Who’s your daddy?
Georgia State ranks among the top 20 universities in the nation with the most sugar babies.
Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 13:03
Tori first met her sugar daddy at a hotel restaurant wearing her best dress and little makeup. When they sat down at the candlelit table, she laid down some ground rules, like no sex on the first date. “I told him that this was really nice and I know what kind of arrangement this is, but that does not mean I’m going to have sex with you on the first date.”
She didn’t have sex with him on the first, second or third date.
“I have a rule that there needs to be at least three weeks of messaging before we ever meet,” Tori said. “None of the other guys I was messaging ever made it through the three weeks. The sugar daddy I’m with now was the only one that did.”
Tori, who turns 20 next month, is among the nearly 900,000 women currently registered on SeekingArrangement.com, a sugar daddy and mommy/ sugar baby dating site that allows wealthy men or women to seek younger men and women for companionship--sometimes for a price, sometimes for a gift, sometimes for an advancement opportunity for the sugar baby’s prospective career.
The site, launched in 2006, has gained popularity and controversy ever since. Now boasting nearly 1.1 million users, with college students as the largest (and most active, at 40 percent) demographic on the site.
Seeking Arrangement released a Top 20 list of national universities with the largest number of sugar baby signups in 2011. Georgia State came in number 11 with 74 new members. The University of Georgia arrived at number two with 155.
There are currently more than 100 Georgia State students registered on the site, although this only includes those who have used their .edu email address for the Sugar Baby College Certification.
For some students like Tori, the goal is to get their sugar daddy to pay for school.
Tori attended the Art Institute of Atlanta for a year and lived in an apartment with a couple of roommates. About a year ago, her mother split from her father and moved into a house where Tori and her sister could live.
Tori finished out her quarter but ultimately decided to leave the Art Institute due to the tuition costs.
While applying to Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter College, she tried to get her transcript but was told by Art Institute officials that it had to be withheld until her debt was brought down to $3,000 from the $8,000 she owed. They said she could reenroll but would have to pay $4,000 first.
“So I could pay $1,000 to never come back here again, versus save $1,000 to gain more debt. So I said ‘screw it.’ And that began it for me.”
About six months later, Tori took on a part-time dominatrix job, working a few weekends a month. Her mother wasn’t happy when she found out about it, which prompted Tori to keep the sugar baby role and her new phone sex operator job a secret.
“My mother has always known I had a kinky side,” Tori said. “When I was 15, I bought my first whip and my sister showed it to her. She knows, she’s not stupid, but I just don’t fill her in on the details. I try to keep that part of my life as far away from my mom as possible.”
She first learned of Seeking Arrangement when a segment covering the phenomenon aired on “20/20.”
“When I saw it, I thought it was awesome,” Tori said. “I registered almost right away and started browsing and messaging guys and just starting the courting process.”
Rewriting the book on dating
Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of Seeking Arrangement, points to the poor economy and pop culture when explaining the rapid growth of the lifestyle. Celebrities like Jim Carrey, who flies his 29-year-old college student girlfriend from New York to Los Angeles and Jennifer Lopez, who gives her young dancer boyfriend a weekly $10,000 allowance, are now considered “modern sugar daddies and mommies,” Wade said.
Popular reality shows like “The Bachelor” and “Millionaire Matchmaker” are also a testament to the trend.
“There are obviously still some people who are willing to participate in the lifestyle, as long as they remain anonymous,” Wade said. “Because, at the end of the day, there is still that certain negative stereotype that is associated with that lifestyle.”
But how safe is it?
“It’s as safe as any other dating website, so we have a blog write about the lifestyle and what people should do to avoid the pitfalls,” Wade said. “And members are sharing their experiences on our blog. Hundreds and hundreds of people are communicating on this blog, providing their own tips for safety and ensuring an enjoyable experience.”
He has also written a book, “Seeking Arrangement: The Definitive Guide to Sugar Daddy and Mutually Beneficial Relationships,” which expounds on the options people have instead of traditional relationships.