Sugar daddy: the controversy
Richmeetbeautiful.com, seekingarrangement.com, or mysugarlife.com... these sites that offer young students in need of money the possibility of hooking up with older rich men are invading European countries, and now the Middle East.
"Hey, students! Romantic, passion and no student loan. Go out with a Sugar Daddy!", this can be read on a huge poster carried by a publicity truck parading in front of the universities of Paris, for the site Rich Meet Beautiful. A few weeks earlier, the scandal triggered an avalanche of indignation in Belgium where the same site was advertised in front of major universities.
Behind this growing trend is the dating site Richmeetbeautiful.fr which connects young students in delicate financial situation with mature and wealthy men or women. The campaign has aroused strong criticism, including the mayor of Paris. "This site is violence against women. Behind these idealistic images, young people can fall into prostitution," said Hélène Bidard, Deputy Mayor of Paris. An investigation for "aggravated proxenetism" was recently opened.
The phenomenon of sugar babies, well known in England and the United States, is now invading France, Belgium and some Arab countries.
They're rich and looking for good company, businessmen or lawyers from the United States, France, Brazil or even Dubai, aged 30 to 50 years old. They are young, beautiful and intelligent and seek to finance their studies and lead a brilliant lifestyle by being cared for by an older person. A scandalous win-win.
The concept is completely different from prostitution according to its advocates. "Do you need pros advice to build your career? Learn alongside Sugar daddies/Mamas, those successful people who have experience to spare." Indeed, the Norwegian platform Rich Meet Beautiful insists that the meeting is a simple "arrangement". In addition, the physique of young women is not the only criterion taken into account by customers; they are especially looking for good company, a young, educated woman who's able to keep a conversation going.
Who are those sugar babies looking for a perfect life? Many students juggle between poorly paid small jobs or go into debt over several years to pay university fees. The sugar babies focus on their studies while affording themselves a luxurious lifestyle, funded by their so-called "daddies".
For the rest of the article, check our January 2018 issue.