On Seeking Arrangement and Other Sugar Daddy Sites, Coeds Brave Risks to Find Rich Men

On Seeking Arrangement and Other Sugar Daddy Sites, Coeds Brave Risks to Find Rich Men
Illustration by Liam Peters

"I'm just looking for a generous guy who wants to spoil me like I deserve," Rachel croons into her cell phone, leaving a not-so-subtle message with the cool, coquet­tish tone of a practiced phone sex worker. Her voice is high and childlike, but in reality, the black 20-year-old is all womanly curves.

Rachel pushes a button and saves the message — a voicemail profile that potential mates can listen to — before turning to a New Times reporter.

"That's how the professionals do it," she says matter-of-factly. "You've got to choose your words carefully, because to someone on the outside, it could sound like, you know, prostitution. But you've also got to sound confident to get that money."

Two hours ago, Rachel was sitting in a university lecture hall, circling letters on a multiple-choice final exam. Now she's reclining on her unmade bed, smoking weed, and looking for suckers to pay her bills. There is no shortage: Miami is full of busy black businessmen who want sex with no strings attached, old white men who want to unleash their fantasies on her, and married men who want her to help them discreetly cheat on their wives, she says.

After updating her voice profile, Rachel browses the selection of males currently prowling for companionship. "There are six men in the live lounge," drones a robotic voice from the cell phone's speaker. Rachel pushes another button, and a husky Southern twang fills the room. "I'm a 54-year-old white male looking for a sugar baby to treat right..." begins the man's message.

"Ewww," sneers Rachel's wisp-thin friend in short shorts from the other end of the bed. "He sounds like a murderer."

Fast money, fuzzy morals, and fearsome risks. They're all in a day's work for a sugar baby. Rachel, whose name New Times agreed to change for this article, is one of thousands of young women in South Florida who share their time — and often their beds — in exchange for older men's money.

Though such relationships are nothing unusual in a city like Miami, where squat, silver-haired male millionaires wear teenaged models on their arms like designer watches, a wave of internet websites is now courting a new demographic of sugar babies: college students.

One company in particular is leading the trend. Seeking Arrangement promotes itself as the nation's biggest "sugar daddy" dating site. Its founder, a self-described "shy MIT nerd," has courted a million college coeds by offering them free memberships to the site, which he markets as a way to pay off student loans.

With even entry-level jobs requiring a college diploma in today's job market and the price of a degree skyrocketing, Florida's female students are becoming sugar babies like never before. Our universities dominate the list of schools with the fastest-growing number of Seeking Arrangement users. Forget sunshine. Florida is on its way to becoming America's "Sugar Baby State."

Meanwhile, critics claim that Seeking Arrangement and similar websites are just prostitution 2.0. "These [websites] are a way of commodifying women and their bodies," says Laurie Essig, a professor of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. Calling them sugar baby relationships "masks what might in fact be the sex trade in the language of familial relationships."

To understand the phenomenon, New Times spent six weeks speaking to nearly a dozen student sugar babies. They were white, black, and Hispanic; pretty and plain; wild party girls and no-nonsense businesswomen. Some make as much as $7,000 a month: enough to splurge on sports cars and fancy clothes, let alone stay in school.

Yet the hidden costs are even greater. Innocence is the least these women can lose, with sugar babies occasionally beaten or raped by men they meet online. Some slip from being college students to straight-up prostitutes. Several have wound up in jail for blackmailing overeager sugar daddies.

The biggest problem for Rachel, however, may be knowing when to quit.

As pot smoke swirls around the small room and the refrain of a rap song chimes "Pull out his dick, pull out his dick" from the stereo's speakers, she says of her extracurricular activities: "I don't want to get hooked... but it's so much fun."


"I have a fetish," the man admitted sheepishly. He was dressed in a baggy white T-shirt and basketball shorts. A ring of gray hair crowned the sexagenarian's scalp. Less than a third his age, Rachel sat on the couch next to him wearing a tight black dress and high heels. A bottle of Patrón Gold glowed on the coffee table in front of them. The two had met a few months earlier on Seeking Arrangement. Now they were on a "date" at the sugar daddy's house in Kendall.

"Ooh, that's kinky," Rachel replied, tossing back a slug of tequila to wash down her fears of being tied up or pissed on. "That kind of turns me on. What is it?"

The tubby accountant eyed her stilettos. The he pulled down his shorts and said: "I want you to step on me."

Relieved it wasn't something worse, Rachel stood up and lifted her heel over his crotch like an executioner's ax. Then she lowered her shoe slowly onto the man's flaccid flesh. As she shifted her weight from his balls to his penis, her sugar daddy moaned with a mixture of pleasure and pain.

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46 comments
lisalisalou777
lisalisalou777

Spot on article. In my recent experience as a SB looking for a SD it is much like attempting to walk through a minefield. I am attempting to pay off student loan debt and felt this is the only way to help do just that. The men DO have all the power and even with my rules and standards, I even get the garbage-cans bugging me. There are ALOT of toads out there using this service

revjoel2013
revjoel2013

Sugar Dating is soo legal that Newt Gingrich and Anna Nicole Smith did it with no legal consequence. There are members of law enforcement, judges, lawyers, politicians, 40,000 public school teachers+ etc. that are into the sugar lifestyle. If they got into trouble during sugar dating, a team of dream team lawyers may argue that it is a gift, not a payment, and the relationship is noncommercial. They will most likely get off if the dream team lawyers with political cloud argue that. Here are some of the cases the dream team lawyers may uses in such cases. The court overturned the conviction of a woman who attempt to trade tickets for sex based on the fact that the court ruled her actions were not commercial sex so the attempt prostitution laws do not apply (See Commonwealth v. Finkelstein and Commonwealth v Stephanie Ann Danko 281 Pa.Super. 97 (1980) 421 A.2d 1165 ).In this court case, the court in this case declares payment mistress-lovers relationship to be gifts and not prostitution income. (See UNITED STATES of America, v. Lynnette HARRIS and Leigh Ann Conley 942 F.2d 1125 ) Also the NY court ruled that it was not the legislators’ intent to outlaw mistress-lover’s relationship when they enacted the prostitution statutes. (See Cherry v. Koch 129 Misc. 2d 346, 491 N.Y.S.2d 934 ). These rulings don’t apply to escorts because they are in commercial relationships with their clients. (SeeIDK, INC., v. COUNTY OF CLARK836 F.2d 1185).

isntthatwild
isntthatwild

Just wondering how the comments would read if this was a report about sugar mamas

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

i've met a bunch of these kids selling themselves acting as ambassadors at various charity golf tournaments and i still remember the one particular exchange some years back where she told me she was working on the o-ring problem from NASA in grad school

here is the deal - these kids if as so inclined,  would otherwise be working on the pole at some club for a sleezy management that steals from them and abuses them - at least they may find a more discreet and sympathetic one-on-one relationship here as described - rather than be forced to entertain a bachelor party of drunks for tips shared with the house - so to a greater extent they themselves control their environment and IMHO actually reduce their risks by the relationship being more personalized and private

these aren't you fathers play-toys these are modern day business appointments

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

firstly MANY of the johns are indeed from elsewhere rather than soFLA and MANY of the students come from elsewhere and stay for the lifestyle

secondly this is ONLY SEX people and if it was good enough for henry Viii and cleopatra and lolita then why not ordinary people - the guy doesn't have to be berlusconi nor the woman madonna

lastly for what its worth theses same guys who spend on fancy cars can't drive them so i don't think the SEX part here is any big deal either - its more the power to tell someone what to do and they do it

i think the hook here is the access to and abuse of DRUGs either as an escape from the reality of it or a casual party favor becoming a very bad and and expensive and unbreakable habit

bobbyderka
bobbyderka

There is nothing wrong with being a slut as long as you slut voluntarily. In this horrible world we need sluts.  Sluts have been around long before there was life as we know.  Ah yes the slut, I do not prefer those hairless sluts. Although some imbeciles do.  I have taken a closer look at the sluts around town in south Florida, I must say there are with out a doubt the most sluttiest sluts in America. 

However we must give credit where credit is due.  New York is the Slut Capital of the World. There are more hairless sluts in New York than the entire world or universe.  So NY tell Bloomberg the make a special day for all the sluts in NYC.  

LOL 

josh545
josh545

This is horrible! Miami has one of the highest concentrations of crazy women unfit for marriage!

Todd_Bridges
Todd_Bridges

Its quite comical that the writer, the women and the website owner like to remind people that the proceeds go to tuition or book payment or some other collegiate-related expense.  Who gives a shit?  It doesn't matter where they money is spent, what matters is how it is obtained.  Attempting to justify or legitimize the act in the name of a presumed well-respected endeavor ("I'm going to college! I'm getting a degree to better myself!") is the stupidest thing I ever heard of.  Besides, we all know these sluts are spending the money on purses, shoes and shit like that.  Tuition payments?! Yeah right.

mkzoe
mkzoe

Cheap, lazy and misleading reporting. This does not make any sense considering that the unemployment rate is much higher for men and women have a much higher percentage of educational attainment.  Bad reporting and just another cheap excuse to continue to call women whores.  New Times (and Villag Voice Media)  you really are failing us, there are plenty of pressing things happening in SF and this is what you're wasting ink/server space with?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Would Prostitutes ... by any other name ... not taste as sweet?

.

John DeFaro
John DeFaro

This is a timely Pop Culture issue and a discussion aimed at opportunity .... wherever the chips may fall.

Adam Rz
Adam Rz

Capitalism at its finest something neither a Republican or Democrat do not understand! Their is a buyer and seller sounds like a efficient market to me! If you do not like do not participate!

Shubh Khullar
Shubh Khullar

Miami is reaching a new level of grime. This is prostitution. Instead of using these men and selling your body there are other options like get a job and support yourself. Yes these jobs do not pay a lot and they suck but that doesn't mean 1. that it is impossible to support yourself and 2. the answer to your problems is to sell your body. I mean when people ask you in ten years how did you support yourself in college don't you want a story you can be proud of and tell your daughter's and son's that you worked all night and studied all day and made it where you are today with hard work, drive and dedication. Tell them that its not easy but when its over the amount of pride you will feel in yourself no one else can give you. Instead of saying go to suggah daddies . com and find a stranger that has money to support you. If you teach the future generations to use each other in such a ill manner how can we ever advance together. This should bring big issues into view though 1. how expensive college is and how prices keep going up. 2. How financial aid for students is needed. 3. how bad the job market is for college students and 4. How backwards is florida that instead of helping these people who are out of options and beginning to drown in debt at a young age we offer a convient suggah daddy website that allows you to prostitute yourself and be on faceboook at the same time. I know everyone has a different story so you never know someones situation but I went to nursing school in a private university (so it wasn't cheap) and I had single mothers in my class who worked, studied, went to class, took care of their children and went to 12 hr clinical days or nights and never did I see them turn to selling themselves to take the easy way out.Instead they worked harder then anyone else to show their daughters how strong they will have to be to survive in this world and the reality of how hard making yourself is. On graduation I think I saw all my classmates cry , not because of a mental breakdown, but because no one got them to this point but themselves. I just think success through sex is not the way. It's why a lot of men don't respect women. It's why men and women in the workplace aren't equal.

Jonathan Berney
Jonathan Berney

Prostitution by a different name is still prostitution. lol

Shwan Jo
Shwan Jo

this isnt THAT much different than dating in Miami lol

Shwan Jo
Shwan Jo

my only question is-- why do they say black businessmen and old white men? cus there are no white businessmen or old black men on the site?

anonymous
anonymous

Not much different from being married. Only difference is you can walk away from this easily.

Samantha Ipanema
Samantha Ipanema

Not only the women but A lot Boys 2. Miami it's a beautiful place but A Dirt City !

Renee Arana
Renee Arana

and this people of Miami is how STD's are spread. Project Save A Hoe. So Sad!

Gomez Christian
Gomez Christian

Its a system where only the rich stay rich and whores stay whores. Ill gladly play the system and get my share that way. All these people waiting to inheret shit and never earn it.

Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly

Free exchange...Value for Value...sounds like a free society to me...

A M Huertas Iragorri
A M Huertas Iragorri

Sugar code it how ever you'd like but it's prostitution!! Everyone should just learn to work do whatever it is you want!!

Kristofer Jesus Castellar
Kristofer Jesus Castellar

The same girls you can pick up at Blue Martini, Dolores, or any of the other "Fancy Bars" lol. Love this superficial Miami culture

Sam Wright
Sam Wright

Old news, before the real estate crash almost every women I met in South Beach was 'sponsored', every women I meet now has a job and a career, this story should have been written 6 years ago :) or maybe the increase in 'sponsorships' is a good indicator of an improving economy for at least those on those at the top, lol!

Tracey Elizabeth
Tracey Elizabeth

In my next life I am going to be a money hungry whore that uses people and takes and takes. Apparently its what men like. Being nice doesn't cut it.

Danny Diaz
Danny Diaz

Future scum bags of America and the weak so called "men" who support it. Way to go ladies and gents, you are failing in life. What an abomination.

Kyle Haines
Kyle Haines

Noemi Cortes Paula Arias A Tillman See. I'm not the only one who knows about it :P

voltrade
voltrade

love the mentality of so many sofl women thinking they are deserved something because they bought boobs. not sure if this is because of the "quality" of guys here or guys are just as bad because of many women having that mentality. either way find a significant other out of state or at least out of sofl.

Exiliado
Exiliado

I have news for "Rachel."

It could sound like prostitution because that's exactly what it is. Exchanging sex for money IS prostitution.

That said, it is HER body. She can do with it whatever she wants, as long as I am concerned. But please, let's call a spade a spade.

jessicabrookman
jessicabrookman

@isntthatwild personally, i'm wondering why the women get all the flack and the men are just "purchasing a service." these comments are ridiculous. slut this, slut that. what about "the oldest profession in the world"? This shit wouldn't exist if men weren't willing to buy it...some people, my god. ;)

caseyryank9
caseyryank9

@anonymous That's actually a lie. Once a whore, always a whore. The young women who do this for 'thrills and college tuition' will never have a stable home life as the only men foolish enough to marry a 'retired' whore is a guy with serious issues of his own. 

And today nothing will stay hidden forever. So an eighteen year old selling 'companionship' will be unable to keep her former occupation secret. Sooner or later the truth will be revealed. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Renee Arana ... you look like you need rescue

caseyryank9
caseyryank9

@Tracey Roberts Lawry I guess all women are whores, too. 

 
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