'Pour Some Sugar' on college tuition: Sugar babies at ASU
Alexis Egeland, The State Press
ASU is known as the most innovative school in the nation, and a growing number of its students are utilizing a very innovative method to pay their tuition: sugar daddies.
According to SeekingArrangement's website, sugar daddies are "successful men and women who know what they want." Conversely, sugar babies are "attractive people looking for the finer things in life."
While many college students have become involved with sugar daddies for years in hopes of aiding their ever-increasing tuition costs, SeekingArrangement recently named ASU the school with the second-highest number of sugar baby students in 2016 (NYU has the highest).
Brandon Wade created the site in 2006, and he wrote on his personal website that "love is a concept invented by poor people."
Brook Urick, SeekingArrangement's public relations manager, said Wade is a sugar daddy.
"He was a successful guy, but not necessarily great with women," she said. "He’s sort of a sugar daddy himself, so he made a sugar daddy dating site where other guys who are generous and are able to provide a certain lifestyle can go and find their matches."
Communication freshman Emily said she uses SeekingArrangement to meet her sugar daddies.
She said she and some friends had jokingly made their dating profiles while drunk one night, and that she and a few others continued to use them.
Since creating her account in November 2015, Emily said she has gone out on eight or nine dinner dates with sugar daddies from the site, ranging in age from their mid-30s to mid-40s.
She said she makes between $150 to $300 per evening, and has not yet been asked to do anything sexual with her partners.
"They just seemed timid about the situation," she said. "Like they didn't want to make it feel like prostitution."
Emily said she doesn't mind going out with the men, and she would definitely recommend it to other students as long as they can find a nice guy.
As for a long-term sugar daddy relationship, Emily said she is not opposed.
"I am open to it," she said. "I just haven't completely met the right person yet."
What do students think
Journalism freshman Conner Borgelt said she thinks SeekingArrangements is a great opportunity.
"School is expensive and if guys want to pay me to go to school if I just hang out with them and give them a little company, then I'm all for it," she said. "I do that for free, so I might as well get paid for it."
English freshman Rylee McCurry said the relationships between sugar daddies and their respective sugar babies are nothing to be judged because it is consensual.
"It's something that is a lucrative way (to pay for school) that is still not harming anyone," she said. "There's no victim — everyone is a knowing, consenting adult. I think it's socially taboo, but I wouldn't look down upon a woman who decided to do this."
However, earth and environmental science sophomore Chase Stewart, said he is against sugar daddy relationships.
"I see it as a very shallow means to profit off of people who have been through tough circumstances," he said.
Stewart said he thinks sugar daddies are incorrectly using their money in an attempt to buy love.
"They may have lost a partner or have just struck out with a lot of different people, and they just seem to think that their money is going to be the solution to have someone actually care for them or want to do something with them, and to me that's a very, very depressing thing to have to come to grips with," Stewart said.
Despite outside judgement, Emily said she plans to continue to use the website, and she encourages people not to judge.
"Honestly, more people should be open minded and realize that it's probably not like how they think it is," she said.
This piece was originally published on statepress.com.