In 2016 BBC Newsbeat reported that almost a quarter of a million UK students had signed up to SeekingArrangment.com, a website that aims to “fuel mutually beneficial relationships,” between sugar babies and sugar daddies/mommas.
If you’re not already familiar with the term sugar daddy/sugar momma, SeekingArrangment.com describes them as “successful men and women who know what they want”. Money isn’t an issue for these men and women and so when it comes to supporting a sugar baby they are very “generous”.
The website then goes on to describe sugar babies as “attractive people looking for the finer things in life”, for example, luxury holidays and designer clothes.
So how are UK university students using this website to make money?
Whether it’s to fund their education, pay their rent or just treat themselves to a few nice things now and again, university students are turning to this alternative dating website to help get themselves through university.
For some it’s not about funding a “lavish lifestyle” but more about being able to afford university life and all the extra costs that come with it.
Advertising student Eva Tomkins told The Sun: “I’ve earned about £700 and I’ve had things bought for me.”
When asked if her parents knew what she was up to she said: “I told my mum. She knows I’m struggling financially but that I’m not doing anything wrong or illegal.”
What do they have to do?
Most of the time sugar babies give up a few hours of their day to meet with their sugar daddy/momma for a drink or two and come away with a bit of cash in their pocket.
“I’ve never felt threatened by anyone. I think most of the people are just lonely and want contact,” Eva told The Sun.
Some students are very clear that they won’t have sex with their sugar daddy/momma, being honest that they are there purely to fund their studies.
PR and Marketing student Ali Mohamed, who was on the website for 6 months before she got any messages, told the Daily Mail: “I specifically – even on my profile – state no intimacy at all because I feel like if you’re going to do that it’s the same as escorting.”
But for others, it’s all about the connection.
Student and part-time model Andrea Warren told the Daily Mail: “I would not meet up with these people if I didn’t think they were interesting or if we didn’t have a connection. I don’t want loads of awkward encounters, despite the money.”
Seeking Arrangement was founded in 2006 and has over 10 million members worldwide. It offers students free premium memberships if they sign up with their university email as proof of enrollment.
It might not be for everyone but there’s no denying that as long as they’re being safe, these sugar babies are smart. If it means avoiding loan sharks, minimising university debt and meeting some interesting people along the way, who could blame them for signing up?
What do you think?