Today's topic was introduced 5 days ago. The idea that female college students are unable to pay off college loans or debt and consequently are seeking a wealthy male counterpart to provide monetary benefits in exchange for escort services.
The first article I read was titled, "Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using 'Sugar Daddies' to Pay Off Loan Debt." Following this, I found articles/entries titled, "Sugar Babies: Female College Grads End Up in World's Oldest Profession." "On the Legality of Sugar Daddies," "Prostitution to Pay for College," "Is it prostitution? Website Helps Female Students Pay Off Debts by Dating 'Sugar Daddies."
The website all of these articles and discussions come back to is seekingarrangement.com. This site caters to men and women seeking Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mommies, Sugar Babies (Male or Female). This site has exploded. It is estimated to have 800, 000 members.
So, the idea is that individuals, the articles all focused on female college students even though the site does cater to both men and women, are unable to pay off debt nowadays. This website hooks up an in-debt college student identified as a 'sugar baby' with a wealthy male or female counterpart known as a 'sugar daddy' or 'sugar mommy.' It is expected that sex will be exchanged for money and expensive items. The articles quote men providing female sugar babies $350-$500 per meeting (though these were just the quoted amounts).
Other websites performing the same services include: http: http://seekingtuition.com/ and http://www.sugardaddymeet.com/
The idea of prostitution is heavily debated. To legalize or not to legalize, that is the question. Do these individuals even view themselves as participating in prostitution? The answer: no.
Many of the women in these articles do not identify themselves as participating in prostitution. Rather, they are simply performing a task that has to get done...must pay off debt. The men identify themselves as humanitarians. They are able to help these women. In one of the articles a man identifies himself as helping a woman pay off "good debt" because it is from school, not simply credit cards.
My main concern is the idea of exploitation. Are these wealthy men and women taking advantage of and exploiting the desperation of these debt-laden college students? I'd argue that exploitation is built in to websites like this. They are clearly made for individuals who are unable to meet their financial needs/costs. They are different from match.com, eharmony.com, etc. b/c they are not strictly for dating. The men and women are not seeking long-term companionship and don't believe the individuals they meet with are their sole mates (as is the premise of match and eharmony).
Should websites like these be closed down? Should these individuals be arrested for prostitution? (Note: prostitutes are given much heavier sentences when arrested than Johns are--so this means college students theoretically would be sentences more harshly than sugar daddies/sugar mommies).