real life

This is the way some Australian uni students are paying their fees.

If you’re a time-poor or just generally-poor student who is struggling with a mounting HECS debt, then there is a website that can help you!

Soon you could be cashed-up and loved-up: all you need to do is register as a ‘sugar baby’ and hope you’ll find ‘sugar daddy’ who is willing to support you to finish your degree.

Introducing the dating website that allows young women to engage the services of sugar daddies who will help them pay their through uni.

Education for all! Well… at least for the young and attractive anyway.

The international dating site, SeekingArrangements.com, says that it helps people find “mutually beneficial relationships and mutually beneficial arrangements”.

And before you smirk, wave your hand and say “well that’s just some cray cray American stuff” – STOP right there and get down off your high kangaroo. Because the number of Australian students who joined the website? It’s grown by 58% since last year.

In Sydney alone, there are 14,500 sugar babies seeking a relationship with very tangible extras (with 800 sugar parents available on the market), 9,210 sugar babies in Melbourne (with 640 counterparts), and 7680 babies in Queensland (530 older ladies and gentlemen).

The University of Sydney has 137 registered sugar babies (the largest number in the country), the Australian National University 89, and the University of Melbourne 69.

Even the Australian Catholic University has 64 registered babies.

In other words? There’s some stiff competition for the potentially-impotent but cashed up to the max, older Australian gentlemen (and indeed older ladies) out there.

A screen grab of the Seeking Arrangement website.

The site seeks sugar babies who are:

Attractive, intelligent ambitious and goal-oriented. Sugar Babies are students, actresses, models or girls & guys next door. You know you deserve to date someone who will pamper you, empower you, and help you mentally, emotionally and financially.

The sugar daddy – or, as SeekingArrangements.com calls him, ‘The Modern Gentleman’ – must be:

ADVERTISEMENT

You are always respectful and generous. You only live once, and you want to date the best. Some call you a mentor, sponsor or benefactor. But no matter what your desires may be, you are brutally honest about who you are, what you expect and what you offer.

The terms of the arrangement are pre-agreed and sugar babies can receive up to $3000 each month in their relationship but the organisation denies that this is the same as prostitution. Company spokesperson Jennifer Gwynn told The Brisbane Times:

“The key difference between being a sugar baby and being a prostitute is the relationship. A prostitute is conducting a transaction between a customer. Our site is a dating website for people seeking a certain type of relationship. The two are completely different.”

Hmm.

There’s no denying that the concept is, as its most basic level, mercenary. This is a dating website designed to create relationships of mutual superficiality. The intentions of the sugar babies and sugar daddies appear to be anything but sweet (sorry everyone, the pun was there for the taking…): one member of the couple is interested in money, the other in youthful beauty – nobody is interested in love.

Spoil them and they’ll spoil you!

Ms Gywnn continued:

“I think in most nations the cost of a good education and getting by in life while you get an education is higher than it should be,” Ms Gywnn said.

“While Australia is often applauded for its student loan program, the cost of living is still very high, and the job outlook low. It’s a disconnect. Making an investment in your education doesn’t always guarantee you a good job after all is said and done.”

While it might seem a bit disingenuous to try and link their dating website with the Global Financial Crisis, Ms Gywnn does have a point.

The job market is uncertain, and the future of many professions looks unstable.

Entry level jobs in professional industries are sparse, with hundreds of companies slashing their graduate programs. Today’s university students graduate with massive debts – of up to $45,000 and counting – that have to be paid back somehow.

Plus, they have to work to support themselves while they study full time, which for many can be a serious distraction from studying. The uni student jokes about living on two minute noodles and being unable to afford fruit and vegetables are actually a painful reality for many…

So for some university students, dating a sugar daddy may just be an attractive option.

How did you support yourself to study or when you were first entering the job market? Do you think the ‘sugar daddy’ website amounts to prostitution?

LISTEN: Fifi and Jules interviewed a woman on 2DayFM who has registered with Seeking Arrangements. Listen to their conversation here: