Tough times causes desperation

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By Leah Frost / Staff Writer

By Leah Frost / Staff Writer

Sugar babies are no longer just a sweet candy treat, but a role that young adults have stepped into including a growing number of college students.

With the continuous rising tuition costs, college students are turning to alternative means in order to fork out the dough to pay their way to earning that highly sought after document that says they are now a college graduate.

Does the end result justify the means?

One of the oldest professions known to mankind, dating as far back as biblical times, has consisted of women selling their companionship and virtues to the best available bidder.

Whether it is called prostitution, an escort service, taking up company in a brothel or meeting a client merely for chit chat and fine dining, all services rendered fall into one broad umbrella where women are selling themselves to get ahead or maybe just to stay in the game of life.

The umbrella of services has expanded to cover the massive out pour of college students and recent graduates who are now joining the ranks by selling their time to the ever cliché sugar daddies and sugar mamas.

This is not a story of a rich man meeting a younger woman and sweeping them off their feet and vowing to take care of them financially.

Quite the contrary, with the help of the Internet, there are now several websites where sugar babies can post profiles and search for their next meal ticket.

One website that has a high volume of participants called “Seeking Arrangements” started back in 2006 by a man named Wade, reported to the Huffington Post that he’s seen a 350 percent increase in college sugar baby membership.

Wade told the Huffington Post that the website membership went from 38,303 college sugar babies in 2007 to 179,906 college sugar babies by July of this year.

With the unsteady job market, continuing increases in college tuition and fees and the uncertainty of what will happen next with the United States economy overall, the thought of being unable to financially survive or to pay for the accumulated loans to pay for the education that should secure a future job but really doesn’t guarantee anything, sadly becomes the overall motivator for students turning themselves into sugar babies.

The role of the sugar baby can vary depending on the client; some clients merely want companionship and someone they can spoil.

On the not-so mild side, some clients expect sex and submissive loyalty in exchange for their financial support of their precious sugar babies.

There is a misconception that sugar babies are only of the female gender and men are the only ones providing the means to support their babies.

Gender is not an issue. Sexual orientation is not a factor.

Nearly anyone willing and able to be a part of these mutual arrangements can search for their next conquest.

Just as there are sugar daddies seeking young women, the cougars are on the prowl looking for young men to take under their wing and spoil.

On Aug. 5, the Huffington Post reported an extensive array of the scenarios that surround motivations that persuade people to become sugar babies or sugar daddies through candid interviews of people on both sides of the fence.

One man interviewed, who called himself Jack, using a false identity to protect himself, described his venture as a sugar daddy by saying “it’s a very expensive job.”

But he went on to call himself a “humanitarian” since he is providing young women assistance with their financial woes.

“Unlike a traditional escort service, I was surprised to find such an educated, smart population,” Jack said, who according to the Huffington Post only seeks out young women 25 years old or younger with a bachelor’s degree.

Self-proclaimed sugar daddies and sugar mamas can post profiles, pay to upgrade to a higher status within the search sites and flaunt their net worth and yearly income in order to advertise themselves to potential service providers.

Likewise, young men and women can promote themselves as the victims of financial stressor, willing and able to sell their minds and bodies for the promise of paying off their debt.

Multiple interviews of women reported in the Huffington Post described the women as feeling as though it was their only option to survive to get through school or to pay off loans.

Each interview showed the feeling of remorse for their actions followed by justifications that they have to do what they have to do.

There is a fine line between whether or not this way of life is considered prostitution.

“If this isn’t what prostitution is called, I don’t know what is,” said Suzanne, a student interviewed by the Huffington Post.

The detrimental damage to the sugar babies is not limited to probable safety issues, psychological long term repercussions that may occur from walking the line of companion versus prostitute but also involve a greater mental challenge of leading a double life.

Many sugar babies, whether out of shame or to protect themselves, keep their lives separate from their arranged cliental.

Some go as far as making up a second fake life including an alias in order to cope with the double life they lead.

Despite the downfalls, it is clear that more and more students are becoming a part of what may one day be called an industry, a virtual shopping system to get a little sugar.

As the number of sugar baby arrangements grows, the lengths people need to go to get a degree  today should solidify that higher education is no longer within reach of the average student.

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