Mutually Beneficial Arrangements… or… Prostitution

I recently came across a website called Seeking Arrangement, a dating website for people looking for “mutually beneficial arrangements.” The site connects “Sugar Daddies” with “Sugar Babies.” Basically, it promotes arrangements where young women date older men in exchange for expensive gifts.

Unlike other dating websites, profiles of Sugar Daddies (and Sugar Mommies) list the person’s annual income and net worth. For example, “ActionDaddy” is worth $750,000 to $1,000,000. And the profiles of Sugar Babies list how much each expect from their Sugar Daddies (or Mommies). “Foxy Kat” expects between $3,001 and $5000 a month from her Sugar Daddy. She asks, ” I’m looking to make YOUR World a better place… Do YOU want to do the same for Me?” She makes it sound so simple, doesn’t she?

According to the website, this is a very natural dating arrangement: ” Let’s face it… It’s human nature for older men to want the younger and more attractive women. It’s also natural for younger women to seek out men who are successful, specifically those who have the means of providing a woman with comforts and luxuries.”

Also, the website provides us with some helpful clarification:


Sugar Daddy: n. Slang. A wealthy, usually older man who gives expensive gifts to a young person in return for intimacy or companionship.

Sugar Mommy: n. Slang. A wealthy, usually older women who gives expensive gifts to a young person in return for intimacy or companionship.

Sugar Baby: n. Slang. A young person who gives intimacy or companionship to an older man or woman in exchange for expensive gifts.

Now, this is all well and good. I once dated someone who showered me with lavish gifts. It’s not a bad deal. But where do we draw the line between a “mutually beneficial arrangement” and being a whore?

The dictionary defines “prostitute” as:

pros‧ti‧tute: -noun

1. a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money; whore; harlot.
2. a man who engages in sexual acts for money.
3. a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.

So, is this “mutually beneficial arrangement” NOT prostitution because these “sugar babies” are receiving gifts instead of hard cash? Or is it because sex is negotiable within an “arrangement?”

According to this anonymous Sugar Baby, “Who doesn’t want to be spoilt and pampered? The truth is many of my girlfriends want to find a sugar daddy. The problem is they do not know how to start. SeekingArrangement provides the ideal venue – protecting their privacy while they explore possibilities with men who are serious.”

I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around this. On the one hand- what a great idea! I am young, attractive, and available. Therefore, I deserve to be paid for my attentions. How easy it could be! That new digital camcorder I’ve been wanting- POOF! It’s mine! All I had to do was spend some quality time with a rich older gentleman. I suppose I can understand this Sugar Baby’s point of view.

On the other hand… She’s getting paid for her attentions. The Japanese Geisha is the only other example of this I can think of, and even they were occasionally paid for intercourse. And yet, these Sugar Babies haven’t been schooled in the fine art of entertaining gentleman. The only thing they have going them is boobs. And naiveity. This just doesn’t seem right. It seems like prostitution. And let’s not forget that even consensual prostitution is still prostitution.

But is consensual prostitution fine and dandy? Or is it wrong because it’s still illegal? Is this fine and dandy? Is it illegal? Is it wrong even if it is legal? Is it still fine and dandy if it isn’t legal, but everyone is happy with it?
I am at a loss. I haven’t been this on the fence since someone asked me which I’d rather give up for the rest of my life: oral sex or cheese.

What do you think about “mutually beneficial arrangements?” Or oral sex vs. cheese?

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This entry was published on October 4, 2006 at 12:04 am and is filed under feminism, internet invasion, sex n' health, stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

24 thoughts on “Mutually Beneficial Arrangements… or… Prostitution

  1. Hannah on said:

    I have been thinking about this arrangement. After looking at my credit card bill and my bank account balance, this is looking a whole lot better. Loose morals might not be quite as bad as not having expensive new shoes… So I want me a dirty old man with money!

  2. Jennifer on said:

    Well, if you want to call this prostitution, then maybe you should call a marriage Prostitution? — Consider the traditional marriage where the man makes the money and the woman stays at home to serve him …. both as a servant and sexually!

    I think that being a Sugar Baby to a wealthy men, or being a mistress or a courtesan… whatever way you call it is way more classy!

  3. Hi Leah,

    I’m writing a book on a very similar subject. Looking for someone (female) to interview some
    “goldiggers” for me.

    Is this something you would be interested in?



  4. Hal, please email me with more information.

  5. prostitution really isn’t illegal because it’s immoral, like most “vice” laws, it isn’t the act but the conditions and crimes that seem to follow the acts. There’s a war on drugs because of what drugs do to the lives and neighborhoods of the poor, not to prevent otherwise law-abiding rich people from smoking pot in their private residences. Prostitution, the street hookers on the corners of the wrong side of the tracks variety, breeds drug use, violence, pimps running protection, turf wars, and drives down property values. There’s no real motivation to stop pretty college girls and boys from giving it up for expensive gifts, mainly because it doesn’t happen on street corners or the ghetto.

  6. I have a woman sugarmomma, have for three years. Sure it starts off both wanting something from one another. But, the question is, does she have the time to hold a real relationship with a man who is just going to drain her account and cheat on her anyway…Or does she want, a young man (me), putting himself through college, attractive, healthy, high sex drive (whether it be for money or not)? The truth is, all of us if put in the right situation could fall in love with someone not only for the more benificial reasons, but for whom they are as a person. We have, and i thank her more than just sexually.

  7. Deidra on said:

    Really, from experience, it’s not a matter of naiveity.

  8. I find the “relationship” very intriguing. He is incredibly intelligent and successful, charming, classy, and all about pleasing me (when we are together). Approaching 2 yrs, we see each other about once a month and I look forward to it. To me- it’s safe, it’s fun, and I have extra cash to play with so why not?!
    Many needs are met, and the last thing I want is another husband.
    It’s a strange friendship, but it works.

  9. Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

    I’ll be watching you . :)

  10. Sugar babes are not prostitutes. They just dont want a traditional relationship and all the problems that come with one. They’re simply upfront about wanting to be spoiled. As opposed to all the trophy wifes of the world who dont work and live off of their husband’s money…

  11. having been a housewife and married to a man, who one day commented that there was little difference between a wife and a prostitute, as the one gave sex for money and the other gave sex for a roof over her and her children’s heads – a comment which many men find comical and sort of agree with, although i assure you many would not admit it to the women in their lives, because out of the deal, they also get mothered.

    so, a marriage is simply a socially acceptable arrangement – i have had several years experience in speaking to married men of many standings in life and it is a pretty common view. however, they do then feel obliged to remain faithful to the obligations implied by the arrangement resulting in the marriage. and so they then have affairs, as an escape from the pressure of that obligation – also, the woman often falters on her side in providing sex although the man then often remains within that arrangement for various reasons.

    i think that before jumping to conclusions and judging something, one should look very carefully at the alternatives and decide how truly pure they are (behind the masks, that is). i know for a fact that there is little purity in this world and whilst many will play out their morality in public, behind closed doors is an entirely different story…

    after all – an arrangement is more similar to marriage than mere prostitution as it involves a commitment which is usually longer lasting as well as a decision and planning for when an arrangement ceases…

    i could go on and on, however, i have one final comment and that is that it is not an issue of cash or gifts, as a wife receives both of these too, it is to do with a degree of commitment and not merely a service – prostitution is delivery of a service and payment for that service, it does not involve any further commitment.

  12. I am a sugar baby, and I would disagree with the assumption that girls who choose to date in this way have only “boobs and naiveity” going for them.

    I have a degree, a wealthy family and I consider myself classy, urbane and I know the art of how to keep company. I dont have to be a japanese geisha.

    BB X

    • Marissa on said:

      I completely agree with Susan and BB. The sugar daddy I have had for over a year continues our relationship because of the great experience I give him on our monthly date (only monthly due to our distance and schedules). I work a full-time job in finance, and I have a B.S. I am 32, and do not have big boobs (had a pair offered to me and declined). Our dates consist of 85% interaction and 15% physcial intimacy. When I arrive in the city, we go to our 5-star suite and enjoy a great bottle of california cabernet or champagne and chocolates. I change from work clothes and take a nice bath then slip into a great dress – classy, but sexy. We have a great dinner and may catch a comedy show or theater production. Afterwards we will go to a lounge or we will go back to the suite and sit and talk. Then off to bed, but we have both worked all day and are very tired. In the morning we have a wonderful breakfast in bed and watch the news before he goes into work in the city. We are intimate, but the focus is not on the physical intimacy. It’s a total experience – not just an hour’s worth of time at the hotel. An escort would not know the name of her client, as he would not know hers. Although their interaction may consist of dinner (rarely) or conversation, it is mostly transactional in nature. Not the case with an arrangement. I agree that it is pathetic to appeal to a man’s emotions to marry him and take his riches. I do not have to lie or make up sob stories to be spoiled. I am honest, provide companionship and have the luxury of not being stuck in a miserable marriage. Plenty of things are legal in this country but completely ridiculous and disgusting (i.e. partial-birth abortion); prostitution is illegal, but for some reason it doesn’t strike a cord like a physician killing a baby.

  13. histerically laughing my ass off on said:

    Hysterical this is of yours! :))

    course then again I have always found american’s never-exhaustive stupidity my eternal source of humour, as does the rest of the world ROFLOL;)

  14. there are so many dating websites these days and it is a very profitable business too *

  15. first off i would like to say i am a sugar baby and dont have damn problem with it. is it prostitution you ask? depends if you are trading sex? and if so who cares becasue half of all women give it away for free only to have their hearts broken and become “jaded” so why not make a little cash of it.

    besides the only women who oppose it are those who are too fat or ugly to do it.

  16. Thank you for starting this thread. I actually struggle with the challenge to find clarity around these questions as what you would refer to here as a sugar daddy to a younger man in his late 20’s. I am 30 years his senior although I have never felt (or acted) my age. Already in a committed relationship in which my partner of 13 years withdrew from physically intimacy with me over 7 years, I sought out sexual contact outside the relationship at his suggestion oddly enough. My lack of availability led me to find this outlet with massage therapists or escorts. On one particular occasion while travelling on long weekend to Montreal, I met and fell in love with the man you would classify as my sugar baby. Our first meeting lasted 3 hours during which time we talked about out lives and the things that had brought us both to where we were. We talked, touched, slept, held each other, and talked some more. I looked up into his eyes at one point and felt as if I was taken to his soul. I returned that weekend several times, and kept in touch with him after my departure.

    The following month he came to my city with friends and we again got together. Every 4-6 weeks we would make plans, I would go there, we would meet in South America, and finally he moved to this city earlier this year. I think early on, I made it possible early on for him to stop his massage practice. We hadn’t discussed it, but he told me he had ended that. He now shares an apartment with a roommate. He and I have been meeting weekly for dinner,theater, or shopping culminating in spending time being physically intimate.

    I have only been this deeply in love with someone once before in my life. That happened when I was just in High School and I held onto to that unrequited love for 20 years with a straight man who had been my best friend in high school. Having these feelings of love return to me at this stage of my life seemed almost impossible to me, but they have.The years I spent before meeting him, now seem like mere existence,not living. He provides me the joy I only experience when being so deeply in love with another human being. Something I had thought was gone from my life forever. He is totally honest with me. He is not in love with me. He “really really likes” me. He enjoys our time spent together. He is extremely intelligent and educated, fluent in three languages and possess a passion about life and people that is truly inspiring. He does not want to marry me. I had proposed to him when we traveled to Puerto Rico earlier this year – I told him to keep the black diamond ring which he still wears.

    We have had difficulty with differences in what we seek. We have had periods of no contact after the rejected proposal- a period of trying to find what would work. Right now, this seems to be working. I do want more. He doesn’t. I do feel stretched to be able to continue to provide for him in the way I would like. He is more comfortable when we have the arrangement , than when we don’t. He feels that he has more control this way- a better balance between us in the relationship, or rather arrangement. I get to be with him and spend time with this man with whom I am deeply in love. So it does seem to be working for us somehow.

    To return to the original question in this blog trying to determine if this type of arrangement is merely a form of prostitution, I don’t think my experience with him and my heart would draw me to conclude it is. I am aware this is more akin the question the Trudy character of Lily Tomlin attempts to answer when she confronts Warhol’s painting of the Campbell’s Soup Can. “Soup? Or Art?” I can only conclude the answer lies in the eyes of the beholder. My eyes tell me, this young man is art.

  17. I do not see the big deal In mutually beneficial relationships, as long as both parties are happy and satisfied, eventually. Call it prostitution or whatever, as long as these participating parties don’t consider it as such, then it’s fair enough.

    I have been on both sides of the page and I am happy to say that having a sugar daddy and being a sugar baby is more beneficial. Less strings attached, less things to worry about. Especially when you are attractive enough to have them flocking around.

    I’m on the look-out for one, so hint me if you have any more ideas on how I can find *winks

  18. The judges through the years wrote case laws that legalized mistress-lovers relationship. This is the reason why sugar dating is legal. In the case Cherry v Koch. 129 Misc. 2d 346, 491 N.Y.S.2d 934 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1985), the NY court declares mistress-lovers relationship as noncommercial. Com. v Stephanie Ann Danko explains about mistress-lovers relationship exempt from the prostitution statutes. People v. Johnson, 376 N.E.2d 381, 17 Ill.Dec. 382, 60 Ill.App.3d 183 (1978)) provides social companionship exemption from the prostitution statutes. A good article to read on this issue is Motyl , Jacqueline. (2012-2013) “Trading Sex for College Tuition: How Sugar Daddy “Dating” Sites May Be Sugar Coating Prostitution.” Vol. 117:3 pg. 927-957.

  19. A mutually beneficial relationship (i think) is helping the economy stabilize in more ways than one. *smiles* There are men/women out there who have so much money than they need. and they have irresponsible spouses and kids who have been spoiled with these resources. then there are goodlooking, smart, responsible guys and girls without opportunities or funds to even go to college. parents that earn next to nothing enough to give you much support. having a sugar daddy, for me, means helping him make good use of his money. in most cases, he will be proud of being my friend in 10 years time when i am more established as a result of some of the assistance he gives, than he might be of his irresponsible daughter/son who is probably in rehab in a foreign country. (that’s usually the case here)
    P.S: I am in Africa, where there’s a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The rich are super rich and the poor are so poor. and the ‘average’ are usually the working rich who become dependent on the kids they have trained, after retirement.

  20. Awesome issues here. I am very happy tto look your article.
    Thanks so much and I am taking a look forward to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

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