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sugar-daddiesIn a time of economic struggle, for some, going to college is an expensive luxury that may not make the list of priorities. To help alleviate some of the financial pressures, hopeful students seek scholarships and grants, work multiple jobs, apply for work study and search for other ways to front the bill. While all of these efforts are admirable and a sign of independence, the reality is sometimes these ways still aren’t enough. Recently, college girls from around the world wide web have found a new way to cover their tuition and academic fees.

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Since 2006, thousands of collegiate young ladies have been logging onto Seeking Arrangement, a site for many who “possess high standards but don’t have a lot of time to date the traditional way,” according to the founder Brandon Wey. One of the site’s fastest growing features allows “sugar babies”–young college girls desperate for funds–and “sugar daddies”–rich men, typically older, willing to “sponsor” a sugar baby’s education–to create profiles. As nothing in this life is free, the financial contribution comes with a price of companionship, sex or both.

According to Huffington Post, Taylor, a sugar baby from Harlem, connected with her sugar daddy who appeared to be 30 years older than her through Seeking Arrangement. She met him in Greenwich, CT, where he picked her up from the train station and chauffeured her back to his lavish home. Upon arriving, they both changed into swimwear and she “rubbed sunscreen into the folds of his sagging back.” The “date” ended “in his bedroom, where he peeled off her bikini.” For her time and services, he drove her back to the train station and gave her $350–which she felt was decent money.

Taylor claims that even though she felt dirty, “I needed the money for school. I just did what needed to be done.” She never heard from the first “gentleman” again, but continued to pursue others. Unfortunately, there are way too many sugar babies who are in desperate need of financial aid. The reality that there are men out there, some even willing to pay $2,400/year to belong to Seeking Arrangement’s Diamond Club so there profile constantly pops up in search results, is disturbing and disgusting. And to add insult to injury, approximately 40% of the sugar daddies are married men.

Despite some who recognize the dangers like freshman April Doyle who said, “It’s not worth it at all… I think people can get kidnapped, hurt and killed;” there are still ever-growing numbers of sugar babies each semester. From 2007 to 2011, sugar babies increased from 38,303 to 179,906; and with more and more girls trying to earn a degree without drowning in loan debt, the number is only expected to increase.

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Seeking Arrangement, unfortunately, isn’t the only site of its kind as there are SeekingTution.com and SugarDaddyMeet.com. The fact that these sites are legally allowed to run their twisted variations of prostitution services is shocking to me. The ads are very direct, as SeekingTuition.com says, “Find that special someone to help you with books, dorm, rent or tuition today!” Honestly, I can’t really see much difference between these sites and prostitution other than one is carried out over the web and the other is initiated on the street corner. Both situations typically end up in the same place.

I can’t fault or judge these sugar babies, as I don’t know their stories or financial situations and cannot really relate. I will say, though, it’s a very dangerous and unwise decision. In the fortunate event that you are unharmed physically, you still have an emotional and mental life that is scarred and will probably suffer as a result of sleeping with someone who you don’t love and who you know doesn’t love you. As expensive as college is, the price is not worth your spirit and body.

What do you thing of this whole “sugaring” business? Have you or do you know anyone who has taken advantage of the services? Do you think sites like Seeking Arrangement should be legal?

Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Twitter: @VerityReign

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