The NY Times had an article in their Magazine section on April 12th by Ruth Padawer, "Keeping Up With Being Kept" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/magazine/12sugardaddies-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=Seeking%20Arrangement&st=cse&scp=2) about this web site called Seeking Arrangement (http://www.SeekingArrangement.com), a site that hooks up financially strapped young women with sugar daddies -- and it has 300,000 registered subscribers. Examples include "the 18-year-old from France asking for $5,000 to $10,000 a month from 'a mentor who can provide me with the finer things in life and keep me happy!' And the 49-year-old investor from upstate New York willing to pay $5,000 a month for a 'daytime playmate' for 'intense connection without commitment.'" Many of the women are looking for money for college. It's depressing that college has gotten so expensive that some women feel they have to resort to this.
The most interesting part was how some of the members interviewed tried to justify their relationships. To me, it sounds like prostitution -- the men may claim they're paying for "companionship," but you know that means sex. But some of the women "say being a sugar baby is no more an occupation than dating is, especially when the goal of dating is to find a rich boyfriend or a wealthy husband. They routinely turn down creeps interested in nothing but sex. Some sugar babies also insist that wives who stay in miserable marriages for an American Express black card, mansion or country-club membership are more like prostitutes than they are."
But the difference is, a woman and her rich boyfriend or wealthy husband either are in love or hopefully were at some point! They didn't enter into their relationship strictly for the money, but because they actually cared about each other. And that makes all the difference in the world.