Who is your sugar daddy?

With college financial struggles, some students are looking for other ways to pay tuition.

Hemang Sharma

 

It’s no surprise how expensive getting a college education has become. Some students have found rather interesting ways to get a good bang for their buck.

Imagine a young woman in college. She is sincere about her education, but even with scholarships, parental support and/or a job or two, she is struggling to make ends meet. She finds a way to fulfill her academic aspirations without having to slug it out for countless hours or get buried under loans. She gets herself a sugar daddy.

Yes, websites like SeekingArrangement.com and SugarDaddie.com allow young, primarily female students to ease their financial distress in exchange for some companionship.

Users create their profiles, which explicitly lay out their “fee” per month or activity, among other things. Their pictures and a short bio are often enough to catch the fancy of a daddy or mama, often an affluent business professional who spends more time reading financial reports than approaching singles at a bar. Whether out of lust, a desire for a mutually beneficial relationship or simply companionship, daddies get matched with potential sugar babies with a desire to make tuition money in a safe, contractually obligated relationship.

The U.K.-based National Union of Students has indicated this is a global trend, prevalent in the U.S. and the U.K. Now there are a lot of people who find such arrangements questionable on moral grounds and would chastise these women and men, but not me. What is wrong in a contract that ensures somebody is getting paid, getting laid and graduating college?

With an average monthly allowance from a sugar daddy ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, many judgmental people are comparing these transactions to prostitution. However, there are significant differences in the “sugar” culture — there are no madams or pimps around to abuse and take advantage of the parties involved. These women aren’t working street corners and spending nights in jail — they are, instead, managing their own time and boundaries.

Our superficial world values beauty and female sexuality to such an extent that people are willing to put a price on their interactions with them. I am not surprised that there are such outlets out there for working men and women to have these relationships. We should refrain from judgment.

While these mutually beneficial relationships arise from high tuition costs, there are also people looking to broaden their horizons, engage in alternative relationships and find companionship. While no two mutually beneficial relationships are the same, it’s the level of consent for those struggling to pay tuition that is worrisome.

Supermodel Cameron Russell in her viral TED Talk admitted that she has gotten things in her life that she wouldn’t have otherwise had she not won the genetic lottery of being slender, feminine and white. Russell’s line of work is modeling, a profession that clearly subjects women to some terrible things. It is hardly an easy life.

She works for a paycheck like the rest of us but believes her Cornell education always places second to her good looks. She is an empowered, extremely humble person who wishes to advise all the young girls trying to be like her to, well, not be like her and be more ambitious than to rely on their looks in life. She wishes for a world that gives women respect other than just trying to take advantage.

Then there are women like Melissa King, the former Miss Teen Delaware who got her crown taken away due to a sex tape that emerged a few weeks ago. The Miss Teen Foundation isn’t enthusiastic about their contestants appearing in an amateur sex video made in a motel. The beauty pageant foundations only objectify women the old-fashioned way, parading them around in swimsuits at the tender age of 16 for sashes and trophies.

Many called King a “slut” for making a sex tape. She denied reports at first but then confessed on Twitter that she did, in fact, make the video. She mentioned her idol Kim Kardashian and asked the world to see where Kardashian is after her sex tape went viral. Heck, King admits in the video that she was “doing it for fun and the money.”

Are women like Collegechick37, whose profile I stumbled upon a sugar website, any different from King and Kardashian, other than a sex tape circulating worldwide? No. And there is nothing wrong with that. All the aforementioned women know that this society values certain bodies. Some women chose to use this as a tool to empower or advance themselves.

Is getting supported by a rich stranger to live a contractually obligated lifestyle a stretch when compared to making an explicit video or posing for a magazine? All these are things people do to get what they want in life, whether it’s money, intimacy, thrill or tuition.

Such relationships are the byproduct of our highly capitalistic culture, where even the most intimate moments are crafted with materialistic undertones and societal benefits. So I say go ahead, America, sugarcoat everything.