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More College Students Turning to 'Sugar Daddy' Websites to Fund Education

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Tennessee is becoming one of the fastest growing areas for these types of financially beneficial relationships. The University of Memphis, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Chattanooga all ranking in the Top 50 schools using seekingarrangement.com.

A 23-year-old University of Memphis student began using the website after losing her scholarship. She said her family was unable to fund her education and she felt she had no other option but these types of online relationships.

"I didn't know where to turn. I didn't know how I could come up with $5,000 in sixty days," she said.

The website she uses, seekingarrangement.com said it is the number one dating sate for women looking to date a sugar daddy. She said she does not feel like she is doing anything wrong, but she chooses to keep her lifestyle a secret.

"It's just not socially acceptable most people would see it as prostitution. Most people don't like the idea of seeing a young girl with an older man," she said.

The website claimed the failing economy and rising tuition costs for the boost in new members. The "sugar baby" said the key to her future is her education, and dropping out of college would have devastated her.

"You know students are looking for alternative ways to help fund their education, especially if mom and dad can't pay for their education," she said.

For $69 a month, 'daddys' describe on-line, in explicit terms what they are looking for, such as a travel companion or enthusiastic partner in the bedroom, and how much they are willing to pay for it.

The website said it does not condone the exchange of sex for money. But the 'sugar baby' said it is something that ends up happening and when sex and money are involved many wonder where online dating stops and prostitution begins.

"I compare it to a housewife. Her husband takes care of her and everything. Obviously, you wouldn't consider her a prostitute."

The site said it monitors its more than 2 million members on a 24 hour basis for illegal activity.

"Men and women aren't just exchanging sex for money it is not a requirement often times there much more than just sex," said Leroy Velasquez of seekingarrangement.com.

The 'sugar baby' said her current benefactor is a venture capitalist who lives in New York City. She said she receives a monthly allowance of $5,000. Every weekend she said he comes to West Tennessee or he flies her to wherever he may be.

She credits a former 'sugar daddy' with helping launch her career in music production. She said he arranged an internship in Memphis, which has turned into a job, following graduation.

"I feel like people think its a get out of jail free card and I mean people wanna work for where they're at but you know if i need to take some shortcuts along the way to get to where i wanna be i don't have a problem with that."

The woman said her benefactors also use her as a tax write off. She said, in total, she has received more than $50,000.