Sugar Daddies: Friend or Foe?

With tuition and cost of living on the rise students are starting to quit extracurricular activities and are applying for jobs in order to keep their student debt to a minimum.

It is more common for students to start at a community college then transfer over to the school of their choice in order to save money. With parents help and a part time job many students are still unable to avoid taking out loans.

So is taking on a part time job which takes time away from school really worth it if in the end you are still going to graduate with thousands of dollars of debt? Many do not seem to rationalize this in their head and are turning to alternative ways of paying for tuition.

One alternative on the rise are sugar daddies. I am sure we have all seen the numerous memes and videos currently circulating the internet that jokingly talk about needing a sugar daddy in order to pay for tuition.

Now this, a news media website, produced a short video on Facebook where “sugar babies,” those providing services in exchange for financial support, were interviewed and showed that more than 2 million users on the website, seekingarrangement, which pairs “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies,” which are students and 15% of those “babies” are men.

“Sugar babies” that were interviewed stated that their morals had not been compromised and it was as if they were just dating. They also stated that they had found a mentor in their “dates” and not only received financial support but were taken on trips, offered job positions and recommendations.

However, they also stated that now when they date their peers they feel like they are dating for free. So how can they say their morals haven’t been compromised? Basing the rest of your relationships off of this temporary arrangement is damaging not only to yourself but to your partners.

Many will state that such arrangements do not affect them in any way and is simply a means to an end, from this short video alone we see that that is not true. Whether these students realize it now or later this form of financial security is changing them and their outlook on life, whether they like it or not.

We all know the struggle of having to live off top ramen until our next pay check or having to skip out on a weekend of partying simply because our professors decided that the $300 textbook we will never open after the semester is required. But what would you go through in order to achieve financial security?

The “sugar babies” in this video stated that these arrangements are just like dating and feel like they are merely in a relationship, at what cost though? The seeking arrangements website does not do background checks on the “sugar daddies” that sign up. So with simply entering your email you could become a member today and meet your “sugar baby or daddy” within the next five days.

Aside from the danger these students are putting themselves in they are also promoting the fact that in today’s society we see bodies as commodities, especially for women. Society looks at our bodies as if it were something to display. If talked to the right way or offered enough money they should be able to do with us as they please.

However, having had friends that have taken similar outlets in order to survive I was conflicted with how I felt about having a “sugar daddy” in college. However, I saw a trend in the friends that had taken advantage of their good looks in order to pay for living expenses and that was guilt.

Whenever a friend confessed the alternative ways they had taken to make some fast cash they always stated that they regretted it, did not know how it made them feel, or disclosed that I was the only person they had told due to feeling ashamed. Seeing my friends in such distress whenever they reflected on their past made me see the underlying effects of such arrangements.

The “sugar babies” in the short video however, repeatedly stated that in no way were these arrangements negatively affecting them, could this be because they were being interviewed and were trying to promote such a lifestyle or are these “relationships” truly beneficial in more than a financial way?

I believe that our minds have a way of rationalizing experiences and actions in order to stay positive and in the end such financial security is not nearly as glamorous and easy as these videos make it out to be.

The fact that students are sometimes forced to choose this form of financial security in order to avoid student debt says a lot about society today. Part time jobs just are not cutting it anymore in order to pay for tuition, rent and living expenses. While this is simply an outlet some students choose to use the results can be more damaging the the temporary security it provides. So to what lengths would you go to avoid the thousands of dollars of debt our college system puts us in?

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.