Problem

As forms of commercial sexual exploitation continue to multiply, from prostitution to pornography to “camming” etc, the phenomenon of “sugar dating” appears to have become the latest frontier.

Sugar dating is marketed as relationships in which young, attractive women can meet “experienced men” who will provide everything from mentorship to all expenses paid lavish vacations. In this system, men are encouraged to engage in no strings attached relationships with beautiful young women. Meanwhile, “sugar babies” are told that this experience will empower them and benefit them both financially and experientially.

However, the truth behind “sugaring” tells a much darker story; one of deception, violence and sexual exploitation. 

The largest hub of this new form of sexual exploitation is a website called SeekingArrangement. SeekingArrangement describes itself as creating “relationships on your terms”; terms which the website conveniently does not explicitly define, placing themselves in the gray area of facilitating online commercial sexual exploitation. 

Further, SeekingArrangment targets college students who are struggling with student debt with advertisements and free premium accounts, in order to provide sexual gratification to more socio-economically advantaged men.

Make no mistake, sugar dating is pseudo-dating prostitution and it is vital to push back against the normalization of such an exploitative trend.

“Both prostitutes and sugar babies are bought by men willing to pay them to be sexually available, and they’re both damaging acts,” says Kathleen Barry, PhD, author of The Prostitution of Sexuality. “Unlike [prostituted persons], sugar babies have a delusion about their autonomy. They believe that paying their tuition without loans or carrying a Prada bag makes up for whatever they’re giving away. These young women may act with bravado, but they often feel shame. The power inequality mostly benefits the daddy,” she says, “leaving the ‘baby’ as powerless and dependent as her namesake.”

Proof



Take Action

Email the Google Play App Store

While the Apple app store does not carry an app for SeekingArrangement, the Google Play app store does!

Email executives to tell them to stop hosting this exploitive app.

 

Tell These Companies to Stop Advertising with SeekingArrangement

Staples, Zillow, Xfinity, and Excellence Resorts have placed ads on SeekingArrangement (and therefore helped fund its sexually exploitive message). Proof and explanation here. Tell them to pull all future ads from SeekingArrangement!

Contact the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Have you, or someone you know, been negatively impacted by SeekingArrangement or sugar dating? Email us your story at public@ncose.com. In the email please indicate if you want your story to be private to NCOSE or if you are willing for it to be shared publicly, and also whether you want it to remain anonymous or whether you would like attribution.

Updates

Why are Staples, Zillow, and More Advertising on a Sugar Dating Website?

Staples, Zillow, Xfinity, and Excellence Resorts have placed ads on SeekingArrangement (and therefore helped fund its sexually exploitive message).   Research has found that “the majority of sugar dating and other similar sex for money ‘mutually beneficial arrangements’ are illegal, as they are forms of prostitution, and state prostitution statutes should reflect this reality, regardless of…

The Dangers of Sugar Dating and Sugaring, Explained

What is “sugar dating”? And how exactly does it relate to “sugaring”? Does it have anything to do with these “sugar babies” and “sugar daddies” you keep hearing about? Is “sugar dating” actually a form of dating? Is “sugaring” prostitution? These questions and more are becoming increasingly prevalent as websites and apps attempting to promote…

Young woman smiling into the camera while holding up a glass of wine (image representing a sugar baby on a date with a sugar daddy to tie into topic of sugaring and sugar dating)

Tools

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