Paying bills as a college student might be a little easier if a sugar daddy or mommy helps with expenses. That’s apparently an avenue taken by more college students in Philadelphia than in any other city.
Temple University had the biggest increase in new sugar babies signing up in 2016 to meet older “sugar daddies” (or mommies) through SeekingArrangements.com, a website that bills itself as "a new way for relationships to form and grow."
One of those is Ryan, 18, a pre-med sophomore at Temple who has found “arrangements” with three men since signing up for the site a year ago, he said. But he doesn’t consider himself a “sugar baby.”
“They help me out, and I spend time with them,” said Ryan, who spoke to Metro on the condition that his last name be withheld from the story. “It’s never like I’m having sex with someone for money.”
SeekingArrangements calls itself a dating website for arranging “mutually beneficial relationships” between older “Sugar Daddies” (or Mommies) and younger “Sugar Babies.”
According to the website, Temple saw the biggest hike in student membership in 2016 with a 34 percent increase. New York University and Arizona State University came in second and third place, respectively.
Temple University declined to comment about student participation in the website.
“We have no comment other than to marvel at how media outlets continue to give this company free advertising,” a spokesman said.
SeekingArrangements isn’t the only dating website for sugar babies and daddies, but it’s the most well-known. It claims to provide an “alternative method of financial aid” for college students facing increasing student loans.
“While it’s easy to get lost in the numbers, the truth is we have an epidemic on our hands,” Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com said about student debt in a news release. “Students are tired of hearing politicians' hyperbole about what they might do to resolve the student debt crisis. They’re taking matters into their own hands.”
What’s required from students who sign up?
Some men just want a companion to join them on various activities, said Ryan, who is gay. Over time, sometimes intimacy develops. Some of his partners have even given him solid career and school advice, he said.
“It’s definitely been positive,” he said. “It’s not even just the money. It’s a connection I made with these guys.”
He cautioned that it takes a while to get past the learning curve of meeting people on the website.
“I was kind of a lost puppy. I didn’t know what I was doing. But I met someone a month after I started,” he said.
He exercises caution before meeting people, and always tells a friend when he’s going on a date. As for questions from his parents, he avoids those by not telling them, he said.
“I’ve learned so much about myself and about what I want and it’s been absolutely positive, so yeah, I definitely recommend this site,” he said.
Students can get free premium memberships on the site if they sign up with their college-assigned email addresses. The site says “the average Sugar Baby” gets $2,440 a month in “allowance.”
By the numbers
296 —Temple students who joined SeekingArrangements.com in 2016.
34 — Percent increase from 2015.
1,068 — Temple students on SeekingArrangements.com.