'Sugar daddy' website seekingarrangment.com offers darker side of networking
An internet dating site which links wealthy men with young women – and boasts an MP as a so-called "sugar daddy" member – was launched in the UK yesterday.
Brandon Wade, the founder of seekingarrangment.com, says the US site has 80,000 UK members. The site claims a million members in America, with 10 women – called "sugar babies" – to each man. It matches impoverished young women with older men who can "treat" them by buying presents.
"Forty per cent of the sugar babies are students who need help with their tuition fees," Mr Wade said."The next largest group is single mothers. The site is a reflection of the ills of our time ... If it's exploitative then the exploitation is mutual. I get asked a lot if it's prostitution. But the sugar babies can say no."
He said most dating sites are superficial and his site is no different. He said most of the UK membership is presently based in London.
The "sugar daddies" are chiefly bankers, entrepreneurs and chief executives in their early 40s with an average income of £170,000 a year. They spend £2,862 a year on "sugar addiction" and are 13 years older than the women – but there are also younger heirs to fortunes and one Member of Parliament, he added.
Siobhan Freegard, the founder of netmums, feared the new site might blur the line between prostitution and genuine relationships. "The problem with a site like this is that the power balance is skewed from the start," she said.
The Independent's agony aunt Virginia Ironside found nothing "morally wrong" with the site. "Women are much more pragmatic about sex, less soppy than men. If you're a hard-up single mum and there was somebody you found not too unattractive and don't go any further than you want to, I can't see anything intrinsically wrong."
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Aylan Kurdi: Canadian immigration minister suspends election campaign to investigate why Syrian family's refugee application was refused
Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...
£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...