300 new Georgia State girls signed up last year, making it the fastest growing "sugar baby" college in the country.
Freshman Derek Bindbeutel told CBS Atlanta News he believes the rising cost of college tuition is what may be driving girls to the site.
"I know it's kind of geared toward a bad purpose. But it is college and you have to do what you have to do to pay for it," said Bindbeutel.
"It's not worth it at all. No, it's not worth it at all," said freshman April Doyal. "I think it's dangerous. I think people can get kidnapped, hurt and killed possibly."
Don Hale, VP for Public Relations and Marketing Communications, said, "Georgia State prides itself on fostering an enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit among its students. We are surely surprised to see it manifested in this way by these women."
The University of Georgia ranked No. 8 on the list of "sugar baby" colleges.
Pete Konenkamp with the University of Georgia told CBS Atlanta News, "These young women are adults and are free to seek entrepreneurial ship in any way they see best," said Kononkamp.