BEING armed with sparkly qualifications may well be central to getting a foot onto the career ladder in today’s tough market, but at what cost?
Shocking new figures from SeekingArrangement.com, the world’s largest Sugar Daddy dating site, claim 100,000 Australian students have signed up to find a Sugar Daddy.
A Sugar Baby is someone who receives gifts or money for being in a relationship. The big question is around what they’re expected to do in return for the financial benefits.
Dating websites themselves insist there’s no pressure on girls to have sex with clients. They’ve tried very hard to position themselves more as mutually beneficial matchmakers. As in, a Sugar Baby receives financial rewards for her time, while the Sugar Daddy gets companionship.
Maddison is a 27-year-old student at UNSW studying a four-year course in Events Management and Marketing.
She says, “My motivation for finding a Sugar Daddy was purely financial to help cover my cost of living and school fees. I wasn’t struggling to buy food or pay rent though; this is for things I want like jewellery, makeup and designer brands.
“Yes, I was very nervous registering my details for the first time but within a week offers were pouring in. I’ve had three Sugar Daddies. I’m currently seeing one man whose 45 years old and lives interstate. He’s older looking but still handsome. I see him on a weekly basis. I only meet for $600 plus. We often go for dinner and we’re very affectionate when together.
“I don’t love him and he doesn’t love me; we both know what we want out of this relationship. He has asked me to only see him as an exclusive Sugar Daddy, which I happily agreed to.
“It’s the same as any other date; I wouldn’t agree to sex unless I wanted to. I’ve said no to sex and never had an issue.
“I receive gifts, beauty treatments, lingerie and handbags. He also paid for my breast implants and I get an allowance. It means I will graduate debt free and can focus on other things when I finish.
“My parents don’t know; my father won’t be overly happy. My sister’s aware and that’s more for my safety. My friends say if they weren’t in serious relationships they would have one too.”
The largest number of new sign-ups to the site in 2016 was from students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (92) followed by Monash University (87) and Griffith University (85). Ranking fourth was found to be University of Melbourne (84) followed by Deakin University (77). University of Sydney ranked eight with 69 new sign-ups.
Research found 35 per cent of university aged sign-ups came from upper-middle and high-income families.
SeekingArrangement spokeswoman Alexis Germany said the 100,000 figure was from a combination of people who signed up using university-related email address and people saying their occupation is “student”.
Ms Germany tells news.com.au, “The costs associated with university, and living expenses in general, continue to rise. Sugar dating is a way for students to get the money they need for school without dedicating precious study hours to low-paying part-time jobs.”
The company research found so-called ‘Sugar Baby students’ receive around $2700 in monthly allowances. Should anyone be surprised so many are being tempted to go down this path?
“Word is definitely spreading,” Ms Germany says of the rise of Sugar Daddy dating. “People are being more open about it and they are telling their friends. Once upon a time people were secretive about online dating, but that is no longer the case, the same is becoming true in regards to Sugar dating.
“These days people entering the workforce need more education in order to be competitive so more students are seeking graduate degrees. When making the decision to get additional education you are also making the decision to incur more debt.
“Students who are a bit older understand that burden even more than undergraduate students because they have seen the realities. They know what an entry level salary is, they know how much it costs to live on their own. They turn to Sugar dating so they can get the additional education they need to succeed without taking on additional debt.”