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.”
Email the Google Play App Store
While the Apple app store does not carry an app for the pseudo-dating prostitution site SeekingArrangement, the Google Play app store does! (learn more about Seeking Arrangement here.)
Email executives to tell them to stop hosting this exploitive app.
Tell These Companies to Stop Advertising with SeekingArrangement
Staples, Zillow, and Xfinity 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
During a recent webinar as a part of its Now & Next Speaker Series, World Without Exploitation (WorldWE) invited Tamar Arenson and Megan Lundstrom to discuss the “Bitter Truth of Sugaring” and the dangers of being a sugar baby. Both Megan and Tamar agreed that, while sugaring is packaged as a consenting relationship with some…
2020 Dirty “Baker’s Dozen” List of Mainstream Contributors to Sexual Exploitation Announced by National Center on Sexual Exploitation
Seeking Arrangement, Amazon, Twitter, TikTok, Among Top Contributors to Sexual Exploitation in America Washington, DC (February 6, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation today announced its 2020 Dirty Dozen List, a list of mainstream entities that are major facilitators of sexual exploitation in the United States. Watch the video announcement at DirtyDozenList.com. The…
In 2020, it is intolerable for a mainstream company or entity to facilitate, profit from, or normalize sexual exploitation—and that’s why the Dirty Dozen List exists. This list ensures that their promotion and collusion with sexual assault, sex trafficking, pornography, the eroticization of incest, and more, becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and…
A college student from Tulane University shares her story about how she has seen firsthand how pervasive the misinformation about “sugar dating” is and how she has taken action on her campus and in her peer groups to spread the truth about the harms inherent to “sugaring” a.k.a. sugar baby and sugar daddy “relationships.” Learn…
By Tamar Arenson In a generation of swiping right, sexting and redefined relationships, Sugar Dating has emerged as the new frontier for relationships. Described as mutually beneficial and an exercise of agency for women, Sugar Dating is marketed as relationships in which young, attractive women can meet “experienced men” who will provide everything from mentorship…