By Julie Samrick
Watch out parents of young college girls, there’s a new Satan in town looking to tempt and then profit from your daughters. The problem is, there isn’t only just one. There is a plethora of on-line dating sites, calling themselves arrangement sites, where young women looking to pay down college debt are matched to older, wealthy donors. What is not advertised, but is clearly understood by reading young women’s confessionals in a recent Huffington Post piece about “sugar daddies” and the financially beleaguered “sugar baby” college girls, is that these arrangements are for paid sex, and the industry is booming.
One college girl, “Taylor,” describes how she earned $350 for an afternoon of sex from an older sugar daddy she’d never previously met.
The article goes on to describe the win-win trend of these couplings and the scores of people who sign up for them. 35% are college students on sites like arrangementseekers.com, who advertise upfront only that they are looking to pay down debt.
Noel Biderman is the 39-year-old founder and CEO of Avid Life Media. He’s also the creator of several of these arrangement websites, including one for married people looking to have affairs. He says that most members are registering online from large cities like New York and Los Angeles, where there are higher standards of living and more expensive student loans. Students from NYU make up the most sugar babies, while students from UCLA and UC Berkeley are close behind.
A decade ago it may have made sense to say, “Hold your daughters close; send them to small, private colleges, away from this kind of exposure.” But as many of us know, just flip on the television set and watch 10 minutes of MTV or VH1 (which don’t even play music anymore) and you’ll see the pressure and warped reality high school and college aged kids face today, where viewers quickly become immune to binge drinking, casual sex, teen motherhood and overall shallow thinking.
By the way, Biderman admits unashamedly that he advertises his sites on MTV and VH1, since both television stations appeal to the demographic he covets.
And the girls, the “sugar babies,” who are making it all happen? They are certainly not victims in all this. I contest this is not only about falling victim to debt and a weak economy, as is offered as explanation in the article. Student loan debt has been an inevitable part of young peoples’ lives for decades. No, what has changed in our culture is that increasingly the prevalent messages to young people, to all of us even, is that casual sex and the lure of money buys happiness. What is truly unfortunate is that these girls are making bad decisions with these lies in their minds to justify their actions.
When, after the train ride home, Taylor breaks down in tears and says the experience with the older man for $350 made her feel “dirty,” she should’ve listened to that voice, to her conscience. Instead, she is now back online looking for another sugar daddy arrangement, as a new college semester has begun.
I actually blame the girls in this matter even more than the older men. If the girls weren’t there, the men wouldn’t have anyone to pay. And those girls who say that casual sex is no big thing are lying, by the way. At least there are some girls who admit to how it makes them feel about themselves afterwards.
These college girls also have friends who contribute to, or at the very least condone, what they’re doing. Peer pressure is one of the most powerful forces in a young person’s life. I wish there were more young girls who would have the courage to tell their friends that what they’re doing is wrong in this case.
No wonder the rate of married couples has plunged in the past 20 years. Why get married when one can have sex whenever? Why get married when one can have a baby and raise the baby without a partner? Why get married when a girl sees men as greedy opportunists, and not as loving partners?
Most everything young people see in the media today sends the message that it’s OK to have recreational sex. So I really shouldn’t be surprised after all that sex for money is the next leap.
Related post: The Blurring of Needs Versus Wants
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